The Big Chicken Dinner

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“Jesus summoned the twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. So they went off, preached repentance and drove out many demons.” Since we are followers of Jesus, do we have the ability to drive out demons? What are demons anyway?

In the book “What Difference Do It Make?” Denver Moore, a hard core ex-convict who had lived in the streets for over 20 years, tells the story of a woman and her 8 year old son who lived in a little town near Seattle, Washington, and how they started a chain of love that changed the life of a homeless man. The woman had read about the plight of the homeless in “Same Kind of Different as Me” and told her son, “We are going to help the next homeless person we meet.” And sure enough, as they were headed home from the grocery store with a prepared chicken dinner, her son spotted two homeless men digging in the trash in an alley next to their home. The little boy asked his mother if they could give their chicken dinner to the two men…, and so they did. The two men sat down in the alleyway and had themselves a feast. A few minutes later, back at their home, the woman felt a strong impression to do more for them and so she began digging in her purse for some cash. She came up with forty dollars, went back with her son to the alley and gave each man a twenty dollar bill. Well those men must have thought they won the lottery that day. But a few months later, the woman heard a knock on the door and through the peephole she saw a nice-looking, clean-cut gentleman. As she opened the door, he said, “Do you know who I am?” “I’m one of the homeless men you gave a chicken dinner and twenty dollar bill to awhile back.” “Well I took that twenty dollars and went to the nearest bar, and got drunker than Cooter Brown.” “However, there was a woman who worked at that bar who told me I should go home to my family no matter how long I had been gone and no matter what I had done.” “I was sure my family would never forgive me since I had been gone twenty years and had done some pretty bad things; but before you knew it, she drove me to the bus stop, bought me a ticket and I was on my way home.” Well, to my complete surprise, my family treated me like the prodigal son and they loved me sober.” “I’m still in recovery, but I’ve got a job and a future, and I just had to come back to thank you.”

So, are there demons that try to drag us down and keep us there? Sure, from the serious (drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography, anger, hate) to the less severe (excessive fear, depression, anxiety, vanity, etc.) Satan would love to get us down and discouraged, thinking that there is no way out. But through prayer, lending someone a helping hand, giving love, support and encouragement, we can go a long way to drive the demons out. Will the story always have a happy ending? Probably not, but as followers of Jesus, it is our job to give the gift with no strings attached and let God take care of business on the other end.

Sylvia Bates