In a recent lesson focused on spirit possession, we used an illustration about hermit crabs to help folks understand. This was one of a number of critical lessons on this topic as every Mwinika person is member of one or more spirit possession cults. They grow up with these cults and think that spirit possession by evil spirits is a normal fact of life that accounts for a large percentage of the sicknesses they suffer. We are trying to point out the evil spirits are interlopers and that there is a way to be possessed/filled by the original owner, the Holy Spirit. To illustrate this the hermit crab came in handy.
The hermit crab (“konkoviro” in the local language) takes over an abandoned seashell and uses it as his own shell. He didn’t make the shell, and he can’t kick the original owner out of the shell, but he can take it over if he finds it empty. That shell now has to go wherever its new owner wants it to go. In the same way evil spirits take over people who do not have the original owner living in them (the Holy Spirit). They then possess them, invading the shell of humanity that is not theirs. For humans possessed by spirits the solution is to get the original owner to return home. When we trust what God did to pay for our sins the pollution that kept the Holy Spirit from living in us was removed, and the Holy Spirit moves back in. The evil spirits are merely interlopers, taking advantage of abandoned houses for their own purposes.
Pray with us for those who attend the teaching and wrestle with these concepts. The chokehold that spirits have on their lives is not easily relinquished. Even those that are free are so used to living in bondage that the freedom they now enjoy is difficult for them to fully appreciate and take advantage of.
[Photo taken by one of our colleagues (J. Parker) on a recent trip we took to the beach.]