KILMARTIN SERIES: 6
In this series, we are looking at how unclean and perverse spirits can easily take hold in a place and turn it away from The Lord. We are taking Kilmartin in Argyll as an example; largely because we live there, but also because it is a focal point where faith in God, once dominant, is being seriously challenged by unbelief, Humanism and New Age philosophy.
In the first five meditations in this Kilmartin series, we looked at what the Bible says about a place (and a time) such as this. We noted that none of us are immune to the unGodly spirit outworkings around us, and that what is revealed in the natural world has resonance and impact for us in the spiritual realm.
We have seen that
For the final two meditations, we will look at a couple of instances which can be seen to indicate the presence of this ancient evil. In Acts 19 we read this story …
Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.
And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
[Acts 19:13-16 NKJV]
The telling part of this story is that the evil spirit knew Jesus and Paul; “but who are you?” Evil spirits recognise Christ and flee from Him (Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. [James 4:7 NKJV]). Pretenders to the life of Christ are dismissed unrecognised, but are ripe for assimilation and will be easily overpowered, just as those who know not Christ at all.
In 2017 the life of the Living Stones Christian Centre was diminishing; numbers were falling as more and more of those who had breathed the inspiration from The Lord passed through the veil, or had to move on to pastures new. Few were drawn in to be inspired afresh. Despite the faith of those that remained, a dark cloud covered the face of the sun. The season had passed.
Around that time there was a tragic spate of suicides among young people in the area, two from Kilmartin Glen itself. The sense of stifling darkness was palpable and overwhelming. I offer no reasons for this fall, although we lived though that trying time. I suspect we, most of us, took our eyes off the calling, and forgot our purpose. Despite many declarations that we believed in ‘now’, maybe there was too much indulging in reminiscence of past glories. The prince of the power of the air seized his moment.
In the four years since, we believe that we have seen these old spirits dancing. They have leapt and overpowered, but will not rest until they have prevailed. They know who we are, but they may think they have God’s people, if not defeated, then at least gagged and bound — hemmed in on all sides. Has that evil spirit prevailed against us? Not yet, but we must ask, where is that once powerful praying voice?
In the next and final part of this series, we will look for the vision of the way forward. Our God always has a remnant of His people.
Be ruthless with yourself if you are given to talking about the experiences you have had. Faith that is sure of itself is not faith; faith that is sure of God is the only Faith there is.
[from ‘My Utmost For His Highest’]
GEORGE and GILL STEWART