“Hello, is this Pastor Mike Klassen?”
“Yes,” I responded.
“My name is Christine and I need help getting out.”
“Getting out of what?” I asked. After an extended pause, she finally answered.
“I’m, uh, uh…I’m a hooker. I live in a house with about a dozen other people. The girls in our house work the streets and the guys in our house sell drugs.”
Then she said something that sent chills down my spine.
“I’m part of a Satanic cult. If they know I’m leaving, they’ll kill me.”
“I’ll do whatever I can,” I replied. “How can I help you?”
“Meet me at the bus station at 11:00 tonight.”
“Okay,” I answered. “One other question, though. How did you get my phone number?”
“Somebody downtown handed me your business card.”
The next week or so was one of the strangest of my life. At 11:00 that night, my wife, a friend, and I picked her up from the bus station and drove to my church office. I expected to meet someone along the lines of Julia Roberts’ character from the movie Pretty Woman. I quickly learned that the “happy hooker” didn’t exist. The young woman I picked up was obese, unkempt, and smelly. She hadn’t showered in days, if not weeks.
After telling me her story about running away from home as an adolescent, we delved into her involvement with the cult.
“The demons talk to me,” she said matter-of-factly.
“Would you like to make the demons stop talking?” I asked.
While explaining about the power of Jesus, she screamed in pain and jumped on the top of the couch.
“What touched me?” she said.
I looked around the room to see if a bee had flown into the room and stung her. I looked under the coffee table in front of her.
“I don’t see anything,” I explained. “What do you think it was?”
“That’s it!” she cried out, pointing to my right hand. “Keep that away from me. It burned me when it touched my leg.”
Believe me, I’m not making this up.
In my right hand I was holding a Bible.
The next hour or so, we addressed several demons that were harassing her. But we spent a good deal of the time quoting Scripture because we had witnessed its effects on her. That night I learned the true power of the word of God.
It’s no coincidence that God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah, “‘Is not my word like fire,’ declares the Lord, ‘and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?'” (Jeremiah 23:29)
The apostle Peter, one of Jesus’ closest friends, also understood this.
Two weeks ago I started a Friday study on the book of 2 Peter. I believe the book has unique relevance on our society today.
At the beginning of his epistle, he writes:
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
2 Peter 1:3-4
Followers of Jesus were suffering persecution at the hands of emperor Nero. They were afraid to depart from the popular emperor-driven cult at that time and acknowledge their faith in Christ. Popular opinion was becoming increasingly intolerant of people who believed in ultimate truth, sin, and salvation through Jesus Christ.
So Peter, who knew Jesus, who had listened to nearly every sermon he had preached during his three year ministry, wrote that we already have everything we need for life and godliness. We don’t need to seek outside help. If we’re following Jesus, then Jesus lives in us.
But how do we access this power?
Through “his very great and precious promises.” And whose promises is Peter referring to? God the father and his son Jesus (the verse immediately preceding this passage says it). The Bible is the record, a testament, of those promises.
I don’t want to offer you a formula, but the word of God is powerful. It gives strength to our souls, encourages us when we’re down, and it burns the powers of darkness.
If you’re discouraged, spiritually hungry, or feeling powerless, I encourage you to feed on the word of God. Don’t just memorize it—meditate on it and let it nourish the deepest place in your soul. Peter writes that through them–God’s promises in his word–we “participate in the divine nature.” The word “participate” means literally “fellowship,” “partner,” or “commune.” Through the precious promises we connect with God.
And nothing in heaven or on earth that opposes him can stand up to him.
Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, Colorado with Eugene Scott. He’s still amazed by the power of God’s word.
8 responses to “What Do You Need From God?”
I love verses 2 Peter 1:3-4, I memorized these verses as a Freshman in HS when I first became a believer. And as one who devoured the Word of God early on I can attest to how incredibly powerful it is! When my friend Kerry was going thru treatment for melanoma the Lord allowed me to witness the power of darkness that is very real and present in our world today. She had just come out of brain surgery and it was determined that the masses they saw in the xray were indeed the melanoma that had metastized to her brain. Only 2 people at at time were allowed to go in and see her in the recovery room so I went with her mom who is a deeply committed christian. What I saw I will never forget. Kerry was terrified and kept saying that demons were trying to bury her alive, I knew it was not just hallucinations. This was pure evil striking a person at her most vulnerable (as he often does whether our weakness is in our bodies, minds, or emotions). Her mom began to read from the Psalms and pray over her and I witnessed the bondage breaking and relief flood over Kerry’s countenance as the demons had fled from tormenting her. It truly was heartbreaking to witness how Satan really does desire to ‘steal, kill, and destroy’ but that ‘He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.’. As we left Kerry’s bedside I shared with Kerry’s mom what the Lord showed me and even though Kerry has since died her mom has never forgotten what I told her and she shares this story with others about the power she and I both witnesses that night.
Powerful story, Carri. Thanks for sharing it. All too often I forget the power of God’s word.
Carri, I often think of you and the amazing way you devour His Word and sometimes in conversation will say, “I have this friend…” and will always follow that up with some type of comment about your love of His Word. Yea, lately, maybe in the last 3-4 months, I have been getting REALLY back into study. It has been so peaceful for my heart but, as you can imagine, some cleaning house and getting rid of some roadblocks in my life. Good, but sometimes painful.
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
God, Himself, is the direct source of these words. And He has given His whole Word (Scripture) as a gift to us, a testimony of Himself, Who He is. He speaks Truth with the absolute power that is only found in His realm.
Apart from God, we cannot save ourselves,… we cannot save each other,… we just don’t have what it takes. We can care,… we can love,… we can wish,… and we can hope,… (and apart from God, I’m not even sure how well we can do this!). But we need help/intervention — Divine Intervention — Salvation. We need to be lifted up/rescued out of our human help-less condition. We need a Savior “from a better place” to reach out and bring us to safety. This is why Jesus is called “the Light of the World.”
John 8:12 “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'”
The choice is up to us.
Joshua 24:15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Good words, Georgi-ann. Hebrews 4:12 was reverberating in the back of my mind while I worked on this blog post. God’s word is indeed powerful!
WOW! This line gave me Goosebumps: “I don’t want to offer you a formula, but the word of God is powerful. It gives strength to our souls, encourages us when we’re down, and it burns the powers of darkness.”
Amazing story, Mike. Thanks for sharing.
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