by Neil Anderson
You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures, or the power of God
Dee, a bright young woman and a pastor’s daughter, developed physical symptoms which were later diagnosed as multiple sclerosis.
“When did you first become aware of the symptoms?” I asked.
“I started feeling the first tingling sensations right after a special time of devotions I had with the Lord,” Dee replied.
“What was so special about your devotions that day?”
“My devotions were in 2 Corinthians 12, and I read the passage where Paul told about his thorn in the flesh. Paul said God’s power was perfected in his weakness, and I wanted God’s power in my life too. So I asked God to give me a thorn in the flesh.”
“Do you know what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was?” I asked, shocked.
“Some sort of physical problem, wasn’t it?”
“Well, we’re not told how it was manifested, but 2 Corinthians 12:7 clearly states that it was a ‘messenger of Satan,’ literally an angel of Satan–a demon! Paul never asked for it. In fact, he prayed three times that it be removed. Dee, I think Satan took advantage of your unscriptural prayer and afflicted you with these symptoms. I strongly recommend that you renounce your request for a thorn in the flesh and pray that any influence by Satan be removed from your life.”
Dee received my counsel and we prayed together. She began to feel better. The symptoms disappeared and she resumed her normal activities.
By excluding the supernatural from their worldview, many Christians exclude God’s power from their theology and practice, becoming subject to Satan’s power. Furthermore, they also explain all human failure–even that which is induced by demonic influence, such as Dee’s symptoms–as the result of psychological or natural causes. We typically exhaust every natural explanation first, then say, “Well, there’s nothing left to do but pray.” Why don’t we first determine if there is a spiritual explanation? Spiritual conflicts are by far the easiest to resolve.
Prayer: Lord, keep me sensitive to the spiritual nature of the battle, and protect me from the fiery darts the evil one hurls at me today.