My last column ended with a promise to share a personal encounter of the demonic kind, and while not done to scare anyone, it is important to know demons are real. This is not the sort of subject to win you many friends, in fact; I have been guarded about this, with only a few people knowing.
The enemy is not a figment of our imagination. Now, I don’t know all there is to know about demons, but what I do know is that I have seen demons operate many times since childhood. While they can manifest in many forms, sometimes they can seem to be just a shadow, an eerie presence. I can be the biggest chicken around but I have learned to overcome my fear with the help of God. (See James 4:7 and John 10:10)
As a child I lived in constant fear. I went to bed afraid, walked around afraid, woke up in the middle of the night afraid, had nightmares all the time, and was simply tormented day and night with fear. I saw things, heard things, felt things, and it was all quite scary. I remember walking up my friends driveway and seeing a bizarre figure, unlike anything I had ever seen. The figure was hanging out near the side of my friend’s house. I could tell it was there to harm someone, not just scare them. But it had succeeded in scaring me; in fact, I thought my heart was going to beat its way out of my chest as I made my way to the door of her house.
At that age I had no idea what I was seeing, but I knew how it made me feel, and the chill that ran up my spine. As I became older and more aware, I realized the dark presence was sent to create division in my friend’s home. The father had a problem with alcohol, turmoil ensued, my friend’s parents divorced, and the demon waged war on this family for years. Our neighborhood seemed to be under constant attack by the enemy, with numerous acts of violence after I moved away. It is important we stay in prayer for our families, our neighborhoods and communities.
Some of the time we are our own worst enemy. We unintentionally invite the demons into our life. Perhaps, you have been to a psychic, done some fortune telling, played with an Ouija board, or maybe had a séance at a party; these are just innocent little games, and no big deal. Wrong. Here’s what the Bible says in Deuteronomy 18:10-12, “And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.” If you participated in any of these things, or maybe something else that was contrary to the Holy Spirit, you need to confess it before God, and ask His forgiveness. It is no joke. You can also read Leviticus 20:6, 27, Micah 5:12, Revelation 21:8, 22:15.
Great theological thinker, author and Pastor A. W. Tozer, warns us about our lack of regard or spiritual carelessness with these words, “Christianity is so entangled with the world that millions never guess how radically they have missed the New Testament pattern. Compromise is everywhere. The world is whitewashed just enough to pass inspection by blind men posing as believers.”
As I began to grow and mature in the things of the Lord, He taught me how to take authority over the enemy. I enrolled in the school of the Holy Spirit. My homework was time spent studying the Word of God, while staying in a state of constant prayer. I knew if I believed what I was studying and praying that no weapon formed against me would prosper. It is rather unsettling to think that the enemy knows if you are real or a fake. Take for instance this passage from Acts 19:13-16. A group of Jews was travelling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!”…But one time they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled the house, naked and battered.
Be sure you have the right tools when confronting the enemy; complete faith in Jesus Christ, the Word of God and the Anointing of God to take authority over the enemy. Otherwise, you better back off and call for help.
We are certainly drawn to the supernatural. We spend time and money taking in all the scary stuff we can find. Hollywood pours out the demonic realm on television, at the theatre and in books. They call it horror, or sci-fi, anything but what it really is. I am certain the writers, producers, directors, have had their own personal encounters of the demonic kind or know someone who has. They write the demonic supernatural because it puts lots of money into many pockets. Sadly they miss the real point; God is the Ultimate Supreme Supernatural. And when we believe in Him, follow Him, and live a life pleasing to Him, “signs, wonders and miracles will follow.” (See Mark 16:17-20, Hebrews 2:4)
I John 4:1-3 tells us how to recognize a demonic or unclean spirit. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
Ephesians 6:10-12 addresses how we are supposed to live.” Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” That person who is giving you so much grief is being used strategically, manipulated by the enemy to torment you, so you will take your eyes off Jesus. Keep this in mind when facing the challenges of daily life. Pray for them, and ask Jesus to free them from the demons in their life.
“Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep you guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are! –will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.” (1 Peter 5:8-11)
Theresa Rowe is the Founder of Shaped by Faith, Author of Guideposts’ Shaped by Faith, 10 Secrets to Strengthening Your Body and Soul, a Motivational Wellness Speaker, Health Coach and Host of Shaped by Faith Radio every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8:00 am on 99.1 FM and 1490 AM WOMI. http://womiowensboro.com/listen-live/popup/