This is a blog that ends with me confronting
poltergeists and begins with an observation about Jesus.
Jesus was always assessing the faith levels of people
around him, particularly his followers.
“I’ve never seen such great faith,” he’d say, or “Oh ye of little
He apparently wants to partner with us in building what
he called “the Kingdom
of God.” What he brings to the table is supernatural
power, while we bring a willingness to depend on him.
Dependence on anything requires a learning
process. We don’t trust our own legs and
balance as we graduate from infancy to the unsteady phase of toddler-hood. We are forever falling down. Our father may have his arms outstretched,
urging us to walk, but as we cling to some stable object, we trust it more than
we do our father or even our own legs.
So it is with our heavenly father. Jesus proclaims that he has given us all
authority to roust out demons and to heal all kinds of diseases. It’s his authority to give, but we have to
learn to depend on it, to trust the authority-giver. Yet whole denominations have built up
theological excuses to not trust that authority. “Demons can’t really bother Christians,” we
say, or, “God no longer heals supernaturally, he restricted that to the
apostles and gave us modern medicine.”
What a load of hogwash! The theologians who feed us these excuses
have developed the bad habit of clinging to furniture instead of learning to
walk spiritually – that is, to depend on God.
I remember the first time someone (a Presbyterian
elder) told me that demons exist and that I as a Jesus-follower had all the
authority I needed to kick their rear-ends.
He told me incredible stories of power encounters with evil.
I was 30 years old and I was astonished and curious
and had not a clue how to depend on God in that way. A few years later as a Presbyterian elder
myself, I was called upon to wield that authority in obeying the James 5
command to pray for the sick.
When the root cause of the sickness proved to be a
hideous evil force, my feeble trust in God and the authority he’d given me was
exposed. When plates began flying out of
cupboards at my wife and my own family was attacked by the powers of evil, the
battle was on. At that point, Karen was
more effective confronting the enemy than I was.
It was time for me to grow up and start learning how
to wield the spiritual light saber (actually called the sword of the Spirit)
Jesus had entrusted to me in confronting an enemy that he himself had
confronted at every turn and which he had plainly declared that I, as his
follower, would have to confront as well.
(continued tomorrow here)