Witness Him Now
Some of you may not know me, and therefore, not know what I do, but every spring I have the honor and privilege of getting to judge One Act Plays. There are so many brilliant directors in Texas. I am in awe every time the lights come on and a play begins. A couple of weeks ago one of the plays I saw was Medea, a Greek play written by Euripides in 431 B.C. It is not one of my favorite plays, and as I read it in preparation for my judging, I thought, "OK. I get to watch a woman kill her children to get back at her husband." It was not a "feel good" type of play, not one that I would choose. The story goes like this: Medea loves Jason. She loves him so much that she committed murder and left her family and her home to go be with him. Thinking that it would benefit him (and possibly his family) Jason then turns and marries the King's daughter. Medea is filled with rage and kills the new wife and her father along with her two children to get back at Jason. Nice!
So, I was unprepared for what happened to me when the play began. The stage was set in modern times. In the set, we saw the uber rich pitted against extreme poverty. As the play opened, we saw a little boy watching TV, giggling. This delightful little boy and his baby brother were a part of the action throughout the entire play. We saw the love and watch-care that Medea as well as Jason had for their children. At the start of the play, we see Medea throwing up in a stained toilet in a run-down apartment when she got the news that Jason was getting married. Then backlit behind the opaque doors, the Greek chorus is introduced. They enter the scene, and what happened next intrigued me. This chorus of Greek women became spirits that moved Medea to do things she might not have done otherwise. WOW! I know this one! For the last seven years, God has been teaching me spiritual warfare. This is real, and I watched it being played out on stage for us all to see. Something would be said, and a Greek woman would come and turn Medea in another direction. We saw Medea change right before our eyes. Then at the ending of the play, all of the women circled Medea and came down around her. Medea disappeared for several seconds, and when we saw her again, she was covered with blood, holding her dead baby and her lifeless son in her arms. Crying and screaming, she picked up her two lifeless children and walked out the door as Jason watched in agony and torment. I can't get this play out of my mind, so I have to blog.
I want to talk about this play from a spiritual point-of-view. What Medea did was unthinkable. No mother would ever kill the children she loves to get back at her husband. That makes no kind of sense. If Medea were in her right mind, she would not have made that choice either, but spirits entered her heart that moved her to do things that should never be done. I want us to have understanding about what happened.
Jason made choices that rocked Medea's world, choices Medea had no control over. Life throws circumstances our way that can knock the wind out of our sails. Medea could not change the fact that Jason was leaving her and marrying another woman. Her heart was broken, and in this broken state, a flood of spirits came rushing in to torment her. If I were going to name what entered her heart when she found out about the marriage, I would say: sorrow, abandonment, rejection, despair, jealousy, bitterness, rage, hatred, revenge. There were probably more, but I don't have their names. These are all spirits, and they are all powerful. In her broken state, Medea embraced each one of these spirits with the same passion that she gave to Jason. She gave herself over to these spirits until they consumed her.
I want to stop here and insert a story. A few years ago while I was making a delivery to the Panhandle, I stopped into McDonald's to eat breakfast. I sat by a TV, and I watched a news report where Jodi Arias was giving her testimony at her murder trial. I knew nothing of this case because we don't have cable, but in 2008, this woman shot her boyfriend several times and then repeatedly stabbed him. Gruesome. Brutal. On the witness stand that day she gave a detailed account of what happened right up until the time she pulled the trigger. Then she said she could not remember what happened. When she said that she could not remember what happened, I knew she was telling the truth. In my lifetime I have seen two people where demons manifested, and I know of a third one. Each of these people could not remember what happened when the demon took over. I knew that a demon had taken over Jodi Arias. That is why the crime was so brutal. But I still didn't understand.
That day, sitting in McDonald's, I asked God, "Would you let me understand what happened to her?" God then dropped a scripture in my heart, "If you have hatred in your heart, you are a murderer, and there is no eternal life in you." Wow! She hated him. Not only did she hate him, but she embraced the hatred, and because she allowed the hatred to become big inside of her, when the occasion arose, the spirit took over. She gave that spirit permission to use her by allowing it to stay in her heart. That spirt became bigger and more powerful the more she embraced it.
Then God said, "If you have looked at a woman with lust in your heart, you have committed adultery with her already." Wow! Then I knew that as we choose to embrace this spirit, the spirit of lust, it becomes bigger and more twisted. That is what is happening in our country. Everywhere we turn we are being bombarded with half naked ladies who are trying to sell something. We can't turn on any TV show without seeing people hop from bed to bed, and we see everything that they do in those beds. At that point, the spirits enter. We then have a choice. We can either turn our back on them and go the other way, or we can turn toward them and embrace them. In our country, we are not withholding anything from ourselves. We are doing exactly what our flesh wants to do without restraint and without remorse. We are embracing the spirits that want to destroy us instead of fighting them. And when things get tough, just like Jodi Arias, the spirits have already been given permission to take over. Now back to Medea.
Medea was consumed with jealousy and rage. She was boiling with hatred and revenge. These spirits took over and murdered her children. I don't think that Medea knew what she did. When she woke up, she saw her lifeless children in her arms. What spirits came rushing in then? Regret? Torment? Shame? Guilt? Remorse? Self-Condemnation? Self-Loathing? Hopelessness? Despair? Madness? Suicide? The enemy came in like a flood to kill, steal and destroy. What now?
There is a way of escape, and His name is Jesus. It doesn't matter what we have done, Jesus is there with arms-wide-open calling our name. Medea could have found redemption. All she had to do was cry out to God. Everyone who calls upon the name of the LORD will be saved. If from somewhere deep within that tormented soul a cry came forth, "Help me! I need You! Jesus, rescue me. I can't do this anymore." If that happens, God will tear open heaven to come down and save us. He is waiting to hear our cry. Psalm 18 gives us a glimpse of what happens in the spirit realm when we cry out to Him
"The ropes of death entangled me; floods of destruction swept over me. The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in mu path. BUT IN MY DISTRESS I CRIED OUT TO THE LORD, yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from His sanctuary; my cry to Him reached His ears. Then the earth quaked and trembled. The foundations of the mountains shook; then quaked because of His anger. Smoke poured from His nostrils; fierce flames leaped from His mouth. Glowing coals blazed forth from Him. He opened the heavens and came down; dark storm clouds were beneath His feet. Mounted on a mighty angelic being, He flew, soaring on the wings of the wind. He shrouded Himself in darkness, veiling His approach with dark rain clouds. Thick clouds shielded the brightness around Him and rained down hail and burning coals. The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded amid the hail and burning coals. He shot His arrows and scattered His enemies; great bolts of lightning flashed, and they were confused. Then at Your command, O LORD, at the blast of Your breath, the bottom of the sea could be seen, and the foundations of the earth were laid bare."
"He reached down from heaven and rescued me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the LORD supported me. He lead me to a place of safety." Psalm 18:4-19
Our enemies are not people. Jason was not Medea's enemy, the spirits that attack us are. When a spirit enters our heart, it moves us. We want to do what is right, but anger won't let us; jealousy won't let us; unforgiveness won't let us. The only way to get a spirit out of our heart is to come to God without excuse, without pointing the finger at someone else, and say, "I am guilty of being angry. I am guilty of allowing hatred in my heart. I am guilty of being jealous. I am guilty of wanting revenge. I am guilty of letting sorrow consume me. I am guilty of trying to control and manipulate others. I am guilty of feeling rejected and abandoned. I am guilty of condemning myself. I am guilty of allowing unforgiveness into my heart. Will you forgive me?" And He does. As far as the east is from the west, He casts our sins from us. Then according to God's word, we choose to love those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who spitefully use us. So I am going to pray for Jason for Medea, and I am going to ask her to agree with me.
LORD, will You open up the windows of heaven over Jason, and will You pour out righteousness. Will You open up his heart so that He can receive that righteousness, and may righteousness and salvations spring up together in his heart. Please forgive him for what he has done to Medea and to her children. Don't hold it against him. Send light and truth and mercy and grace. Send Your unfailing love to him. Let the arms of Your love hold him close. Give him wisdom and understanding, and LORD heal his heart and set him free. I ask this in Jesus' name. AMEN
Then we get to choose to embrace other spirits: love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and gentleness and self-control. 'We can ask for these spirts - along with wisdom and understanding - and our generous God will give them to us freely.
God has made a way of escape - even when we do the unthinkable. He is good like that. But to those who reject this grace that is offered to the whole world, torment and sorrow will be their inheritance. It is our choice. No one can take that choice away.
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."