In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near thee” (Isa. 54:14).
I didn’t say it out loud, but in the back of my mind I was scared. I was face to face with my greatest fear—demon possession. The idea of a demon possessing a person terrified me. I did not want to think or talk about it, and I sure didn’t want to witness it. But the very thing I tried to avoid, God brought to my doorstep, and I invited her in.
Destiny seemed like a normal young woman. She was on fire for the Lord, and she wanted to know everything she could about His love for her and about the seventh-day Sabbath. Destiny came to Fria a few months ago to work as an English teacher, and she was searching for a church. She needed a family, so the Cokers and I took her under our wings.
One Sabbath as Auntie Isatta and I were talking with Destiny, she burst into tears. She had a secret she had carried for nine years. She was being tormented by demons that came to her at night and hurt her. She longed to be free.
I could hardly believe it, but it was true. My dear friend was possessed! That evening, the pastor and missionaries began to pray for Destiny’s deliverance. Wanting to help, I asked to stay with her that night. As I lay next to her, staring at the ceiling, afraid to look at her or to look away, I finally realized the depth of my fear. What I did not realize is that the devil was feeding off of my fear. In the darkness I heard a voice: “Look at me.” I knew at that moment that I was being tormented. “You are afraid,” the voice mocked. Unable even to pray the Lord’s Prayer, I started to tremble. Unable to take it anymore, I got up and left the room. In my own strength I was weak and needed Jesus.
Throughout that exhausting weekend, we continued to pray for Destiny. Finally, on Sunday night, the enemy fled, leaving her free in Christ. As we walked together, Destiny sang praises to God. She was finally free! I joined in singing with her, but deep down there was something eating at me: I was still afraid.
I did not want to go home, and I especially did not want to go to sleep, but I knew I had to face my fear. Going into my room and closing the door, I knelt down and prayed, asking God to take this fear from me. Mark 9:29 came to my mind, so I opened my Bible and read: “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” Realizing that my fear was only getting stronger the longer I kept it to myself, I told Auntie Isatta what I was going through. She explained to me that I was being oppressed. The devil was feeding off of my fears. She pointed me to God’s promise in Isaiah 54:14: “In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.” I began to fast and pray, taking God at His word and claiming His promises. “The Lord is my light and salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?” (Ps. 27:1). I began sleeping peacefully again, knowing that “The Angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them” (Ps. 34:7).
My dear friend Destiny is no longer among the thousands of people around the world who are possessed or harassed by Satan’s angels! But my heart breaks as I think of the others who do not know that they can find freedom and new life in our Savior, Jesus Christ, and have no way of knowing unless we go to where they are. Here in Fria, people cut themselves and put herbs under their skin, believing it will help protect them from evil spirits. Spiritual warfare is real—more real than we often care to think about. But through this experience, I have learned that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). Please pray for the people around the world who do not know the name of Jesus, and pray that they, too, will be delivered from possession.