|Jesus casting out demons|
This song is sung from the perspective of someone who knows he’s spiritually lost. He’s singing to someone that he perceives as pure and innocent. The song begins with his depressing anticipation that in the end, things will fall apart: “When the days are cold / And the cards all fold.”
The singer says that the people who ought to be role-models will turn out to be fakes without life or passion: “And the saints we see / Are all made of gold / When your dreams all fail / And the ones we hail / Are the worst of all / And the blood’s run stale.”
He wants to hide the truth that things are falling apart, and shelter the person he loves from all of it. Yet he recognizes that there’s a beast inside him, and that he can’t help her hide as long as he’s around her. “I wanna hide the truth / I wanna shelter you / But with the beast inside / There’s nowhere we can hide.”
He says: “No matter what we breed / We still are made of greed / This is my kingdom come / This is my kingdom come.” Recognizing the sin nature inside all of us, he says that even the best that we can do is tainted with our own selfishness, our desire to see our own kingdom come.
Finally, the singer faces the reality that not only is there evil in his own soul—there is also evil that resides within him that comes from an outside source. He calls this evil his “demons.” “When you feel my heat / Look into my eyes / It’s where my demons hide / It’s where my demons hide / Don’t get too close / It’s dark inside / It’s where my demons hide / It’s where my demons hide.”
The singer knows that there will be a judgment day coming. As Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage and the people only players,” so the singer says, “Curtain’s call / Is the last of all / When the lights fade out / All the sinners crawl.” He understands that in the end, at the curtain call, the sinners will no longer be able to stand in judgment. At our own death, all our false fronts, all our masks will be revealed: “So they dug your grave / And the masquerade / Will come calling out / At the mess you've made.” All your lies, all your sins, will all be exposed. And the singer knows what will be the result of God’s righteous judgment.
I’m amazed at the people I’ve met who are fully aware that if they were to die today, they’ll be lost—and yet they still don’t turn to Jesus for salvation. The singer says, “Don't wanna let you down / But I am hell bound / Though this is all for you / Don't wanna hide the truth.”
He feels trapped in life—like no matter what he does, it’s going to have the same result. He feels like he has no choices: “They say it's what you make / I say it's up to fate / It's woven in my soul.” A lot of people feel similarly trapped, and don’t know where to turn for any hope.
The singer has become so hopeless that he doesn’t want to drag the person he loves down with him. So he says, “I need to let you go ./ Your eyes, they shine so bright / I wanna save that light / I can't escape this now / Unless you show me how.”
And there’s the ray of hope! He realizes that there’s nothing he can do to save himself, that there’s nothing good in himself—only a man plagued by demons. But he hopes that someone can show him how to be saved.
And that’s where Jesus comes in. Acts 10.38 (ESV) says, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”
Jesus was always casting out demons. Everywhere He went, He proclaimed the Good News, healed people’s diseases, and cast evil spirits out of people. It’s unclear whether Imagine Dragons intended to talk about demons as a reality or a metaphor—but my experience is that Satan and his agents are active in this world, seeking the harm of all God’s children. That’s why Jesus made deliverance a major part of His mission.
In the song, the good news is that there may be a way of escape. Believers know that His name is Jesus! He came to set the captives free. And then He commissioned His followers to show others how to be free. Mark 16.17a (ESV) says, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons....” If you need deliverance, it’s available to you through the power of Jesus. If you’ve been set free, then it’s your job to set at liberty those who are oppressed. I pray that you’ll take hold of the hope that Jesus offers. I pray you’ll find the peace He wants to give—and then share it with others who need the Lord’s deliverance.