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18th January: Tunnel Vision

Seeing they do not see ... Matthew 13:13. Open his eyes that he may see ... 2 Kings 6:17

`Is there a doctor present, please?' I gave a familiar glance at my wife as I left my breakfast half-eaten to respond to the call blaring through the conference centre loudspeakers. One of the organisers drew me aside and told me that a lady known to have numerous spiritual problems had gone into a hypnotic trance; and although several brothers had been praying over her for half an hour, she was still totally blank. They were pretty sure this was an occult problem, but would I just take a look?

I do so, and it was immediately clear that the lady was in extremis, and indeed one touch was enough to tell that she was in fact dead and had been for some little time. The coroner's report later informed me that she had died from a subarachnoid haemorrhage.

On another occasion I accompanied one of the leaders of my local church on a visit to see an Indian girl, who had been heavily involved in occult practices and whose father had contacted us, desperate for help, as the girl's mental condition was rapidly deteriorating. When we arrived, she was in a very agitated state. She could hardly speak. Her face was periodically contorted by violent grimaces, and she was throwing her arms into bizarre postures and freezing in these strange positions for several minutes at a time. She had already been seen by the family doctor earlier that same day, and I would readily have agreed with his opinion that this girl was having an acute psychotic episode and was in urgent need of hospitalisation. However, my companion, after asking a few questions of the parents, was sure that this was a case of demonic possession. After a word of explanation to the family, he gently prayed over her and spoke to the demonic power in the name of Jesus.

If I had not personally witnessed the transformation that took place, I would have had difficulty in believing it. Five minutes later that girl was sitting normally and able to hold a rational conversation as we shared the way of salvation with her.

How true it is that we only see what we look for and how essential that we continually ask God to remove the prejudices that so easily keep us from seeing situations as they really are from his perspective.

The meek will he guide in judgment (Ps 25:9 AV).

Lord Jesus, you have clearly taught us that we are to
`judge with right judgment'. Help me, I pray, in
ever-increasing measure to do just that.

Further reading: Acts 14:8-10. Gn 41:37-39.


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