Recently my team and I had the privilege of spending four days at the Grace Covenant Community Church in Middleburg, PA. While there the team (mainly the team) did seven or eight deliverances and I helped them, presented my seminar on deliverance, and spoke at both Sunday morning services. It was an entirely glorious time and the Lord blessed us tremendously.
On Sunday morning I spoke on how to create a no-prey zone around out homes based on the Scriptures found in 1 Peter 5:8-9. Like you, I don’t want the enemy having any opportunity to touch my family or me. Peter 5:8-9 reads:
1 Peter 5:8-9 – 8
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”NIV
I believe that I mentioned this before in this newsletter, but I’ve since expanded upon it in my thinking, and in this abbreviated sermon. I hope this is helpful to you.
According to St. Peter the enemy wants to devour us. If you’ve ever seen a lion hunt you know that it is a violent, bloody, graphic, and, disturbing experience, to say the least. As I’ve pondered this I discovered that there are several factors present in most victims of demonic attack.
- Victims tend to be young. Demonic spirits go after those of us who are most easily damaged, primarily those who are young and/or disabled in some way. These are the ones who find it difficult to stand against attack. Children who are attacked are often disabled by living in unstable or dysfunctional homes where the child is unable to feel secured and protected. Perhaps the parents are divorced or are in the midst of their own conflicts. Perhaps the child has been verbally, physically, or sexually abused by the parents, by other family members or relatives, or those in their neighborhood. Perhaps they have been neglected by others or been told endlessly that they have no worth. Emotionally they are broken. Most of the clients that we see for deliverance are there were first demonized as children.
- Victims tend to be emotionally, and often physically isolated. Demonic spirits go after those of us who are isolated. If you watch a video of lions hunting you will see that many of these animals have developed protective mechanisms to protect themselves from predators. For example, Water Buffalo will form a circle with the outer ring composed of the larger, mature males with horns facing outward while the smaller females and young remain inside the ring. The strategy of the lions is to break through the ring so that the animals will scatter. Once they scatter they are more vulnerable.
Unfortunately, churches tend not to act like water Buffalo. When we are experiencing challenges of any kind, whether they be emotional, physical, spiritual, or financial we tend to be consumed with shame, as if having problems is abnormal. We don’t want others to think that we have significant character flaws or poor judgment so, when we aren’t winning, we tend to withdraw from the Body of Christ, even as it withdraws from us. The support, encouragement, and protection that should be there isn’t. We are vulnerable.
- Victims tend to forget that Satan has a plan of destruction designed to match our individual vulnerabilities. Demonic spirits are not stupid, nor do they attack randomly. They have a methodology and a strategy. 2 Cor. 2:11 tells us that the enemy has schemes or plans that he uses to assault us and that we need to be aware of what these schemes are if we are to grow and prosper in the Lord. In order to have proper defenses we need to be self-aware. We need to know where we are weak so that we can make wise decisions and avoid being placed in a position of vulnerability.The 1 Peter passage tells us to be self-controlled. A better translation is “sober,” not drunk. Drunk people tend not to be observant. They are easily distracted. It is easy for us to become overwhelmed with the attractions of this world. It is so easy for us to forget what is important. When the shepherds were distracted the predators could easily attack the sheep. We need to be aware and disciplined. What do we allow into our lives, into our children’s lives that will make us vulnerable? All of our children will be attacked, but what can we do to postpone that attack until our kids are old enough and wise enough to resist it?
- Victims tend to just hope that if they ignore the Enemy he will ignore them. Good luck with that. For a demon, a person who didn’t see them coming is just as tasty as one who did. Demonic spirits look for those of us who are unaware. I Peter 5:9 tells us to be alert. Many times prey will be focused upon one predator, only to be attacked by another.
- Victims tend to experience multiple, sequential assaults. Many of us are strong enough to shake off one demonic attack. We draw upon our various coping mechanisms such as the support of friends, the spiritual disciplines, and our spiritual beliefs to develop and maintain a closer walk with the Lord. Then we get hit again. Oftentimes we are not as strong as we were in the earlier attack, nor are our physical, emotional, and spiritual resources as abundant. It is not as easy to shake off the second attack. Then we get hit again. The size of the attack, the duration of the attack, and the frequency of the attack all will determine whether we are able to stand. If our ability to resists fails we will fall and be consumed.
Have you ever been to the ocean and tried to swim when the water is turbulent? We go out into the water and get hit by a wave. Now, if it was a relatively small wave, then we just wade through it. If it is a large wave we may be knocked down, but we will get back on our feet. However, if we get hit by a series of large waves, we may not be able to recover. Big waves, long waves, and frequent waves will wear us out. We will get weak, vulnerable, and our resilience will go down. While many of us can deal with a single attack, like a job loss, most of us would be reeling if we lost our job, our wife tells us that she wants a divorce, our daughter gets pregnant, and we started to have chest pain all at approximately the same time. The Enemy loves instability and confusion because it incapacitates us and leaves us shattered, confused, and vulnerable. We can do something about it all, though.
James 4:7-8 says: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.” NIV
Submission and Resisting = Victory. Falling into the hands of the Enemy is not something that any of us want to do. While we can’t ward off all of their attacks, however, we can lessen the frequency and intensity of these attacks by:
- Protecting the young and innocent.
- Being committed to love and support one another in times of crisis, even if they want to isolate.
- Making ourselves aware of how the enemy operates.
- Being vigilant and aware, knowing that attacks are inevitable.
- Recognizing demonic attacks for what they are and seeking help before the crisis becomes too large to handle.