She was a famous prophetess in the city and had shown up to our meeting with her entourage of followers a half an hour early. The crowds of people from churches all over town were impressed, especially when she went into her frenzies of prophecy at our doorway.
She’d rapidly stomp her feet, twirl around in a circle, and point at someone, spouting out a supposed word from God about their life. “Next year you’re going to get married!” she’d say as people marveled and praised God. Then another frenzy of stomping and twirling, “You’re going to open a new business!” and on she’d go, as the crowds watched. She’d heard the announcement that an American pastor was coming to speak about deliverance, and joined with the many other church leaders and church members who crowded into the place last Saturday in the sweltering heat. I had no notion of who she was, but God had a divine purpose for her to be there.
After I preached and we gave our testimonies, I prayed for those who had hidden wounds, doubts, shame or sins, and who wanted to be honest with God and come clean. As we prayed for healing, hearts began to open and God was moving. Then we began the real cleansing – the strong prayers of deliverance. Demons began to manifest right and left, and among them was the prophetess. Though she’d been proudly displaying her “powers” just an hour beforehand, she also had the humility to open her heart and be sincere, and because of that, the demons within her couldn’t resist our prayers, and God was able to create a change.
The chief demon screamed in anger, and confessed that it was the one giving her the power of prophecy — not God. It called itself the spirit of deception. It spoke about how it was the god of so many religious people in the room that night, and how their faith was powerless. But it hated the few who were there with a real and living faith. It boasted about working through the husband’s mistress who’d done witchcraft against the prophetess to give her cancer. The cancer was demonically sent and fuelled, and would take her life. Her adoring fans were shocked and frightened as they watched.
“Can you touch me, demon? Can you destroy me?” I asked as a teaching tool for everyone watching. When the demon hissed no, I asked why. “Because the One inside of you is stronger than me!” it said with hatred. The demon had just brought home the whole point of my message that night, in fact the whole point of why we need salvation.
The security that I have in God has nothing to do with my goodness or luck or superior spirituality – it’s all because I’m protected by the Lord I serve. No one is more powerful than our Lord Jesus, and with my life surrendered in obedience to Him, demons can’t destroy me. The best they can try for is to tempt me to doubt so that I open up a chink in my armor. Whoever works out their salvation daily with “fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12), is covered with His protection. We’re safe in our Father’s arms, from attacks here on this earth, and from eternal banishment from Him in the life to come, which is hell.
The next time you drag your feet when it’s time to worship in God’s house, or to serve someone for God’s sake, think again. The next time you groan when you know you ought to read your Bible and pray, realize who you’re rejecting. You don’t have to obey – but you do have the great privilege of treating Him as your Lord. None of us can afford to distance ourselves from Him, not even for a day.
We have no idea how many tragedies we are spared as we go about our daily lives, just because we serve the Lord of all lords. Take time today to make sure your life is right with Him and actively rebuke all that the devil wants to throw at you in the days ahead. Pray for this prophetess when you remember her. She’s humbly agreed to counseling by our pastor to find deliverance, healing and true salvation. The devil recognized who was inside of me and who was inside the unbelieving Christians there. Do you know who is inside of you?
Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists invoked the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We command you to come out in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches.” There were seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva doing this. The evil spirit answered, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” Then the man in whom the evil spirit was jumped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled from that house naked and wounded. (Acts 19:13-16 MEV)