The day started with the division commander's announcement, "You have a new assignment, grab your sword and report to Obed downstairs."
"Downstairs, sir," Jay cried in excitement, "To Earth, sir! Jay had always wanted an assignment to Earth where he could directly help people. He started to dash out then it hit him, "A sword, sir? Armed combat?"
"Yes Armed." The commander chuckled under his breath, little wonder this one was kept heaven-side he was, well, flighty. The commander chuckled again someone with wings flighty, which was really quite funny. Flighty indeed!
Jay never heard the laughter he has gone for his sword and started down. He met several others on the way and catching up with the nearest asked, "Do you know what our assignment is?"
"Guard duty, for one of the precious ones."
A child Jay thought, how wonderful. They reached a church in the middle of rolling fields, with a view of the mountains and went inside straight through the roof. Jay had been expecting a child but there was a woman in her late twenties. Obed was hiding her in his wings and facing down an ugly demon. The demon was seated at a jaunty angle on the head of an older woman almost as though he were a hat placed at a rakish tilt.
Obed looked relieved at their arrival and uttered the single word, "Defend." The angels fanned out standing shoulder to shoulder around the younger woman. They all faced out in a defense stance, swords at the ready. When outnumbered by the guard the woman carrying the demon turned and walked away to find a seat across the room.
Jay asked the angel standing next to him, "Why don't we attack?" nodding at the demon across the church. The demon was prancing on his perch atop the older woman's head as though taunting the angels.
"We cannot attack until we are asked."
"She didn't ask us to come?" Jay glanced over his shoulder at the lady they were sent to defend.
Bowing slightly at the mention of the name he replied, "The Captain of the Host himself sent us."
"Our Lord Jesus sent us to defend her without her even asking?"
"Not only that, she could see us for a moment."
"See us," gasped Jay, "That isn't supposed to happen."
"Read what she is writing."
"She's talking to Him! She's writing down answers, His answers. Is He really saying that to her? He's calling her, 'My daughter', and telling her about us. Who is she?"
"She is a wounded lamb the shepherd is drawing close."
"What was so sorrowful to wound her so, that he would take such special care of her?"
"Need you ask?" he said gesturing to the demon across the room.
Jay had a lot to think about. The service started, there were many joyous people there. The wounded lady stood to worship and she strengthened by their presence. On the other side of the room the demon was hunkering down as if he wanted to hide yet refusing to leave the woman's head. He looked smaller and terribly uncomfortable, like a rat adrift on a piece of driftwood. His ride was singing along but not nearly as affected by the music as the young lady they were guarding.
"What are their names?" Jay whispered.
"The young lady is Ammiee, the older woman is Sadie, and the demon is Control."
"He is controlling her?" Jay pointed to Sadie.
"No he is directing her control of the pastor and our charge."
"The pastor?" Jay asked as He turned to listen to the sermon that was just beginning.
". . .Romans 5:2 declares that we stand and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. This refers to the MANIFEST PRESENCE of God in the present tense. Stand in faith in the hope of the presence coming forth through our lives. This is the anointing, for the works you are to do. Your goal should be to be in the express image of Jesus. There is a plan, you are made by God's design and created by him for his purpose . . . " (Taken from sermon "Divine Design" preached May 15, 1994 by Dr. Phillip Wiley at Bread Of Life Church, Rustburg, VA)
Jay was amazed. "That one little demon can control both Sadie and this man of God."
"Not exactly, he gave in to Sadie's request to kick this woman of God out of the prayer group. He never bothered asking if it was God's will. It wasn't!"
"Why did they want to get rid of her, she seems so fragile why did the demon even notice her?"
"Look back at what happened." Said Obed, "She is safe for the moment. Dennis, go with him Jay. He is new at this and needs someone to lead the way back in time."
The traveled back in time and to the prayer room the floor below. "This is several months ago, three days before they told her she was barred from the prayer room. It was the very last time she would be allowed to pray with them."
"Months?" Jay asked.
"Yes, and Ammiee has been in pain all that time. Whenever she begins to recover, she comes under attack. At first she was afraid to pray now she is to deeply wounded to dare pray the prayers she so desperately needs to pray. They're coming."
Ammiee walked in, "She's so different," Jay gasped; there is such a sense of peace about her. Why she's beautiful, so strong and confident, filled with such joy. She's not at the broken creature we were sent to guard."
"The pastor you saw had just finished teaching about the authority of the believer. She was never taught anything like that before, listen."
"How beautiful, the choir master upstairs will love her, such fluency in our language and she knows so many of the Hebrew names of God."
Then Sadie begin to pray. It was an angry bitter prayer, like orders barked out by a general. The demon riding on her head was balancing carefully as her prayer rolled out, totally unaffected.
"What? How?" Jay sputtered, "Control looks almost like a band leader directing the words that should be destroying him."
"She doesn't know he's there but she is about to find out, unfortunately he will blind her to the truth. She will believe Ammiee is the source of the demon she sees."
Ammiee started to pray. It was a prayer of power prayed in Jesus' name, Ammiee was sensing the demon and taking authority over it. Control slipped, and losing his footing was hanging over Sadie's face looking her in the eye. "Stop this!" he snarled.
Sadie stopped Ammiee's prayer, Control scrambled back up to his perch as regally as a king mounting a throne. Ammiee looked like a startled child knocked over by a strong gust of wind. "Come," said Dennis, "We need to move ahead three days."
Jay found himself riding in the back of Ammiee's car. A tape was playing, "Can't Stop Praisin'" and, "Lift Him Up" over the speakers with her singing along. He compared this joyous happy person with what he had first seen.
Ammiee parked the car and almost danced into church, she headed directly to the prayer room. The pastor called her to come back upstairs to talk to him. He talked on and on but all she heard was you can't go and pray with them . . . "Your presence is impeding their purpose. "
They watched Ammiee crumble, she became broken, and weak, and wounded. She said, "I didn't do anything but pray. How could a prayer group object to that?" Her thoughts were screaming out, "What did I do wrong? Why do they hate me? Oh, God, Help me!"
Jay started toward her to comfort her and Dennis stopped him, "This was months ago and Obed is on his way."
Ammiee started downstairs and a man coming the other way took one look at her and ended up hugging her till she stopped sobbing.
Weeks passed with the pastor was counseling her and trying to help her. Some good was being done, but he would never address the fact her pain came from being driven out of the prayer group. He was more willing to blame her father's lodge membership for causing problems than the rejection she had received at church. Finally he set up a meeting between Ammiee and Sadie. Sadie had asked for it. Ammiee was getting stronger, and believed she could handle it. After all, the pastor would be there to protect her. Jay, the flighty angel, was as horrified as she when the pastor protected Sadie. The Obed was there waiting, hoping Ammiee would issue the prayers to dispatch him. He kept his sword at the ready but the word was never given to use it because instead of helping her gain strength the meeting was deepening Ammiee's wounds. The meeting was in the hands of Control. The Pastor talked down to Ammiee. Sadie defended her exalted position. Ammiee could say nothing, because the pastor had told her before the meeting not to say anything to hurt Sadie. That was a complete betrayal, Ammiee had trusted him to protect her and he had chosen to protect Sadie. The few questions she asked were written off as already answered. Ammiee began to go downhill and Obed could do nothing but watch. She no longer believed she could pray, she begun to doubt her sanity when she thought of past victories.
Dennis and Jay returned to the present and resumed their place in the guard. Jay had a lot to think about. He was guarding someone wounded by the leader of the prayer warriors. The leader was operating under a far different spirit than she believed she was. All this pain had come because of one little demon having to stop someone who was on the verge of conquering him. That one vindictive demon got his will neutralizing the one person who accidentally was on the verge of driving him out.
They were there for the long haul. Crushing blows followed her brief victories, the attacks were unrelenting. Sometimes Ammiee would pray a conversational prayer with Jesus but she was still afraid to pray prayers of authority. Occasionally she would ask for protection and they could go into action. Far too often, she did not pray at all. The demons, Anger, Unforgiveness, Hatred, were constant tormentors until one day Ammiee cried out. "God, I saw angels around me, protecting me. You said they would always be there. Let them protect me now, so I can finally get some rest. That was all they needed. Swords sliced through the air making short word of their enemies. Than the guard took their places around Ammiee and she drifted off into the first peaceful night's sleep in months, with angles watching over her.
As the months pasted slowly Ammiee begin to have hope again. Bit by bit small successes came. The day came when Ammiee dared to ask about going on a mission trip fully expecting to be refused. A miracle happened permission to go was given and the Lord himself raised the money for the trip. The pastor had always said, “If you send yourself you pay, if God sends you he pays...” As the necessary money came in she begin to believe that even if everyone at the church hated her God loved her.
Still until the plane took off she half expected to have that taken away from her just as the right to pray with the prayer group had been.
Matt. 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.