The crescent moon rides on gathering storm clouds. Stars glitter and are extinguished one by one. I am clothed by the gloom of the night as I enter the white frame building. The morning sun will seek out a landscape of great destruction. I laugh in delight at the promise of a darkened dawn.
I was selected for this project because I am the best. Among my fellows, I am admired, envied . . . yes, even hated. I brandish the tools of my trade with great skill. I know no fear.
Our leader has called for a sudden massive assault, and we, his hirelings, will obey. I have been hand-picked for my assignment. I must succeed. Our agenda must not fail.
I select from my collection of incendiary devices. Our time to destroy this city has been shortened. The unrest foretold by the enemy’s prophets has begun. I must use the unrest to our advantage.
Elsewhere in the city my fellow workers are planting seeds. The harvest will be bitter indeed. The inhabitants will never know what caused their city to perish. Their terrorized screams will froth at their lips. The symphony of despair will be sweet music.
I envision the results of our labors and smirk.
By the table on the platform I pour out the fire starter until the carpet is saturated. The emblem of the enemy decorates one side of the steps. I avoid it and descend. Scattering old rags and crumpled papers throughout the room, I again ascend the steps. But for the spark that will send this building up in flames, my job is nearly finished.
Lights flicker on in the foyer and I halt my movements. I squint anxiously toward the front doors.
A stooped woman hobbles up the aisle toward the platform. Her thick-lensed glasses make her pale eyes huge and milky. Snowy hair frames a face creased with wrinkles. Many of those wrinkles formed as a result of my activities in the lives of her family. My leader had warned me to expect her arrival and anticipate resistance. Why should I fear this one? I chuckle at her frailty.
She halts mid-aisle and frowns up at me.
I know that I, as well as the evidence of my work, am invisible to mortal eyes, but I tremble. This old crone, who should not have been aware of my presence, somehow senses me.
“I know you are here,” she states. I recede into the shadows on the platform and narrow my eyes. She seems so weak and again I wonder at our leader’s admonition for caution. I can not be vanquished by any mortal weapon. Remembering this, I mock her boldness.
“You foul spirit! In the name and authority of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I command you to leave this sanctuary!” She thumps her cane on the floor, punctuating each word. She calls on the despised name several times.
Too late I realize what her weapon is and know I have to obey. Though her words torment me with searing pain, I set the match to the soaked carpet.
Now she is on her knees before the altar, beseeching the Almighty enemy to purge the building.
“Unforgiveness must leave,” she prays, and it evaporates like water from the carpet beneath me. She names each of my tools . . . disunity, deceit, gossip, hatred . . . I watch in despair as the rags and papers I have scattered vaporize. My labor is being destroyed by the prayers of a feeble-kneed old woman and I am almost powerless to stop her.
I must try. I cast the twin spirits of doubt and fear at her. They melt. Screaming, I hurl myself toward her but am stopped as if by an invisible shield.
I hiss in defeat. She bears the seal of the enemy. Not a hair of her hoary head may be touched.
“Leave now,” she breathes, and I escape into the dawn. There is no more to be done.
Throughout the city, my coworkers join me in flight as she and more like her claim their city for their God and King. We have lost this battle but there is still time before the end, and more souls to be destroyed elsewhere. We will continue to fight.
Luke 10:19 (MKJV) Behold, I give to you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the authority of the enemy. And nothing shall by any means hurt you.
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