And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him (Mark 9:26).
Evil never surrenders its hold without a sore fight. We never pass into any spiritual inheritance through the delightful exercises of a picnic, but always through the grim contentions of the battlefield. It is so in the secret realm of the soul. Every faculty which wins its spiritual freedom does so at the price of blood.
Apollyon is not put to flight by a courteous request; he straddles across the full breadth of the way, and our progress has to be registered in blood and tears. This we must remember or we shall add to all the other burdens of life the gall of misinterpretation. We are not "born again" into soft and protected nurseries, but in the open country where we suck strength from the very terror of the tempest. "We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God."
From Streams in The Desert March 3rd
Dr. J. H. Jowett