Dagon on his Face
1 Sam 5:1-5
The Israelites had lost in battle, and the victorious Philistines captured the ark of Jehovah, taking it in triumph to the house of their god Dagon, and leaving it by the idol overnight. The next morning, the Philistines found Dagon on his face before the ark of Jehovah. They set him up again, and the next morning there was Dagon on his face again, this time with his head and the palms of his hands cut off. Only his stump was left. After that they abandoned the house of Dagon.
The idols of the heathen cannot stand in the presence of the Spirit of God. Where the presence of the Lord is manifested (as in the ark), power manifests also. Error and idolatry cannot coexist with the manifest presence of God.
We believers have often left the field of battle against the cults with our spiritual tails between our legs because we fought in sin, or in the flesh, or without God’s power and Spiritual working. Satan holds many a soul captive before the gate of Heaven, with the person in full possession of the scriptures, but so bound up in false teaching that the Truth cannot penetrate. Who has not attempted to deal with Jehovah’s witnesses or Mormons, only to retire from the struggle feeling defeated by their impenetrable blindness?
The answer to this defeat is to understand that the gates of hell cannot prevail against us. No less a person than Jesus Himself promised that we would walk in victory over all the power of the enemy. We have the promise that the weapons of our warfare are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations (reasonings or rationalizations), and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience to Christ.
The enemy works in the mind. To see unbelievers freed we must ask God to loose the captivity of their minds. We must realize that we have a tremendous advantage in those cult members who have taken the scriptures into their minds. They have the word of God in their minds! Never mind that Satan has raised false reasonings and rationalizations to obscure the word of God. These reasonings are like the statue of Dagon: they cannot stand in the presence of the Spirit of God.
Pray that God will energize His Word in their hearts. Ask the Holy Spirit to cast down the high and lofty things that Satan has built up in their minds against the knowledge of God. Beg God on their behalf to open their eyes to the life in the word, and to nullify the power of the cult propaganda they have taken into their minds. Call out to Him that He would give them a love of the truth (2 Thess 2:10), and impel them to accept no substitute. Hold them up before the God of all grace and cry out to Him to exercise His kindness toward them in Jesus Christ, and show forth his compassions and mercies that fail not. Ask him to receive them, and call them unto himself; not because they deserve it, but because He is a loving God. He delights in mercy and righteousness, and in seeing men and women become like His blessed Son Jesus. Have faith in God!
The power of this kind of prayer lies in realizing that if the Holy Spirit causes the word of God to sprout in their hearts, then the lies and misunderstandings of Satan cannot stand. An irreconcilable conflict will arise in their minds. Under the blessed influence of the Holy Spirit, they will be guided to inquire as to the answer to their dilemma. The answer will be to receive the Christ of the Bible.
God’s grace actually ‘works’ in unbelievers’ lives because He is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all we ask or think, according to His mighty power. He alone works miracles; we cannot. Give Him glory and seek His face on behalf of others. For Paul commented to the Philippians that he ‘had no man likeminded (to his own Christ-like mind), who would naturally care for their state’. Beg the Father to influence you by His Spirit so that He will conform you (make you like-minded) to Christ. He is all our hope, and our total sufficiency for all things. Praise His glorious Name!
Go into the presence of God on behalf of some benighted unbelieving cult member and cry unto God for them. Then watch for the results. Dagon will be found on his face with only his stump left. And the Devil will have to abandon his former temple.