“Now it happened, on a certain day, that he got into a boat with His Disciples. And He said to them Let us cross over to the other side of the lake….” Luke 8:22
It was about 15 years ago. I was working on the State Narcotics Task Force. My life had become monotonous and I had lost my love for people. I was in a dark place in my life.
My job consisted of hanging out with informants every day, buying illegal drugs, mostly methamphetamine, typing up search warrants, kicking in doors and arresting a lot of people and by this time in my life I had realized that I wasn’t making a bit of difference in the local drug problem even though I was either in court testifying, serving search warrants or like this day, listening in as my informant bought drugs.
I was a Christian. I woke up each day telling myself that I worked for God. I was a warrior for God in an evil world. I had been praying that God would give me a love for people because I didn’t feel as if I had any left.
I don’t think people realize how evil this world really is but I knew it. Some may think I’m giving evil and/or the devil credit but that’s not my intent but if your a Christian and you don’t know who your enemy is you’d better wake up because it’s not a fairy tale people. I’m a U.S. Army veteran and I learned that in order to defeat your enemy you first had to know him.
During this time methamphetamine was rampant and had destroyed so many lives and I was fighting a losing battle. In my mind it seemed like everyone was cooking dope. If I got a day off I would stay inside the house out of sight of everyone. I felt like I was bullet proof too, which I would later discover wasn’t true.
This day was like all the rest. I had wired my informant up and he was inside a house with 4 known suspects inside. I was parked down the road and was listening in on my recorder. I already had enough evidence to type up a search warrant on the home so I wasn’t even really paying attention when I overheard my informant asking one of the suspects “why is Mark underneath the house”? The suspect explained that they could see a certain police officer (who he mentioned by name) in a tree out in the front yard. They all stood at a window pointing at the tree. The informant verified with me later that there was nobody in the tree. The suspects were apparently high on meth and hallucinating.
I just shook my head and didn’t give it any thought until the next house we went to. The informant was inside another home attempting to purchase meth and the two female suspects inside saw the same officer in a tree out in the yard.
This particular home was miles away from the one we just left.
I immediately thought about information we had received earlier in the week from veterinarians in the area who all stated that they had been approached by strange people seeking medical treatment, not on animals but themselves. Each of them had complained of seeing worms or maggots crawling on their skin and were in hopes that the veterinarians would remove them. They didn’t want to seek medical attention from a regular Doctor because they were afraid that the police would be notified.
The vets advised that they didn’t see anything like the sort on their arms but like this situation I had to wonder, “how are they all seeing the same exact thing?” I knew that a side affect of meth usage included hallucinations but seeing the same thing?
How can 6 different people see the exact same person up a tree then a handful of others see worms/maggots on their forearms?
I went to God in prayer and the scripture above came to me. I had read it before many times but this time it came alive. It’s the story where Jesus meets Legion, the man with many demons. The man was homeless and dangerous, living among the dead. A cemetery.
He met Jesus as He came ashore and I wondered did he know his redeemer was coming? As Jesus boarded the boat and said “let us go to the other side,” He knew that one person was suffering on the other side didn’t He?
And He went through a storm to get to that one suffering man.
Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.) Jesus then asked him, And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned. Luke 8:26-33
Not only did God teach me who my real enemy was ( evil, not the people), but I also learned something new about the enemy. The demons seem to be territorial. Just like in Luke, the demons did not want to leave the area, asking Jesus to put them into the herd of pigs. The devil knows his time is limited and he’s trying to take many with him. I’m sure he’d like to keep us all in chains, addicted to drugs, alcohol or anything.
Know who your real enemy is. Know that our God is bigger so stay close to Him. And know that if God saw one mans need and went through a storm to get to him, He can do the same for you
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33