Demonic possession can too often be the scapegoat for our own weakness. It most certainly has its place in the toolbox of explaining how wicked this world gets at times, but as a wise theologian once said, sinners don’t need Satan’s help to sin. We can do that all on our own.
We could probably write quite a lot more on demon possession. It is an inexhaustible subject. To that point this will be our last foray which specifically touches on it. We’ll move next week onto more tangible matters for this series on things which goes bump in the night. God is gracious and merciful to us and a thing He warns about in His word is against both an unhealthy obsession with the devil and his ways and spending so much time in them that you actually come to be marked among their number. A danger that police departments monitor all the time with undercover agents is that they do not “turn” in the midst of doing their job, or as Paul warns in Ephesians 5:11 we are to take no part in the works of darkness and that means being wise in our study. It is also a category of theology that probably shouldn’t be majored on by those young in the faith. As we take our leave and enter once more into the fray our focus will be on some of the strategies available to see demonic activity and then how to deal with it in a Biblical manner.
Whenever we talk about the minions of the devil our ideas are far more influenced by Hollywood and the internet than anything noted in the pages of Holy Scripture. The vast majority of that which we would expect to see is extremely rare. No twisting heads and vomiting girls, or superhuman strength on display here. We are much more likely to see the demonic in the deceiving works of the devil’s light than through a straightforward attack. Even Satan knows a fainting flanking maneuver is wiser than an all-out assault on the center of the line. Usually we do not even see it until it has already taken place. There is more truth to the old cartoon trope of the demon on your shoulder whispering sweet things in your ear than a “spirit” controlling you like a robot. A wormtoungue saying who are you going to believe, me, or your lying eyes. Much like other prophets the devil works in the word. He claims to carry with him the testimony of truth and honesty. He convinces by encouragement and encouragers. He leads astray like a pied piper of death. We have much more to fear from well-speakon tellers of the desires of our heart than a crazed maniac shouting insanity. No one was convinced by Hitler who did not already agree with his solutions to the problems of the day. A young man who decides one day he is a young lady is not brought to that place of hope by the conditioning of the media, but through the small leadings of a heart long-since given over to the termination of the image of God.