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.