Thursday, June 11, 2015

Evil Spirits Silenced

"….No one was strong enough to subdue him.  Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.”  Mark 5: 4b-5

The loud banging on the front door frightened me. It was like the door would be taken right off its hinges. Ed was not around so I was left alone to deal with the disturbance. Opening the door I came face to face with a wild looking man with long unkempt hair. I asked him where he lived and he replied, “In a cemetery.”  There was no emergency phone number to use at our mission hospital house in Pakistan. With an authoritative voice I ordered him to follow me as I led him to the clinic offices where suddenly a crowd swarmed around us. He bowed to the ground at my feet in front of all of them and yelled, “You are Maryam, the mother of Jesus.” I told him firmly I was not and to get up. He was instantly silenced and led away.
Five year old Fatima stood at the top of the stairs in her upscale house yelling and shrieking repeatedly, “Go home! Go home!” It was unnerving and annoying and went on for the entire visit with her mom. At prayer meeting that night I begged the group to pray that the spirit inside of Fatima would be silenced because there was no way I could go back if she continued the same tirade. It never happened again.

As I was visiting Mona, her lawyer uncle came and joined us. My husband was not present. For at least an hour he spewed awful obscenities my way. Where did such a vile torrent of obscenities come from? I knew I could not return to that home if that would happen again. Three months later he met my husband and apologized for what he had done and asked for forgiveness. Amazing! God's Spirit has a way of not only silencing evil spirits but causing conviction, too. 
I was led to a basement where a young lady was lying in the dark under a blanket which covered her body and face. She did not see me but when I came close she began screaming cursive words. I wondered what would happen next. Would she rise up and attack me? Not knowing what to do I said firmly, “In the name of Jesus Christ be quiet.”  Instantly she lay completely still and the words abruptly stopped.

In ministry we will occasionally encounter the presence and disturbing speech of evil spirits. Jesus Christ was not exempt of such encounters, nor his disciples, and neither will we be. But most people in ministry are probably not prepared or equipped for dealing with such encounters. We learn as they unfold. They can be unsettling in the beginning for sure. But when we observe that evil spirits submit to the name of Jesus Christ a new level of awe and wonder and faith are born. We better understand the word Savior. We also discover Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

Dear heavenly Father, thank you that Jesus Christ always has authority over all evil spirits. They have to submit to his commands. Amen.