I meant to post this last week, but never had a quiet time to sit & type. I’m not the devotion writer that my friend Paula is, but then I wouldn’t be me if I could write like her.
Matthew 12:43-45 talks about what happens to a man when a demon is cast out. It searches through dry places looking for rest and then returns to its house. When it finds its former dwelling empty & clean, it goes & gets 7 of its friends and comes back & makes the person’s condition worse in the end than it was before.
James 1:14 & 15 tells us that we are tempted by our own lusts & drawn away. When desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin and when sin grows up it brings death.
Have you ever read a Frank Peretti novel? I’m thinking especially of his first two, This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness. I don’t know why Hollywood hasn’t made them into movies. There is enough evil, demonic activity, and terror in those books to satisfy Hollywood and scare the Hell out of you. I felt like I was in one of his books yesterday.
For the last 5 years I’ve allowed a little sin that I knew better than to play with hang around in my life. We think we can dabble & not get caught, but this "thing" slowly became a stronghold in my mind. I didn’t say 5 days or weeks or even months – 5 YEARS. I’d get to feeling guilty & I’d cry out to God & repent & feel better for a while and then it would rear its head again. Toward the end of last year, I could feel that the stronghold was weakening, but in its place was a weary depression. Since November I’ve struggled uphill to stay on track, to stay focused, to fight the battle against depression. Yesterday afternoon I just caved in. I had heard Beth Moore teach a couple of weeks ago that we binge to keep from purging, and I knew that I NEEDED to purge. But no matter how much I cried & told God how I felt, I just felt weaker & emptier & more desperate & more in desire of sleep & nothing. Suicidal? NO! NO! NO! I just didn’t want to be responsible anymore. I sat up & hugged my pillow (hey, why ruin the fur on a perfectly good teddy bear?) & as I sat up I could sense this big, black "thing" hovered over me. I swear I could see thin, black, grotesque arms reaching toward me. Just like in one of Frank Peretti’s novels. And it scared the Hell out of me. Just like in one of Frank Peretti’s novels.
But there is a flip side to those novels (probably why Hollywood won’t touch them). They’re tales of good vs. evil. When I saw those black arms I KNEW what was going on. I managed to say, "Jesus, help me wield my sword." And out of the emptiness of me it came: "Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world." "If God be for me who can be against me?" "I plead the blood of Jesus over my mind & my emotions." And on and on the streams of Living Water that I thought were dry just poured out of me. And just like in one of Frank Peretti’s novels, that demon was gone.
This isn’t an easy tale to share – even to a cyberworld that doesnt know me. Like I’ve said before, my family reads my blog & my best friends read my blog. But my pride could use a good kick & what good is a testimony if you’re not humble enough to share it We all want to share the good ones, but not the testimony when you have to admit (humiliatedly – I think I invented a new word) that you were deadly wrong & played with fire & should have gotten fried — but for God’s grace & mercy & never failing love.
Revelation 12:11 "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."
God’s faithfulness never ceases to amaze me. Time and time and time again He picks me up out of my mess & dusts me off. Pastor has been preaching on "Soaring Like Eagles" and he said "…eagles can’t fly unless they fall." Boy, do I know about falling!!
And those are my reflections on the frozen pond.