One rainy night, a young man–Bob–heard a scratching at his door and opened it slightly. What he saw was a tiny puppy, cold, wet, needing help. He threw open the door, bent down, but when he did, a vicious dog rushed past into his beautiful house. Bob yelled in terror. How could he have been so wrong?! Through the crack it looked so different! Bob’s house was filled with expensive furniture and valuable gifts his parents had given him. Frantically, he tried to catch the dog but the animal was too quick and too dangerous for him. It snarled at him, baring its fangs, as it leaped onto his bed and tracked filth into the covers. Bob drew back in terror and ducked behind a chair. He did not know what else to do.

The name of the dog was Addiction, and like a hurricane, it tore into his life. Instantly, it began destroying everything he owned. Nothing was spared. His job, his family, his health, seemingly everything was consumed by it. It stole his bank account and wrecked his car. His girl-friend left him and canceled plans for their wedding. He was amazed that so much damage could be done just by opening the door so slightly. But there were the results! Everything was in ruins! He was wiped out.

"It isn't worth it!," he wept. "I don't want this dog ruining my life!" But the dog would not leave. It stayed, fouling every room and fighting everyone who tried to get near Bob to help. It wasn't long before family and friends could no longer see Bob at all. They never saw anything but the dog. It ate with him, slept with him, and totally controlled his life. It made all his decisions. In his dreams it haunted him, and in the daytime it bit and clawed him; still, he submitted to the dog's abuse and stayed with it. Before long, he began looking like the dog. His clothes, his hair, and the color of his skin came to be like that of his new master. They even smelled the same. In time, Bob became ugly, like the dog, with a yellowed, snarling mouth that attacked everyone who came to his door. Even his mother fell victim to the dog.

For months, she tried to get into the house and rescue her son from the dog, but she couldn't come near. Nothing seemed to work. Even if she had a few words with Bob, through the crack in the door, the dog quickly appeared and began snarling. The mother prayed and prayed for help.

One day she was on her way to her son's house when an old Friend approached and pressed a Book into her hand. "I wrote this Book," He said. "It will tell you how to get rid of the dog." "Really?!," she answered. "Will it really help?" "Yes!," the Man replied. "I fought that same dog many years ago and won. He remembers Me well. You will find instructions in the Book on how to conquer the dog." With that, her Friend disappeared, and the woman hurried away. Anxiously, as she read through the pages, her eyes fell upon this important line: "No one can enter into the mad dog's house unless he first binds the mad dog. Then he can safely enter and take whatever belongs to him." Matthew 12:29

"But how do I catch the dog to bind him?," the woman wondered, and frantically continued searching for answers. As she read, she discovered other important facts. The dog was a trespasser and had no right to be in her son's house. The animal was really a thief who came to kill, steal, and destroy. John 10:10.

As she continued reading she felt an unusual anger swelling up in her. But it was more than anger; it was like a powerful authority. Then, wonderfully, her eyes fell on another line her Friend had written.

It said: "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on mad dogs and over all the power of the enemy. Nothing shall hurt you ..." Luke 10:19 

That was wonderful news! Quickly, she turned the pages for more help. And it was there! Every page was packed with valuable information. Her Friend had also written: "These signs shall follow those who believe. In My Name they shall cast out mad dogs ..." Mark 16:17,18. A flash of light shot through her mind. She had already learned two important lessons. First, she had to "bind" the dog, and then to "cast" him out. She did not understand how this was to be done but somehow she knew it could be. Her Friend would not have told her to do it if it were not possible. The next line she saw brought her to tears: "For this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that He might destroy the works of the mad dog." Every page was filled with words of powerful encouragement for her son's rescue. I John 3:8

It was then she realized something she had missed before. There was a similarity between the suffering of her son and the Friend who had given her the Book. In His battle against the dog He too had suffered. He was a son also; the Book talked about His Father. And because of his suffering and victory over the dog, the Father had put "all mad dogs under the feet of His Son." It explained that all things were now in subjection to the One who had given her the Book.

The woman got very excited. The Man who wrote this wonderful Book was not a dead author; He was still alive and her personal Friend. Heb. 2:8 Her eyes then fell upon the most amazing promise. It was as if written personally to her. It said: "Forasmuch as your son is a partaker of flesh and blood and is subject to the attack of the mad dog, I also took part of the same, that through My battle with the dog and My death, I might destroy the animal who had the power of death and deliver your son who is now in bondage to the dog." Hebrews 2:14,15

When the woman read that she shouted for joy! Suddenly she understood what it was all about; all of the lines she had read came back in power: "These signs shall follow those who believe, In My Name they shall cast out the mad dog ..." Mark 16:17-18 A fearlessness shot through her body like an electric jolt. Suddenly, she was no longer afraid of that dog. The dog had already been defeated and was really under the feet of her Friend. Another line from the Book leaped from the page at her: "The God of peace shall bruise the mad dog under your feet shortly ..." Romans 16:20. The dog was going to be bruised under her very own feet! That was amazing! But there was another line. It said, "Submit to Me, resist the dog and he will flee from you." James 4:7

That was all she needed to know. She turned on her heel and started running toward her son's house. As she rounded a corner and broke through a hedge, her Friend suddenly appeared before her. She dropped to her knees, held Him by the feet, and wept for joy. "I submit to You!," she cried. "Do what you have read in My Word," He said, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth. You go for Me, cast out the dog, and I will be with you always ..." Matthew 28:18-20 The woman did not wait. She leaped to her feet, went running and jumping toward the house of her son. A wonderful sense of authority filled her.

Along the way, she glanced at other homes. Some of them looked dark and foreboding just like the house of her son; she knew a dog was in some of them too. The faster she ran, the more powerfully other messages in the Book began coming to her. This time, however, when she spoke them, she claimed them as her own confession. They became expressions of her personal faith. As she turned the corner and the house of her son came into view, she began shouting to the dog: "The weapons of my warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of your strongholds! By the Name of my Friend, Jesus, I cast down the imaginations with which you have crippled my son! I destroy every false idea you have exalted against the knowledge of God! I bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ!" II Corinthians 10:4-6. 

As she neared the door she realized that her hands had become like hands of steel. There was a power in them like the grip of a vise. With one kick of her foot she shattered the knob, splintered the panel, and burst into the room. Something inside of her roared with anger and authority at the dog. But as he lunged for her she ran toward him and shouted, "You come to me with fangs and a growl but I come to you in the Name of the Lord of Hosts.  " Her eyes were blazing. "This day will the Lord deliver you into my hand and I will rescue my son from your control ... In the Name of Jesus I bind you!" I Samuel 17:46.

Before she could realize what was happening her hands clamped around the dog’s throat like a steel trap. She seized him with the fury of a Grizzly Bear. Swinging him overhead she hurled him through the open door and into the street. He hit the pavement with a splatter of blood and dog hair! As she ran toward him a strange thing happened. He suddenly came back to life to the size of a tiny cur-pup. He was the same size as the night Bob first saw him. With his tail between his legs, he went yelping into an open sewer. From deep inside the pipe she could still hear him whining and crying.

A moment later her son came running and shouting from the house. "It's gone, mama! It's gone!" He laughed and cried as he grabbed his mother in his arms, "It's gone! The dog is gone from my life!" The two of them hugged and kissed, wept and laughed together for a long while. Finally they went back into the house and began restoring the rooms. It wasn't easy to do.

Carpets had to be cleaned, drapes replaced, some of the furniture needed repainting, and dozens of garbage bags had to be removed. For a long while a foul odor remained but the young man knew that victory had come into his life.

A month passed and then the strangest thing happened. One rainy Bob was home alone when he heard a faint scratching at his front door. When he peaked out there was the same helpless little pup he had seen before. He looked like an innocent little puppy that needed someone to love and cuddle him. "There is no danger in him now," Bob thought. "He looks so helpless. I will let him in." But as he started to open the door he remembered a passage in the Book his mother had left him. Flipping it open his eyes fell on words that seemed to lift from the page. They said:

"When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, I will return into my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of the man is worse than the first." Luke 11:24-26.

Bob slowly closed the door, locked it, and went to a near-by window. He was shocked at what he saw. The yard was filled with other dogs. They were everywhere hiding in the hedge, others under his car, and a few peering around the corner of the house. Some were more vicious and evil looking than the first one had been. He knew why they were there. If he had fallen for their deception and picked up the pup, they would all storm into his house. No!, he thought, I've learned my lesson! I'll never do that again. – And he didn't. The dogs lingered around for a long time but they finally gave up and disappeared into the night.

A few days later, Bob was in his yard when a stranger suddenly pushed through the hedge and came toward him. There was an expression of love, kindness, in the Man's face as their eyes met. It was his mother's Friend–the one who had written the book. With tears, Bob grabbed His hand, bowed his head and whispered, "You have done so much for me and I didn't even know You! You saved me from the mad dog. I want to know You as my Friend, too." "You and your mother did not wrestle against the dog," He spoke, "but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:10-17. "Now you go in My Name and set other captives free. And remember," He smiled, "I will be with you unto the end of the world."  Hallelujah!

Chas