I was working part-time at a small but well-maintained nursing and rehabilitation home during my first year at Modesto Junior College in Modesto, California. It was an administrative position that paid minimum wage for minimal hours and without much responsibility.
In other words, it was a gloriously low-stress job and perfectly suited for college life. My sole responsibilities were answering the phone and keeping an eye on this and only on the occasional weekend.
Regardless, I was able to interact with some of their patients and was prompted by the Holy Spirit to reach out to one elderly woman in particular. I felt compelled to invite her to consider a relationship with Jesus.
I was a very new Christian, yet I could identify the voice of God speaking to my heart and mind quite often. His loving voice came to me concerning her as a clear prompting within my heart, but an urgent one. Immediately I began to pray in my prayer language and then drove the short 15 minutes to the facility from my home.
I found her easily enough, as she typically sat facing a window in her wheelchair, always bent over in an arch and never fully able to straighten herself up. I approached her as politely as I knew how and then shared with her about the love of Jesus and the power of His forgiveness. At the same time, I mistakenly believed she was ready to receive my words and did not anticipate what happened next.
Instead of her being receptive, almost instantly an ugly stream of blasphemies and curses spilled out her mouth. She continued to make abominably vile and foul statements about Jesus until I gave up and walked out of the facility in both shock and embarrassment.
What was going on here? This usually quiet, elderly woman was not crazy, as we are so apt to label people who behave how she behaved. She was demonized, meaning she was under the control and influence of a demonic spirit.
We read about this phenomenon in the Bible many times; the most severe account being the man from the Gadarenes who was possessed with a "Legion" of demons, meaning thousands of spirits, all of which Jesus successfully cast out (see Mark 5:1–20). In much of American culture, which would also reflect much of Westernized Christian culture, we often misdiagnose or make excuses for people's outrageously bad behavior. We say things like, "She must be crazy" or "He's going senile," then fail to identify the real problem.
This aged woman had a demon and that demon hated Jesus viciously.
If I had understood better, I would have attempted to cast this foul demon out of her according to Jesus' own words: "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons" (Mark 16:17). Demons are fallen angels who serve Satan, not God, and seek to afflict humanity in any way possible, which includes demonization.
Because I did not understand what I had encountered, I neglected to provide a true remedy. I also needed to know what Jesus had been anointed to do and why the Holy Spirit would come to rest upon us believers in the first place. It was certainly a learning experience; one I would never forget.
The preceding is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Jennifer Eivaz's latest book, Inner Healing and Deliverance.
Jennifer Eivaz is a minister and international speaker with a heart to equip the church in the supernatural and for raising up passionate and effective prayer. She is a regular contributor to Charisma Online and The Elijah List. She has been featured on several Christian television shows, hosts the popular podcast Take Ten with Jenn and authored several bestselling books. Jennifer and her husband, Ron, co-pastor Harvest Church that now meets in three locations—two campuses in Turlock, California, and one campus in Ripon, California—in addition to hosting a thriving online campus.
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