By DeWayne Bricker
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
SEND ARTICLE TO A FRIEND
If you are depressed, unhappy, lonely, down on your luck or just plain feeling put out in any way, I challenge you to read this small but important book. Why, and who am I to tell you what to read? We’ll to you I am nobody, but to one individual being I am everything. I’ll explain later.
The following short pages are an exert from a book titled “Piercing the Darkness” by Frank E. Peretti: Pages 411 through 415 are an account of a fictitious character named Sally Beth Roe, who like many of us was for all accounts was down and out in the worst ways. As a child she went to church and Sunday school but as a teenager turned to atheism, humanism, evolution, cosmic humanism and mysticism. Ultimately she murdered her own child while in a trance and under the influence of demons and spirits that she thought were her inner guides to self proclamation and ultimate fulfillment.
She finds herself out of prison for murder and on the run from unknown assassins; all alone, half dead, and hounded by three personal demons, (fear, suicide and insanity).
The next thing you read will be the pages from the above mentioned book. We will talk more after that.
PIERCING THE DARKNESS, pg. 410-415, by Frank E. Peretti
She looked solitary and lonely.
She also looked small and insignificant in a very large world, and that carried more weight in her mind than anything else. What must she look like to a God big enough to have created this huge globe on which she was sitting? Like a microbe on a microscope slide? How would He even find her?
Well, all she could do was make some noise, call out to Him, cause a disturbance, send up some verbal flares. Maybe she could catch His eye or His ear.
She placed her notebook in her lap and flipped to a page of notes she had prepared. Now…where to start?
She spoke softly, just barely forming the words on her lips.
She felt self-conscious and she was willing to admit it. “Uh…hello.” Maybe He heard her, maybe He didn’t. She said it again. “Hello.” That should be enough. “I imagine You know who I am, but I’ll introduce myself anyway. It just seems the thing to do. My name is Sally Beth Roe, and I guess one refers to You as…God. Or maybe Jesus. I’ve heard that done. Or…Lord. I understand You go by several titles, and so I hope You’ll indulge me if I grope a bit. It’s been a long time since I’ve tried to pray.
“Uh…anyway, I would like to meet with You today, and discuss my life and what possible role You might wish to play in it. And thank You in advance for Your time and attention.”
She stared at her notes. She’d gotten this far. Assuming she’d secured God’s attention, she proceeded with the next item. “To quickly review what brought this meeting about, I guess You remember our last visit, approximately thirty years ago, at the…uh…Mount Zion Baptist Church in Yreka, California. I want You to know that I did enjoy our times together back then. I know I haven’t said anything about it in quite a while, and I apologize. Those were precious times, and now they’re favorite memories. I’m glad for them.
“So I suppose You’re wondering what happened, and why I broke off our relationship. Well, I don’t remember what happened exactly. I know that the courts gave me back to my mother, and she wasn’t about to take me to Sunday school like Aunt Barbara did, and then I went to live in a foster home, and then…Well, whatever the case, our times together just didn’t continue, and that’s all…Well, I guess it’s water under the bridge…”
Sally paused. Was there some kind of awakening happening inside her? God could hear her. She could sense it; she just knew it somehow. That was strange. It was something new.
“Well…”Now she lost her train of thought. “I think I do sense that You’re listening to me, so I want to thank You for that.” She got her thoughts back again. “Oh, anyway, I guess I was an angry young woman, and maybe I blamed You for my sorrows, but…at any rate, I decided that I could take care of myself, and that’s basically the way it went for most of my life. I’m sure You know the story: I tried atheism, and then humanism with a strong dose of evolution thrown in, and that left me empty and made my life meaningless; so then I tried cosmic humanism and mysticism, and that was good for many years of aimless delusions and torment and, to be honest, the mess I’m in right now, including the fact that I’m a convicted felon. You know all about that.”
Okay, Sally, now where do you go from here? You may as well get to the point.
Well, anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is that Bernice, back in Ashton, was right, at least as far as Sally Roe is concerned. I have a moral problem. I’ve read some of the Bible. Uh…it’s a good book…it’s a fine piece of work of absolutes. I guess that’s what ‘holy’ means. And actually I’m glad for that, because then we can know where our boundaries are; we can know where we stand…
“I’m beating around the bush, I know.”
Sally stopped to think. How should she say it? Just what was it she wanted from God?
“I guess…”Oh-oh. Emotion. Maybe this is why I can’t get around to it. “I guess I need to ask You about Your love. I do know it’s there; Mrs. Gunderson always talked about it, and so did my Aunt Barbara, and now I’ve had a brief glimpse of it again in my talks with Bernice and that pastor, Hank the Plumber. I need to know that You’ll…”
She stopped. Tears were forming in the corners of her eyes.
She wiped them away and took some deep breaths. This was supposed to be business, not some emotional, subjective experience she might later doubt.
“Excuse me. This is difficult. There are a lot of years involved, a lot of emotion.” Another deep breath. “Anyway, I was trying to say that…I would like very much for You to accept me.” She stopped and let the tightness in her throat ease. “Because…I’ve been told that You love me, and that You’ve arranged for all my wrongs, my moral trespasses, to be paid for and forgiven. I’ve come to understand that Jesus died to pay my penalty, to satisfy Your holy justice. Um…I appreciate that. Thank You for that kind of love.
“But I…I want to enter into that kind of relationship with You. Somehow. I have wronged You, and I have ignored You, and I have tried to be a god myself, as strange as that may sound to You. I have served other spirits, and I have killed my own offspring, and I’ve worked so hard to lead so many astray…”
The tears were coming again. Oh, well. Considering the subject matter, a few tears would not be inappropriate
“But if You will have me…if You will only accept me, I would be more than willing to hand over to You all that I am, and all that I have, whatever it may be worth. “Words from thirty years ago came to her mind, and they captured her feelings perfectly. “Jesus…”
She couldn’t stop the emotions this time. Her face flushed, her eyes filled, and she was afraid to go on.
But she did go on, even as her voice broke, as tears ran down her cheeks, as her body began to quake. “Jesus…I want You to come into my heart. I want You to forgive me. Please forgive me.”
She was crying and she couldn’t stop. She had to get out of there. She couldn’t let anyone see her like this.
She grabbed her duffel bag and hurried away from the pond, turning off the walkway into the nearby trees. Under their sheltering, spring-fresh leaves, she found a small clearing and sank to her knees on the cool, dry ground. With a new freedom that seclusion brought, the heart became a fountain, and she and the Lord God began to talk about things as the minutes slipped by unnoticed and the world around her became unimportant.
Above, as if another sun had just risen, the darkness opened, and pure, white rays broke through the treetops, flooding Sally Beth Roe with a heavenly light, shinning through to her heart, her innermost spirit, obscuring her form with a blinding fire of holiness. Slowly, without sensation, without sound, she settled forward, her face to the ground, her spirit awash with the presence of God.
END OF THE BOOK READING
Wow! If your eyes are still dry after that; well, I don’t know. I still cry each time I read it. If you are already a Christian, then you have to cry because you already know what Jesus has done for you. If you are not saved, then you have to cry because you know what a retched state you are still in and you too can have what Sally now has.
I know this is about a fictitious person, but she is typical of everyone that ever needed God’s saving grace. You might say, “I never did all that stuff she did. I even go to church.” Well, let me tell you that church by itself will get you nowhere but a one way ticket straight to hell. Did you notice how Sally tried everything else first and God last. Most of us have done the same thing, just maybe not to the extent she did. It doesn’t matter. Maybe you have done far worse things including murder or even worse. You may think that God could never love you because of what you’ve done. The Bible tells us that there are no unforgivable sins except for blasphemy of the Holy Ghost.
Let’s regress here. In the third paragraph I mentioned that Sally was plagued by three personal demons; fear, insanity and suicide. Let’s look at the first one: fear. Fear is the number one weapon or tool that satan uses to control or manipulate us. He knows what frightens us the most and he uses that thing or things to flood our minds with thoughts and patterns of thoughts to misdirect our attentions and actions. Think for a moment. What are you afraid of? I don’t mean the boogieman, I mean what in life do you fear? Failure? Poverty? Pain? Loneliness? Sickness? Nuclear war? I could list a million and one things but what it is really does not matter. What does matter is that satan knows what scares you and he is a master of using it to influence you and me. The Bible tells us in 1Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion (or fear) but of peace:”
Men have always feared what they don’t understand. And it is this ignorance or lack of knowledge about something or someone or some circumstance that drives our fears. So, write down what you are afraid of and learn all you can about it. Don’t hide your head in the sand and ignore it. That is how satan can lie to you about what ever it is. If it is debt and you are afraid of loosing what you have. Look up debt management on the internet or talk to a debt management counselor. If it is a disease, ask your doctor about it, look it up, read all you can about it. Bringing things into the light and understanding it will drive most, maybe not all, but most of the fears you have right out the window. A famous quote comes to mind: “You have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Satan will never tell you the truth or bring peace to your mind. So, if fear or confusion is holding your attention, recognize that it is not from God. The Bible tells us in:
Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Satan is the author and father of all lies, so he cannot tell the truth. With this in mind, denounce it as being from satan and take it to God. He will shed light on it and help you to understand it and conquer it.
On a side note: Fear and lies are also the biggest things that satan uses to break up marriages and families. Fear causes us to ignore or not talk about a situation. Not talking opens the silence in our minds up to satan’s lies and these lies cause us to accuse each other of things that are not true. Or, we stew on these things so long that when the truth is told we don’t believe it. We are so convinced of the lie that the truth is irrelevant.
I have seen marriage after marriage destroyed this way. If you think about this long enough, you might just get mad that satan has made a fool out of each one of us. So, get mad at him and let him know that you are sick and tired of his lies and they will not work any longer on you. You are a child of God and only God will influence your thoughts from now on.
Insanity: It has been said that there is a fine line between genius and insanity. I believe this to be true. If you look at most of the world geniuses, they were all a little kooky. Another way of describing insanity is irrational thoughts or patterns of thoughts. Nothing seems to make sense. People that experience this type of confusion think they are doing the right things, but everyone else knows they are crazy. We all have a basic idea of what normal is. But, normal to one cultural is craziness to another and vice versa. I believe that the spirit of insanity is very prevalent in the American culture today. How else do we explain the thousands of people murdering there own children or spouses? Daily, the news shouts at us from the TV horrible acts of insanity. You might say, “They have a mental problem.” Yes, they do, but what is behind the problem? Is it to much stress or is it the accumulation of food additives building up in our brains? When I was attending LSU Medical School, I did a psych rotation at the local VA hospital. I experienced things there I never knew existed. These people were being treated for mental and social disorders. I am here to tell you many of them were possessed. You can call it spirits, devils, bad angels, whatever, but they were real. If you’ve read the New Testament in the Bible you have seen numerous accounts of demon possession and the casting out of demons. Here are a few examples of the above.
Mt 8:16 And when even was come, they brought unto him many possessed with demons: and he cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all that were sick:
Mt 10:1 And he called unto him his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of disease and all manner of sickness.
Mr 1:23 And straightway there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
Mr 1:26 And the unclean spirit, tearing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him.
Mr 1:27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What is this? a new teaching! with authority he commandeth even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.
There are many other accounts of deaf and dumb spirits, evil spirits, unclean spirits, infirmities and many others. The one thing they all have in common is that they lived in humans and cause them great pain and anguish. The one thing Jesus did to them all was cast or remove the demons from the people just by speaking to them. All this may seem like mumbo-jumbo or voodoo, but it’s not.
Some of you may say that these are just mental conditions and these people can be helped with medicines and therapy. Let me tell you a few accounts that I experienced while at the VA.
There was one man that walked up and down the hall all day long cursing to the top of his lungs. That’s it. He would say the vilest things to anyone that walked by him. Even if no one was around he just walked, walked and cursed. One day while I was reading my Bible trying to figure out what God would have me do or say to this man, God spoke to me.
Php 2:9 Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name;
Php 2:10 that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven and [things] on earth and [things] under the earth,
Php 2:11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
I was reading the above scriptures and God told me to just go out in the hall and tell him to shut up in the name of Jesus. So, I did. I walked down the hall to face him. He was only about five feet tall and a very thin man. He walked up to me looked up at me, (I am six foot four inches) and he let out a screech like an eagle that made my hair stand on end. He said, “I know who you are.” I said, shut up in the name of Jesus. Instantly, he could not speak. He tried but his mouth would not open. He moaned and made grunting sounds but could not say a word. He started walking and for the rest of the day just walked around in circles at the end of the hall.
Another man sat in his hospital room all day with the radio turned up full blast because he heard two voices talking to him day and night. One voice would say, “It is useless.” The other voice would say, “Just die.” He heard these voices non stop for years. So, he never slept much because of the radio always blaring and the voices. I prayed about what to do and I felt God wanted me to go in the room and tell him that God could remove the voices and pray for him. He started crying and when I prayed for him, the room actually shook. The voices were gone and he just hugged me and would not let go. Other people ran to the room to see what had happened. We turned the radio off and talked some more. He could now smile and was set free. He accepted the Lord as his Savior and was finally able to leave the hospital a new and free man. (By the way, I believe the voices were the spirit of depression and suicide.)
The best one was a young woman that had been paralyzed from the neck down for about twelve years. She had been injured in the military and over the years she sank into the worst depressed and oppressed person I had ever seen. The first time I saw her, she just lay in bed with face turned to the wall. She never spoke or ate or looked at anyone. There was actually a heavy gray fog that hung over her bed from ceiling to the floor and for about a foot around the perimeter of her bed. No one else could see it, but I believe God let me see it so I could help her. I stood there and looked at her for a while. The spirit of depression and hopelessness was so strong that I began to feel that way. I asked God what to do. A thought came to my mind. “Reach in your shirt pocket and pull out the little card and place it where she can see it and then leave the room.” That’s it I thought. I did not even know I had anything in my pocket. I reached in and in and pulled out a small card that had SOMEBODY LOVES YOU, HIS NAME IS JESUS. That’s all it had on it. I remember that earlier that day I had found that card on a park bench and put it in my pocket. I taped it to the bed where she could see it and left. The next morning when I entered the unit, there she was sitting up in a wheelchair in the hallway reading the Bible. I actually fell to my knees in front of her and asked her what happened? She smiled a beautiful smile and said. “When I opened my eyes yesterday and read the card you left, I instantly felt God speak to me. He told me to get up and that I was free.” She could now move. Her legs were very weak from being paralyzed for twelve years but she was eating and moving and happy. Oh, and her husband that had left her a year before came back to her the same day. There is no limit to what God can do.
What we all need to do here is stop and realize how much power is in the name of Jesus. Remember in Philippians 2:10: That every name, not just some names, but everything that can be named is subject to the authority of the name of Jesus. That means that cancer, diabetes, asthma, any form of sickness, schizophrenia, bi-polar, manic depressive, depression, any form of mental disorder, any kind of demon, any and all, anything you can give a name too is under the authority of Jesus. God gave him this authority and only God can take it away. Jesus earned the right to have this authority by living a sinless life, suffering, dying on the cross and rising again on the third day. I don’t understand why there are so many so called Christians in the world that have faith enough to believe that Jesus is the son of God, that He was born to a virgin, that He can save them from all their sins, that He healed and did all the miracles in the Bible, and let’s not forget that He made the entire universe; they believe all that, but can’t seem to fine enough faith to believe He can handle all their problems and or illnesses. That makes not sense to me. Anyway, I hope you get the point.
Well, we’ve touched on fear and insanity. Let’s talk about suicide. I had a friend once that was going through a terrible time in her life and she had thought about suicide as an option. Sounds good, kill yourself and you won’t have to worry about anything. Then one day when she was at her lowest point. She actually saw the demon of suicide. It was short and dark like a dirty cloud of dust. It moved towards her laughing and cursing. She was frightened at first, and then she became very angry. She realized that this demon was sent from satan to destroy her. She cried out in the name of Jesus and the demon left her. She no longer thinks of suicide. When trouble comes, she turns to God. God will never send us confusion, depression, uncertainty or any of those types of hurt. You may have noticed that I don’t capitalize the word satan. That’s because I give him no authority or power in my life. He can only do what God allows him to do. If you realize this, then you can easily obey the scriptures that tell us to praise God in every situation, because all things work to the good to those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.
I hope you have enjoyed this article. I am writing more but have not finished yet.
God bless you and your family. Remember, God loves you.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.