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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!! ā¤

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. šŸ™‚

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 šŸ™‚

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

Sexual Harassment from the Dark Side

 

I was having coffee recently with two female friends. Linda* was telling us about a man who was pursuing her romantically. She felt very uncomfortable with his behavior and was trying to figure out how to handle it appropriately. She was afraid to confront him. It suddenly dawned on her that the situation reminded her of when she was a child and was abused. It also reminded her of when she spoke up as an adult regarding sexual harassment she experienced at an organization where she worked. In both situations, she had no voice. She tried to speak up and instead of being defended, the situation got worse. It brought tears to her eyes.

“I can relate. Something happened to me when I was young and I felt the same way. I told my mom and she did nothing. For years, whenever a man would stand too close to me, I would immediately get tense and feel very uncomfortable,” Yesenia* said.

“Maybe the Lord is allowing this man to come into your life to stir up these issues – so you can be healed,” I said.

“I hope so. I thought I had put this behind me – I’m surprised that I got so emotional just telling you about it right now. That must mean there’s more healing for me to do,” Linda replied.

“You know, there’s a spirit behind that man that’s making you uncomfortable,” Yesenia said.

“I know! I was thinking the same thing! His behavior makes me feel intimidated. Last week, we were both at an outreach event and someone put their hands on both sides of my waist briefly. I felt something touch my butt. When I turned around, he was the only one nearby that could have done it. It made me so mad but I didn’t want to make a scene,” Linda vented.

“Man, I would have been angry! How dare he touch you like that without your permission!” I interjected.

“That’s a very intimate way to touch a woman. He crossed the line right there,” Yesenia sympathized. “I’m sorry that happened to you.”

“That’s sexual harassment AND intimidation,” I said. “Intimidation is a spiritual force. It often comes with a spirit of Control.”

“Yeah, someone else told me that he’s very controlling. I’ve seen that aspect of him sometimes. He used to be so humble, but lately he’s become very opinionated and seems to know it all. That reminds me of my ex who abused me,” Linda remarked.

“I bet this is a challenge of your identity. The enemy wants to see whether you really know who you are. You used to be the woman thatĀ men could take advantage of – but not any more! As you allow the Lord to heal your heart in this area, you will become more confident. And I bet that guy will leave you alone,” I said.

Just as we were discussing the spiritual forces behind this man’s behavior, a stranger walked into the coffee shop. He started speaking loudly as he approached our table. He was cursing and making sexually explicit comments.Ā He got right in our faces. We were shocked.Ā He looked disheveled and unkempt. It is obvious he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Nothing he said made any sense.

We felt so uncomfortable that all three of us grabbed our purses and walked toward the exit. Linda turned to him and said, “I feel bad for you. I’m sorry you’re in pain.”

He called her several vulgar names, yelling them as we left. He was really creating a scene. I looked around and there were no employees behind the counter. Where was the manager?

We got outside and found an employee sweeping the outdoor tables. We told him to find a manager and get rid of that man because he was harassing us. As we left, we saw through the front window a manager and that employee talking to the man.

Linda was shaking. Yesenia was angry. I was concerned but not afraid.

“He called me names I’ve heard before. It really shook me,” Linda confessed in a quiet voice. “But I also saw how broken he is on the inside. I feel so bad for him.”

We walk her to her car and watched as she drove away. Yesenia and I walked to my car. The man walked toward us. I got in my car and locked the doors. As I was pulling out, I saw the man following Yesenia to her car. I stopped and waited for her to get in and leave. He was not far behind but thankfully we both were able to drive away without further confrontation.

Yesenia called me as we drove home.

“Do you realize what just happened? That was spiritual sexual harassment! That guy was out of his mind and he came straight over to our table, saying all those obscene comments. It was targeted at Linda.”

“Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. What are the odds that just as we were revealing the spiritual forces behind her current situation that some random guy comes in trying to intimidate us with such sexually explicit comments? And did you notice that there was a policeman there just moments before the guy came in? He disappeared – I guess he left after getting his coffee. That makes me think about authority. If he’d been there, that strange guy would never have gotten away with his behavior. Identity and authority are linked. When Linda recovers her true identity in this area of her life, she will have the authority to stop this harassment she is feeling from this man in her life.”

We paused and pondered what had just happened to us.

“Wow. God is so good. He even uses what the enemy meant for evil to bring about His purposes. I’m so glad we were together,” I said.


*names changed to protect privacy

Does that story sound crazy or believable to you? It’s hard to believe – unless it happens to you. That guy was under the influence of demons. He came in and confirmed that what we were talking about was accurate and important. If it wasn’t, he wouldn’t have come.

The dark side hates to be revealed – just talking about it brings it to the light and reduces its power. Now Linda knows what’s going on and what the Lord wants to work on in her life. That helps her because now she won’t be so worried about this man in her life. Instead she will be focused on allowing the Lord to heal that place in her heart that is afraid to confront this man’s behavior. This will strengthen her in her identity and give her the confidence she needs.

I am so thankful that the Lord joined us for coffee that night! He said he would be there whenever two or three are gathered. šŸ™‚

Has anything ever happened to you like this? Feel free to share it in the comments below.

Spiritual Protection from Dark Forces & Evil Spirits

Rating: Educational

When I was new to the idea of confronting spiritual darkness, I met a couple who seemed to have a little more experience in this area. The wife could discern whether an object had a curse on it by holding it in her hand. The husband could discern spiritual activity (angels & demons) – he said he saw them like comic book characters.

When I met them (nearly 20 years ago), they reported having some experience in helping people get free of oppression from dark forces. I had very little experience so I listened to what they had to say. They seemed balanced – not flaky like other Christians I had known. They taught me some things that I still use to this day.

One of the principles they learned (from experience) was spiritual protection. They reported having really bad experiences of “backlash” after a ministry appointment unless they specifically prayed for spiritual protection. I have incorporated the prayer they taught me with other prayers the Holy Spirit has impressed on me from time to time.

Whenever you directly confront darkness or dark forces through prayer, intercession or in a ministry setting (i.e. praying for someone who is oppressed by evil), afterwards it is a good idea to pray something like this:

“I bind all Retaliation, Revenge, RetributionĀ and Jealousy from off of meĀ and everything associated with me. I cancel all witchcraft and any soulish prayers prayed concerningĀ me or my family. I close every open door to the enemy’s realmĀ and I seal them with the blood of Jesus. Thank you, Lord, for your protection. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Obviously, there is no set formula – you can adapt or revise this prayer to suit your own needs. I have added some parts to it over the years based on my own experience. My friends used to call this “binding the three Rs”. Later they learned that they should add Jealousy. The 3 Rs is still a shortened way to refer to this. My husband and I have also found it helpful to pray this on a regular basis, regardless of what kind of ministry we have been doing lately.

Sometimes when we leave a specific location and are on the way home, I will feel impressed to “cancel any trailing or lingering spirits”. Sometimes I will get a specific impression to “cut off all communication devices of the enemy” and I may also cancel “any watchers or listeners”. A friend of mine has seen watchers and listeners – they are creepy. Just like in a real war in the natural, you might have these elements, right? So it makes sense to me that you might need to pray specifically against these in the spiritual war we are in.

Another couple I know have a habit of praying a “golden dome of protection”. This is particularly helpful if you are in a setting where you feel uncomfortable in your spirit, but you do not want to leave. I have prayed this at a restaurant, for instance. I ask God to fill this dome with His presence around our table and remove anything that does not come from Him. Immediately I feel at peace and I feel comfortable staying at the restaurant. It feels like a personal “force field”. I have found this very helpful and have used it when needed.

How about you? Have you found any specific prayers of protection that have been helpful? If so, please comment below. It is good for us to learn from each other – we all get stronger that way.