It seems that the next few weeks of my life are nearly impossibly full. My husband and I will be burning up the highway meeting new clients; taking advantage of business opportunities that are developing; enjoying my nephew's senior year of college football; and looking forward, with excitement, to spending every moment I can with long-distance family members who will be in and out for that afore-mentioned football season. And, oh, yes, I mustn't forget a Deliverance Ministry training session with Dr. Charles Kraft thrown in the mix.
It's easy, with all the distraction this world offers, to forget that Jesus wants to interact with us and use us -- that we must never get so busy that we neglect serving Him. And when we are obedient ... what a reward it is to see Him made real in someone's life! I have received such a blessing as this over the last few days.
As my husband and I, whom I affectionately refer to as PLW (for Peace-Loving Warrior -- the meaning of his first and middle name), began our busy weekend with a two-hour drive to my nephew's game, I received a cell phone call from a dear friend. I do not want to reveal any details that will compromise her identity, and it is my hope that others will recognize themselves in her story and be as brave as she was. I can tell you that I have known her for over ten years and am familiar with some of the issues of her life and have known of her struggles. We don't talk that often, but the connection is always there and our friendship is never in question. So when I saw the caller ID, I knew this would be an important call. And it was. She was calling to ask if there was time in the next two or three days that PLW and I could maybe Skype with her. She had a small window of opportunity in which she would be alone and was ready, actually desperate, to turn to Jesus for help.
The problem was, we were on the road, and not only would we be occupied with a football game that day, but the next morning we would be traveling to meet with a new client several hundred miles in the opposite direction and wouldn't be home until late on Sunday. To make it nearly impossible, PLW was leaving at 5:30 the morning after that for a three-day business event and her window of opportunity would be shut. But I knew that we had to make time; somehow, some way. When she mentioned that suicidal thoughts were present, there was no other option... she needed Jesus, and the hope that lies in Him, and we had to make it work. I told her we would try to rearrange our schedule to be home as early as possible on Sunday, trusting Jesus and the Holy Spirit to work it all out so that she could receive the healing and restoration she urgently needed. With that small thread of hope, she hung up and hung on.
Let me first tell you that by the time Sunday night arrived, PLW and I were exhausted. Between the hustle and bustle of college football, and meeting a new client, every hour was frantic. Fortunately, the client agreed to meet us earlier than we had scheduled, and after driving nearly two hours home, we scrambled to get my husband packed and ready to leave early the next morning. We wanted to move all hindrances out of the way so we could concentrate on helping our friend. Somehow, we received supernatural strength and energy for the task ahead; the tiredness vanished and we prepared to make the call.
But the Enemy tried every which way to interrupt our plans. She had notified me earlier in the day that her internet service went down, which meant that the questionnaire I had sent her months earlier (when she had expressed interest in a possible deliverance session) would have to be transferred to us in a different manner. So she had snapped photos of each page and texted me the images, and PLW and I had discussed them during our drive home. As the time came near to contact her, we hoped that the internet service had resumed so we could Skype or FaceTime... no such luck. We would just have to work with her through a simple 3-way phone call. But we had no doubt that God can work through the phone lines ... He just needs servants willing to be obedient. So with our hand-held land-line phones in hand (this is one reason we are not a mobile-only household), we made the phone call.
But I'm here to tell you that I also heard, over those phone lines, the Truth that destroyed those lies. The enemy spirits whispered so many thoughts to her --- fear of being alone; anger towards family members who made her feel abandoned and rejected; how could she ever overcome the hurtful actions of her husband; that all the death and destruction that followed her family might soon claim her. In fact, a spirit who identified itself as Destruction, said he wanted her dead. He invaded her thoughts and emotions with ideas of suicide, but he admitted that he could not get to her spirit because "Jesus is there".
I know this sounds absolutely crazy and impossible, but as the Holy Spirit introduced each of those dark entities to the light and power and authority of Jesus, they were defeated and she actually saw them all bound and Jesus throwing them, in her words, "into the pit of destruction". She couldn't stop exclaiming, "It's amazing! I'm so amazed at seeing Him there the whole time!" For the first time in months, maybe even in years, she could see clearly. It was as if she had been looking through a dirty windshield and Jesus sent a cleansing rain to wash away all the filth and grime. She could see the lies for what they were ... attempts to cloud her thoughts and feelings so she couldn't see that Jesus was right beside her. She allowed the Holy Spirit to show her that those lies did not determine who she was; that she could step into the embrace of Jesus and all the pain was absorbed by His overpowering love. And I heard the joy and the hope in her voice ... and I heard her laugh; and it was the sound of freedom.
There is victory in the Word! And I hope that I have adequately reflected the glory of our Lord in this situation. Not only did I want to relate His supernatural power to heal our spiritual wounds and show you that the Holy Spirit is our powerful advocate and ally, but I wanted to emphasize that we must never let the affairs of this world get in the way of our servanthood. We must remain ever ready to be obedient; to put our selfish desires aside in order to become willing participants in showing God and His Son to the world. To me, that is such a picture of Jesus's command to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself."
It would have been so easy to tell my friend that there was just no time to meet her request for help, and I will admit that the devil tried to convince me of that lie. But I knew the Truth; I knew that Jesus wanted to work through PLW and myself to destroy the devil's lies and show our friend how much He loves her. We just had to be obedient and put aside our selfish concerns and be willing to seek the best for her. All we had to do was say, "Yes". And what a privilege it was to see Him glorified and the Light invade the Darkness! So, if Jesus is your Savior, and you profess that you love Him, how will you respond the next time you hear a cry for help? How would you want Him to respond to you? I pray that you will answer the call on your life, and imitate Christ. Nothing in this world is worth turning Him down or denying His presence in the life of another. Just say, "Yes, Lord".
1 John 4:12 "No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us."