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The Parable of the Prodigal Demon

“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first." --Matthew 12:43-45

He will abandon you before you can abandon him. He sees the holy broom and the sweet spirit of the mop coming over the hill. The demon knows when he is about to be turned out with the cat, so he takes the key to the house and slips out the back. He abandons the house before the house abandons him. But the demon will return. For he was sly enough to take a key—just in case.

But the demon thinks he’ll find a new home, a better one. But he will never find one like the one he has made with you. No bed ever cradled his darkness the way your heart cradled his. And he finds every pillow like a rock. Every dark corner is well-lit. So he sits down like the Prodigal Son and decides he’s going home. At least he won’t have to beg for filth at your house, because the demon in Jesus’ parable says it’s “my house.”

He turns the knob and sticks his pointed-little-head inside and calls out your favorite sin. “I got some lust for you. I got some filth for you. I got a little greedy money for you. Got some vain ideas, some delicious pride, and a little hate on the side.”

Then the smell of Spic and Span rushes in his nostrils, and then Mr. Clean wallops him over the head with a magic eraser. Then Pine-sol gives him a swift kick in the rear and kicks the old devil out into the night. Because your house has been swept clean and put in order.

But you had better make sure, if you clean your house, you put somebody besides cleaning agents in there to occupy it, because the demon will be back again. He doesn’t give up easily. Cleaning our souls can be temporary, which can lead to a worse condition, if we aren’t careful. So you must decide who owns your house.

Only you can decide that. Only you know how dirty or how clean your house is on the inside. A person walking down the street can’t see through your closed blinds. He doesn’t know if you have a devil in there or if you have a sweet angel by the hearth. So bringing the demon to the light is the way to clean your soul. Confession is the door into the courtyard of freedom. The truth will set you free. Maybe. Just be careful. Seven more are on the way. So invite the Holy Spirit inside. You will need help.

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