What happens when you see the dead elephant, but nobody else does or wants to admit it? There is a saying, that the big “issues” are like a dead elephant in the room. Everyone ignores it and hopes it will go away. Or they sweep these massive decaying corpses under the rug and hope no one notices. Counselors and psychologists say, we should all sit around and expose the dead elephant then analyze the stinking creature and swat the flies if they land on us. Other’s still believe in a heavy blanket, some Febreeze and a clothes pin for your nose. I’ve even seen some, who carefully draw their own picture of the livingroom without the elephant, then when someone notices the elephant, they quickly take out the drawing and say, “You are not seeing an elephant, this drawing is what you are really seeing.”
Sorry, but I am not convinced. There has to be a better way! What is the real answer? (I’m talking about the BIG issues or even the little sneaky ones.) Paul had one like this come up in his ministry. What did he do?
First he identified WHO was killing the elephant and throwing it in their midst.
“And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination (fortune-telling) met us, which brought her masters much gain ($$$) by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days.” Acts 16:16-17
Here, Paul is preaching the Word to a group of excited new believers, when some greedy fortune tellers begin preying on hearts. They send in the “Elephant Slayer” and the problem maker. She was operating a devil spirit to make money off the pain, and death in people’s lives. She was toying with their emotions and acting like she was “with” God’s ministers. Her “masters” or spiritual pimps were making even more money off that deception. There’s the elephant, now what?
We see this today. Some one comes into a group and thwarts what God is doing in people’s lives. Look at her statement closely. “These men are the servants of the most high God!” Was that true? Yes. She was putting on a show under the guise of deliverance. The devil was once called “the Angel of Light.” He knows how to put on a show. But with him there is no true freedom. No deliverance, only more bondage. Paul put up with it for a while until he finally said with guidance from God:
“But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.” Acts 16:16-18
Wow, what a wonderful miracle! He identified the wolf in sheep’s clothing. He identified (the devil spirit) who was causing the issue. Then he got rid of it. That woman should-be blessed! She just got the chains of her bondage ripped off. Right? I’d like to add here, Paul stood up for God and made a spectacle of the error. Were her masters going to gain anymore money, or profit from her? No. They grew angry and stirred the whole city up against Paul. When you stand against evil, evil doesn’t like it. But does that mean you stop? Do you bow or allow the intimidation to work? “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.”( 1 Jn 4:4) NO. It says that “Paul being grieved …” Paul was acting on what he knew God was telling him to do. If he had not, he wouldn’t have gotten the results, which was the devil spirit coming out. It says this continued for days. The fortune tellers had the opportunity to hear the Word and change. Yet they continued with their agendas and their manipulation of the truth.
What about you? You see the dead elephant and the “slayer.” You see a member of the group who is causing more harm than good. Not to mention, undermining the work of the Holy Spirit and what God is doing for people. (Leaders take note here.) YOU see it. Now what? For every action there is a reaction. This could cause a social reaction to your action. What are YOU to do?
That depends on you.
God is a God of love. Everything He does is for your blessing and or protection. I spoke recently with a woman whose husband was causing this kind of “elephant” problem in their family. She left him, after many long years of dealing with it. Now, he is trying to browbeat her with the Bible, to get her back. (More manipulations more control trips, more bondage.) Does anyone else see the problem here? Would Paul have said, “Oh, you’re right Devil, I’m sorry here you can have your devil spirit back and pillage our group of believers.” I dare say, we wouldn’t be reading about him in the Bible if he did that.
I’ll end today with two thoughts from the Word that hopefully will help you decide.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places] Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore.” Ephesians 6:10-14a.
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
God Bless You Today.
Here are some more Biblical references that may help you. Read all the indicated verses.