GOD WILL GIVE US THE VICTORY
Elaine Shek — Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this
I can feel His mighty power and His grace.
I can hear the brush of angels’ wings,
I see glory on each face.
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.
I always look forward to going to
church seminars because it allows me time to focus on God’s words and to spend
time in prayer with Him. This year’s National Youth Theological Seminar (NYTS) in
U.S.A, was no exception.
It is, indeed, such a great
blessing to be able to leave the cares of the world for two weeks and
completely focus on the Lord. My goal this time was to truly feel the presence
of the Lord in my heart.
Thank the Lord, not only did I
feel His presence in my heart, but I also felt His presence in the midst of all
of us. He clearly manifested His glory and power.
PRAYER CHANGES ALL
I remember going into the seminar
knowing that we had a record number in attendance this year (well over 160
participants). I was truly amazed and moved to see how many youths wanted to
gather together to study God’s words and to develop a deeper relationship with
From the outset, many were already
determined to fast and pray. Their determination and desire to see the Lord
reaped great blessings. What I found interesting was that most of these younger
youths came into the seminar with many burdens weighing heavily on their
shoulders. You could see it in their faces. However, after the first few days
of prayer, I noticed that many people’s countenance changed.
Gone were the hard, angry faces.
In their place were softened expressions and a glowing radiance. In fact, like
Moses, whose face shone after he had spoken with the Lord, many of these
participants’ countenances became more angelic and their smiles became sweeter.
I was particularly moved by a
sister’s spirit of prayer. This sister was among the oldest ones in the
seminar, but she never allowed her age or her fatigue to become an obstacle to
her communion with the Lord.
I noticed that during each prayer,
she would always be the first to rush up to the very front to pray behind the
pulpit. It seemed as if she was talking to our Lord Jesus face to face. Her
spirit and zeal are a great encouragement to all of us.
This spirit of prayer continued to
deepen among all the students throughout the entire two weeks of the seminar.
It was especially evident during the second week, when Satan began to work. It was
a real test of our faith.
THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE
During the first prayer on the
Sunday of the second week, we heard a shrilling scream accompanied by loud
thumping. Initially, I didn’t think anything of it and continued to pray.
Immediately after the scream, however, I felt the force and power of God’s
Spirit. Everyone’s prayer gradually intensified and I could feel the spirit of
God moving among us.
Later on, some sisters testified
of how, immediately after hearing this scream, they felt a rush of wind blowing
from the front to the back of the chapel. They felt God’s power working in our
midst even though Satan was working at that time. This experience comforted us
and showed us that, despite Satan’s attack, God’s presence and love were
surrounding and embracing us.
The very next day, during the
lunch hour prayer, Satan’s attack was particularly evident. I remember kneeling
beside the sister that was disturbed by the evil spirit. Another sister was
praying next to us in order to help her if anything should happen. As I was
praying, she suddenly fell on top of me. I opened my eyes and saw that Satan
was attacking her again. Two pastors had already come to cast out the evil
We were told to hold this sister
up, so that she wouldn’t fall and hurt herself. We continued to pray asking for
the power of God to cast Satan out; in the meanwhile, we kept our eyes open to make
sure that she would not keep falling over. However, it became increasingly
difficult to hold her up. Eventually, a pastor told us to take her to the front
bench and sit her down.
It was alarming to see how violent
Satan was. When we took the sister back to the seat, she abruptly shook me off
and stared straight into my eyes. I’ll never forget those eyes. Satan’s stare
is really evil and chilling. Another sister also told me that she saw the devil
looking at me with those eyes and she prayed to God to ask Him to help me.
Thank God for giving me the
courage to continue to pray for and help this sister. If it were not for His
power and strength, I would not have been able to continue to pray for her.
Once we had sat the
demon-possessed sister down, we continued to pray. She was getting rather
violent at this point and started to thump hard on the bench. By this time five
pastors in total were casting the spirit out. This evil spirit was very
stubborn; each time it was cast out it returned immediately. This was my first
experience of confronting the evil spirit. I had never seen anything like it.
It was heartbreaking to see the
suffering that this sister was going through. She seemed to be in great torment
and Satan was relentless in his attacks. I continued to pray with my eyes open
and saw how Satan stared wickedly at the pastors, unwilling to allow God’s
power to cast him out. Eventually, though, the Spirit of God prevailed, and the
evil spirit was subdued and was no longer violent.
PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR
Later on that afternoon, this
sister felt tired and wanted to rest, so another sister and I accompanied her
to her room. I remember being very afraid, not wanting to sleep because all the
images of what had happened earlier kept flashing before my eyes. It was at
that precise moment that the Lord provided me with a verse to comfort me,
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…” (1 Jn 4:18)
As soon as He gave me this verse,
I fell asleep. It was a miracle! God was teaching me not to fear and reminded
me that if I had perfect love in Him, I wouldn’t fear. It was an area I needed
to strive towards. How comforting God’s words are to us!
During the rest of the day, we
noticed that each time we talked to this sister, the evil spirit would act up
in her. At any mention of praising or honoring God, the evil spirit would feel uneasy.
This was evident in the sister’s facial expression. That evening, during the
last class, the pastor was talking about the book of Jeremiah. He mentioned the
Israelites were unwilling to return to God because of the Israelites’ pride.
Each time he mentioned the word
pride, the evil spirit inside this sister would make her clench up. He didn’t
want to hear it, because, as we know, Satan is the father of pride. The evil
spirit inside the sister was one of pride, so he did not want to hear his own
downfall. Later, when the pastor said the word pride again, the sister looked
at me with those eyes of Satan and said in a most frightening way, “Pride.”
This reaction sent shivers up my
spine again! I said “Hallelujah!” It showed me that all of us, in one way or another,
are proud. It’s an invisible sin that is entrenched deep inside each of us. If
we do not destroy it, it will eat at us and cause us to sin.
During that last prayer, we asked this
sister to come to pray. How amazing the next scene was! By this time, the evil
spirit in her was weaker than it was that afternoon. When we asked her to pray,
she went to put her Bible away, slowly. Then, as we said, “Let’s go in to
pray,” we saw how Satan began to tremble.
She began to step back, away from
the chapel. It was only when a pastor said “Hallelujah!” that she stopped
walking backwards. I was amazed to see not only how Satan was controlling her,
but also that Satan’s power was dwindling compared to the violent reactions we
observed that afternoon.
The very next day, I saw an even
weaker Satan. I was in the office preparing some materials with another sister
when this demon-possessed sister suddenly ran in, shutting the door on the
pastor behind her. The pastor came in very calmly and said with a peaceful
smile, “Why are you running away from me? I just want to talk.” As soon as the
pastor entered the room, she cowered up to the photocopying machine.
I had never seen anything like it.
Yesterday, the evil spirit manifested his pride and violence, but today, he was
afraid! How awesome and mighty is our heavenly Father! He had been listening to
our prayers all along. Praise the Lord!
After prayer, the pastor commanded
this sister to walk towards him. Each step was a struggle because the evil
spirit would not let her walk. With each step, the pastor told her to say
“Hallelujah!” Finally, when she reached the pastor, he commanded her to sit
down, and she obeyed.
From this experience I have
learned a few things.
First, I witnessed the power and
might of our heavenly Father. I saw how the Lord weakened the power of Satan, making
him tremble at His feet. Second, I experienced the strength of unity in prayer.
Many of the brothers and sisters testified of how they personally experienced God’s
power in their prayers.
During the few days of spiritual
battle, many people shared of how the Lord had shown them that we are His
mighty army and that we are all fighting this battle together. The Lord is our
commander; we are holding the banner, and we have nothing to fear. Our duty is
to continue to pray for His help and strength, and He will give us the victory.
Fear ye not to fight for Him;
He will help us all to win,
God will always give us the vict’ry;
‘Gainst the might of Satan’s hand,
He will help us to withstand,
God will always give us the victory.
God, indeed, gave us the victory.
Like Moses, Aaron, Caleb and Joshua, we have fought the battle and prevailed.
I truly thank God for giving me
the opportunity to attend NYTS this year and for allowing me to witness His
great might and power. Often we tend to think that our faith is strong enough
to handle anything, but when we truly witness and experience a spiritual
battle, we realize just how weak and little we are in the presence of the Mighty
May the Lord’s grace and mercy
continue to be our strength and guide, and may we continue to strive for Him.