I'm overwhelmed by your response to Part 1 in this series.
I received a crazy amount of messages, emails, comments, and texts about the impact it made on you and how God spoke to your heart through it.
God is so good, isn't He? Love that He brings things to us at points when our hearts are ready and wanting...
So here we go...Part 2:
I've been experiencing an insurmountable amount of warfare this past year.
But like I've said before, my eyes are opened from time to time and God allows me to see what’s really going on.
I’m not sure why He chooses me to see or feel things at certain points but I’d love to share with you some of these times.
I feel a deep impression to share them because I want each of us to remember that Satan does strike, demons will shame and torment us…and we need to put on the Armor of God so we are ready for this battle in which we are fighting-whether we like to fight it, or not.
Whether we want to admit it or not.
Have you read or seen Lord of the Rings? There’s a quote from it that I’ve seen in nearly every book on Spiritual Warfare that I’ve ever read.
Theoden: I will not risk open war.
Aragorn: Open war is upon you whether you would risk it or not.
Tolkien hit the nail on the head. There are times where we can choose to be in battle…and there are battles we live in, without any choice in being part. It simply is.
And Satan loves that most of us are apathetic about it, ignoring the very fact that we’re possibly being attacked right this very second.
So we need to put on our armor, friends.
Those of us who grew up in the church will remember felt-boards with pictures of things like breastplates with the word “Righteousness” in bold print or a helmet saying “Salvation”, a fierce looking “Sword of the Spirit”, etc.
We likely know a goofy little song with motions, as we “shod our feet with readiness” and so on.
But how do we actually DO this? Because it IS an actual THING, you guys!
Right now my schedule is a bit crazy…I’m in a neighborhood Bible Study, beginning to lead the Single ladies at my church, and hosting a prayer group. Not to mention my speaking gigs, working on my book, posting here on my blog…and the fact that I have six kids (well…seven, if you include my husband Ben…which I often do) and all the commitments, love, and time a family yields.
Planning out my 2016 and not wanting to be overextended (hah!), during Christmas Break I asked God (well, told really…and we know how well that goes) that because of my crazy schedule, I thought it best I took time off of another weekly impactful Bible Study I've been involved with for over four years, called Women in the Word.
“I’ll only do it if it’s on Spiritual Warfare”, I so arrogantly demanded.
An hour later I received an email saying what book we were going through after Christmas.
Sigh. The Armor of God, by the amazing Priscilla Shirer (also mentioned here).
Ok God. I get it.
This Spiritual Warfare thing has been at the forefront of my thoughts since summer when I realized I was so massively being attacked.
And knowledge is power. Especially God’s knowledge.
But let me back up a bit and help you understand why this subject is so close to my heart and to my very being.
My senior year in high school I was a cheerleader. Some of the girls on our squad were going through some really tough things, both personally and in their families. Every night, after she crawled under her covers and into the warmth of the electric blanket that was a must during the cold-dampness of Seattle’s winter nights, my sweet Mom would pray for each girl on my squad by name.
She recounted to us one morning that the night before, while she lifted up one girl in particular, a dense dark shadow came upon her.
This darkness placed such heaviness upon her, that she couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move, and laid in stunned horror for long drawn out moments until she realized to rebuke it, and it flew out the closed window, into the forest behind our house.
We’d never experienced something like that before.
It baffled and terrified me.
Several years later, after I’d decided to move home halfway through college, the same thing happened to me. Sleeping on my stomach one night, I woke to a similar monstrous weight pressing down upon my back.
Like my mom, years before, I laid in the darkness in complete panic. I heard someone get up and use the bathroom, walking past my door. I tried to call out but I couldn’t open my mouth. As my eyes darted around, suddenly fearing the darkness, this formless shadow…that still somehow had a form…peered around to look me straight in my face.
It’s slits for eyes felt as if they were looking into my very soul. I wanted to blink or look away or bury my head in the fluff of my pillow, but I was paralyzed, barely even able to breathe.
I knew I was supposed to rebuke it, but in my terror, couldn’t come up with the words to do so.
Since my voice was restrained, all I could do was come up with bits and pieces of words in my mind, “Jesus, help! I rebuke.” My brain was scrambling for the right words and finally came up with the simple command, “In the name of Jesus, I rebuke you. GET OUT!”
The being also flew out my window and into the night’s sky.
Exhausted, I immediately fell asleep.
As months went by, I went from cheery and lighthearted when I was at home, to stormy and agitated.
Every time I entered through the threshold of my bedroom, I would begin sobbing for no apparent reason. Feelings of inadequacy and doubt and fear overwhelmed my life when I was in the house…and more specifically, in my bedroom.
Weird things begun happening in the house. Matters we couldn’t explain. Things turning on or off. Or opening and closing unexpectedly. Explaining it all away with thoughts of ancient wiring, or the shifting of an older home, we pushed away what our hearts were telling us.
Until the demon came to visit me several times more.
We had a woman come, whose son was dating my best friend. We’d heard of her through our community and knew of the gifting God had given her. We called and asked if she’d pray over our house. Anoint it with oil. Do a cleansing, of sorts.
All of us were home that day: my Mom, my Dad, my little brother, Erik. And my best friend Kiesha, because she is basically family.
This woman spoke and prayed with each of us independently, handing us each a piece of paper with a Bible verse… the specific verse eerily spoke into each individual and the situation each of us were in…though she didn’t yet know specifics of what was going on.
As she entered my room, she told me she felt deep and heavy oppression. She said that three demons were tormenting me…which as I’m typing this I’m realizing it’s three times I woke to something upon me…though the oppression was constant. She explained that demons have names and the names of those bothering me were:
Chaos. Confusion, and Fear.
Everything she said made so much sense. As she continued around to each room, she asked if we had anything from other countries that we could unknowingly have brought spirits into our home through.
As a family, we’ve traveled rather extensively so we brought various things to her to pray over. As my dad set an exquisitely hand-carved wooden mask from Guatemala before this discerning woman, she looked at him quickly and told him to burn it.
I don’t remember what sort of spirit she said was inside, but I do remember never seeing the mask again after that day.
As we went into the backyard, praying over every corner of our property, Kiesha opened her eyes. Standing by my side, she gasped lightly as she took in the sight of four angels…one on each corner of our backyard. Again, Protection Angels, girded up for battle.
As our time wrapped up, our new friend told us she had done some research on the area in which we lived. Apparently, long before the neighborhood became developed, it was owned by a Circus Family who dealt heavily in the occult. She said as she drove the streets near our home, she felt many spirits who had likely roamed around the area for a long, long time.
But after that day, we never again encountered them in our home.
It wasn’t until I was in my own apartment that I begun having experiences again.
(to be continued...)
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Prayer is what activates the Armor of God after it's resting strong on your very being.
But would you know how to respond if asked what the most powerful spiritual weapon is when removing the adversary from your life and even your home?
. quoting scripture .
We learned when Jesus was tempted in Matthew 4:1-10 that Satan knows the Bible better than many of us. What he does though is uses it out of context or even misquotes it.
But Jesus knew the scriptures Satan was trying to use to confuse and deceive and spoke it back to him.
We know the Bible to be the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17), let us use it mightily.
Read Psalm 91 aloud every night over your children, spouse, and yourself.
When we read it to our kids (or they read it aloud to us), we often read from The Message because the vocabulary is easier for their little minds to comprehend.
. worship music .
Oh how the evil one hates when we worship The Lord.
Sing a song of adoration when afraid or feeling oppressed or angry. Play praise music throughout the night, if feeling darkness creep in.
. rebuking the devil .
There's no magic formula, no perfect phrase or terminology.
But darkness hates light and since Jesus is the Light of the World, they hate His name and every word that came from His mouth.
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Something as simple as "In the great Name of Jesus Christ, I command you to leave. You are not welcome in this home or near me."
We practice with our kids saying, "In Jesus Christ, I tell you to go away! I love Jesus and you are not allowed here!"
I can't wait to continue sharing all God's laying on my heart to reveal...both through my experiences and through the magnificence of His Word.
Stay tuned! xo