2/2/09

Oppression

Do you believe demon oppression is still in effect today? Sometimes, it's easy for me to push it to the back of my mind, and I forget about the very real spiritual war that is waging day and night. Last night (this morning?), I was given quite a wake up call...

I woke just before 5 with a strange feeling... as if there were a large, looming presence in our room. It was very real, and yet at the same time, I was feeling that this had to be a dream. I could hear noises, as if someone were moving around in the room, and yet I knew no one was there.

At first, I tried to convince myself that it was my cat. However, I could feel her sleeping soundly by my side, so I knew it wasn't Abby. The presence seemed to be coming closer to me, and I could feel the hairs on my arms and neck standing straight up. The sense of evil and darkness was almost tangible.

I tried to turn over, to open my eyes, to call out -- but I was frozen. I literally felt paralyzed from head to toe. I couldn't even cry. I knew it couldn't have been a dream then... if it were, it was unlike any other nightmare I've ever had. I was fully aware of things around me. I didn't feel trapped in that half-sleeping, half-conscious, fuzzy state of mind that dreams tend to bring about. I was awake yet unable to move, all the while feeling this strong oppression holding me down.

I started to pray -- probably more intensely than I ever have in my entire life! I wanted to pray aloud, but I couldn't even open my mouth! I just kept praying in my mind, calling out to the One Who has power over all: "Lord, protect us! Get this presence out of here! Lord, I can't move!" I began fighting with all my might to open my mouth and pray aloud, forming the words with my jaw, forcing the words out -- "Jesus, help me! Please!"

Almost immediately, I could feel the intensity begin to lessen. My lips were loosed and I began to pray aloud, "Thank You, Lord Jesus. Thank You!" My eyes were still shut, and in my mind's eye, I saw an image of some sort of evil figure being forced out of our room.

And then it was over.

My heart was calming, the room felt peaceful, and I could move once again. I opened my eyes and continued to pray. Instantly, the Lord brought last night's sermon to mind, and I could hear the visiting missionary preaching about surrendering your children to God's will for their lives. Telling Him "Here they are, Lord. Use them for Your glory. Send them, if it's Your will."

Immediately, I began to pray that the Lord would have His will in our little one's life -- whether He wants our son to be a missionary, pastor, or even a trash collector -- that we would never stand in the way of what the Lord directs him (or any other children He blesses us with) to do.

I started to cry then and told the Lord that if He wanted us to go, then we wanted to be willing to do that, too. I was reminded of the fact that I can't say I'm willing to go to the foreign field if I'm not first willing to go to my neighbors.

I also realized that, sometimes, I depend on my husband to be my protector. And while that is part of his job as leader of our household, I cannot only rely on him. I need to put my trust in Jesus Christ -- our Rock, our Fortress, our Deliverer -- the One Who will never fail us.

As you can imagine, sleep was difficult to come by after that. I decided to get up, continue in prayer, and spend some time reading God's Word. My devotions confirmed exactly what I had been praying about -- coincidence? I think not. :o)

Yes, I definitely believe spiritual warfare exists today; I have felt its effects on our family. I don't know why, but Satan and his minions seem to be hard at work, trying to get us to give up on God. The past few weeks have been extremely difficult for our family: the miscarriage, the separation, and now this.

Thankfully, I remember the verse greater is He that is in [us] than he that is in the world. We know God is more powerful than any force of evil that may attack us. We know that the Lord will continue to protect us as He has done in times past. We know that, so long as we continue to put our faith in Christ, He will not let us down.

10 comments:

New Mom said...

I have experienced that same *exact* thing. It is scary, but just seeing how Satan has to flee at the name of Jesus is also very comforting. God is so powerful! I have a very strange background and have struggled with experiences like these off and on for years. One of the biggest things for me was learning how to not let fear overcome me whenever I had another of these "experiences." I am so glad it's not by might, nor by power but by His Spirit. Sometimes if I find myself getting scared, I'll put on praise and worship and pretty soon I've forgotten all about my fear and can only think about the mighty power of the Lord! I pray that your nights are filled with peaceful sleep knowing you are surrounded by the presence of the Lord.

The Nelson's said...

Wow. Thats an eye opener now isn't it!

Thanks for sharing...definatly got me thinking a bit!

Aliene said...

Yes, I definitely believe there are evil spirits out there that tries to attack God's children. I have always heard that they cannot stnad the name of Jesus, so as you were crying out to Him, the evil was departing. We are in a spitirual warfare. It's only through the Blood of Jesus and the word of our testimony that we are victorious.

Sherri said...

Oh, Arlene, I've BEEN THERE! It wasn't just a one time thing for Josh and I.

We had a really rough first year of marriage. We both had pretty much worn ourselves into a perpetual state of sickness at college from too little sleep and very little nutritious food etc... We were always running so we grabbed and stuffed ourselves with whatever was most convenient.

We got pregnant with Jordan on our honeymoon, and nine months of morning sickness 24/7 wiped us out even further.

Having a new baby pretty much did us in. He had a pattern of sleeping for two hours, then being awake for two hours, around the clock for almost an entire month. The devil knew we were weak and at our most vulnerable. I've always been hesitant to share my experiences because the last thing I want to do is add to people's fear. But the thing is...I'm NOT afraid anymore!!! :) I learned what the DEVIL is afraid of, and I use it on him whenever I feel the least bit afraid: verses and songs about the blood of Jesus, and verses that talk about how we are to fear nothing and no one except for God Himself! It works immediately every time. One of my favorites is Psalm 4:8 "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep, for thou, Lord, only maketh me dwell in safety."

I also have made a habit of reminding myself that God loves me, wants to protect me, and doesn't want me to be afraid just as I want those same things for my children.

Being an overcomer simply takes faith and my new mantra is: Faith is not believing that God can...it is KNOWING that He will!

I'll be praying vigilantly for you!

Samantha said...

That has happened to me before as well. It's such a scary and creepy feeling. I remember as soon as I called out to the Lord the presence left immediately. It's amazing the power of His spoken name! I was also alone when this happened which made it even more scary.

What you wrote about not standing in the way of God's will for our children is something the Lord has been laying on my heart lately. We just had a guest pastor give a sermon about how important it is to pray for our children every day. That they would have a heart for Jesus, and that they would be used for His glory, no matter where He leads them. Thanks for that reminder.

Sherry said...

WOW! How scary! I have felt that way sometimes and have had to call out to God for help. Praise God that He has banished this evil from your presence!

liz said...

Oh wow! Very scary indeed. I have had that feeling before also and remember crying out for God's protection. I will be praying for you. It seems that satan loves to attack when my hubby is away. =(

A Heart of Praise said...

I'm sure that must have been a very scary experience, I'm so very thankful to know that the Lord is all powerful and is our Protector and Shield against all evil.

Tori said...

Wow, that's scary but I can relate. I really had never felt such real opression as I did in one of the Gypsy villages here in Croatia when we first got here. I know that the devil owned that place and was ready to fight. It was totally scary to realize we were picking a fight with the unseen enemy.

So glad you rested in His protection during this scary time.

The devil is real but God is powerful!

I can't wait for your man to come home, for you and Caleb.

Kawaii Boutique said...

Arlene, I have had this happen to me as well, and I know one other friend who has experienced it also. It really is frightening. You described the feelings and sights very well. My experiences have been a bit different, maybe I will share with you sometime. The only way that it stops is by praying in my mind (since I too can not vocalize out loud when it happens, but I can move my mouth). Ugh, now I am shaking!!!