Do you believe in demons? As a Christian you should and as a non-believer I don’t expect you do. However I can tell you from multiple real world encounters that demons are very real and all around us in an unseen spiritual realm. In two cases I have met them face to face in the human hosts they possessed. In both cases the demons fled in the name of Jesus.
The story I want to share with you here happened on Thursday April 6, 2017. Many years ago I learned the value of journaling and have been keeping a running record of spiritual events in my life ever since. It is a great way to look back on your journey towards Christ, learn some lessons, recall some important details or just reminisce. If you don’t already I highly encourage it, but I digress.
On that Thursday we were having an addiction recovery group at my home church, it starts at 6:30 PM and goes to about 9 or so. On this particular evening we had about eight other people in this group besides myself. This group of Christians represented many different levels of maturity in Christ and time celebrating sobriety.
It was about 7:30 when a very distraught woman entered the church and walked up to our recovery group. She was probably in her 20-30’s, a white woman who was obviously high on some very powerful drugs…most likely Crystal Meth. As she stood there she seemed very weak, so we asked her if she was there for recovery and wanted to join us. She could not respond in any way we could understand, her speech was badly garbled. She seemed like she very much wanted to speak, but something was holding her back. We then offered her an open chair next to mine and she slowly sank into the chair.
As the group continued I kept an eye on her, and she displayed typical drug addicted behaviors… eyes darting around the room, head rolling, slouching into her chair. After several minutes of sharing from other group members, Brother Larry came back to her and asked her name and why she was there. Again she desperately wanted to speak, but nothing intelligible came out.
There is power in the name of Jesus
At this point I didn’t feel as though a drug was everything she was dealing with, and I wanted to challenge her to see what I could discover. So I leaned over in my chair and said very clearly and straight forward “Do you know who Jesus Christ is?”
The reaction was immediate. She suddenly turned her head and looked right into my eyes, sat straight up in her chair and with great strength stood up abruptly. No more weakness. And with crystal clear words said to me angrily “My name is Rebecca and I am leaving”. She then turned and stormed out of the same door she entered. Afterwards I remember talking with other group members to get their takeaway on what just happened. Nearly everyone in the group agreed that the voice of “Rebecca” was markedly different than the first woman we spoke with.
This is an audio clip from the first Stand Tall For Christ Podcast, where I share this particular story…
How do you know she wasn’t just acting?
Is it possible she was putting on a performance. Yes. Likely? Not at all. As I stated earlier I am familiar with drug addiction and what it looks like, this woman was definitely under the influence of narcotics. Based on her reaction I believe there was something else much more powerful controlling her. If you were there in that room and witnessed her reaction to the name of Jesus Christ first hand you might be compelled to agree.
But why would a demon go into a church?
It may be a common myth that demons cannot trespass onto holy ground like a church, but that is certainly nowhere to be found in scripture. The opposite is true in my opinion… I think there are many demon oppressed people walking within the walls of a church. We won’t get into a debate here about whether a Christian can be demon possessed, I will save that for another article in the future… but spoiler alert (yes). So I believe a demon CAN walk into a church, but why would they want to?
They wouldn’t but this woman obviously did, she was seeking help and something was compelling her to seek refuge in a church. It was heartbreaking to see her desperation. But as soon as she was confronted with the name… the demon had enough.
James 2:19 ESV
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
Luke 4:41 ESV
And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.
Luke 10:17 ESV
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”
I am no expert on demonology, but I have done some extensive reading in scripture and other books. From what I understand there are many levels of demon possession and oppression not to mention many different power levels of demons themselves (a hierarchy like the Angels in Heaven). A demon could be oppressing a person by constantly putting thoughts into their ears, and thereby influencing their decision making process… or take full possession and control of the host. In between is a wide array of symptoms and behaviors that could be displayed by the victim. The reason I start here, is that in America we have this idea of demon possession we get from movies of contorted women walking backwards up walls. Whereas the much more common forms of demonic oppression/possession widely go either unnoticed in our culture or worse yet… mislabeled as a mental health disorder.
I don’t expect this story to have any effect on skeptics, I know I would have brushed it to the side rather quickly in my days as an Atheist. It is my hope however to show believers who haven’t yet experienced demonic activity, that they are very real. Your faith is not in vain, that much I can assure you.