Ethan Was Only 3

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In a previous article, "Grandma, There Are Big, Mad Men Out There," I mentioned that Satan is after our children. This true story is a textbook example of this and it encourages us to ask our children the right questions. It also reveals a powerful method of removing the hold of the enemy on our young, loved ones — even as young as the age of 3, which is Ethan's age in this example.

"Right away a woman who had heard about him came and fell at his feet. Her little girl was possessed by an evil spirit, and she begged him to cast out the demon from her daughter. Since she was a Gentile, born in Syrian Phoenicia" (Mark 7:25-26, NLT).

"At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, 'Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water.' ... Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well" (Matt. 17:14-15, 18, NLT).

"One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, 'Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won't let him talk. And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid'" (Mark 9:17-18, NLT).

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So demons can possess little children, cause seizures and suffering and torture their hosts, but be removed by rebuke. They can prevent communication and cause self-harm and violent bodily reactions, including foaming at the mouth, grinding of the teeth and bodily paralysis. Sleep paralysis is becoming a bigger problem as I am learning, especially from college-age kids.

She called me with concerns about her 3-year-old son, Ethan. She had seen mood swings in the boy, along with a series of sporadic temper tantrums. Most of the time he was very sweet, cooperative and obedient, but she was now occasionally seeing anger at a very high level and outbursts that were uncharacteristic of the young man. In fact, one day after hearing my story, "The Atheist at Burger King," episode 5, she had asked him if Jesus was Lord. The boy made an awful face and screamed "NO!" Obviously, this caused her even greater concern.

She staked out her home and prayed for God's protection, but she also prayed for resolution of these problems with her son. A few nights later, Ethan woke her in the middle of the night because he had wet the bed, which is not uncommon for a young boy who is being potty-trained. He was embarrassed and his pajamas were very wet.

She hugged him and assured him everything was ok, and that she would take care of it. She removed the wet clothes and put him in the bathtub for a quick rinse, then went to change the bed — but it was completely dry. She went back to the bathroom where Ethan was bathing and asked him if he had been in his bed. He said he had not. When she asked where he had been, he told her he was sitting in the middle of the room in the middle of the floor in the middle of the night. Very strange. Sure enough, when she felt the carpet right in the middle of his room, it was very wet. The boy didn't know why he was there.

She got him washed, dried and into a clean pair of pajamas and put him in the bed, giving him a tight hug and squeeze before tucking him in and going back to her own bed.

But on her mother's instinct, and based on her concern when Ethan had previously said, "NO" when asked if Jesus was Lord, as she hugged him tight and told him good night, she asked again if Jesus was Lord.

He screamed, "NO," and struggled to free himself from his mother's hug but she held on tight. Then she quietly whispered, "Come OUT of him, in Jesus' name."

Immediately, the boy went limp in the mother's arms and the mom saw a shadow in the corner of her eye leave the room.

Then Ethan was fine but she was terrified. She tucked him in and went to bed, snuggling up to her husband as fear tried to overwhelm her. He, of course, never woke up or knew a thing but it took her a long time to go back to sleep.

The next morning when she awoke, it was late because her night's rest had been interrupted with Ethan wetting the bed, so when she went downstairs her husband already had Ethan up and dressed. He was happily eating cereal.

She told him good morning and Ethan was very courteous and compliant, so she tested her question on him again.

"Ethan," she began, "Is Jesus Lord?"

"YES," the child replied, and then repeated the phrase over and over saying, "Jesus is Lord, Jesus is Lord, I LOVE Jesus! Mommy, when are we going to Bible class again?"

You just can't make this stuff up. Satan IS after your children.

In light of today's thoughts, let me suggest that part of your personal battle plan might be to surround your children's bedrooms and beds with verses or stakes or Scriptures on the wall — or all of the above. Satan has the world and he has the world's kids, but if he can capture the children in Christian homes, he can wipe out the church in just one generation!

Keep praying because prayer works! God loves you and I love you.

Steve Hemphill is an author, speaker, teacher and host of Battle Plan on Charisma Podcast Network. His books include My Search for the Real Heaven, My Search for Prayers Satan Hates, What Are the Stakes and God's Power for Our Daily Battles. Learn more at active-faith.org.

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