Tag Archives: Demons

God’s People, part 187: Demoniac

Read Mark 5:1-20

“For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”  (Ephesians 6:12, NRSV)

When we think of God’s people, we tend to think one of two things. We might think of the Israelites who were God’s “chosen people”, or we might think of specific characters in the Bible. Either way, we tend to idealize the people we are thinking about. For instance, we may think that God’s people are super faithful, holy, perform miracles and live wholly devout and righteous lives. Unfortunately, this idealism enables us to distance ourselves from being God’s people, because we feel that we fall short of those ideals. As such, I have decided to write a devotion series on specific characters in the Bible in order to show you how much these Biblical people are truly like us, and how much we are truly called to be God’s people.

THE-EXORCIST-1973Part 187: Demoniac. We’ve already discussed the exorcisms Jesus performed and the battle he waged against demons who had possessed people. That was a major part of his earthly ministry. There can be no doubt that there is more to meet the eye when we think about this world and the sin and evil that plague it. There can be no doubt that we are at war not just with our own sinful nature but with the spiritual forces of darkness that work behind the scenes in the world.

So, naturally, Jesus’ ministry included many exorcisms and conflicts with the spiritual forces of evil at work in the world. With that said, the account of the demoniac reveals whole new level of possession, and not in the way that one might think. That is why I felt that it was important to single out this particular person who was possessed by demons.

In the account, we learn that Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee and came upon a series of burial caves. It is at this place of burial that we are introduced to a man who was possessed by “an evil spirit” or “a demon”. I put that in quotes because we learn that, in fact, the man had many evil spirits or demons within him. When Jesus demanded the man was not living by these caves due to personal choice; rather, he had been chained up and placed there by other people.

We all know the result, this man rushed up to Jesus and begged him to not torture him or send him out of the region. Jesus then exorcised the demon and sent him into a herd of pigs which ended up squealing and running into and drowning in the sea. We also know that the man was so joyful to be delivered from the demons that he begged Jesus to let him come with him, but Jesus declined and told the man to spread the good news in that Gentile region.

The focus for this devotion, however, is on the people of that region. Not only did these people shackle and chain another human being in a cemetery, leaving him for dead, but they also had no apparent concern for the person. I am sure he was chained by the tombs out of fear that he might harm the villagers; however, when he was healed and he shared what Jesus had done, the villagers begged Jesus to leave because he had cost them their entire herd of swine.

In other words, they had more concern for their own safety and their own financial stability than they did for a human being in desperate need for hope, healing and wholeness. That is possession on a whole new level. These people were possessed with their own selfish desires and they allowed those things to justify the evil they perpetrated on this man.

The challenge for us is to recognize this fact: demons come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. One need not be turning their head 360 degrees and vomiting pea soup in order for one to be possessed by evil. Sometimes evil is much more subtle and, as always, the devil surfaces in the details. The question for us is this, what have we allowed to possess us? What sorts of things do we have within us that enables us to justify the wrong we do.

You may be thinking that there’s nothing. Yet, if we think outside of the box on this, the truth will be revealed to us. Plenty of Christians, for instance, have used their “love for their children” as an excuse for not raising their children in the church and worship God. Kids are now given the religion of sports and activities, as opposed to being raised in the Church worshiping God.

Plenty of Christians have allowed their love of nation to justify treating immigrants and foreigners with contempt and lots of other evil thoughts and deeds. There are tons of examples where people are possessed by a different spirit than the Holy Spirit, and every one of us is possessed by things that are counter to the Spirit and the teachings of Christ. The challenge for us is to be honest about that, to repent, and to invite Christ into our hearts so that we can be delivered of such things. While this type of possession is different than that of the demoniac; however, it is just as destructive. My prayer is that we all may continually open ourselves up to the Holy Spirit so that such things may be driven out.

“Human beings, we have dark sides; we have dark issues in our lives. To progress anywhere in life, you have to face your demons.” – John Noble

Lord, deliver me from the demons that possess me so that I may be freed for joyful obedience to you! Amen.

God’s People, part 183: Demons

Read Mathew 8:14-17

“You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.”  (James 2:19, NLT)

When we think of God’s people, we tend to think one of two things. We might think of the Israelites who were God’s “chosen people”, or we might think of specific characters in the Bible. Either way, we tend to idealize the people we are thinking about. For instance, we may think that God’s people are super faithful, holy, perform miracles and live wholly devout and righteous lives. Unfortunately, this idealism enables us to distance ourselves from being God’s people, because we feel that we fall short of those ideals. As such, I have decided to write a devotion series on specific characters in the Bible in order to show you how much these Biblical people are truly like us, and how much we are truly called to be God’s people.

Demons_SilhouettePart 183: Demons. If I took the time to write about every individual person healed by Jesus, then I think the concluding words to John’s Gospel would be especially fitting, “If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written”  (John 21:25, NLT). So, I have decided that I would group most of the healings together per the type of healing they were.

The first grouping of those healed are the demon possessed. In the Gospel of Mark, aside from preaching, exorcism was the very first act Jesus did at the beginning of his ministry. The Gospels state, in fact, that Jesus performed exorcisms on many people throughout his three year ministry. These acts tell us quite a bit about Jesus, about the demons themselves, and about those who were possessed by them. What’s more, it also tells us a lot about the society in which these miracles occurred.

First, that Jesus has the authority to command demons to leave people tells us who Jesus is. Only God has such authority purify the unclean. Each of these exorcisms are an exercise of God’s authority over sin, evil and death. Each of these miracles represent God’s power to forgive sins, to rid a person of evil, and to purify them, making them righteous before God. That Jesus had such a command over demons is a witness to the presence of God within Jesus.

The demons themselves all knew who Jesus was too. In each case, the demons would hiss out at Jesus, “We know who you are, Jesus, Son of God!” Each time, especially in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus commands them to be quiet and to no reveal who he is to the masses; however, the demons DID know who he was. In fact, in the Gospel of Mark they are the only ones who KNOW Jesus’ true identity, with the exception of the Roman Centurion, who figures it out right after Jesus dies.

Again, this all points us to Jesus’ divine identity. Jesus was not merely a nice prophet who taught really nice things before being wrongly put to death on a cross; rather, Jesus IS the Son of God, the embodiment of God in human flesh. The demons all knew that and they were terrified of Jesus because he was filled with the authority of God.

Those who were demon-possessed were truly on the margins of society. Thus, the people themselves were shunned. They were avoided like the plague by friends and community members who saw them as being “unclean”. That meant that they could not participate in community life, and they most definitely could not participate in religious life. Just stop and pause a moment, who needs to be embraced by the religious community more than someone who is possessed by demons. Yet, these folks were isolated away from spiritual nourishment.

The reason for this was the fact that demon-possession was viewed as being the result of sin. Thus, the demon-possessed were viewed by society as being unclean and were to be avoided. We see this most clearly with the demoniac, whom I will write about in more detail in a separate devotion; however, in that person we see someone who was outcast from his community, chained up and living among the caves and tombs.

It is to such people that Jesus came and brought the loving acceptance and healing of God. In fact, Jesus’ actions made it clear for all who witnessed, God doesn’t reject the folks people deem as unclean or unworthy; rather, God shows them favor, forgives them, and includes them in God’s Kingdom. Following their being healed, those who had been demon possessed all became witnesses to the Good News of Jesus Christ!

This should give us hope, for we too have our demons. We are possessed by things that tear us away from God. We also, like the religious community in Jesus’ day, fail to see our own demons are too quick to point out demons in another. One thing is for sure, Jesus Christ is the ONLY One who can exorcise our demons and free us for joyful obedience to God.

Let us open ourselves to Jesus who will save us from the spiritual warfare that rages on within us. What’s more, let us not fall in the judgmental trappings of the religious institution. Christ has empowered us to bear God’s forgiveness, mercy, healing and salvation to all who need it. Let us be demon hunters in Christ Jesus our Lord, as opposed to people judgers.

“If you pain, He’s a pain taker. If you feel lost, He’s a way maker. If you need freedom or saving, He’s a prison-shaking Savior. If you’ve got chains, He’s a chain breaker.” – Zach Williams in his song “Chain Breaker”

Lord, cleanse me from the demons at war within me, and guide me to be a presence of love and healing for those who are struggling with demons of their own. Amen.


Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

“I will comfort you there in Jerusalem as a mother comforts her child.” (Isaiah 66:13)

conjuring2I used to faithfully watch the show, “Ghost Adventures.” The show aired on the Travel Channel, and it followed these three independent paranormal investigators who would lock themselves into a supposedly haunted building and try to agitate any spirits who might be there and waiting. I always found it fascinating because they were exploring the unknown and some of the evidence they would find, so far as I could tell, was quite compelling.

I just recently watched “The Conjuring 2”, which follows Ed and Loraine Warren as they investigate the Enfield House. For those of you not already aware, the Enfield House is one of the most documented “hauntings” ever. Located in the London area, Enfield was called “the Amittyville of England”, because of some similarities between the two cases and also the fact that the two hauntings happened in the late ‘70s, around the same time as each other.

Needless to say, tales about hauntings and possessions have always intrigued me because they seem so out there, and fanciful, that one is left wondering if they are ACTUALLY true. On the other hand, so many people throughout history have had some sort of paranormal experience that there must be some nugget of truth, right? Whether that is right or wrong, these films certainly capture the imaginiation and cause one’s skin to crawl when watching them.

As I was watching the Conjuring 2, I also picked up on something equally as intriguing. The story is about a girl and her family who live in a house that increasingly becomes an inhospitable place to live. To start out, we find out that the dad has bailed on the family and left them to fend for themselves. We don’t ever find out why; however, we see the results of his decision to abandon his family. The mother is left to figure out how to support her children and pay the bills. The daughters are each struggling to deal with the loss of their father.

The youngest daughter, Janet, is being bullied by other kids, who are calling her vulgar names and tormenting her. To add insult to injury, when the haunting begins to take place the mom calls the police come to investigate as she believes someone could be in the house. After witnessing paranormal activity, they report the “haunting” to the media who then interview the family and put it all over the tele (aka TV). Fojllowing that, all of Janet’s remaining friends abandon her, join in making fun of her and/or totally avoid her.

In other words, Janet’s life was HELL! The Catholic Church ended up sending Ed and Lorraine Warren to investigate because they did not want to risk their reputation on a potential hoax. While that is both understandable and a theological travesty at the same time, Ed and Lorraine do show up and they DO believe this girl and her family. That’s enough of the back story without giving anything else away.

The point of this is that, what ultimately ended up bringing healing to this girl and her family was the fact that someone ACTUALLY believed them. Someone took the time to listen to them, empathize with them, and not dismiss what they were going through. There is nothing worse than suffering through something and no one truly caring enough to understand or believe.

The challenge for us all is to be more empathetic and compassionate with others. We should believe them when they say their struggling. Even if it becomes discerned that they are not struggling in the ways they have expressed, it does not mean they are not struggling at all. We never truly know what they are going through and Christ calls us to witness to the compassionate, healing presence of God in the lives of others. We are not their judges, we are their servants. We should be open and willing to be present in the lives of those who are down and out.  We would want no less for ourselves and we should be willing to do to others as we would have them do to us.

The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”  – Albert Schweitzer

Lord, guide to those who need help and grow a more compassionate and empathetic spirit within me. Amen.

Demon Hunters

Read Mark 5:1-13


“Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down at his feet and shouted, ‘You are God’s Son!’” (Mark‬ ‭3:11‬ ‭CEB)‬‬‬‬

  It is no secret to most people that one of my favorite metal bands is Demon Hunter. I love heavy metal, in general, because it often rages against the machine (so-to-speak), and the lyrics address issues within the status quo. Demon Hunter is certainly no exception to that; however, instead of just raging against political machines, it rages against the religious and social machine as well. What I mean by this is that Demon Hunter’s lyrics often speak out against the status quo within the church, as well as the status quo in society.

 They don’t do this just for the sake of being whiney against the way things are, but because they recognize that real people suffer in society and, in particular, in the church. What’s more, they also call out the fact that the church often turns it’s back on such people, and they seek to do differently in their lyrics. There song, “I Am You”, which I have already written another devotion on, speaks to the fact that they struggle like everyone else, and that they stand in solidarity with those who do struggle. The song, “I Will Fail You,” speaks to the fact that we should not put our faith in other people; rather, we should put our faith in God for, unlike people, God will not fail us.

Aside from their music, I also love the artwork on their albums, in particular, I love their band’s logo of which is the demon skull. One of my favorite Demon Hunter skulls is from their third album, “The Triptych”. The skull itself is pretty typical in that it has the uneven horns and is the skull of a goat that has a bullet hole in the forehead, which obviously symbolizes that the demon had been shot and slayed. But this is skull has something else going on. For one thing, the skull itself looks like it is made of some sort of armor, and it is pegged together by spikes. Also, there is a red and black snake slithering through the mouth, through one of the eye sockets, and up over the top of the skull.

As weird as this might say, it is a rather beautiful work of art. Granted it is dark, but there is something alluring about it. Beyond its aesthetics, however, it speaks a profound truth to me. You see, we often spend our lives running and hiding from our demons. With that said, even when we kill our demons and try to move beyond them, they never truly die. They often just lie dormant until something or someone triggers them back to life. Now, when I say demons, I am not thinking of the word in a literal sense, but more of a metaphorical sense. Demons can be personality and character flaws, it can be addiction, anger, bitterness, hatred, envy, or any of the things that possess us and rule our lives.

God is calling us all to be demon hunters, but we cannot be that on our own. The reality is that the things we struggle with will inevitably resurface in our lives. That is why it is so important for us to place our faith in God and to be a part of the community of Christ so that we are not alone in hunting our demons. The more we are surrounded by supportive people, the more likely we are able to overcome our demons and vanquish them. We all have demons, but they need not define who we are. Rather, allow God to help you vanquish your demons through a community that will stand in solidarity with you, support you, hold you accountable, and help you rise up in triumph over the things that have been pulling you down.


“If you don’t deal with your demons, they will deal with you, and it’s gonna hurt.” – Nikki Sixx


Lord, help me with my demons so that I may rise above them and defeat them. Amen.

All Authority

Read Luke 9:1-5

“Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” (Matthew 7:20, NLT)

magic_gateway_wallpaper_by_jerry8448d4nyul6For those of us who are Christian, how easy it is for us to call ourselves people of faith, right? We often set ourselves apart from the “non-believing world.” We often separate ourselves from those who “don’t believe” and/or those who “don’t have faith” and see ourselves in an “us versus them” kind of way. I am not pointing this out in order to point out Christians in a way that is different from any other human religion, institution or group. All humans see their group in an “us versus them” kind of way. That is, whether fortunately or unfortunately, the human condition.

What I am trying to point out, however, is that Christians do see themselves as being people of faith. I am pretty sure that all Christians, everywhere, would agree with that statement. Yet, in my own observance, many Western Christians (in American especially) do not live out their faith with much conviction. Sure, we are good at being convicted about certain things. I mean, many Christians will flip over backwards to tell you how we’ve fallen from God’s glorious standard (Romans 3:23), how Christ’s death was God’s plan to save us from our sins and close the chasm that lay between us and God, and that all we need to do to be saved is to say the sinner’s prayer (whatever that is) and accept Jesus into our hearts. Once that has been done, we are saved and no longer a slave to sin and death (Romans 8:1-2); what’s more, once we’ve been saved nothing can ever separate us from the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:38-39).

We are convicted to tell you that part of the Gospel story, but that is just about where our conviction ends. As a result, Western Christianity is rather shallow and completely skips over the ACTUAL end of the Gospel. Being forgiven of our sins is only a part of the Gospel story…and it happens to be the beginning of it, not the end. You see, anyone who has read any part of the Hebrew Scriptures could figure out we’re sinners and that God is working to forgive us of our sins. It’s not like God wasn’t forgiving sins before Jesus. Yes, Jesus sacrifice for us and the salvation that sacrifice brings is a part of the Gospel story, but not the whole of it; rather, when we accept Jesus and his atoning sacrifice, we also accept the authority Christ has given us.

What authority you ask? The authority to represent Christ in the world. We have been the authority to fight against injustice and oppression, the authority to care for and bring healing to the sick, the authority to be present with the lost, the depressed and the lonely. We have been given authority over the powers of darkness and over the inner demons that try to take us and others down. To accept Christ’s forgiveness, to attain salvation in Christ, is to accept the authority that Christ is giving us over such things. But that’s not the end of it either. Once we’ve accepted Christ, and Christ’s authority, we being sent out by Christ into the world proclaiming the arrival of God’s Kingdom. In other words, we are to proclaim to the world that the day of equality, social justice, mercy, compassion, peace, love, and God’s presence has finally arrived. This is exactly what Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was doing when he spoke to the nation at the Lincoln Memorial. It was Mother Teresa was doing in Calcutta, India. It was what Bonhoeffer was doing in Nazi Germany. This is not an activity reserved for a few who are called; rather, ALL CHRISTIANS ARE CALLED to go out into the world and proclaim the Gospel. All Christians have been equipped with spiritual gifts to do such.

Of course, this will not make Christians the most popular people in a world that wants to keep the have-nots in their places. Yet, if we are truly convicted in our beliefs, if we are truly a people of faith, then we will bless those who hear and accept the proclamation of God’s Kingdom and shake the dust off of our feet when it comes to those who refuse to. The latter is not intended to be our judgment against them; rather, Christ is telling us to leave the opponents of God to God and is calling us to focus on those who would ally themselves with God and with the arrival of God’s Kingdom of hope, healing and wholeness. The question for us is this, how convicted are we? How much faith do we possess. God knows what tree we are by our fruit.

It is much easier to call oneself “a person of faith” than it is to ACTUALLY live a life of faith.
Lord, strengthen me and continually work in me so that I may move beyond my fear and accept the authority you have given me. Amen.

Name Your Demons

Read Matthew 8:28-34

“So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.“ (John 8:36)

supergirlThe last thing that I probably needed in my life was to get hooked on yet another television series. As many of you probably know from previous devotions, I already am hooked on The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, The Voice, House of Cards, and certain news programs in order to keep up with the world around me. So the last thing I needed to do was to add another show on top of it. Yet, when I saw that they were coming out with a television show on Supergirl, I just could not resist. I have a thing for Supergirl, call this my confessional, and I was super stoked to see her being given a proper treatment. Well, I wasn’t disapponinted.

In fact, I was pleasantly surprised. Not only is the show smart, fun and witty, it is also rather deep for a “superhero” film. The more and more I watch of this show, the more and more I start to see that there is something larger going than just the stories themselves. Each week I find that I am not only rooting for Kara Zor-El (aka Supergirl), but I find myself relating with her, and learning from her. I find myself laughing, crying and emoting over stuff I am going through in life. This show has been so well written and thoughtout that it literally transcends mere entertainment and is, at least for me, feeding my soul. All of this in a superhero flick.

This past week’s episode is a prime example. In it she battles a robot that seems hell bent on destroying her. What’s worse, this robot seems to be out of control and virtually unstoppable. She just cannot seem to get an edge on it and it seems to be overpowering her, despite how strong she is. The robot is super fast, he can turn himself into a tornado, and has a strenght that matches, if not bests, the strength of Supergirl. What’s more, his super solid exterior makes him a difficult target. Not even Kara’s superpunches cannot penetrate him and she finds herself at a loss.

As it turns out, there is another thing Kara is battling that is an even stronger force than this robot. That force is the anger that she has internalized of the years. At first she thought that she was just mad because the guy she likes is taken and that she’ll never find a special someone for herself. Yet, as the episode goes on, we find out that there is “anger beneath the anger.” She discovers that she was angry at her parents sending her to earth and choosing to stay and die on planet Krypton. She was angry that she never got to say goodbye to her adopted father, never having closure following his disappearance and death. She was angry because as normal as she tried to be, she was not normal. She was angry because she, as a girl, felt invalidated and felt that she had to work twice as hard to prove herself. Her rage was such that she was losing control of it, which was having some pretty awful consequences.

Looking back on the episode, the robot (though it was a real enemy that posed a real threat) was a living embodiment of the hard, brutal, unquenched rage that was burning inside her. It wasn’t until she came to terms with the things that she was struggling with that she was able to focus her rage in appropriate ways. It’s not that the rage within her disappeared, but that she was able to work through it rather than be controlled by it. The challenge for us today is to be like Kara Zor-El. We need to penetrate deep into ourselves and reflect on the hurts and the wounds we find deep inside. Are you angry, are you hurt, are you envious, are you bitter and/or unforgiving? Whatever the case, name your demons, call them out for what they are, and then be free of them. Allow God to turn your struggles in to triumph.

“If you don’t deal with your demons, they will deal with you, and it’s gonna hurt.” – Nikki Sixx

Lord, help me to name my demons so that, through your power and authority, I may cast them far away from me. Amen.


Be Still, My Soul

Read Mark 5:1-13

ALSO IN SCRIPTURE “Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.” (Psalms 46:10)

The-Wolf-Man“Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the Wolf’s Bane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.” At first when Larry Talbot hears those words recited to him by the engaged woman he is attempting to seduce, he laughs it off as superstitious hogwash. One thing that could certainly be said is that Larry was certainly not pure in heart but, then again, who is? Regardless, Larry was a modern, civilized man, and there was no way that he was going to buy into werewolves and in any mythical monster.

Yet, as it turns out, later that night following those words being recited to him, Larry is bitten by what looks like a large wolf and his life becomes a living nightmare. As the full moon draws closer, Larry became more and more convinced that he was, in fact, bitten by a werewolf. He was so paranoid that he tried to convince his father who refused to believe him. Instead, his father put him in the care of a psychiatrist. On the morning following the full moon, Larry found himself lying in bed with tattered and dirty clothes on. His window was open wide and dirty footprints could be seen. At first they were wolf-like, but each footprint became more and more human. Once he saw this Larry knew his worst nightmare had come true: he was the wolf man.

As you have probably figured out, I have just summed up the first half of the movie, “The Wolf Man”, starring Lon Chaney, Jr. It is one of my favorite films because I find that I truly relate with the character. I think many, if they are honest, can relate with him. We are all flawed people. Even when we have the best of intentions, we are not pure in heart. We often try to hide the impurity and the ugliness; however, at some point, that ugliness always shows. No matter how hard we try to suppress the beast within us, whatever that beast is, the full moon eventually rises upon it and the beast is unleashed. This, of course, is a metaphor and our inner “beasts” take the form of anger, depression, hatred, bitterness, addiction, gossip, divisiveness, cynicism, and many other things.

This is a reality. We may not like to admit it, but we all have a beast that lies underneath the surface just waiting to come out of the darkness to take over and destroy our lives and the lives of those around us. The question is, will we like Larry deny that the inner beast exists? Will we deny our impurities? Will we pretend that we are all “good” people who have no weaknesses or hangups? Or will we come to terms with the fact that, while our life can be beautiful at points, it is also true that we find ourselves walking thorny paths? Will we acknowledge the thorny paths we are on. This reminds me of the first verse of a famous hymn, “Be Still, My Soul: the Lord is on your side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; leave to your God to order and provide; in every change God faithful will remain. Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.”

While “Be Still, My Soul” is talking about having strength in times of tribulation, there really is no greater tribulation than trying to fight our inner demons alone. The reality is that we were born in a broken world as broken people. The more we deny our weaknesses the more our souls suffer the consequences of that inner struggle. The Good News here is that you need not fight it at all. Christ has power over our demons if we will only allow him into our lives and into our hearts. That takes humility, it takes repentance, and it takes a willingness on our part to be transformed and to change; however, is the alternative a better option? The same Christ who cast Legion out of the possessed man in the reading for today, is the same Christ who can conquer the inner demons, the inner beast, in your life. All you need do is have faith, to be willing to change, and to allow Christ to still the storm in your soul.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY “Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know the Christ who ruled them while he dwelt below.” – Katharina von Schlegel

PRAYER Lord, still the storm within my soul. Should it ever return, remind me that you are Lord in my life and that I need not fight the battle alone. Amen.