TO DISCERN THE WORKS OF EVIL SPIRITS
In any warfare, it is virtually impossible to fight against an unknown and unidentified enemy. It is a war without a sense of direction. At the same time, this poses a grave danger to the lives of the soldiers involved. Every move that is made could be met with a fatal counterattack from the enemy. In such a situation, the mounting fear would destroy the courage needed to fight on till the end. Is there a chance at all for this kind of battle to be won? Needless to say, this battle has one probable and predictable outcome—it is as good as lost even before it begins.
Likewise, Paul tells us that we are battling not against flesh and blood; we are up against the spiritual hosts of wickedness (Eph. 6:12). The fight is made all the more difficult because the enemy is invisible. How are we going to fight? Thankfully, we do not fight by ourselves. We battle against the foes in the air through our faith in Jesus. The word of God, much like a pair of combat night-vision goggles, enables us to locate the whereabouts of our enemies of darkness. If the word of God is firmly upheld in our hearts, our spiritual eyesight will be brightened up to see our enemy’s every move.
I. Demon-possession—completely uncontrollable
Evil spirits cannot be seen by the naked eye. Their works are made visible through those whom they have taken captive. In the case of a demon-possession, the possessed person is fully under the control of Satan. His will is under the dictate of the devil, as is his mind and behaviour. This inevitably leads the sufferer to have an off-the-wall lifestyle, causing much headache and huge problems to people around him. This abnormality is a clear pointer to the existence of the work and the presence of the evil one in the person.
One time, Jesus came to the country of the Gadarenes, where He met a demon-possessed man (Mk. 5:1–4). The man had lost control of his senses completely: he did not live in his own house; instead he dwelt amongst the tombs. The people around him could not bring him under control—even when they bound him with chains, he was empowered by the spirits to break free. Practically, no physical restraint could be imposed on him with any lasting effects. He lived a life of insanity, wondering about on the mountains and in the tombs. Instigated by the evil spirit, he would cry out loud for no apparent reason. And harming himself with stones had become a regular affair in his life in darkness.
[To Be Continued]