Love and Discipline

“And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him!” (Luke 9:35)

Some time ago, my wife informed me that a friend of ours was experiencing problems with his young 3 year old daughter. “We’re thinking of taking her in to be psychologically examined,” they said to her. “She is very afraid. The smallest sound and she becomes so frightened. Because of it, she’s not doing well in her kindergarten class.” Immediately, I knew it was a spirit and prayed with my wife. “Lord, remove the spirit from her midst … and show them it’s a spirit!” That last prayer was the hard part. These people are Christians, but attend a church that quenches the Holy Spirit (thus it would not be surprising to me that they would consider seeing a psychologist above a prophet who may be able to cast the demon out).

On the way home (for I had been at work), the Lord spoke to me in a “feeling” kind of way. In fact, I knew that he wanted me to call these people on the phone, because I really did not have any peace whatsoever driving into my driveway without having done so. So, on the way, I picked up a payphone and proceeded to call my friend. Now this is a nice man. In fact, he is a wonderful man, and a wonderful Christian man, too. But he has been bothered by a spirit, and his family was being bothered by spirits, as well. Now in my “common sense” way of thinking, I quickly supposed that the Lord would lead me to his house to pray over his daughter in order to cast the spirit out. But this was not God’s method for dealing with this situation (be careful about making assumptions).

When he picked up the phone, he was very nice indeed. In fact, he had been more concerned for me that I had been laid off from my work than I had imagined. We talked. I let God do his work. What happened was that, even though I am sure a spirit was involved in his daughter’s life, the “casting out” method was simply not the answer. Love was. You see, while on the telephone with this fine gentleman, the Lord simply affirmed that this was a man who needed a friend. And because of worry and whatnot, the enemy had made a “in” with him and his family (and he had not recognized it, not being properly taught in these things because of his church). So we talked and discussed a little while and the Lord led me in a prayer for him and his family and especially his young daughter over the phone. I did not mention “spirits” or “demons” overtly (there may very well be no need, or no “opening” (i.e. receptivity) for this, but the Lord can still do his work just the same). The result was quite wonderful. I could sense that there was peace now, that God had done his work.

You will be surprised at what a little phone call will do. In fact, on the way home, I was myself affected by some sort of “disciplinary measure” by the Lord, because, as I said, I had no peace going home without first calling him. Had I not immediately dropped my plans and called the man, I’m sure that — as God’s child (whom God loves but disciplines, i.e. chastises) — that I may well have continued to feel the effects of God’s discipline for many hours afterwards, as God’s Spirit was being grieved due to my lack of obedience, thereby giving permission for a demon spirit to afflict me (this has clearly happened to me before, too many times to mention, in fact). And here I pose for you a question for consideration. How many us — perhaps even that man and his family — are now feeling the effects of God’s discipline (the loosing of a spirit) upon our lives, simply because we did not do what he asked? During times of great frustration and inner turmoil in my own life, I have often asked the Lord, “Lord, what is that ONE THING that I must do in order for you to grant me favor?!” You would surprised at what kind of answer you get. My recommendation is, if you are in a “tight fix” right now, try asking God what it is you must do in order to find his favor once again. You might be very surprised at the answer he gives, and the susequent sheer peace that results from your obedience. As someone has said, “It is easier to obey the Lord, than not to obey him!”