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February 21 | Mark 9:14-29


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Only By Prayer

by David Thompson


Jesus and three of His disciples had been on a mountain (a mountain top experience - meaning a high spiritual time with God). Unfortunately they had to come down literally and were confronted with the very face of evil. If that weren't bad enough, they noticed among the crowd a large number of "teachers of the law." There have been times when I went to a Christian convention, concert or just communing with my God, that I experienced real joy. Those were definitely mountain top experiences. What I noticed was that the days consecutively following these spiritual highs, Satan was right there causing doubt. I am sure coming down the mountain and seeing what turned out to be extreme evil brought the mountain top experiencers down a bit. Have you ever had a spiritual high time when you came home and you felt oppressed and even depressed? This was no doubt Satan interfering with you.


There is a way to defeat Satan at times like these. Jesus told His disciples the secret of casting out the kind of demons this boy in the story had. In verse 29, we read, "...only by prayer." When I was a young man, there was a Christian comedian named Mike Warnke. He wrote a book called "The Satan Seller." In the book, he told about his experiences messing with the occult. To make a long story, short - he became a Christian and traveled around the country telling funny stories of his life. One time he warned the audience about messing with the occult (seances, Ouija boards, tarot cards and Satan worship, etc.). He told about times when Satan directly oppressed him. The only way for it to stop for him was to pray the following, "by the blood of Jesus, stop oppressing me." It took time, but this prayer seemed to have the power to stop the oppression. Perhaps we might try that when we sense Satan too near. It can't hurt.


PRAYER

Dear Jesus, thank you for all of the times you gave us examples to live by. Help us to live out James 4:7 where it says, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." In John 10:10, we are warned, that "Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. However Jesus came that they may have life and have it abundantly." Lord, I want to live abundantly so be especially with me and with all the readers when trouble comes. Amen!






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