The pastor introduced us before the service started, and I could see that Judy (not her actual name) was ill at ease and probably not accustomed to being in church. I was surprised to see that she had chosen a front row seat. During the minutes before the opening song, she roved around, getting up, then returning to her seat often. Because I could sense her uneasiness, I was concerned that she might leave before the services began, but she didn’t, and a bit later a man came in, tapped her on the shoulder, then sat down beside her.
The pastor had been the one to contact Judy—in a convenience store parking lot—where he first saw her in a car. God impressed him to speak with her, so he walked over, leaned in and invited her to church. She seemed receptive enough, but didn’t come to church right away. She did begin calling him, though, and finally this Sunday morning, she made it to the mission church.
The pastor preached a powerful sermon, and during the altar service, Judy came forward. I could see her from where I stood and again detected her extreme nervousness. The pastor walked to her, and I moved beside him. He had talked with her awhile, and she had raised her hands, when the pastor laid his hand on her head and began forcefully praying. Immediately, she fell to the floor. My first thought was that she must have heard of Pentecostal services, and may have thought she should fall when hands were laid on her. (Although, at times, people in Pentecostal services, and perhaps other churches, are “slain in the spirit,” from my personal observations, this is not a frequent happening.) I was wrong, though, for immediately on hitting the floor, she opened her eyes, sat up and tried to stand.
Several women helped Judy stand to her feet, and now as I looked straight into her widened, glazed eyes, I could see that this woman was troubled by evil spirits. I confess that it somewhat startled me, and I detected in myself a modicum of fear. Later as I talked to the pastor about my reaction, he quizzed me as to my fear.
“Because I could sense evil spirits about her.”
“You’re right,” he replied. “You were looking into the eyes of Satan. But the spirit of God in you is stronger than any other spirit,” he reminded me.
“I know that,” I agreed. “Yet, this experience today startled me.”
Now, I have received the Holy Ghost, I try to live an overcoming life, and know that I am a child of God. Yet, I also recognize that the devil is real and he is powerful. Perhaps it is good for us to come into direct contact with his evil influences at times, so that we are reminded how important it is that we keep ourselves covered by the blood of Jesus.
Many of you who read this may never have witnessed such an episode; others of course will relate, and will have insight to this scenario. I want to hear your thoughts. Was my fear appropriate, or did it reflect a lack of faith in God?
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