"One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, 'Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won't let him talk. And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid'" (Mark 9:17-18, NLT).
Let's consider the "strategies of the devil" from Ephesians 6:11. Strategies imply intelligence, planning and organization. Our true enemies are not only unseen; they never sleep; they are relentless and they are in the process of planning strategic attacks on Christendom that will yield the most damage. This is especially true, I believe, if we stay willfully ignorant of the unseen realm. This is a real-life account that unveils a major strategy and how it can be defeated.
In my Battle Plan Podcast #33, Grandma, There Are Big, Mad Men Out There, I mentioned that Satan is focused on our children. This textbook example will hopefully encourage you to ask your own children the right questions and then act decisively against the enemies of the kingdom of God.
Keep in mind that Satan already has the world and the children of the world. I believe he is strategically targeting the children in Christians homes because this can wipe out the church in just one generation.
Ethan was only three years old and his parents are Christians. They went to Christian colleges and they are active in church.
I don't know about you but my inclination is to think that children below the age of accountability who have Christian parents active in church are surely safe, right? No. Not even close. In fact, they might be the most vulnerable just because we think we have nothing to worry about. This was surely the case with Ethan's parents.
To hear the entire story, listen to Battle Plan Podcast #47 - Ethan Was Only 3, but here is the summary:
A young mother called me with concerns about her three-year-old son, Ethan. She had seen mood swings in the boy, along with a series of sporadic temper tantrums. MOST of the time he was very sweet, cooperative and obedient but she was now occasionally seeing anger at a very high level and outbursts that were uncharacteristic of the young man. In fact, one day after hearing my story, "The Atheist at Burger King," Battle Plan Podcast Episode 5, she had asked him if Jesus was Lord. The boy made an awful face and screamed, "NO!" Obviously, this caused her even greater concern.
A few nights later, Ethan woke her up in the middle of the night.
But on mother's instinct, and based on her concern when Ethan had previously said no when asked if Jesus was Lord, this mother hugged Ethan tight and told him good night. She then asked him again if Jesus was Lord.
He SCREAMED no and struggled to free himself from his mother's hug but she held on tightly. Then she quietly whispered, "Come OUT of him in Jesus' name." The boy went limp.
The next morning when she awoke, it was late because her night's rest had been interrupted. When she went downstairs, Ethan was eating cereal.
"Ethan," she began, "Is Jesus Lord?"
"YES," the child replied. Problem solved.
Keep praying—prayer works!
God loves you and I love you!
Steve Hemphill is an author, speaker, teacher and host of Battle Plan on Charisma Podcast Network. His books include My Search for the Real Heaven, My Search for Prayers Satan Hates, What Are the Stakes and God's Power for Our Daily Battles. Learn more at active-faith.org and join the movement with the Take the Stake Challenge. You can email Steve at SteveHemphill1@me.com.
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