This morning in church, when Pastor Derald asked for testimonies, a woman stood and told an amazing story that continues to haunt my thoughts. Her granddaughter shows horses and yesterday had to borrow someone else's trailer to transport her horse to an event. Though I don't know a lot about horses, I am aware that like most animals they are sensitive beings, and so was not surprised to hear my friend say that when "Dillon" was loaded into the unfamiliar trailer for the return to his home stable, he became "spooked" and began to rear and neigh wildly. Understandably, there was nothing anyone could do to intervene while this large animal flailed in the close confines. As he did so, a beam dislodged from the top of the trailer and fell across the horse's back, yet he continued to rear with a small crowd gathering to watch helplessly.
As the horse's screams grew louder and louder, my friend's daughter began hearing a woman in the crowd praying for Dillon to be released from this demon. The louder Dillon's cries of distress grew, the louder the woman's prayers soared, as she turned to the only possible Source of help for the poor creature. Suddenly, letting our a chilling scream that everyone there presumed to be his death cry, the horse collapsed on the floor of the trailer, and silence fell over the crowd. Dillon had gone into shock, which probably saved his life. The beam could then be easily removed from his back, and when he recovered his vet found there was no significant injury to the beautiful creature.
Have you ever felt tormented by a demon? I certainly have! Oh, it probably hasn't been life-threatening as Dillon's situation was, yet I am more and more aware that the closer we walk with God, the more Satan tries to distract us from doing the work God has given us. Recently I have been privileged to begin sharing the Gospel with a young lady. Last week I asked some friends to pray with me and for me in this exciting and challenging undertaking. One of the group immediately warned, "Be prepared to be under attack, because you are doing God's work."
I have certainly experienced Satan's attacks in the form of depression and discouragement, and perhaps even physical ailments. Today I am indeed suffering all three. How blessed I am to have been reminded by Dillon's story of our Lord's faithfulness when we call upon Him. As often happens in our sweet church, Pastor Derald's sermon fell right into step with the uplifting story about Dillon. He preached on Jesus' temptation in the wilderness immediately after His baptism and the recognition of Who He was by John the Baptist. We were reminded that Jesus, the Son of God and God Himself, was attacked by the Evil One even as His true work on earth just began. (See Matthew 4:1-11)
And so, when we feel we are under attack by demonic forces, we would do well to remember three things: first, we are in very good company, since our Lord Himself endured all the same temptations that we experience. Second, God has given each of us, not just some, the power to resist the devil, if we simply submit ourselves to Him. (James 4:7) Finally, it is on God's faithfulness, not our own, that we rely.
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV)