It was a quiet Saturday afternoon as I cuddled up with my Bible in my tiny second-story apartment living room. Quiet, until I heard heavy footsteps outside on the porch that joined my apartment to my neighbor’s. Two male voices proceeded to carry on an animated conversation outside my front door.
Frowning, I went to the peep hole in my door and looked out. Two men, probably in their mid to late twenties, stood just outside my door, leaning against the porch railing. My porch railing. They were tall and muscular and bore tattoos on their arms. One man spoke quietly. The other, however, appeared to be drunk as he loudly began to rant and rave about the latest aggravation in his life. If having two complete male strangers on my front porch wasn’t enough, the talkative one decided the “F” word was appropriate to use for every other word he said.
Irritated, I went back to my couch. I was too intimidated by their size and gender to open the door. Instead, I tried to resume my Bible-reading, hoping they’d eventually disappear. No such luck. They remained on the porch, the mouthy one still spouting off profanities.
Now I was getting mad. I was trying to read my Bible, and I hear nothing but a drunken bad attitude strewn with the “F” bomb.
I resorted to prayer: “God, I pray that those men would leave my front porch!”
My agitation growing, I jumped to my feet. “In the Name of Jesus, I command the spirit of profanity to leave my porch!”
Finally, I’d had enough of those mouthy trespassers. I swung open the door with sudden confidence. The two men spun around, their eyes wide with surprise.
“I can hear every word you’re saying,” I spouted, “and I don’t appreciate hearing that kind of language.”
They began to back off my porch like whipped puppies. “Oh, sorry, ma’am,” the calmer one stuttered. “We were just trying to get out of the sun.”
With those final words, they hurried down the street.
I shut the door and returned to my couch and my Bible, rejoicing in my victory! What amazed me about the whole ordeal was that my five-foot-two, one-hundred pound body could intimidate two men three times my size. I didn’t even look my age, yet one open door and one word of correction was enough to send them sheepishly on their way.
When I look back on that lovely experience, I am reminded of another enemy that often stands at our door. He comes to harass and annoy, steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). Yet, like I did in the beginning, we stand timidly behind our closed door, only wishing he’d go away. We may even pray to God for some assistance, when in reality, God expects us to confront him ourselves.
There’s no telling how long those strangers would have stayed on my front porch had I not decided to open my front door. It could have been hours perhaps had I not been willing to face them. Those two men on the porch needed to see my face. They needed to know that they weren’t welcome on my porch. They needed to hear my voice. Once I decided I’d had enough and acted on my authority, it gave them reason to leave.
This is what God expects of us as well. He doesn’t want us running to Him in panic, fearful of what we’re facing. He instead expects us to use the authority He gave us over Satan, facing him head-on with confidence and strength. Only as we use the Name of Jesus and order the devil to leave will he feel inclined to pack his bags.
I certainly hope that I never have two drunken young men on my porch spewing out cuss words with every sentence. If it does happen again, though, I hope my husband is home to do the honors. Though opening my door was appropriate for that moment, I don’t encourage a single person to tackle such intruders alone. But should they ever try to gain entrance, we can know exactly whose Name to use!
. . . that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth . . . Philippians 2:10