Resist the Devil
We have mentioned in past newsletters how the Bakoum people fear evil spirits. This is what leads them to throwing food and water on the ground because they think that their dead relatives are hungry and thirsty. They also tie special cords around their waists meant to protect them. When we come across such practices, how should we respond? Should we tell them that they are just being superstitious? I do not believe that this is how Jesus would have us deal with these issues. Sure, I think sometimes the Bakoum people get themselves worked up about nothing. But it would be wrong to encourage our neighbors to act as though the spiritual realms did not exist. Instead, we believe that we need to help them conform their beliefs about evil spirits to the Word of God.
The Lord gave us a great opportunity to do this a couple of weeks ago as we did a 5-Day Club for the kids in our neighborhood. We discovered a curriculum already in French talking about Satan and the demons. Through our weeklong study we were able to study what the Bible says about evil spirits, the spirits of humans, and how we can protect ourselves from the schemes of the devil.
Perhaps the climax of the week was on Friday. I reviewed with the kids what we had studied that week. We talked about how the Bible does acknowledge the presence of evil spirits, but that it calls them demons. And the souls of human beings go either to heaven or hell when they die, and they cannot come back to earth. We even talked about how, in the story of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man was thirsty, but neither he nor Lazarus could leave their eternal abode to seek water. Further, we used Jesusâ€™ encounter with those who said he used the power of Beelzebub to cast out demons to show that one cannot use the things of Satan to cast out Satan.
After the review time I drew on the board two kingdoms: the kingdom of darkness with Satan as king and the kingdom of light with Jesus as king. In the kingdom of darkness there are cowards, liars, thieves, murderers and those that practice magic. I think in my mind I usually skip over that last one, mainly because before coming here I never knew anyone who practiced magic. But here it made a startling impression. One cannot use things of the kingdom of darkness to combat Satan, and those who practice magic are in the kingdom of darkness. Then, using the passages that we had already read, I showed that the only way to combat the darkness is with the light. And the only one more powerful than Satan and his demons is Jesus.
But I also used this as a time to show our friends that evil spirits are not their main problem, even if they think they are. Their biggest problem is that they, in fact, were born into the kingdom of darkness. Their biggest problem is that they are far from God. And Jesus is the solution not only for protection from demons, but for forgiveness of their sins. It seemed to us like this message was communicated clearly, but please pray for these kids.