Posted by: Bro. Lawrence D. | January 12, 2009

Just Another Impotent Christian

The title of this post describes what I feel like today. Let me explain.

I have found the following to be a common experience amongst most Christians. From time to time, we believers suffer from feelings of inadequacy. We fall into the mode of feeling as though we just don’t measure up. Sometimes this feeling is brought on by hearing a spiritually scorching sermon by someone like Paul Washer or Pastor John MacArthur. Sometimes it is brought on by seeing the activities of another believer and their zeal for good works. Sometimes it is brought on by reading a passage of scripture. Sometimes it is simply brought on by taking personal inventory of our lives in regards to “religious” or “spiritual” activity. We feel we don’t pray enough; fast enough; read/study the bible enough; witness enough; etc. Finally, we may resolve that there is, in fact, no “enough”. But that resolve does nothing for our feelings of inadequacy.

There is another dimention of this problem of the feelings of inadequacy. It is found when we look at the whole of the Christian faith and life experience and wonder if there is more. We look at the activities of those who followed the Lord from Genesis to Revelation. No matter what our “Cessasionist” brothers tell us about the rarity of such activity, we yet desire at some level at least taste of the power that was exhibited in them at times. Therefore, even if we come to the conclusion that there is more to being a Christian than what we are experiencing, then often times we have no alternative than to believe the problem to be ourselves. Sure, we read books like “Pagan Christianity” and agree with the author Frank Viola that the structure and place of our “gathering together” may well serve to add to our living below our privileges. Yet and still, the most honest of us are not willing to only look outwardly to find blame for our condition. We desire to know if there is really something that we are personally doing or not doing that is at the root.

So you may be asking, “Brother Lawrence D., what brought this feeling on today? And what do you think is wrong with you that is causing it?” Well I’m glad you asked.

Last night at work, I was approached by a lady that I work with who is a member of the Sikh religion. She told me that since she knows that I am a priest (pastor, preacher, priest is all the same in her mind) she felt that I was the one to talk to about her problem. In a nutshell, she felt that her daughter was plagued by an evil spirit. The little 12 year old girl was fainting at odd times, speaking with a different voice, hearing voices, seeing visions, dreaming prophetically, eating ravenously and even spirit writing in other languages.  The evil spirit even gave a name. To top it off the little girl could not remember any of the episodes. The mother was obviously very troubled.  She showed me videos taken on her camera phone of the girl in several of these states. She even showed me the writing that the daughter had done. To tell you the truth, I was convinced, as was the mother, that this was more than the “panic attack” diagnosed by the doctor.

You may not believe this but I was at a loss for words. Yep, Brother Lawrence D. couldn’t come up with words to comfort this poor mother. You see, when the girl’s mother and I first began to work together 3 years ago, we had a conversation about Christ being the only way. This was a proposition which she didn’t believe because as a Sikh, Jesus is a god amongst gods. They call them gurus. At the time I went all “apologetic” on her but in her mind, I was just another uneducated westerner who hadn’t studied enough. We didn’t discuss it much after that, however, a few times over the years she has come to me to request prayer for a sick relative or even herself. I remember asking her the first time she requested prayer if she would accept Christ as God alone if He healed her. She said no. She said that since He was one of the gods, she would just continue to “respect” Him and pray to all of the gods. 

But this time was different. To me, this wasn’t a time to put on my “James White” or “Matt Slick” Super Apologist hat and argue with her about the truth of Christianity. This little girl was in bad shape spiritually and her mother was still in the mode of considering Jesus as just another option. She had went to her “priest” and he couldn’t do anything so she decided she would come to me.

I explained to her that as a “priest” (as she understood it), I had no special power with God to guarantee her daughter’s well-being. I told her that power with God comes through a relationship with Him thru Jesus Christ. But she couldn’t understand or see that I was elevating Christ above all. In other words, she could affirm what I was saying and still be a Sikh. And she did affirm it. And since I professed to have this relationship myself, she felt she only needed to get me and things would be fixed. Now comes the part when I began to feel bad….

Years ago, as a Pentecostal, I would have immediately been eager to go to this lady’s house, slap some olive oil on her daughter’s forehead (and probably the walls of the house too) and start pleading the blood of Jesus. I would have seen the mother seeking me out for help as a clear sign that this is what God wanted me to do. I would have felt totally confident that God was going to move in a miracul0us way and that this lady was going to fall on her knees and cry out to God f0r salvation. The whole house was going to be saved. I would have went in there and commanded Satan to take his hand off of this child in the name of Jesus. With child like faith and ignorance, I would have proclaimed the victory from sun-up to sundown, if necessary. I wouldn’t have been prepared for defeat because, in my mind, it wasn’t an option.

But after hearing this mother’s sad predicament, I knew that that Lawrence was gone. Theology had killed him. Theology had told him that he had no such authority or power. Theology had told him to be logical and to consider that even if God did deliver the girl, she would be left in the same enviroment. Theology had told him that if he couldn’t find it in scripture, then it wasn’t proper to do. Theology had told him that he needed an apologetic argument not “mustard seed” faith. Theology had told him that no matter what compassion he may have felt for the girl, God was sovereign and that this must be the way He wants it. Sure I could pray but unless it lined up with God’s “perfect will”, I would just be wasting words. Yep, that Lawrence was dead and was killed by Theology.

Needless to say, I am heartbroken for this little girl. I want so desperately to go to that little girl and release her from the power she is obviously under. I want to be confident that God will be with me. Confident that I will not be like the sons of Sceva and be beaten back. Confident that I am operating in faith and not in emotion. Confident instead of fearful. I mean, here I am someone who claims to be intimately connected with the Creator of the universe and Ruler of everything in existence. I see one of His creations, a child even,  suffering under cruel torment, and yet I feel powerless to do anything about it. And worse of all, knowing I didn’t always feel this way.

Two things I ask of those of you who read this to pray; 1. Pray to God that He would direct me, even if through you, in what to do. And, 2.  Also pray, that I won’t become just another impotent Christian.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Bro. Lawrence,
    Fast and seek God. If it is His will to use you as the vessel as He did Paul and others then you will know. I was in a situation yesterday where we minister at the Mobile home park. A woman who we know has a demon came amongst our group which meets outside in a grassy area. She walked by at first while a brother was present the gospel. She said Jesus told her not to stop. Then later she came back. She sat down right beside me. My brother started talking about Jesus being the Christ. She then got up and said I can’t hear this. I told her ok and that I loved her in Christ. She ranted don’t say that no you don’t. She walked as far as to the back of a truck that was parke near. She stared me down for 10 minutes. My little girl fortunately wasn’t in my lap at because the lady came back. She proceded to ask where my wife was. I told her where and she said then why did you say you love me. I told her as Christ loves us I love her. She said no you don’t you “raped” me. Anyway I got up and escorted her away. As we had already approached her on this junk before when she accused my brother in Christ of doing the same thing. She had two different personalities coming out at that time. I just kept proclaiming Christ until He gave us a way out. So long story short. The demon possessed are still here and we need to be ready for when God says go. So pray and fast. Sorry for the novel, but we need to be ready in season and out.
    Seek God.
    Sincerely, Steven Owen

  2. Bro. SOwen,

    This is a real difficult conundrum for me. While I am concerned with the condition of the little girl, I am also perplexed over my “new” way of assessing this type of situation. I keep asking myself, “What happened to my confidence?”. I really had reckless abandon and trust in God. I may have expressed it in a way that could be considered unbiblical but learning proper hermenuetics should not have killed the reckless dependence upon the Spirit of God. You see where I’m coming from? I’m warring on two fronts, it seems!

  3. BLD,

    I have been battling to find that balance as well. Where the two coexist without defaming the other. Brother I do not have an answer but I will link up with you in prayer.

  4. You know Bro. Lawrence,
    To be honest I lost that confidence 4 years ago when I moved. I came out of the non-denominational charismatic church. I depended on God to help me move. Then I came to the church God called me to and learned the reformed theology teachings. Plus I felt that the Spiritual was less important than the teaching format. Then November of 2007 the Lord literally, said I gave you a gift use it. Then I felt refreshed. Granted I am very cautious when it comes to Spiritual walking. I definately balance it with scripture.
    So yes I do see where you are coming from.
    I just urge you to hold onto the promises of God through His word where He said He will never leave us nor forsake us. The thing I didn’t mention earlier was Friday night, early Saturday morning I sought God on this the spiritual issues. I was reminded of the scriptures of Ask, knock and seek. I began to ask God for that balanced biblical approach to issues concerning His Spiritual gifts. Then as I wrote earlier I was confronted with a demon in that woman.
    We can’t be thinking from our fleshy minds. We need to have the mind of Christ1 The mind of Christ bro. Pray and seek God on this. He may be drawing you into this so you will seek Him more.
    Steven O.

  5. Whew! Whew!

    I was a little scared reading this, I will be praying for you, but I tell you this, no one in scripture ever waited around (well maybe Paul when he finally cast the demon out the girl who got on his nerves). I think you KNOW what you should be doing, but hey, I don’t know you that well. 8)

  6. Bro. Brian,

    Thanks for linking with me in prayer. I’m really at a crossroads on this one. This is someone’s child. I know how I would feel and how I would react if it were one of my children.

  7. Bro. Lionel,

    I know what to do in the sense of praying for the little girl. But I can do that comfortably, physically that is, from my living room. But I can’t get my mind to rest while this poor girl is in this state. So as far as KNOWING what I should do, I’ll put it this way: I KNOW exactly what I WANT to do. I just don’t KNOW what I SHOULD do. That is, besides praying comfortably from my living room. For many confusing reasons, I feel that as a Christian I should be able to do more. I definitely WANT to be able to do more. So why can’t I? Why do I have to be so cautious?

    I hear you on waiting around and the Paul situation, it’s just that we don’t have many examples of people who weren’t “specially commissioned” just hopping up and going to cast out demons. So scripturally we’re left with two options: Either it was the norm and there was no reason for the Holy Spirit to highlight it as a special occurence when He moved upon the New Testament writers or it was something that only certain “gifted” people were doing. So again, being “theologically sound” or “biblically guided” seems to be a hindrance to what I as a bold, Spirit-filled (at least as far as I thought) Pentecostal would have been eager to do.

    BTW, what scared you as you read this?

  8. Do we not walk in a place on contradiction? I can say that I have done the same and I agree with you that the theology seems to have paralyzed my eagerness as well.

    Here we have a boldness to approach any and everybody about evangelism but hesitant when thing as you have mention arise.

    But I will say this…the fact that there is impotency let’s us know that there is something there to work with.

  9. BLD,

    You are correct that there seems to be some isolate cases the problem is the book of Acts is about the Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles and ever single event isn’t highlighted. However the commission to subdue the world through the Gospel is given to each of us, and I think we are given authority cast out demons, heal, ….. unless we don’t believe we are disciples.

  10. In other words, until the church stops growing and building we have the same adversary and the same power to overcome evil through the power of the Spirit.

  11. Bro. Lionel,

    Okay, I’m hearing what you are saying. So let me explore a little more. I think you know that I hold the same view on the gifts that Piper does. So in regards to what you are saying about being a “disciple” I have to ask, does it simply come down to who/what we are or is there also a “being led” component to it?

    I believe that I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ. However, I’m not sure if I’m being prompted by the Spirit or by simple pity. It’s the same as when we pray for a person’s healing from sickness. Are we praying because we see the effects of the cancer on their bodies or are we led of the Spirit to pray for them to be healed?

    And also, is it wrong headed and unbiblical to believe that dealing with the demonic is more dangerous than all of the other things we confront?

    Thank you all for this interaction. It’s helping.

  12. Hey BLD,

    Here is what I think.

    1. As I read through Acts that are times where being “led” is implied but not directly stated. There are other times where they just did it. Because of that I think many times we Christians spend a lot of time “waiting” to be led to do something. When we see Paul take off to evangelize the world, he wanted to start in Asia Minor however, the Spirit “led” him to Macedonia. The operative here is the fact that he wanted to feel the need and moved and then the Spirit guided him. He didn’t wait until the Spirit guided Him.

    2. I think it should be both. Us seeing someone hungry and feeding them should be a compassionate leading of the Spirit. We “see” the need, thus we know what God has called us to do in feeding the hungry. Should I wait and ask “Jesus I see this person starving, should I feed them or let them go hungry”. We should be moved with compassion when we see someone bound by an infirmity. Why? Because that is not why they were created. We then “APPEAL” to the Spirit for the power to heal them. And we leave the healing up the a Sovereign God; however, if they allow me I should lay my hands on them and pray for their healing. I think it is fear of failure or ridicule that are our parameters, not being Spirit led. In the Gospels it says that “and Jesus was moved with compassion, and began healing”. Every human is created in the image of God and was to never be bound by death or decay, thus if given the opportunity we should ask for their physical healing while letting them know that ultimately their really problem isn’t physical blind eyes but spiritual ones.

    3. We are always dealing with the demonic homeboy. Read Ephesians 6. We entered into a battle with the demonic the day our allegiance swithed. As Paul says “we wrestle not against flesh and blood”. The Adversary and his hinchmen are on the offensive my friend and we are to “armor up”. Rather we like it or not, we engage the demonic daily. Sometimes we think it is mental sickness other times we think “how could a person do something so evil”. My friend the bible already provides the answer, we just want to despiritualize it. We are in daily warfare, rather you like it or not. So with that engaging a demon is something you do everyday of your natrual life, everytime you share the Gospel, everytime you attempt to make a disciple, everytime you engage a nonbeliever you are most likely engaging a demon. So naaaahhh, I don’t think it is dangerous in light of the fact that you do it everyday.

  13. fell = fill

  14. Bro. Lionel,

    Okay L, I got you. You brought the balance I think I was looking for.

  15. I read this and my heart dropped for this young girl. Bro. I am praying for you, and because Christ Jesus is within you, there is hope for this girl. How do we know if God will not remove this demon from this girl? We don’t so we go and we help.

    Let me tell you something that happened to me here at my job. A young man needed some money and the Lord layed it on my heart to help this brother. But like you, theology told me that God don’t speak to believers like this. God doesn’t lay things on people’s hearts, charasmatics believe that stuff! Well, glory to Jesus the weekend past, I prayed to help. That Monday, the young man came in and asked me to help him. I smiled and said sure, went to the bank quickly and gave him the money needed. I told him not to pay me back. When he asked me to help, he was shaking and very nervous. On Tuesday, I came in and he came to my desk shaking and nervous again. He said that over the weekend he had a dream and the voice told him to ask me and my wife to help him. He said he saw that we would give him a gift. So Monday when asked me, he kept hearing a voice saying to ask me. We’ll, I began to see that I had become hardened to certain things, that yes are in the bible. In fact, I explained to the young man that Jesus Christ gave him that dream, and from there I have been witnessing to him about Jesus Christ.

    Actually today, I was cleaning out my desk and he saw me throwing away my He-Motions book, and some books by Tony Evans. I had no idea, but he requested to read the He-Motions book. I wanted to tell him not to read this mess, but no. I could have put on the apologetic hat, ripped T D Jake apart, but doing that may turn him away from Jesus Christ. I said “If you want to read it here you go, but please do not return it to me!” He asked me why? I an gently told him “I just don’t agree with his teaching, but you read it for yourself and see.” He said he would and talk to me about it later. See bro, we just got to keep it simple. Why let the Theology kill us? No, let’s let Jesus Christ make us alive bro. I loved this post, in Christ.

    Love
    Karsten Miller

  16. Bro. Karsten,

    Wow! I know that it took a lot of restraining when it came to T.D. Jakes! Brother, I have to just keep asking, how did this happen to us? How did becoming “learned” suddenly reduce us to waiting around to feel better about our decision? Rather we know it or not, it seems our feelings are still driving us just as much as when we were Pentecostals. I just don’t understand.

  17. Brothers,

    Where is the common ground after all is said an done?

  18. that should be and done

  19. Brothers,

    First of all, I want to thank each one of you for your prayers and your comments.

    This is a very important crossroads for me. Here, it seems, is where I must decide on my status as a disciple of Christ and a truster in the God of the universe. As Bro. Lionel has articulated to me both here and on the phone, we all have these moments often and this one is no different. Either I trust Christ fully or only in part. And if in part only, then I am as in bad a shape as this little girl. This is not about my abilities to do anything but it is about God’s desire and will being fulfilled by an obedient servant.

    I will not go alone. A brother on my job has agreed to go with me to pray for the young lady and the mother has agreed to let me bring him. So as soon as I hear back from him, I will endeavor to get over to her house.

    My plan is to speak with the young lady about Christ. I want to inform her about Christ and hopefully encourage her to trust Him not only to deliver her from her current affliction but to also trust Him as her Lord and Savior. I’m not sure what I will do if the evil spirit manifest, so I still need your prayers on that.

    If any of you have any further suggestions on how to approach the young lady, I’m ready to hear from you. Where do you think I should start?

  20. I hope all is well my brother…..

  21. Bro. Brian,

    It is well. I will have an update post coming soon. Thanks again for your prayers my dear brother!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: