I was up in the hills of the Drakensberg enjoying another Christian youth camp. I had enjoyed them all and seen many young people meet Jesus. This particular camp had been stranger than most. We had spent significantly more time in prayer and looking to God. We had seen more young people showing more interest in being closer to God. We had quiet times and the camp and had allowed the young people to go off and pray and come back with what God had been telling them. More than before God had spoken. He had met the thirteen year olds and touched their lives. He had spoken directly with them in ways that had blown my mind. God had shown that he was real and that he was alive and well and wanting to be a friend of those who wanted. God had spoken because the faith of a young person is strong and alive. God honours that faith and touched lives.
That night the leadership were all relaxing and having discussion about God, the camp and how things were going. We were amazed at what had happened and prayed and thanked God. Things were disrupted however by a young man, one of the leaders of the camp. The young man jumped up and began to speak foul language. Cursing everyone and in a voice that was not his own. Before we could understand what was happening he had run out the building towards the river screaming that he was going to drown the man. It had very clearly dawned on us that we were experiencing a demon manifesting. Most of us had heard the stories, read the book, watched some movies. This however was very different. This was real and in our faces. We ran after the guy to help him. We saw him dive in the cold waters of the Drakensberg to drown himself.
A few of us dived in and with great effort managed to rescue him from under the water. We dragged him up to the building in a stupor and sat him down with towels to dry him. He seemed normal. We began to pray for him and then he changed. He became the demon again. His voice was different, His language was different, and his actions were different. He threatened us and taunted us. The demon was in control of him and we were out of our depth. We prayed harder, we called on Jesus and we rebuked the demon. Nothing worked. The demon said he had the right to stay. We knew no different. We were young and impressionable. We eventually got to talk to the man. He confessed that not only had he been molested as a child but he had also molested children himself at a school. He was unrepentant and did not want to let go. We knew why the demon remained and was in control.
The next day the camp was over and the young man left. I have never seen him since. I still wonder who is in control of his life? Had he dealt with his past? Had he laid it all before Jesus or was he holding back? That experience woke me up. I realised that demons are real. That the fight we have is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. (eph 6) I also realised that if demons exist and are real I needed to be very sure about my relationship with Jesus. we needed to lay everything before him so that he would be in control our our lives. Have you truly laid it all before Jesus or are you holding something back? Jesus wants your all and not just the pieces you think are nice. He wants you warts and all. Thats what repentane is about. Lay it before him, all of it, and let him turn you into what he wants you to be.