The Retirement Home where my Mom and Dad lived for seven wonderful years is a place where my heart lives. I began teaching a Bible class there in 2007 and even though Mom and Dad are now with the Lord, the class is still going, and John and I are still so very privileged to be teaching God's Word to a number of the residents, from ages 63 to 93. We have always had a wonderful working relationship with the managers there, who let us know when someone is in hospital or rehab - or when someone is ill in their room and needs prayer.
Last week that changed. Unexpectedly, shockingly changed. New managers moved in - and much like the changes in the world all around us, darkness moved in.
I didn't sense it at first, but in the second week they were there, I was making copies of the bible lesson in the office and overhead the new woman manager being yelled at over the phone, as well as getting some impatient prodding from another elderly resident in the office. When that was all over, I approached the new manager and told her, "You have a tough job. You really handled all that with a lot of patience and grace, and that touched me. I'd love to pray a blessing of encouragement over you." She didn't say anything, so I drew close, laid my hand gently on the edge of her shoulder and began to pray, "Father, I lift her up to you right now for blessing and for encouragement...." and suddenly, with a hateful venom I have never experienced before, she grabbed my arm and jerked it away from her, then thrust an index finger in my face and shouted, "No! No! No!"
I was startled beyond words. Her phone rang and she went to answer it, so I left the office and went in to our precious bible students and taught a class. Afterward I scrawled a note of genuine apology to this new manager, and asked her to forgive if I had offended, reassuring her that my heart was to uplift and bless her.
Later in the week I felt led to phone her and see if we could have a good, healing conversation. When I identified myself and asked if I could speak to her for a few moments, she flew into a fiery rage, and retorted, "I have NOTHING to say to you. If you want to talk to me, make it fast!"
Again I was shocked at such anger and rage, but I persevered, "I WOULD like to talk about how we can work towards a good working relationship as I have always had with the managers there, so that we can serve the residents and visit them in the hospital or help them in times of need."
Now I heard a voice that demonically snarled at me, "I do not want a relationship with you and I will NOT bow down to your royal self." The phone slammed down. In stunned silence I sat there and thought about the voice of the one that had spoken to me. Why did it call me "royal?" Suddenly I thought of the Scripture in Acts 19:15: "One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?”
Recalling this account of the evil spirit who knew the Messiah and the Apostle Paul, I suddenly realized I was just talking to this same spirit. "Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who is your royal self?"
The pain of this encounter started to fade away as I smiled and spoke aloud, "I am a daughter of the King, a child of the Most High! No wonder you have called me royal - and no wonder you refuse to bow to the One who lives in me!"
Be encouraged brothers and sisters, as we enter into these evil days. The demons may not know your names, but they know WHOSE YOU ARE and they tremble.
The writings of Francis Frangipane still move me. Today he wrote about a unique song in Scripture that is sung by the Redeemed: "In Revelation 14:3 we read, 'And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song.' Although this verse refers to the elect of God, by application it tells us that there is a personal song that we each sing, a song that no one else can learn. It is a hymn that comes uniquely from our hearts, one that tells our personal story of redemption. Beloved, there is a song that you alone must learn and you alone can sing. Its stanzas are filled with the litany of God's miracles. This worship is our testimony of the Father's wonderful, rescuing, empowering grace, and it rises like fragrant incense from the core of our God-experience. Have you been singing this song? This is your reason for living and only you can sing it."
It's true. My daughter and I started a "summer bible study" yesterday for two other women who have not yet come to know the Lord. As she and I both shared our personal experiences of God's "rescuing, empowering grace" in our own lives, I saw how remarkably unique our songs were. I could not learn hers and she could not learn mine, but as we were "singing" (sharing) them with these other women, their eyes were being opened to His love. Our songs were the invitation of Yeshua, for them to open the door of their hearts.
It reminded me of the passages in Matthew 25 where the Master tells a parable of 10 virgins. Five wake from their slumber and still have a good quantity of oil; the other five beg them to give some oil, but they are told, "Go and buy some for yourself." How could saints of God be so stingy with something they've been given? I have come to know and believe that this oil - similar to the song - is our personal relationship and walk with Messiah. I can tell you about that; I can give you my testimony and sing you my song of the glorious way He has kept me safe under His wing, guided and protected me, disciplined me like a strong father and loved me like a faithful husband. But I cannot give that to you. You must experience it yourself! You must learn your own song of redemption and "buy" your own oil from the Lord, by drawing near to Him and trusting Him with all your heart.
Your oil will be your testimony of all that He has brought you through in this earthly passage. Your song will be one of pain and joy, tears and laughter, valleys and mountaintops. Have you been singing this song? This is your reason for living and only you can sing it!
Kelly Ferrari Mills