Recently I was asked to officiate my first wedding. I was, and am still, so excited to do so! I've been asked twice before, but both times the younger couples decided to go other routes. I'm okay with those decisions too (Romans 8:28).
I've had several conversations with this current bride and groom leading up to their big day. But on the day before the wedding, a conversation with a member of the wedding party left me . . . bothered. I couldn't quiiite pinpoint my exact vexation until I spoke with a friend. Because she operates strongly in deliverance and discernment, she was quickly able to help me see that a spirit of pride, arrogance, and intimidation had been loosed to silence my proclamation of THE NAME OF JESUS. And AT A WEDDING, no doubt! Can you believe that?
As a woman devoted to prayer and the Word of God (Acts 6:4), I knew that I had to bind and combat the evil spirit with prayer and The Blood-filled Word of Jesus. Once I did my best to assure the wedding party that "we're on the same page; we're just speaking with different dialects", it became time to bind, stand, and re-declare THE NAME OF JESUS. The entire conversation with the member of the wedding party almost reminds me of Acts 4:17: ". . . let us warn and forbid them with a stern threat to speak any more to anyone in this name [or about this Person]." I wasn't threatened, but I was given a loquacious and enigmatic lesson on "Who the real God is" and who "we really are". Please understand, by sharing that I'm not knocking or making light of anyone's faith. I'm simply sharing with you, dear reader, to be mindful that your light is supposed to shine: not blare.
During my conversation with the wedding party member, I was immediately reminded of JESUS' divinely granted power as stated in Philippians 2:9-10. I am reminded "That God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above EVERY name, That in (at) the name of JESUS every knew should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue [frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge that JESUS CHRIST is Lord, TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER."
During my combat with the spirits - and as Jehovah Sabaoth sat at my helm - I was reminded of how the very subtle spirit of intimidation only comes to confuse, irritate, and distort sound truth. I was reminded of Elijah and the Jezebel; and how in 1 Kings 19 the Jezebel sent a simple message to the fresh prophet. He was so novice at his 'new' calling that one intimidating word shook him, frightened him, and silenced him. UNTIL he came to a cave and had a very frank, earnest, and sincere talk with His sending God.
Friends, intimidation will come. Spirits purposefully sent to confuse you, irritate you, and VEX your overall soul will come. They are "hired for certain reasons: mainly to frighten and gain some evil report with which to reproach you" (Nehemiah 6:13). Yet, "Even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness you are blessed and DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED. But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy [and acknowledge Him] as Lord. . . (1 Peter 3:14-15).
I leave with you (and myself) two reminders of what the Bible, written by JESUS, Who is The Word, says:
Philippians 1:28: "And do not [for a moment] be frightened or intimated in ANYTHING by your opponents and adversaries, for such [constancy and fearlessness] will be a clear sign (proof and seal) to them of [their impending] destruction, but [a sure token and evidence] of your deliverance and salvation, and that from God."
Ephesians 6:12: "For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere."
I love the members of this wedding party. And this spirit that is operating so freely through them, won't stop me from loving them, and serving them with my best. So, "let it be known and understood by all of you . . . that in the NAME and through the power and authority of JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH. . . this man (CELENA J. OWENS) is well" (Acts 4:10)!