I am starting a new blog series titled, “Break the Devil’s Back on…” I will give personal and biblical examples of challenging situations that we face in life and offer the tools needed to break the evil power of the situation that holds us captive. Some stay in horrific circumstances because they just don’t have the know-how or hope to rise above. You can change the course of your life. The first post here is how to rise above sexual harassment and abuse.
A few years ago, uhh, quite a few years ago, I was trying to lose a few pounds by running. I mapped out and followed a trail that sent me by a construction working crew. I chose that path because it was flat and smooth, and I could run along unimpeded and build up some steam. I did, in fact, lose some pounds and cleared the cobwebs from my brain as well.
Everyday I passed the large construction site, a myriad of workers whistled, cat called, and hollered at me. Believe me those men howled like wolves at anything remotely female… and I am almost certain most of them needed glasses! Soon I dreaded passing them, so I decided to change the atmosphere.
The next day when the guys started howling, I came to a screeching halt right in front of them, raised my hands to heaven, and I yelled out, “Believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved!” You could have heard a pin drop on that construction site; the workers stopped their labor, fell silent, and then started clapping and cheering me. I was shocked but so happy!
Everyday after that instead of waiting for them to start whistling, I yelled first, “Believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved!” One man echoed the verse back to me, word-for-word with strength and conviction! I kept yelling that Scripture to the men as I passed, and someone always yelled it back. And the men always clapped.
It totally changed the atmosphere! I grew to love running by the site. Now in full disclosure, some of the men were workers from Mexico and may not have fully understood English. Which makes my point stronger! Even in not understanding, they responded to the lovely, beautiful, and strong name of Jesus when it was spoken and honored. Maybe they didn’t know why, but something different happened when that name was introduced into the situation.
I did the same thing a number of years ago whenever I would get a prank call. in those days, obscene calls were somewhat common–no caller Ids or dial-back numbers were available. I would say to every obscene caller, “Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior,” what about you?
I engaged several of them in conversation about the pain of their lives; others slammed the phone down angrily, and one or two became even more vile. This confession of my faith changed the atmosphere of the dark defilement of a filthy call and shone light for a minute into the heart of the hurting caller. It gave me the opportunity to turn something ugly into something sweet. I will never forget the desperation of a couple of those men I spoke to. They candidly confessed their problems and asked for prayer.
For the past few days, someone I don’t know has been texting me about a gay-pride march in Ft. Worth and Halloween… I think they chose my number at random or misdialed, but then were trying to pull me into conversing. When I confessed that Jesus was my Lord and Savior, the texting stopped.
I believe with great conviction that speaking the name of Jesus into the atmosphere changes things; and most importantly, it changes people. Sexual harassment and abuse is rampant in our culture. Now is a unique time in society across the country because victims are speaking out and perpetraters are being discovered. I fear that there is more that will come to light since predators like the Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein have met the public’s eye.
I encourage any believer who finds themselves in a situation like this to speak the name of Jesus in some way. God will give you the right words for the moment. Something will come to mind that will break the devil’s back and weaken the grip of the intentions of the evildoer. Calling on His name for help is not a charm that magically works, it is real help with heavenly power that rescures. Psalm 46:1 says that “God is a very present help in the time of trouble,” and Psalm 50:15 says, “Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.” These promises are useful tools in any circumstance.
Because we live in a fallen world, and Satan roams about seeking to devour us, sometimes evil things happen to very goood people. One of my heroines Helen Roseveare, medical missionary and doctor in the the Congo in the 1950-60s, lived in a leprosy camp for a time and subsequently built several hospitals, always sharing the Gospel as she worked. In 1966, she was captured and held prisoner by rebel forces for five months. Repeatedly beaten and raped, she called out to Jesus, “Why?” “Haven’t I served you faithfully?” At that moment, God was silent. She was later released and helped by locals — the very people in the Congo whom she had loved and helped. After returning to Ireland, she wrote books and traveled the world speaking of God’s faithfulness in darkness. She never had an answer for why. She did have a strong testimony of how she received grace to endure, to forgive her perpatrators, and to press on in hope.
L like Helen Roseveare, can’t offer a simple answer to why things like this happen. I only know God’s grace saw her through, and offered real hope the rest of her life in her message that God’s love never fails. She chose to take this evil circumstance and turn it for good.
Currently I am amazed at the #metoo social media movement. It seems that some believers are distancing themselves from this occurance, and I don’t understand why. This is a prime opportunity to hear and encourage people’s stories, weep with them, and point them to the strong and healing name of Jesus.
There is help if you have experienced sexual harrassment or abuse — male or female. Call on the name of Jesus to change the atmosphere and keep calling. If you are trapped in a situation, keep saying that name in faith and hope and ask for a way of escape. It will come. Tell someone your story. That will bring immediate relief to the pressure that has been building. Seek professional help from a counselor and pastor. Some knots in life, you need help untangling. You will be glad you broke the devil’s back!
If you have a #metoo story you would like to shar here, please do.