When evil comes, He is greater
I’ve decided to tell you a little story today. Until now, I have not felt compelled to share it, but now, this day, I do. Which means that someone somewhere needs to hear this truth. Here we go.
Last year, I was asked to speak. “You can pick your topic,” she said. And instantly, my heart quickened to a theme.
Months passed, and then it was time to submit my outline so that interview questions could be drafted. I typed it up, fingers flying, for the subject was so near to my heart, so precious. An edit and polish, a “click,” and there it went.
And immediately came the doubt, and anxiety, an evil twin. What if I had chosen the wrong topic? What if I’d do more harm than good? What if I was simply speaking from my own hurt, my own inclinations? My soul within me was disturbed, unsettled, and I went to bed, uncertain.
An early-morning phone call pulled me from my slumber. Weather had delayed our school’s opening, which meant The Cub could sleep a bit longer, and so I slipped beneath the sheets in the predawn dark.
The fear and anxiety from the day before rolled back in like a fog, disturbing my slumber until at last, I’d had enough, and I simply said, “Jesus, I refuse to mess with this any longer. If I need to pick a different topic, make it real clear. Otherwise, You take care of this.” And with that, I fell asleep.
I fell asleep, and I dreamt of demons. Here they came, swirling around me, and the demons were–little children.
Even in my sleep, I knew what to do in the face and presence of evil, and I sought to speak the Lord’s name, “Jesus,” the one name under heaven with power to save.
I tried to say it, but there was a great pressure on my throat, an invisible hand clenched tightly ’round my neck. The smallest croak, “Jesus,” the pressure would lift, and my speech would return.
I woke up and put my feet on the floor. Partway into my morning routine (that being coffee before intelligent speech plus time with the Lord all alone), I stopped. Wait. I had just had a dream about demons. Why now, for this seldom happens to me?
So clearly, so simply, so plainly that there was no second guessing, Lord Christ said to me, “What did the demons try to do to you?” And out loud, I answered His question, “They tried to silence me.”
Peace came, then, and joy! God had shown me the answer, and it was as easy as falling asleep and waking up. I had chosen ex-act-ly the right topic, evil had opposed, but Jesus was greater.
Friends, I carried out my speaking engagement with such trust and confidence, and I knew the living presence of Christ. As my teenage son said upon hearing the story, “Satan kinda overplayed his hand, didn’t he?” Yes, yes. Oh, yes!
There was one other great and mighty lesson I received from this experience. It was a few days after my dream that Jesus explained to me the odd and unsettling presentation of demonic spirits as little children.
He showed me that the most precious attribute of a child is its innocence. Thus, when evil in the form of doubt, anxiety, and unrest presented as seemingly legitimate concerns, I had done what was instinctive. I had “picked it up,” fed it, housed it by allowing it to linger in my mind, all things I have done a thousand thousand times for my own children.
I want to say it again because it’s so important that we understand this lesson. Evil can present as “reasonable concern.” As “reasonable fear.” As “understandable struggles,” and we, all unwitting, take it in.
Friends, we must be careful. We must be discerning. We must trust the Holy Spirit, the Revealer, to show us what’s actually going on. He can and He does and He will. Bless His name.
There is one other thing I want to mention. As I was dreaming with those horrid spirits swirling around me, squeezing my throat, I could see a white-robed Christ standing off to the side. He was there in the picture, and even as He allowed evil to approach, He never removed His presence or His eye. What a wonderful, loving Shepherd He is. A Savior forever, and Friend. Bless the Lord!