Coincidences? Or Do Demons Exist? If So, How Are We Freed From Them?
Devotional Thought of the Day
8 I was left there alone, watching this amazing vision. I had no strength left, and my face was so changed that no one could have recognized me. 9 When I heard his voice, I fell to the ground unconscious and lay there face downward. 10 Then a hand took hold of me and raised me to my hands and knees; I was still trembling. 11 The angel said to me, “Daniel, God loves you. Stand up and listen carefully to what I am going to say. I have been sent to you.” When he had said this, I stood up, still trembling. 12 Then he said, “Daniel, don’t be afraid. God has heard your prayers ever since the first day you decided to humble yourself in order to gain understanding. I have come in answer to your prayer. 13 The angel prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief angels, came to help me, because I had been left there alone in Persia. Daniel 10:8-13 (TEV)
931 Saint Ignatius, with his military genius, gives us a picture of the devil calling up innumerable demons and scattering them through nations, states, cities, and villages after a “sermon” in which he exhorts them to fasten their chains and fetters on the world, leaving no one unbound. You’ve told me that you want to be a leader … and what good is a leader in chains? (1)
100 Let me tell you this. Even though you know the Word perfectly and have already mastered everything, still you are daily under the dominion of the devil, who neither day nor night relaxes his effort to steal upon you unawares and to kindle in your heart unbelief and wicked thoughts against all these commandments. Therefore you must continually keep God’s Word in your heart, on your lips, and in your ears. For where the heart stands idle and the Word is not heard, the devil breaks in and does his damage before we realize it.(2)
As I looked at our gospel passage for this Sunday, I realized it touched on something pastors and priests don’t like to talk about.
In it, a poor lady comes and asks for Jesus to free her daughter who has a demon. The passage is about God’s love, but it is demonstrated Jesus freeing the woman’s daughter.
He didn’t heal her from a mental illness, this wasn’t a medical or psychological problem. It wasn’t something that could be cured by becoing gluten free, or getting your sugar under control, or taking some supplements.
This was first class spiritual warfare.
Warfare that may be more common than we ever want to admit. More common than we eve want to face.
Heck we have enough trouble with those struggling through physical health issues or mental illness issues, dealing with cancer, dealing with being bereaved. Others whose marriages are challenges, those who are financially strapped, those whose families are damaged by criminal activity, people who are in bondage to alcohol or drugs. . It seems like the challenges to life grow and grow, peole are afficted, in ways that seem to frequent to be simply “coincidences”.
But how do you know which is a spiritual attack, and which is just “life” being a….pain. ( I so wanted to use a different word there!) I mean – there are attacks – really annoyances, just enough to distratct us from God’s presence. There are times of oppression – like the scene in daniel, and then there are the times more serious. The first two we might right off as coincidences, or just life being a pain. But the overwhelmi that darkness is looming, that God may have hidden his face from us, that isn’t just a coincidence. That is what Daniel experienced.
And we learn from his example how to deal with such times.
We pray and pray and then hear the voice of God,
“Daniel, God loves you. Stand up and listen carefully to what I am going to say. I have been sent to you.” and “Daniel, don’t be afraid. God has heard your prayers ever since the first day you decided to humble yourself in order to gain understanding. I have come in answer to your prayer.”
The methodology for dealing with demonic attacks is and always must be to hear the voice of God. We must hear and know and depend on His promises to us. We have to realize that He loves us and nothing can separate us from the love of God. Not illness, not jails, not losing it, not all the trials of life. He loves you – start there, hear it often (hence Luther’s comments about church) Remember your baptism, feast on God’s word, and at His table, hear his words (Not the pastor’s or priest’s) that you are forgiven, that you are His beloeved chidlren.
Hearing this changes everything for Daniel, knowing the presence of God is what is needed, for Satan can’t stand against those words. Even for the exocrcists – those skilled in dealing with demonic, the presence of God is always what makes the difference, always the necessity. The guarantees that we celebrate in the sacraments are that what tells us that there is more than our clining to thoughts and ideas given to us from those who have gone before.
He is clinging to us. He loves us. That is the message we need to know, to depend upon, to trust.
For the Lord will always answer our cry for mercy. AMEN.
Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Locations 2164-2167). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Tappert, T. G. (Ed.). (1959). The Book of Concord the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. (pp. 378–379). Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press. cited fromt he Large Catechism Explanation of the Third Commandment
Posted on September 2, 2015, in Augsburg and Trent, Devotions, they way and tagged Abiding in Christ, absolution, anxiety, apsostolate, brokenness, cHesed, Christ, Communion, Demons, depression, Devil, exorcist, healing, hope, Martin Luther, St Ignatius, St. Josemaria Escriva. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.