Category Archives: Spiritual realm

Deadly Words Spoken – It’s a Trap!

Lately I’ve been paying attention to the words people use. I’m noticing a pattern – especially after my 3:30am Battle the other night. Some words are like a trap door – if we’re not careful, we will fall into believing they are true. Here’s a list of deadly words that are often used:

  • Nobody
  • No one
  • Nothing
  • Everybody
  • Everyone
  • Everything
  • Never
  • Always

When we use these words, it is rarely accurate (meaning there is deception in there somewhere). Often these words are used to manipulate our emotions – to bring death to our soul instead of life. Whether we speak them or someone speaks them to us (or we simply hear them in our head), they make the situation seem hopeless. That’s deadly!

For instance

  • Nobody listens to me.
  • No one cares what I have to say.
  • Nothing ever works out for me.
  • Everybody has a _(job, car, spouse, child, etc)_ except me.
  • Everyone else has it better than me.
  • Everything is my fault.
  • I’ll never get that job I want.
  • I always get blamed for everything!

I once had a male friend that whenever his girlfriend would say, “You never …” or “You always …”, he would reply. “Darlin’, I’m not that good. I never always do the same thing.” and he would kind of chuckle with a twinkle in his eye. He was trying to lighten the mood while also reminding her that he was just as human and unpredictable as we all are.

When we use sweeping words like Never, Always, Everything or Nothing, it can make us feel like our circumstances will not change. It saps our hope for the future. It can make us feel powerless to make changes for our good – which actually becomes kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy. My husband often tells me, “If you believe something, life has a way of proving you right. So if you believe nothing ever works out for you, you’ll be proven right. But if you believe things will work out for you, they often do.” It goes both ways.

When those sweeping words are used against us, it’s usually an accusation. And like my friend said – we’re human and unpredictable and we rarely ALWAYS do the same thing.

It’s good to pay attention to the words you use (or are used against you) and determine if they are TRUE. Especially when that voice in your head says them. [Remember we recently discussed God’s Voice vs Other Voices: How Can You Tell the Difference?]

Context is Key

It occurred to me that the positive side of these statement can also be manipulation and deception.

For instance

  • Nobody can do this as well as you can!
  • No one stands a chance against you.
  • Nothing can stop you now.
  • Everybody wants to be your friend.
  • Everyone admires you.
  • Everything you do is amazing!
  • You’ll never regret taking that job.
  • I’ll always be there for you.

Most of these sound like positive, encouraging statements … except that they are deceptive. They are focused on inflating your ego with false expectations – not good and not realistic. A set up for disappointment.

How Do I Get Out of This Trap?

So how do we keep out of the extremes? Think carefully about what you want to say (or what you hear). Keep it balanced. Try substituting words like Some or Might. Notice how changing these words takes the “bite” out of those negative statements:

  • Some people don’t listen to me.
  • Some people don’t care what I have to say.
  • Some things don’t work out for me.
  • Some people have a _(job, car, spouse, child, etc)_, but not everyone.
  • Some people have it better than me but not everyone.
  • Some things are my fault.
  • I might not get that job I want.
  • I might get blamed for some things that I didn’t do.

Pay attention to the accusations you hear in your own mind. Change the wording. See if that seems more accurate. It will empower you to take action instead of feeling like a victim.

Don’t allow these words to manipulate your feelings – leading you to a sense of hopelessness that things will “never” change. That’s not God speaking to you, I promise. His words bring hope.

There’s always hope.

(See, there’s a healthy use of the word “always”. There are a few of them. Use it sparingly.)

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God’s Voice vs Other Voices: How Can You Tell the Difference?

Last night a young lady called me. She’s in a very sticky situation.

She is currently separated from her husband. A young man from church started pursuing a relationship with her. She’s not interested in him romantically and has made that clear. But they are talking and becoming friends due to their common interest in the things of God.

She told me, “I’m trying to free myself from this guy. I just want to focus on my relationship with Jesus and healing my heart! But for some reason, I keep feeling like I’m forced to be his friend and maybe more some day. I’m praying and praying, but I can’t get any peace. What can I do?”

Whew! That’s tough. When you are praying and yet don’t see the results you had hoped for, what can you do?

We talked for some time. She’s been growing rapidly in hearing from God and learning His ways.

One thing she said that caught my attention – “feeling forced” to be his friend.

I asked her about it. She said she feels this pressure and she wonders if it’s God or not. She’s afraid to cut things off with him because she’s not sure if maybe God WANTS her to be friends with him.

I told her that there’s a big difference between following the leading of the Lord and the feeling of being forced or pushed.

I sent her this chart I made to help her discern when it’s God voice or some other voice.

 

gods voice vs other voices

She immediately replied:

“Wow, I havent realized how much of the other voices I’ve been listening to because I wasn’t sure whether they were from God or not. It’s so clear now.”

I know this chart has helped me – sometimes when we feel unclear about something and especially if our emotions are involved, this can help bring clarity about exactly whose voice we are following.

Some charts I’ve seen contrast God’s voice to Satan’s voice. I chose to contrast God’s voice to “other voices” because sometimes that voice is our own! We are sometimes our own worst enemy – we tell ourselves what we “should” be doing, using guilt and manipulation to get ourselves to do things. Sometimes that “other voice” is someone in our lives giving us advice or telling us what we should do. This chart can help us figure out whether what they are saying lines up with the Lord’s voice. And yes, sometimes that “other voice” is the enemy, Satan, whispering things into our minds (which sounds like our own thoughts).

I encouraged her to keep that chart somewhere she could refer to it frequently. You might want to do the same.

So how do you know when it’s God’s voice versus Other voices? Feel free to share your experience below. What advice would you have given her?

Spiritual Warfare 101: Battle at 3:30am

Yesterday on the way to the doctor, I heard this song in my head – it’s a worship song from the 1990’s.

The enemy whispered into my mind determined to wear me down. Alert in the Spirit I am not blind – my confession of faith has the enemy bound! I will rejoice; I will rejoice – I will rejoice for I’ve made my CHOICE to rejoice in the Lord! – Bob Fitts, I Will Rejoice, Maranatha Music

Odd. I haven’t heard that song in years. I wonder why that song would suddenly pop into my head. I even remembered the lyrics clearly. Hmm, maybe this is for a reason? The day was busy, life went on and before I knew it, it was bedtime and I fell asleep.

I awakened at 3:30am – time to empty my bladder. As I rolled back under the covers, I was immediately assaulted with all kinds of doubts and disturbing thoughts. One minute I was still in “sleepy-brain mode” and the next, I am wide awake and can’t sleep.

Earlier this week, I had sent out an email to our closest friends asking for prayer for my husband’s upcoming surgery. A few had responded, but many had not. No response – why?

My mind started churning, thinking about the email. I had specifically requested a response, especially since we all get inundated with so many emails. I wanted/needed to know they were supporting us in prayer.

I began to doubt myself – maybe my email wasn’t worded correctly. Maybe that’s why they didn’t respond. Maybe our friends just didn’t care enough to respond – some of our relationships didn’t feel as close as they used to. Could people have just stopped caring about us?

The more I experienced these thoughts, my emotions were being stirred up. I tried several times to quiet my mind and go back to sleep. Impossible!

I could feel this emotional pressure pushing on me. I felt small, vulnerable, unloved, insignificant, uncared for … basically invisible. All because a few friends didn’t reply to my email.

Wait – that didn’t add up for me. I’m not usually like that.

Suddenly a light-bulb went off – this is an ATTACK!

I was still feeling it, but now I knew this was more than just random thoughts. This was an assignment from the enemy to hurt me.

So I prayed – out loud. “Jesus, please help me. What’s going on? What IS this?”

It suddenly became obvious to me – this is Baal! (that’s the gift of discernment at work)

Baal Unveiled

Baal is a very common name mentioned in the Old Testament. You might remember the showdown between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Baal was this god that demanded human sacrifice – he was a very violent, bloody god associated with child abuse, rage, greed and lust.

I call him “the orphan maker”. All the fruit of his works leads people to believe they are orphans in this world – that no one really cares about them or will protect them from evil. In modern lingo, we refer to this as the “victim mentality”. Poor me, nobody knows what it’s like to be me, my life sucks, nobody cares, I’m all alone, etc.

We’ve all felt that way at one time or another. Probably more often than we are willing to admit.

Once I realized the pattern in the thoughts that were bombarding me at 3:30am (now it was 5am), I recognized this as the assignment of Baal. [By the way, that’s what I call it. You might have a different name for it – that’s okay. You get the main idea, right? Just stick to that for now.]

Now keep in mind – these were MY thoughts and MY emotions I was experiencing. They sounded like me – until something didn’t add up. I don’t usually get so worked up about whether or not someone responds to an email. I know everyone is busy – I would have just sent it again about a week later and said, “Hey, did you get this?” No big deal.

The devil overplayed his hand. When things didn’t add up – that’s when it occurred to me, “Hey, these are NOT my usual thoughts. Something’s not right here!” Maybe the sleepy-brain was interfering with my ability to distinguish this sooner, who knows? Either way, I got it – finally. After wasting an hour and half tossing and turning.

The Lord taught me a strategy for dealing with Baal (aka orphan thinking) in the past:

DON’T RESPOND. Don’t look at what he wants you to focus on. Look at God’s goodness instead. Pay attention to the love of God instead.

So that’s what I did. In my heart and mind, I immediately stopped obsessing about the email and started thinking about God’s goodness to me. I started thinking things like, “It doesn’t matter who responded. If we need prayer, God will stir people’s hearts to pray for us. I know he often stirs my heart to pray for our friends. I’m sure He will do that with them too. Of course, they love us – they’re just busy living life. I don’t have to worry about this because God’s got us. He’s a good father and He is taking very good care of us. God has given me peace about this surgery – I’m not worried. God’s good to us.”

Immediately all the mental and emotional distress I had been feeling literally VANISHED! Like instantly – as soon as I turned my mind and heart to focus on God’s care for me. It was amazing. The darkness dispersed – POW! No more negative emotions – no more emotional pressure. No more stress!

I felt light and peaceful inside. Whew! Yay, God!! YOU ARE AMAZING, JESUS!! ❤

I felt so peaceful I started to drift off to sleep – at 5:30am. Just as I’m nodding off, my husband got up to go to work. Now I was awake. I got up with him. He had a particularly hard morning and I’m glad I got up with him. I helped him get off to work.

The timing felt significant – it was important that I was awake when I was so I could help him. I was actually more alert than he was – sometimes he wonders about that, but what can I tell him? “I’m wide awake because I’ve been fighting with Baal for the last 2 hours?” I did tell him later but not then – he’s still had sleepy-brain. 🙂

As I headed back to bed, I thought about the fact that sons and daughters are led by the Spirit. That’s a hallmark of adoption. It may have felt like a sleepless night to me, but in reality it was just me being a daughter of God. Being led by Him to do battle with dark forces at 3:30am (which is actually a prime time for that).

When I got up a few hours later, I wanted to post this somewhere:

But I thought it might be too weird for some people. So instead I posted this:

If the enemy can get you to doubt the love and goodness of God toward you, he’s won. Don’t believe his lies for a second!

Now I know why that song was playing in my head yesterday! Those words turned out to be the exact strategy I needed to overcome!

Here they are again:

The enemy whispered into my mind determined to wear me down. Alert in the Spirit I am not blind – my confession of faith has the enemy bound! I will rejoice; I will rejoice – I will rejoice for I’ve made my CHOICE to rejoice in the Lord! – Bob Fitts, I Will Rejoice, Maranatha Music

Too weird, huh? Yeah, that’s why I write this blog. These things happen to me a lot. I don’t feel comfortable just casually sharing these kind of things. Can you imagine having this conversation with a friend:

“So, how was your day?”

“Well, pretty good. I spent 2 hours fighting demons and then realized that the battle strategy I needed was given to me earlier in the day in some song lyrics from the last century. I lost sleep but somehow God orchestrated it beautifully so that I could help my husband get off to work this morning. I now know a little bit more about the demonic assignment of Baal and I’m telling the world through my blog. So, how about you? What’s new?”

I certainly hope this article helps somebody somewhere. Please let me know if it does. Because I sure WISH I had this knowledge when I was a younger Christian. It can feel overwhelming when the enemy floods your mind like that and you don’t know what to do. Now I know and I’m telling you – SO GO BE DANGEROUS to the kingdom of darkness, okay?

Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear if this post helped you. Thanks 🙂

P.S. If you want to hear the original song I’m referring to, here’s the YouTube Link:

God Speaks through Dreams

One of the ways God speaks to us is through dreams. Has this ever happened to you?

How can you tell when it’s God speaking to you? Sometimes it is obvious and other times, you might not be so sure.

Here’s a dream I had recently where it was obvious to me that God was speaking to me.

I dreamed that I was in a house. I picked up some papers from my father’s desk. It was an article that I was interviewed for back in 1993. My father was coming down the hall toward the room I was in and we were talking about the papers. As soon as he was in the room, we heard a loud noise and wind started blowing very strongly. I realized it was a tornado and immediately my father and I went toward each other. We grabbed each other’s arms so we wouldn’t get separated in the storm. He said something but the storm was so loud, I couldn’t hear him. The wind died down for a few seconds and I heard him say, “Would you turn …” but then the wind increased and I couldn’t hear the rest. I said, “What?” really loud, trying to be heard above the noise. He spoke again, “Would you turn your head so I can tell you I love you?”

This time I heard him clearly. I suddenly realized I had lost some of my hearing in my left ear. This surprised me because I didn’t know this and he did. When I turned my right ear toward him, I heard him clearly – he was so close I could feel his breath as he spoke.

Immediately I woke up – my husband had awakened me because it was time to go to a doctor’s appointment for him to be cleared for surgery.

I knew this was a dream from God. How did I know?

  1. I remembered the dream in detail. When God wants to speak to us in a dream, then obviously we will remember it clearly. Many times I remember little bits and pieces of a dream, but when I can clearly remember the whole dream in detail, I pay attention. God may be speaking to me.
  2. The dream involved my father. From my personal experience with God, whenever I dream about my natural father, it represents God, my heavenly Father. That may not be true of everyone – this is just how God relates to me.
  3. There was a clear message – God wants me to know that He loves me. The feeling I had when I woke up stayed with me all day. It was more than just a natural father’s love – it had a depth and completeness to it that is hard to describe. I felt embraced by this love in my entire being – it created not only comfort but a strong sense of security and protection. I was safe and cared for in His love!
  4. I couldn’t stop thinking about the dream all day long. Many times when God is trying to get your attention, He will make sure the dream stays fresh in your mind until you get the entire message.

There are many layers of interpretation in this dream as it relates to my personal life. One obvious one for me was the timing of the dream. I had it on the day my husband was going to doctors appointments to be cleared for major surgery. What perfect timing to be reminded that God has been with me in the past during turbulent times and He is with me now. And He loves me – He will take care of us. ❤

I have also heard that often dreams from God involve bright colors – you’ll remember a specific color that was in your dream (i.e. someone was wearing a green shirt or you saw a red stop sign). I don’t recall any specific colors in this dream. It has been my experience that color does play a role – if I have a difficult dream that is all in shades of gray and black, it is often a revelation of the strategy of the enemy. I pay attention to those too and ask the Lord what I need to know. It may reveal what is happening in the unseen realm regarding me, my family or something happening in my region or nation. Often He will show me something I need to be praying about.

Sometimes dreams are confusing – the best thing to do is simply ask God to show you what He is saying, if the dream is from Him. Meditate on any themes or feelings you had in the dream. Sometimes you’ll get greater clarity if you take the time to write it down or tell it to a friend. But if no insight comes, don’t worry about it. God has ways of getting your attention. He’ll get the message through to you one way or another!

Have you ever had a dream that you knew was from God? What did it tell you? How did it help you? Feel free to share it with us below.

Companionship with Christ

Did you know that you can enjoy the companionship of Jesus Christ?

I don’t often hear this mentioned when people discuss matters of faith. Jesus Christ is real – He’s alive and active in the world today. He wasn’t just a historical figure known for teaching people to love one another. Most people have heard that he was killed (crucified, you’ve seen the statues, right?), but did you know He also rose from the dead? (Maybe it’s a little harder to make that into a statue.)

Jesus is the only one who died, came back to life in his physical body and then went to heaven (without dying again). What’s unique is that He told His disciples before He left – I will always be with you. (Matthew 28:20)

This is not something theoretical – this is real and practical. Have you ever experienced the companionship of Christ?

The other night I was laying in bed thinking of something – praying about something that was on my mind. I can’t recall now exactly what it was. Probably worried about someone I love – that’s usually what’s on my mind before I fall asleep. As I was talking to Jesus, I became aware of His presence. One minute I was alone in the room, talking to the ceiling and the next minute I was not. He was there. It was a gentle, comforting sense that He was listening, paying attention, keeping me company.

I was reminded that Jesus said, “I will ask the Father and he will give you another Comforter.” And He promised about this Comforter, “He will never leave you.” (John 14:16)

In The Message Bible, it says it like this:

“I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you.”

That’s really unique. A Friend who will always be with you.

Companionship is really important – we are not meant to do life alone. Though if we’re honest, most of us feel alone. In our innermost thoughts and worries, no one really knows what we’re thinking or how we are feeling.

Even when surrounded by other people, many people feel alone. There’s just no way another person can know what it’s like to be YOU.

Except Jesus. He’s the exception – He can know. That’s really amazing, isn’t it?

When you allow Him into your life, He brings with Him the knowledge He has about you, about life, about other people and what they are like. And most of all – He brings His love, His comforting presence, His companionship.

He wants to be our companion in life. He wants us to enjoy His friendship – to be aware of His ever-present help and support.

I love that about Him. Think about the story of Adam and Eve in the garden. It was God who came looking for them. Why? To spend time with them. You get the impression from the story that He often came “walking in the garden in the cool of the day” to hang out with Adam and Eve. He likes our company.

I encourage you to consider the companionship of Christ. He can be with you if you’d like. Invite Him to make you aware of His presence. Talk to Him. Look for Him. Give yourself permission to enjoy and receive His friendship.

He likes you and He enjoys being with you. ❤

Confronting Intimidation

Yelling boss

Jenny* called me on her drive home from work. She told me how her boss was not treating her well. He was humiliating her in front of other employees. Now the higher up boss was doing it too. She felt so embarrassed when they did this.

What made it even more infuriating was that she was filling in for 4 other people who had left the job. She was working really hard, really long hours trying to keep everything running in her department, but instead of being appreciated and thanked, she was being called out on every little mistake they were finding. She was exhausted, both mentally and emotionally.

When she first got this job, they had shown her a lot of respect. She had many years of experience in the industry and they were very happy she had joined their team. Now she felt intimidated daily by all their accusations and frustrated no one could see the good she was doing. She was angry, tired and feeling overwhelmed.

I listened and tried to empathize with her. I recognized a pattern – this was similar to the previous job she’d had. That boss had accused her and treated her badly as well. She justified his actions because she knew he had mental health issues and was on and off medication. This time there was no justification.

“You’ve got to deal with this in the unseen realm,” I told her.

“This is not normal. You’re right. What should I do?” She agreed.

“You need to take authority over this spirit of Intimidation so that it doesn’t harass you at work any more,” I said.

“But how can I? It’s my boss. I don’t have authority over him. I don’t want to be disrespectful of his position,” she replied.

“You’re right. You do want to respect his position. But you don’t deserve to be treated disrespectfully. That’s not right! I learned something that I believe will work for you. You cannot change his actions, but you can bind that spirit of Intimidation from manifesting in your presence. Then you’ll just be dealing with a normal human being – not one that is being influenced and empowered by an evil spirit,” I suggested.

She agreed to try it. I sent her some prayers to pray before work. I put them in an email so she could keep it easily accessible on her phone. Here’s the message I sent her:

Here are 3 specific prayers that will help you stand and take authority in your situation.

You don’t deserve to be treated with disrespect. You don’t deserve to work in an environment where you feel intimidated.

1. I come out of agreement with fear and intimidation. I release peace and trust in the Lord into my soul. (pause for a moment)
2. Spirit of Jenny, I call you to attention. Please come forward and lead. Soul, please go to the back and rest. (pause for a moment)
3. I take authority over Intimidation operating through (name of person). You do not have permission to manifest in my presence. I release the fear of the Lord, wisdom, humility and teamwork right now, in Jesus name! Thank you, Lord!

Save this email. When you cannot think straight, say these 3 prayers in this order.
Also say them before any time you know you will speak to your boss, supervisor, etc. Any person who is not treating you right – say this prayer before you talk to them. I would encourage you to say these prayers each day before work.

You WILL see this situation change – I promise!

The next morning I sent her a short text message reminding her – she said she got my message while driving to work and immediately pulled over so she could say those prayers.

At the end of the day, I got this message from her:

“I don’t have words enough to thank you for your time listening and your time writing this for me. Thank you for your prayers. Today was a good day at work. I haven’t had a good day like this in a very long time.

Many times the issues we have with people are not about the people themselves. It is an attack against us by demonic forces. They want to see if you know who you are – your identity in Christ.

Paul said in Ephesians 6:12:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood (human beings), but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Especially when you see the same pattern happening over and over in your life, it’s safe to assume there’s something spiritual going on. Ask the Lord for insight and understanding. Feel free to adapt these prayers to fit your own situation.

I hope this post will help someone today – it certainly helped Jennie! 🙂

Feel free to share below any specific prayers that you have found helpful so we can learn from each other. And if you try these 3 prayers – please let me know how it worked out for you. I expect you’ll see a shift in how people are treating you at your job too!

*name changed to protect privacy

For more information about prayer #2, follow these links: Spirit vs Soul Part 1 and Part 2

Physical Symptoms of Discernment

Sometimes you can experience physical sensations in your body that tell you something is going on in the unseen realm. Has this ever happened to you?

A reader of the blog sent me this question:
“I sometime will feel the sensation of worms or ants crawling under my skin. Sometimes it will be all over my body, other times just on my head or back of shoulders. I know I’m sensing something demonic and it partly has to do with the enemy speaking lies and trying to manipulate. Why do I feel it in different places and what is the Lord trying to tell me?”

Good question! I had never experienced this before so I sent this question to a few friends who are gifted with discernment and have been walking with the Lord for a long time. Three people told me they had experienced it before. Two people said it was related to witchcraft. Witchcraft is a form of manipulation.

Regarding why it is felt in different places – one person replied that the location on the body didn’t make any difference to him. It was just God’s way of getting his attention that something wasn’t right and he needed to pay attention. Another person responded that the different locations are likely tied into the type of witchcraft – perhaps one is atmospheric witchcraft (on the head) whereas the one on the back is a specific person manipulating you.

Very interesting responses – I like that each person had their own experience of this and was able to provide some insight. We see in part and know in part (I Cor 13:9-12). This is why I started this blog – to open the conversation regarding this topic because none of us has it all together!

This question made me start thinking of other physical symptoms of discernment – what I mean is you have a physical sensation in your body and this tells you something spiritual or unseen may be happening. Often you also get a certain kind of “knowing” that it’s not just a physical sensation, especially if it happens suddenly. There are no “rules” that say, “This symptom always correlates to this particular spirit”. I know that makes it hard for those who are just starting out. The key is to never assume. Just ask the Holy Spirit – He will tell you what you need to know. If you don’t get an answer, maybe you don’t need to know. Or sometimes you might be asking the wrong question.

Why aren’t there “rules”? Because spiritual gifts are meant to draw you closer to Jesus. You become more dependent on Him as you seek Him for understanding. If there was a simple chart or book that explained it all, then why would you need to depend on Him? You could just lean on your own understanding – not a good idea, when it comes to spiritual warfare and discerning what it happening in the unseen realm.

That being said, here are some symptoms that people have experienced in relation to specific spiritual influences. This might help you as you ask the Lord what is happening – if nothing else, it might make you feel better that you’re not crazy and you’re not alone. (One of the main reasons this blog exists, by the way!)

Witchcraft:
Sudden sharp headache – might feel like an ice pick in one side of the head
Ringing in the ears, also means something is shifting in the spirit realm (usually not good)
Sudden Nausea
Painful pressure on the chest

Fear:

Butterflies or knots in the stomach
Tension on the back of the neck, tingling up the spine

Eyes twitching/burning – May be blocked from seeing in the spirit

Ears irritated/plugged – May be blocked from hearing from the Lord

Feeling of being squeezed – Python/Divination

Pain in the lungs when breathing – Needs filling with the Holy Spirit, related to Python perhaps?
Sharp pain in lower left stomach – Rejection

Heaviness on the shoulders – Carrying a heavy burden that was not meant for them
Sudden drowsiness – Leviathan, a spirit that comes against leaders & their followers

Sometimes when you experience one of these symptoms, the discernment is for YOU. To warn you to pay attention and pray for more clarity. Sometimes you are discerning something for another person. It’s very important that when physical symptoms suddenly come that you ask the Lord to help you figure out whether it is for you or for someone else. Also use some common sense and determine whether your body is responding to something in the natural realm. Don’t ignore physical symptoms. But also be careful not to over-spiritualize them. If they are part of the gift of discernment, then the Lord will give you clarity as to what to do with them. Once you take the action He tells you (pray, decree, bind, loose or whatever), the symptom will disappear. If it doesn’t, it might just be a headache. Rest, drink water and it will go away. 🙂

Was this post helpful? Please leave a comment below. If you’ve experienced a physical sensation related to discernment, please let us know.

Battle Strategies in a Song

You gotta know when to hold ‘em

Know when to fold ‘em

Know when to walk away,

Know when to run!

 

These lyrics from the song, The Gambler, by Kenny Rogers came to mind today as I contemplated some principles of spiritual warfare that I teach.

When the enemy is invading your territory (i.e. your home, your relationships, your business), it is vitally important to know which action to take.

There are times when you are supposed to “hold ‘em” – that could be standing your ground, making declarations in the spirit realm or even confronting another person about the darkness they are bringing into your territory.

There are times when you need to “fold ‘em” – that made me think of folding your hands together to pray for the situation. Maybe the bulk of the warfare is just clearing out the emotional baggage in your own heart and mind. This usually requires repentance – your own, or on behalf of someone else, and often on behalf of someone in your bloodline or ancestry.

There are times when you need to walk away. Yes, this is hard. But sometimes the best thing to do is pray for the other person and then say, “This is not my problem. You need to figure this out.” You emotionally disconnect from the darkness they are bringing into your life. You still love them, but you just step back from being emotionally attached to their breakthrough. This is often the hardest step for most of us to take because it doesn’t feel like love – but it is. It’s called Tough Love. And it can be a critical step to surviving a battle.

Lastly, “know when to run” means to be very aware of backlash from the enemy after you have stood your ground. You don’t literally “run”, but you do make sure that every door of opportunity that he has used against you is slammed shut and sealed with the blood of Jesus. You don’t open it and check to make sure – you keep that door closed!! If alcohol has been a problem for you, you don’t take one sip at a party just to see if you’re still free of it. If a certain person has been removed from your life, you don’t send a birthday text just to make sure they know you remembered it was their birthday. Don’t do it!

Backlash Can Be Brutal

I think the hardest part of spiritual warfare is the surprising force with which Backlash hits you. Usually when you least expect it. You’ve done the hard part of standing your ground, cleaning out the emotional “garbage” from you and your bloodline, releasing your sense of responsibility for the breakthrough of the people involved and finally you rest. Ahhh, the breakthrough is coming – I can feel it. You may even begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Then, BAM! You get hit by something unexpected that is designed to shake you to your core. It is sent to rattle you – to cause you to question who you are and your basis for authority. It’s happened to me many times.

Yet all you can do is STAND. Just keep moving forward in faith. Even when it seems impossible and you are ready to give up. Just do it. (And having done all, stand. Ephesians 6:13)

One of the enemy’s main tactics is to get your eyes off of the Father’s goodness and blessing to you and instead turn your eyes onto the darkness he is attacking you with. Use all your strength to ignore him and turn your eyes to God. Stay in Peace – he hates that!

You will keep her in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because she trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

Backlash can be brutal. It makes you wonder who you are and what you think you are doing. It can attack your body, your mind and/or your emotions. Sometimes it is so vile, you don’t even realize what is going on. You just know you are miserable!

THIS is when you need the body of Christ around you. THIS is when you need a stable prayer partner or someone you can call to help you. Having a person who is very prophetic and sees in the spirit clearly can really help you break the power of backlash – because you will think you are losing your mind. You need someone who can tell you, “Wait. This isn’t yours. This is backlash. Let me pray.” And when they do, suddenly all the effects of backlash disappear.

I didn’t know that the enemy could attack your emotions and suddenly make you feel depressed, overwhelmed, jealous, fearful, suicidal, [insert any negative emotion here] FOR NO REASON. I thought emotional attacks were related to your actions – for instance, if you focus on your problems, you can get depressed or feel overwhelmed. But when you are suddenly hit with deep, overwhelming emotions that are dark, it surprises you. You have no idea why they are there. You can’t “fix” ‘em because they are NOT yours! They are often so thick that it is hard to think clearly so it may take a while for you to figure this out. That’s why having a close relationship with another intercessor or prophetic person can really help – tell them how you are honestly feeling and then the Lord can give them insight for you.

So, remember,

You gotta know when to hold ‘em

Know when to fold ‘em

Know when to walk away,

Know when to run!

And how do I know when to do each of these in battle? , you might be thinking. Answer: ATL

That means Ask The Lord. He is the Commander-in-Chief and He is the only one who knows which step is needed when. You follow Him and everything will work itself out for your good.


Got any keys that help you in battle? Please feel free to comment below so we can learn from each other. 🙂

Cursed Objects – Do you have any?

Rating: Creepy, educational

A woman wrote to me recently and said she had participated in a Santeria ritual with her boyfriend because he told her it helped him achieve his goals. She did not realize how dangerous this was. She later suffered the consequences and asked me how to get rid of the “bad energy” in her house. Santeria is a form of witchcraft – it is a ritual to call on unseen powers to do what you ask them to do. People think they are in control of the powers that they invoke, but in reality they are not. There are 2 kinds of unseen power – God’s power and Satan’s power. If you are not calling on Jesus to help you, guess who’s power you are asking for? It may go by many different names, but I guarantee you – any power not coming from God is dangerous. You can get hurt badly. Don’t mess around with it.

Sometimes people are given objects that carry some of this unseen power. You may have received one as a gift. It might be a bracelet, a necklace or a figurine (like a sculpture of a turtle, frog, owl, etc.) It could even be something very nice and very expensive. It might not look like it has unseen power attached to it. It might be a beautiful painting, a piece of clothing or even a child’s toy.

If an object has been used in a ritual, it can carry an “attachment” to the unseen realm that is dangerous. We call this a cursed object. It can bring “bad energy” or evil spirits into your home. People who are very sensitive to the unseen realm can often sense it. I have a friend that can hold any object in her hand and tell you if there’s energy on it. I have another friend who can “see” whether there is something attached to an object. Not everyone has these types of gifts, so what can you do if you think you might have a cursed object in your home?

Symptoms that you might have a cursed object in your home:

A bad feeling in a specific region of your house (i.e. a certain room or closet)

Suddenly getting very, very sick for no reason

Suddenly having a lot of chaos or conflict in your home for no reason (i.e. the kids keep fighting whereas before they played well together)

Having a sense that something is not “right” in your house –  you may feel this when you first walk into the room where the object is

Feeling like you are being watched when you are alone at home (this feeling may intensify at night)

First, ask God to come into your home and cleanse it. Open your heart to Him and ask Him to come into your life. Choose to follow Jesus and ask Him to forgive you for your sins. Do this sincerely – you can’t fool God. He knows whether or not you mean it.

Then ask God to fill you with His Spirit. Wait a few minutes. Ask God if there is anything in your house that you need to get rid of. If you have a specific object in mind, bring it out and ask Him to show you whether you need to get rid of it. He will show you. He might show you immediately or He might show you later.

Sometimes it can be hard to get rid of something that is cursed. It might seem wasteful to just throw it away. Sometimes people are tempted to give it away to someone else. But why would you want to pass on a curse to someone else?

If God shows you something you need to get rid of, then do it! Take it outside of your house and throw it away or burn it. You really don’t need a cursed object in your house.

Whenever someone tells me they feel “funny” in their house – like something is not right – I ask them to pray over the house and then ask God if there’s anything that doesn’t belong there. Often they discover an item they recently obtained – either they bought it or a friend gave it to them. For some reason, that item is not supposed to stay with them. Sometimes the item looks really innocent – and you may question yourself, “Why should I get rid of this?” But if God is showing you to do it, just do it. You’ll be much better off without it.

There have been times when I have bought something at a place that had weird vibes. Just as a safeguard, I ask God to wash off anything associated with the item. I cut off any assignments attached to the item and I ask God if it’s okay to keep it. In most cases, it is. If not, I get rid of it. I don’t want to bring any item that has a curse into my house!

If an item comes to mind while you are reading this article, that might mean something. Ask God to show you.

If you have had a cursed item in your house, please feel free to share your experience below. We all learn from each other as we share our experiences. How did you know it was cursed and what did you do with the item?

Spirit Guides – Andrea’s Transformation

When I first met Andrea*, my spirit jumped and I was excited to help her. I couldn’t explain it by anything I could see with my eyes, but my spirit “knew” she was ready for a great breakthrough. During our first session together, she mentioned that she had spirit guides and that she received messages from them. I listened compassionately, then gently said to her, “I want to warn you. It can be very dangerous to communicate with spirit guides. I have heard some really terrible stories of people who were harmed by them. They seem to be friendly and helpful at first, but later they become pushy, wanting more and more control, especially if you’ve invited them in.”

Spirit Guides - Do we need them?

Spirit Guides - helpful or harmful?

She looked a little alarmed and said, “Well, I’ve never invited them in.” I simply nodded. I didn’t say more because I knew it wasn’t time yet. I asked about her spiritual background. She told me she had been raised in a Christian family that was very strict about church attendance. She didn’t like the way she was taught to fear God with a sense of judgment and condemnation. When she left home, she decided to leave the church and explore other forms of spirituality. This led her to the New Age belief system and developing a connection with her spirit guides.

Fear of Supernatural Evil

As we worked together over several months, she often had experiences related to fear and anxiety, especially fear of supernatural evil. I told her that my primary protection against fear of supernatural evil was to connect with God. I explained that my concept of God was not fearful and condemning, but rather loving and just. I told her God was someone I could trust to take care of me and was much more powerful than any form of evil. I could tell she was interested, but still cautious.

We worked through many of her fears and other issues using the exercises in this book. Little by little I saw a transformation in her. Her anxiety reduced, she started to love and accept who she was and had less stress. I encouraged her to open her heart to God and ask for His help. I encouraged her that He loved her and cared about everything that concerned her. She was still hesitant, but open to the idea.

A few weeks later, I saw a HUGE change in her. She told me, “I don’t know why I waited so long to do this. This week I opened my heart to God completely. I feel so much peace and I don’t feel alone anymore!” She was beaming as she spoke. I was thrilled.

Know God Know Peace

From that point on, her path became clearer and clearer. Every time we met, she had stories of how God was helping her deal with one thing after another. Her peace and confidence were increasing. I suggested that she read Victory Over the Darkness by Neil Anderson. She did and then she read the book that the author recommends after that one called, Steps to Freedom in Christ. This book includes very specific prayers to pray to be released from spiritual darkness. She prayed through every single one! By now the taste of freedom she had experienced made her long for more. She was eager for every drop she could get!

She realized that she needed to ask Jesus to forgive her for rejecting her Christian faith. She decided that she could disagree with the way she was taught, but still trust Him to guide her. She opened her heart to Jesus and began a relationship with Him. The next time we met, she told me she had experienced so many breakthroughs!

The supernatural realm was no longer as scary as it used to be

Here are some of them:

– the supernatural realm was no longer as scary as it used to be
– she stopped hearing from her spirit guides as much and their thoughts were less intrusive when she did hear them
– she felt validated for her spiritual discernment, that she’s “normal” and not weird
– her fear and anxiety substantially reduced in all areas of life
– she noticed her discernment was much more clear, instead of just feeling “something”, she had specific insight into what she was sensing
– her daughter was no longer scared at night (as she had been for years)
– she felt less needy and felt instead that she had something to offer others
– she found herself acting less self-centered
– people started spontaneously coming up to her and telling her their problems; she felt she was able to help them simply by listening with compassion
– her husband started showing an interest in spiritual things and wanted to go to church with her
– her relationship with her husband improved as she showed him respect
– she was sleeping better and had much fewer nightmares
– she had a strong sense of well-being and experienced so much peace that it was literally a physical sensation

Wow! So much change! It’s amazing what having a healthy, loving connection with God can do! Andrea’s life was changed completely. From then on, every time we met she had such peace. I remember when I first met her and how much anxiety she had. She is a completely different woman now! Even her children have thanked her for being their “rock” during a difficult time in their family.

It is such a pleasure to witness the spiritual transformation of another human being. I love to partner with God to help His children reconnect with His love.

A note for those who have spirit guides: One of the things Andrea discovered was that she didn’t need a different source of supernatural information other than God. As she drew closer to God and opened her heart to Him, she no longer needed her spirit guides. God provided direction, support and comfort to her – the things she used to get from her spirit guides. She noticed that sometimes her spirit guides said things to her that were disturbing or caused her a LOT of fear. This was not true with God – the things she heard from Him were always encouraging and reduced her fear or anxiety.

Do you have any examples of how your life changed as a result of developing a relationship with God or Jesus? Please feel free to share in the comments below.

*name changed to protect individual’s privacy