June 24

Encouragement for Today

 

“The Stalker”

Rachel Olsen, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member, ETC Editor 

 

 

Key Verse:

 

John 17:10-12, “I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name – the name you gave me – so that they may be one as we are one.” (NIV)

 

 

Devotion:

 

I lived my sophomore year in college in a large apartment complex.  One evening when my roommate was gone, an “acquaintance” of hers called, saying she had asked him to call her if ever he were in town.  His calls continued for weeks, always when she was out.  With each call he would chat longer and longer with me.  One night after I went to bed, and when she was gone for the weekend, the phone rang and it was him.  With the lights off inside, and the parking lot lights shining outside my first-floor apartment, I could see through the mini-blinds a male figure standing in the small shrubs directly outside my bedroom window – appearing to hold a phone to his left ear. 

 

My heart raced wildly as I realized it was likely him.  I tried to keep chatting calmly as if I knew nothing, while I walked through the darkened apartment checking to ensure all the windows were closed and doors were locked.  Then I lied and said I had to go because I was expecting my boyfriend to come over any minute.  I hung up and immediately called the guys who lived upstairs to come to my aid.  The figure took off within moments.  Next, I called 911 and filed a report.

 

Two days later, I emerged from a restaurant to find threatening words scratched into the paint on my car.  That afternoon at my apartment, while a policeman was questioning me, the stalker called to curse me for having called the police there.  The police began patrolling my parking lot every hour from dusk till dawn.  Shortly thereafter I found a new apartment – on the third floor this time! 

 

The police had a suspect in mind.  A middle-aged man who had begun working at the college was believed responsible for several stalking reports, but the police didn’t have proof.  Some of the girls fared worse than I, suffering brief molestation.  Then, tragically, one of the girls disappeared and was found drown in a nearby river.

 

The handful of us being stalked had one thing in common: how we looked.  We each had the same build, similar features, and the same coloring.  Evidently, our “look” resembled the man’s ex-wife.  She had left him years before because he was abusive.  She remarried … and her new husband mysteriously drowned in that same river.  At the end of the semester, I moved completely out of town, never to be bothered by the stalker again. 

 

It’s terrifying to have a stalker – you can’t really see him and you’re not exactly sure what he intends to do to you, but you know he is there and that his intentions are not good.  Unfortunately, I have another stalker, and according to the Bible, you do too.

 

“Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, NLT). Jesus contrasts His loving intentions for us with the devil’s murderous intentions for us in John 10:10: “The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness” (NLT).

 

I spent several months being stalked, and could possibly have been killed, simply because I looked like someone else.  Did you know that Satan stalks us because of who we look like?  Satan is seething with hatred for God and His Son, Jesus. He would destroy Them if only he could, but he has no power over Them. 

 

You and I “look” just like Them.  In Genesis 1:26 God said, "Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves. They will be masters over all life – the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the livestock …" (NLT).  You and I’ve been given the very likeness of God, as well as dominion over this earth, and that makes us a target worth stalking in Satan’s eyes. 

 

We need not fear, however, because this stalker is already defeated.  When we place our trust in Jesus Christ and call upon His Name, we come under God’s banner and the devil has no power over us there.   That is one of the names for God – YAHWEH-NISSI: “The Lord our Banner” (Exodus 1:15).  In James 4:7, the Bible assures that when we place ourselves under God’s authority – under His banner or badge - we will be able to resist the devil, and the devil will run from us.  That’s just one of the many ways Jesus gives us life in all its fullness.

 

 

My Prayer for Today:

 

Jesus, thank You for dying on that cross to give me life to the fullest. Yahweh-Nissi, thank You for taking me under Your banner and protecting me from my enemies.  Lord, Your Name is wonderful, glorious and powerful and Your arm is not too short to save.  I give Yu praise today, Amen.

 

 

Application Steps: 

 

Next time you sense danger – physically, emotionally or spiritually – call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and ask Him to protect and deliver you.  Teach your children to do this aloud when they are frightened.

 

 

Reflection Points: 

 

Whom or what has been stalking you?

 

Have you called upon Christ’s Name for deliverance?

 

Do you fear Satan?

 

Do you trust the Lord?

 

 

Power Verses: 

 

Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV)


Genesis 28:15, “What's more, I will be with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. I will someday bring you safely back to this land. I will be with you constantly until I have finished giving you everything I have promised." (NIV)

 

Psalm 2:11-13, “Submit to God's royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of your pursuits – for his anger can flare up in an instant. But what joy for all who find protection in him!” (NLT)

 

John 17:10-12, “I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name – the name you gave me – so that they may be one as we are one.” (NIV)

 

2 Thessalonians 3:3, “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” (NIV)

 

 

Additional Resources:

 

Prayer Closet

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/closet.htm

 

P31 Woman Magazine

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/woman.htm

 

Who Holds the Key to Your Heart, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_whoHoldsKey.htm