But Jesus rebuked him (the uncleaned spirit), saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!”

Mark 1:21-28

We all have them. Unclean spirits. That voice deep inside us - crying out and telling us we are not good enough - filling us with a sense of anger or hatred or disappointment or fear or unworthiness or shame. The list could go on. That voice deep inside us reminds us or our own brokenness and keeps us from being our best self - from being the person God has created us to be - from being fully alive as a beloved child of God - from loving God and loving our neighbors.

In this story from Mark, Jesus is teaching in the synagogue when a man with an unclean spirit approaches him. The unclean spirit - but not the other people who are there - recognizes Jesus as “the Holy One of God”. And Jesus recognizes the unclean spirit. “Be silent, and come out of him!”, Jesus demands. The unclean spirit listens to Jesus’ voice and obeys. The man is set free.

What if we listened to Jesus’ voice rather than the unclean spirits that are in us? What if we turn to Jesus and say ‘We know who you are - you are the Holy One of God’? What if we recognize Jesus for who he is - the Son of God who came so we can all have a full and abundant life?

Stand close to Jesus and listen to him as he drives the unclean spirits from your heart. Hear God’s voice saying to you “You are my beloved daughter. You are my beloved son. With you I am well pleased”. Believe these words. Hold on to these words. When the unclean spirits start to tell you that you are not good enough, boldly tell them to be silent and come out. With the love of God centered in your heart by the power of the Holy Spirit, drive out the unclean spirits and claim the life of freedom that Jesus gives you. Dwell in the hope and the truth that God loves you very much. Then go out and help other people drive out their unclean spirits. Remind them that God’s love is for all people. Show them what it means to live in God’s love and with God’s Spirit deep inside you.