I mentioned in my recent Daybook post, since starting back to school and soccer practices, my Bible journaling time has taken a hit. And that’s ok. There are seasons in life and my seasons right now are dictated by seven children and one husband, thanks be to God. This morning though, I positioned myself at the end of the table where the younger two were working and the olders could find me easy enough. Since finishing the Book of Matthew last month, I’ve been reading sporadically in my Bible. I decided this morning to start reading the Book of Mark. When I got to verse 25 in chapter 1, I was finished for the day. This post may contain affiliate links to products I love and recommend.
When using the POWERful Bible Journaling method, I read until…I’m interrupted, about to fall asleep, I’ve made it through each letter or a verse stops me. Verse 25 stopped me. “But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” In this verse, Jesus is speaking to an unclean spirit within a man. Look at what Cornelius a Lapide has to say about this verse before I share my thoughts. The question is asked, “Why?” Why would Jesus command this unclean spirit to be silent? According to Cornelius a Lapide,
“First, Because it was not fitting that Christ should be commanded by the devil.”
“Second, That He might not appear to be a friend of the devil, and to hold intercourse with him. For afterwards it was objected to Christ that He cast out devils by the aid of Beelzebub. By acting as He did, Christ has taught us to shun all dealings with the devil; for he is the sworn enemy of God, and is wholly bent upon injuring and destroying us, even when he promises or brings us any corporal aid.”
“Third, To show that we should resist flattery, that it may not stir up any desire of vainglory in our breast.”
“Fourth, Euthymius says, “He has taught us never to believe the demons, even when they say what is true. For since they love falsehood, and are most hostile to us, they never speak the truth except to deceive. They make use of the truth as it were a kind of bait.” For, liars that they are, they conceal their lies by a colouring of truth. They say certain things that are true at the first, and afterwards interweave with them what is false, that those who have believed the first may believe also the last. For this cause Paul drove out the spirit of Python, who praised him, Acts xvi. 18”
“Fifth, Because the demon in an unseasonable manner, and too speedily, disclosed that Christ was Messiah. For this might have injured Him, and turned the people away from Him. For so mighty a secret should be disclosed gradually, and the people be persuaded of its truth by many miracles; for otherwise they would not at first receive it and believe it. This was why (viii. 30) Christ forbids the Apostles also to say that He was Christ. So Maldonatus and others.”
Symbolically: Bede, “The devil, because he had deceived Eve with his tongue, is punished by the tongue, that he might not speak.”
Bible Journaling: Be Silent
red pen and cheap dollar store watercolors
*UPDATE: I’ve written a book, Bible Journaling Tips, Inspiration and Permission, to encourage and inspire you in your Bible journaling!
One more thing before I share what I gleaned from this passage, let me tell you about this picture. Since I seem to be the go to girl for Bible journalers who aren’t confident in their limited artistic abilities, (Bible Journaling Tips for the Hesitant, I Want to Journal Bible Quotes But Can’t) I share my work as a means of encouragement, example or ego boost, “Surely I can do better than that,” you say. For some reason, what I see on Pinterest and in my mind, somehow does not translate the same way onto my Bible page. I struggled with this and it actually kept me from Bible journaling for a time. But then I realized that discouragement was not and is not from God. I want to shout,
So you’re not an “artist.” According to who? And be very careful how you talk about your (lack of) artistic abilities in front of your children. You don’t want to pass discouragement on to them. You don’t want to pass this comparison poison on to them. You don’t want them to avoid drawing you a picture because they are “not an artist.”
Back to Mark 1:25…(taken from my written reflection)
How many times do I have an unclean spirit of: envy, jealousy, comparison, discontent, anger, impatience…and because I talk about it so much–either out loud or even just to myself–this spirit cannot come out of me?
This makes me think of a fire. If I’m trying to put out a fire, I don’t blow on it or keep it stirred up; it never has a chance to go out and die. Instead, I have to try to smother it; cover it with something like water or ashes. It’s the same if I’m dealing with an unclean spirit of discontent, it will not leave me–come out of me–if I always talk about or think about how unhappy I am. Those thoughts and words keep that spirit stirred up and maybe even fuel it instead of smothering it.
Does this mean I cannot talk about my struggles with unhappiness, anger, depression…Absolutely not! But before I start talking about it, I need to examine my motives. Am I sharing my discontent so others will feel sorry for me? Am I sharing my unhappiness to play the martyr? Am I trying to get attention? Even if it’s “bad” attention. Do I talk about my depression because I want an excuse to speak or behave a certain way?
Or, do I share with a counselor, close friend or relative the struggles I am having because I honestly want an outside opinion? Am I sharing my struggles with someone because I know they have gone through something similar and I am seeking their guidance through this difficulty? Am I confiding in a close friend because I need additional prayer support?
Talk less and pray more. More conversation with God (prayer, Bible reading, praise and worship) and less with the world (social media, phone, gossiping). This reminds me of the Tommy Newberry quote, “You will always feel what you dwell on.” (Choosing Joy…The Laws of Emotional Strength)
Following the words of the quote from Tommy Newberry, if I’m struggling with feelings discontentment, one way to smother that unclean spirit is to speak of the opposite, gratitude. If I’m struggling with impatience, thinking and speaking on the opposite–patience, will smother that unclean spirit. (Bible Quotes About Patience) I need to smother the negative with the positive. Instead of dwelling on the negative, dwell on the positive. So dwelling on the characteristics, promises and Word of God are my means of silencing any unclean spirits I may have bothering me.