Overcoming the Power of the Satan
A True Story
Ever since I was five years old, I remember wanting to hold babies if their mother would let me. I could hardly wait to grow up, get married and have children of my own. So when those years sped by and I was grown and married I was finally able to cradle my own beautiful daughter, Martha, in my arms. I was overwhelmed with joy! We bonded as mothers and daughters should. We had such good times together. We would play together, talk together, take walks, she loved to hear my stories of when I was a little girl. When she was older, we would work around the house or yard together. I was in my "dream world" for God had given me what my heart had always dreamed about and desired. I could see that He had fulfilled His promise to me, "May he give you the desire of your heart." Ps. 20:4. Oh, He certainly had given me the desire of my heart! ! !
The years sped by again and I could hardly believe she was a teenager already. But then I noticed a change in her. At first I thought that it was just the natural hormonal change that all teenagers go through. She started pulling away from my husband and me. She would spend hours in her room and not talk with us unless she needed something. The more we tried to get next to her, the harder she pulled away.
Somewhere, somehow she had gotten involved with an occult group that we did not know about. Little did any of us realize the potential danger she was in.
All this time I was crying out to God to know how to help her. I was also praying that God would send someone who could help her. I stayed in the Psalms, claiming many of those wonderful promises for her. At one time she tried to commit suicide. I knew she was drinking and smoking. She had "friends"(?) who would buy these for her.
One of the Psalms that I claimed for her was Psalms 25:16-22, "Turn to Martha and be gracious to her, for she is lonely and afflicted. The trouble of her heart have multiplied; free her from her anguish. (She was in a lot of anguish during this time). Look upon her affliction and her distress and take away all her sins. See how her enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate her. Guard her life and rescue her, let her not be put to shame, for she takes refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect her, because her hope is in you. Redeem, Martha, from all her troubles."
As I was crying out to God on her behalf, God was working in ways I could never dream. There was going to be a Christian Bible Camp that was over a long weekend. I was praying that Martha would want to go. When she said that she would like to go, I was overjoyed.
At camp she had a young college student, Lori, who was very close to the Lord and was training to be a counselor. One day all of the young people were involved in some kind of activity at the lodge and Lori needed to go back to the cabin to get something. As she approached the cabin she heard Martha crying out to God, "Have somebody help me!" When Lori went in and began talking with her, Lori realized that Martha needed more help than she was able to give her. She asked Martha if she minded getting her pastor involved to talk with her. Martha gave her consent--unbeknown to us.
Imagine our surprise when two or three weeks after she had come back from camp, this strange man came to our door. He introduced himself as Pastor Brown and said he wanted to talk with Martha. We knew that she had good friends but also many "harmful friends" so we did not know which one he was. Someway the Lord let me know it would be all right, so I let him in. After talking with her for about an hour, he came to where my husband and I were and said that from all indications, Martha was possessed. We were shocked!
Hadn't we always had family worship, taken her to Sabbath School and church, sent her to a Christian school! We could not believe what we were hearing. Pastor Brown recommended that we put her in a psychiatric ward in a Christian hospital. He thought that they would not only help her psychologically, but spiritually as well. Little did any of us realize that even a lot of Christians who are trained as psychologists do not believe in the devil and have the idea that christian teaching warps minds. They did the counseling--both privately and in groups--but left out the spiritual. She was in there for about 3 or 4 months. If she was helped, we could not tell.
When it was time for Camp Meeting to begin we were delighted that she wanted to go. Pastor Brown and his wife were there. They talked and counseled with Martha for a day or two. They decided to ask us whether she could go live with them for the following school year. They knew it would take longer than just a few sessions talking with her. They told her that if her desire was to accept Jesus as her Savior, she was welcome, but if she didn't want to accept Him, don't bother to come.
I had reservations about letting her go because she would have to go to public school. After that next evening meeting, my prayer partner and I stayed in the tabernacle to pray for God's guidance. When we finished I still did not have an answer, so as I was walking back to my tent, I looked up in the heavens and cried out to God, "I still don't know what to do. You have not given me an answer!" Immediately He spoke to me, not in an audible voice, but in His still, small voice called the conscience. He said, "Let her go. As I was with Moses when he had to go to the Egyptian school, I will be with Martha. Let her go." Now there was no question in my mind.
The next day I told Pastor and Mrs. Brown about what had happened the night before. So I told them she could go live with them for that school year.
But I was so nervous about something bad happening to Martha before she could go there and learn how to accept Jesus as her Savior in her possessed state of mind. I remember crying out to God again to spare her life! One night He said to me--in His still, small voice--"Why are you so frantic? If something should happen to her, she will be saved. She has accepted me in her heart." That brought me up short. God knew she was like the demoniac and could not say anything except what he wanted her to say and do what he wanted her to do. Since she had joined the occult, she was controlled by another. My favorite author has said, "Some poor souls who have been fascinated with the eloquent words of the teachers of spiritualism, and have yielded to its influence, afterward find out its deadly character and would renounce and flee from it, but cannot." (1T 343) This is where Martha was.
I said, "Father, forgive me for judging Martha or anyone else." I thought we had to see evidence in their lives of whether they are a Christian or not. We do not know the struggles others are having in this battle in the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan. This is why the Bible tells us not to judge.
"Judge not, or you, too, will be judged." Matt. 7:1. Thank You, Lord, that You see our hearts so You are the ONLY One who can judge us correctly.
That summer seemed to go by very slowly. But in September we took Martha to the Brown's house. With much prayer and trepidation and relief we left her there. We were told later that there were many hand-to-hand sessions. Once the enemy possesses a person he does not give up easily.
Again quoting from my favorite author, "The only way for such poor souls to overcome Satan, is to discern between pure Bible truth and fables." Ibid. Pastor Brown told us that her knowledge of the Bible was so garbled and distorted that she did not know truth from error. Again I was shocked because we did everything humanly possible to see that she was taught truth. But when she joined the occult, she was surrounded in darkness that distorted everything true and made it all garbled. "The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." (11Corinthians 4:4).
So before she could accept Christ as her Savior, Pastor and Mrs. Brown had to cast out the demons that had been controlling her for years and then very carefully and prayerfully give her the gospel story. Each time she would come to them to have them help her, many demons would be cast out. The pastor would try to get her to accept Christ as her Savior. The devil had told her that if she accepted Christ, he would have to go and then she would not have any friends. The enemy of souls had her thinking so distorted that she was thinking that God had the enemies characteristics and the enemy had God's characteristics And he said that he had been her friend for such a long time, surely she would not want him to have to leave her all alone.
We kept praying as the battle raged. I so admire that pastor and his wife for not giving up. He said that it is one thing to trust God when things are going smoothly, but it is another thing to trust Him when there is a knife held to your throat and the person holding it is threatening to kill you. Thankfully the Lord protected all of them.
Several times they heard loud honking in front of their house. When they would go to the door, the people in the car would yell to them to send Martha out. They said that they could not come in their house because it had the wrong spirit in it--meaning Holy Spirit. The pastor never sent Martha out for he knew that they wanted to kill her for trying to escape the occult. One time these occult people did see her walking along the sidewalk alone. They stopped the car, jumped out and tried to capture her. She slashed one of them with her knife. By God's grace she escaped and ran home. The pastor called the police and asked for a Christian policeman. When the police came he explained what had happened. He did not indite Martha, because he understood that this was indeed a spiritual warfare.
Don't ever think that Halloween is an innocent, fun time. It is not. This is when the enemy tries to capture children and young people in his trap before they realize what is happening. The enemy tried harder than ever to keep hold of Martha that night. But there were several groups praying for her.
She came again that night to the pastor and his wife for help. After she had been with them for some time she thought they were refusing to help so she bolted out the door and ran downtown. She saw a clock that said, "3 O'clock" and she realized that they had been working with her all night. She felt so bad that she had run from them that she wrapped her arms around a tree and cried out to God, "If there is a God in heaven and if He can help me, please do! ! !" She opened her eyes and looked up in the tree. She saw Jesus as if he were on the cross. He spoke one of His beautiful promises to her--I never did find out what that promise was. She did not see His face. She said there was a light around it that kept her from seeing what He really looks like. But she saw His nail-scarred hands.
That night she accepted Jesus as her Savior. The next time she asked Pastor Brown for help, he could hear an argument going on behind Martha. One being was saying, "You will have to go for she is Mine now." Then he heard the other being saying, "Oh, no she doesn't. She has been mine for a long time. You can't have her." He heard this argument going on for some minutes. Each time their voices becoming fainter and fainter as if the evil angels were being pushed away. Then he heard Jesus say, "It is finished." That was on Halloween night when the power of satan was broken. Praise the Lord! Even today, she gets nervous when Halloween comes around because he has been trying to recapture her. We still pray earnestly during Halloween.
You might think that everything was fine from here on out. Oh, no. She had a lot to learn about relationships with family and friends. God used many people to help her become who she is today.
A year or two after the possession was broken she still would not carry on a decent conversation with us or have much to do with us. I was so discouraged that I felt as though there was no use praying for her any more. (Of course we know that was the enemy, knowing how powerful intercessory prayer is was trying to discourage us and have us give up praying for her). I was just about to say, "I quit" when God awakened me in the middle of the night one night and said, in His "still, small voice", "Don't ever give up on Martha. She is a chosen vessel of Mine." So I continued praying earnestly for her. I can't put my finger on the exact time when we became good friends again, for it was gradual.
The Bible was my consolation all this time. I was reading through Deuteronomy and came to 7:22-23, "Do not be terrified by them, for the LORD your God, who is among you is a great and awesome God. The LORD your God will drive out those nations (bad habits--smoking and drinking--before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once or the wild animals will multiply around you. But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed." God again spoke in His "still, small voice" and told me that this was what He was doing with all of those bad habits that Martha had acquired. He was taking them out little by little or a worse thing would come upon her to take their place. (See Luke 24-27) He is still working with her.
But now she is the most loving and lovable daughter any one could wish for. "Thank You, Lord, for fulfilling Your promise in Eze. 36:26-27, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."
I sit back in awe at our great God and say, "Thank You, thank You, thank You, LORD God Almighty! ! ! I am praising You now and will continue to praise You throughout eternity. Not only for what You are doing in Martha's life, but in mine as well. I love You so much! Keep drawing us closer and closer to You so we will be ready when You come in the clouds of heaven to live with You and the holy angels throughout eternity. In Jesus' precious Name. Amen!
Here are more resources on the same topic:
Prayer & Overcoming Satan
Overcoming Demon Possession
Overcoming Satan's Attacks
Deliverance Ministries 1