Jesus said, “The winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.” Matthew 7:25 NASB95
There is a town in Ohio that the Shawnee Indians called “the land of the devil wind.”
I grew up 10 miles from this town and about every 15 to 20 years a major tornado strikes the area. For the Shawnee Indians to name the area “devil wind,” the frequency of strong winds must go back centuries.
My mind, my thoughts, and my moods often act like a “devil wind.”
I can be perfectly content with sunshine, along with a blue sky, and a moment later storm clouds approach. I have a few moments to rebuke the devil or get caught in a tornado of swirling frustration. Tossed and turned by the “devil wind,” it can be a moment, a day, or a week before I recover.
Perhaps you get caught in the “devil wind” too.
Since I grew up close to the actual land of the “devil wind,” and have had multiple encounters from a spiritual perspective, I’ve learned how to live in the land of the “devil wind.” Yes, I still get tossed back and forth, but even if I get trapped I find the aftermath brings insight and peace.
Step One to Overcoming the Devil Wind: Don’t fear it.
Don’t get caught in deadly introspection that increases the swirling. Get your pen out and start writing your thoughts, thumb through your Bible reading Psalms that you have previously marked, or call a friend.
Step Two to Overcoming the Devil Wind: Check your foundation.
The rock of resistance to spiritual and emotional attack is formed by prayer, the Word of God, life-giving and accountable fellowship, and getting joy from fulfilling the Great Commission (sharing the message of Jesus and discipling others). All four disciplines are foundational.
Step Three to Overcoming the Devil Wind: Practice confession.
Wind is wind. Light winds and strong winds don’t damage rocks. Allowed cracks in your foundation cause an eventual collapse. Fortunately, the cracks are noticeable long before catastrophic failure. Accountability, confession, and repentance quickly repair defects.
The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:11, “I have learned in whatever situation that I am to be content.” Paul didn’t live a life of robes and meditation in fields of flowers. Reading his epistles, you discern he experienced the land of the “devil wind” often. He also gave us great teaching on joy, peace, power, prosperity, and spiritual warfare.
During the “devil wind,” I’ve had great insights and experiences in the presence of God. The wind removes small compromises and reveals residual despair. Impurity needs shaking.
There are tornado scenes in movies. All sorts of rubbish swirling around. Caught. Does this describe your mind? The land of the “devil wind” is close to all of us.
In 1974, an F5 tornado hit Xenia, Ohio. The car that I used to drive back and forth to college was pelted by golf-ball-sized hail. Dents everywhere! I had been a Christian and a leader in ministry for two years at that time. In 1989, an F2 followed the same path and an F4 in 2000; yes, the same path.
“Devil winds” strike over and over at places of weakness. God allows the storms but strengthens in the aftermath. Faith is either damaged or secured for the next storm. God also protects as I have a friend, living on a farm, in the direct path of these tornados, and twice the tornadoes have lifted on one side of her house to come back down on the other side.
You can’t avoid the “devil wind,” but you can prepare.