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Baptism of the Holy Spirit

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Being baptized in the Spirit of God is beyond wonderful! If you have never experienced it, you are really missing out. 🙂

John the Baptist said, “I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 1:8) He was referring to Jesus Christ. John’s baptism by water was a sign of someone willing to repent and make a change in their life to follow the Lord. 

The baptism with the Holy Spirit is a sign of surrender to the Lord – to be willing to be completely filled to overflowing or “immersed” in His Spirit (baptism means immersed). For most people this is a separate experience from their initial decision to follow the Lord. They want all that God has for them – they want more of Him so they ask to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.

I was a follower of Jesus Christ for 5 years before I even heard of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I was very surprised that no one had told me about it before – especially after I experienced it and saw what a HUGE difference in made in my walk with the Lord. It opened up a whole new realm of exquisite experience with Jesus. I could feel His presence – like right there in the room! I could pray for someone who was sick and they actually got better. Before that experience, if I told someone “I’ll pray for you”, I didn’t have a lot of confidence that anything would change for them. After being baptized in the Spirit, I could literally feel the power of God in my hands. It’s an absolutely wonderful experience and it doesn’t stop. You can ask God to baptize you with His Spirit and He will do it over and over at different times in your life. You can begin to live “full” of His Spirit – full of joy, peace, love, patience, etc. (Galatians 5 – the fruit of the Spirit)

In the book of Acts, Paul went to a city called Ephesus. There he found some believers. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”  (see – just like me!)

And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”

So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”

Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:2-6)

This shows you that you can change your life and and be water baptized in Christ and still not be baptized in the Spirit. It’s something that happens afterwards. It’s not just having the Holy Spirit inside of you, it’s being immersed, filled to overflowing with God’s Spirit.

So how do I get it?

You just ask for it.

Jesus said,

“If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:11-13)

Jesus also told his disciples that receiving the Holy Spirit would give them power. 

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” (Acts 1:4,5 & 8a)

So even though they were already followers of Jesus, He told them to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. That it would empower them to do what He was leading them to do.

Jesus had already told them in John 14:12,

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”

Jesus did some AMAZING things and we get to do them too – by following His Spirit’s leading.

When I experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it really opened me up. It was like a brand new journey in learning how to walk with Jesus. I learned how to speak in tongues in prayer and worship – that was completely new to me. I learned how to hear the voice of the Lord and tell others what He was saying (called prophecy in the Bible). I learned how to pray for someone who was sick and I saw them recover – maybe not every time, but much more frequently that ever before. I learned how to protect myself from supernatural evil – like spirits of heaviness or fear that would trouble me at night. I learned A LOT – and I still am. I rely on the Holy Spirit to teach me whatever I need to know.

So if you’d like to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, just say, “Jesus, I’d like to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. I open my heart to you – fill me up please!” Some people have an immediate experience – they feel something or they start speaking in an unknown language (which the Bible calls “tongues”). Some people don’t experience anything right away but it comes later. You can pray and the Lord to fill you up as many times as you want. There’s no limit!

Some people ask for another person to pray for them to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Like in the book of Acts, Paul “laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” You can do that too, if you wish. It can help to increase your faith to have someone else pray for you who is already baptized in the Spirit. It is a beautiful experience to share with others.

Image credit: Ron DiCianni, artist

If you follow Jesus, you already have the Holy Spirit inside of you – in your spirit. That’s where you are one with God. This is just a deeper experience of being immersed in the Spirit and it’s awesome!! 🙂

If you have any questions about this, feel free to post it below. There’s some great books on this topic if you want to learn more – here’s one to start with: Baptized in the Spirit: God’s Presence Resting Upon You With Power by Randy Clark

Overcoming Fear

One of the major blockages to learning how to use the gift of discernment is FEAR. We are raised to be afraid of what we don’t understand and especially what we can’t see or perceive with our natural senses. Through movies, television, books and other media, we are taught that these things are “creepy”.

I’m sure that’s part of the enemy’s marketing scheme – to make us think that the unseen realm is scary, unpredictable and generally dangerous. I’ve seen a lot of people with beautiful gifts in discernment “shut down” because religious leaders in their lives made them feel ashamed or inferior for knowing about the unseen realm. Anything they couldn’t easily explain or describe was considered some form of evil or witchcraft or “forbidden”. I am so sorry if this has ever happened to you.

So you might feel a little cautious about exploring this realm or the idea of experiencing the unseen realm. You might be

  • afraid of what you might see
  • afraid of what you might feel
  • afraid of what you might hear
  • afraid of being labeled a “witch”
  • afraid of the dark and what might jump out and “get you”
  • afraid of the unknown
  • afraid of the unseen realm
  • afraid of what you don’t understand
  • afraid of your own gifts and what opening that door might mean in the future
  • afraid of (insert your fear here)

I know I was VERY afraid of the unseen realm. It really hampered the development of my confidence in using my gifts. It took a LONG time before I realized fear didn’t have to be associated with the gift of discernment.

fear-is-a-liar

As part of learning how to overcome my fears,  I discovered this little exercise that really helped me. I did the Fear Finder exercise over and over – each time using a different fear (because I had many fears). I did this over a period of a year or so (as fears came up). Little by little my fears disappeared and I can honestly say that now, I’m not afraid of the unseen realm. I am confident and secure. Do I still occasionally get creeped out? Sure, but then I realize that it’s just a scare tactic and I snap out of it. I know what to do when I encounter fear and I know how to get rid of it easily. Maybe I’ll share that strategy in a future post. 🙂

Step: Fear Finder

Go to a place where you will not be interrupted. Take a few deep breaths, letting them out slowly to help you relax and to quiet your mind.

Say these statements/questions out loud and then wait for an answer. An answer may come as a feeling, a thought, a picture in your mind, a word, a memory or just an inner knowing. You can do this alone or with a friend. If no answer comes to the first question, this may not be the right time for this step. Take a break and try again later.

Focus on a specific fear you have and ask out loud,

“Spirit of Truth, where did this fear come from?”  (pause and wait for an answer)

“Who taught me this fear?”  (pause and wait for an answer)

“I forgive _(name)_ for teaching me this fear. I release them from the harm they caused me. I no longer choose to partner with this fear. I let it go.”

Take deep cleansing breaths, release the negative emotions and let them go.

“Spirit of Truth, what can I have in exchange?” (pause and wait for an answer)

“I receive _______ in exchange for my fear of _____.”

(pause and open your heart to receive)

(Excerpt from Freedom through Forgiveness: The Power of Forgiveness Can Change Your Life)

Try it out! I was amazed how many fears this removed from my mind and my heart – instantly! It wasn’t hard at all. Sometimes I got mad when I realized how I got the fear in the first place and I had to work through that in order to forgive and let it go. The book talks about dealing with forgiveness and how to do it when you don’t really want to forgive. But it’s totally worth it because now I’m FREE! I’m no longer afraid like I used to be. 🙂

After you do the exercise, would you mind coming back here and sharing your experience? I often hear stories of how this little exercise has helped people (I share it whenever anyone mentions fear and sometimes I do the process with friends I’m with). It really works!

 

Return + Rest = Confident Peace

The Lord keeps bringing this scripture to mind for me to think about. I thought you might enjoy thinking about it too.

For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”
But you would not. Isaiah 30:15

It really does “save” me (rescue me from stress and anxiety), whenever I remember to return and rest in Him. Rest that He has a plan that I cannot improve upon, that I don’t have to figure out, that I can trust Him to guide me and take care of everything that concerns me.

It really does give me strength to quiet my mind as I rest in Him. Trusting Him gives me confidence. When I’m worried about something, I tend to talk about it. When I’m trusting Him, I notice that both my mind and my mouth are quieter. That gives me peace and strength (conserves my emotional energy).

“But you would not.” – that tells me it doesn’t just magically happen. This is a choice I make. My will opens the doorway to this benefit of rest, confidence, peace and salvation from stress and worry.

Rest in God

This reminds me of quote I love:

“I dream of a people who know that their times are in the hands of their Lord.
They rest with confidence and full assurance knowing that He has laid a plan that they cannot improve upon and that He is directing their future.
So they rest in Him,
waiting for the sound of His voice
and doing with all their heart . . .
whatever is before them to do.”
– Don Nori, Love Shack

 

It’s important to know the sound of His voice – knowing when God is directing you. Do you know God’s voice? If not, there’s several posts on this site that can help you with that:

How to Pray & Hear from God
Hearing God – How Do You Know It’s REALLY God?
God’s Voice vs Other Voices: How Can You Tell the Difference?
God Speaks through Dreams

Let me know if you get any insight from this scripture. This was mine today. 🙂

Deep Healing So You Can Rest

Many times we experience spiritual attacks because of wounds we have inside (emotional or spiritual). We are often unconscious that we have these wounds. We tend to move on with life without dealing with them, usually because we simply don’t know how. These wounds often bring curses or “open doors” to the realm of darkness.

A friend sent me this wonderful video that helps to deal with those hidden wounds. Jim Banks talks for a few minutes and then he does a “prayer process”, as he calls it. He covers several things in his prayer and you will be surprised by how many seem to impact you directly. Many people say listening to this helped them sleep better than they have in years!

He also does some specific things during this prayer that can help with spiritual attacks – he breaks curses and disconnects you from things that may be harassing or influencing you. He helps your body release anxiety and stress that you may not know you are carrying.

I recommend listening to it at a time that you can pay attention without distraction, just before bedtime. The video is a just under an hour. Listening to the prayer makes you very relaxed and sleepy (hence the suggestion to listen before bed).

Once you’ve listened to the whole thing, you can go back the next day and listen to just the prayer process. I’ve listened to it several times and I always get something new. He says on his blog that some people make it part of their “getting ready for bed” ritual, to help them relax and sleep peacefully. 🙂

The video is on YouTube – it’s called Effective Trauma Release — [deeper healing in the spirit]. Here it is:

 

There’s a copy of this “prayer process” in his book, The Effects of Trauma and How to Deal with It.

If you want more in-depth help, Jim and his wife offer individual prayer counseling sessions by phone, skype or Facebook messenger video call. They also offer 1-3 days intensives if you want to meet with them in person. They are currently located near Nashville, Tennessee. Here’s the details of how to make an appointment: https://www.houseofhealingministries.org/personal-ministry.html.

After you listen to the video, please come back to this blog and let me know how it helped you. Your testimony may encourage someone else!

Unexpected KEY to Intimacy with God

I’ve been seeking the Lord for over 35 years. I’ve been in thousands of church meetings and Bible studies – I can’t recall a single time this was ever mentioned as a key to being close to God.

I was amazed when I discovered it. I wish I’d known this sooner. I could have enjoyed the Lord’s love and presence so much more over the years.

It all started one day when the Holy Spirit whispered into my heart, “You can be as free as you want to be.” I was shocked. I had been carrying a lot of emotional baggage all my life – fear, insecurity, low self-esteem, etc. I’d tried all kinds of methods to get free, but it seemed like such a slow, hard process. I was so discouraged – then I heard His whisper.

It gave me such HOPE!

I desperately wanted to be at peace, to be confident and to be a woman of faith that trusted God. I did not want to be this insecure girl full of fear who was always wondering what was wrong with me. Can you relate? (Maybe a little?)

So I started pursuing emotional healing with all my heart AND I finally found a method that worked for me. I was amazed how fast I was getting free of lifelong fears and insecurities. It was like going through an extreme makeover emotionally. I could hardly believe how much I was changing into the woman I wanted to be.

The key was: The more healed I was inside, the more open and trusting I was able to be with God.

As I was healed from emotional pain from my past, it opened me up to trust God deeply in ways I had struggled to trust Him before. I discovered so many lies I believed subconsciously about myself, about God and about how life works. As the lies came to light, one by one, I was able to let them go and receive the truth.

It was so incredibly liberating – I had no idea what a shift it would make in my perspective. I got healed of things I didn’t even know were broken! Words feel so inadequate in trying to explain to you how BIG this was – emotional healing not only set ME free, it opened up a whole new WORLD in my relationship with God!!

Would you like to know what method worked for me? I tried so many different things, but very few seemed to have lasting effects. I finally found a very simple method and wrote it down. When I shared it with friends, they also had big breakthroughs in their own healing. I started carrying around photocopies of my notes because every time someone was helped, they asked for a copy so they could share it with someone else.

I finally put them in a little book. It’s not very long – the main point is to DO the method, not just read about it. I purposely made it short so people could just jump right in and start getting healed.

Thanks for listening to my story. I have so much peace now. I feel utterly secure – confident in who God made me to be. I wish I had words to describe how much better my life is now – it’s blessing upon blessing with no fear of the future. Yes, I still have a rough day once in awhile, but NOTHING compared to what it was like before.

If you are interested in the book, here’s the link.

Can you relate to my story at all? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

P.S. I’d love to support you in your journey to a more intimate relationship with God. I offer books, an online course and one-on-one mentoring. Let me know how I can help you today ❤

Intimate Relationship with God – Free book!

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!

I wrote an ebook to help you develop an intimate relationship with God. It’s free! You can download it by clicking on the link below. I hope it helps you get closer to God. That’s my heart for each one of you who finds this blog – that you might KNOW HIM. ❤

Intimate Relationship with God ebook

Free Ebook: Intimate Relationship with God by Sandy Walker

Download

This short ebook will help you draw closer to God, to know Him more intimately than you ever thought possible. In this book I share what I’ve learned from walking with Him for over 35 years – things like how to pray and hear from God, how to cultivate an intimate friendship with Him, how to experience God’s presence in your daily life as well as how to receive the Love of God in a tangible way. I also include simple, practical exercises that will help you to be more aware of God’s presence, His direction and Love throughout the day. If you’re looking for a deeper walk with God, I encourage you to check out this little book – it’s free! 🙂

When I was younger it was so hard to find anyone who knew God like I wanted to know Him – so I wrote this little ebook as a candle to light their way. 🙂

Feel free to share it with your friends and family. ❤

Book Review: Remnants by Lisa Bergren

Remnants book cover

I just finished reading a 3-book supernatural fiction series by Lisa Bergren called Remnants. It is VERY good. I recommend it.

Book description: Our coming was foretold by the elders— Those who would change the future, just as the planet teetered on the edge of darkness. Born on the prophesied day with birthmarks in the form of a crescent moon, they knew us immediately. Swaddled and screaming, we were spirited away by those who hid us, trained us, and kept us safe until our time came. They poured their lives into us. Some died to save us.

And now we, the Remnants, protected by Knights of the Last Order, have gathered. Called until we breathe our last … to save the world. Amazon link


Although it is written for a young adult audience, the story, characters and plot line are much better than a lot of YA fiction I’ve seen. This has depth and some really good illustrations about the supernatural world that are worth reading.

I’ve been looking for this kind of fiction for the last twenty years – ever since I read Frank Peretti’s, This Present Darkness about angels and demons battling it out over the human affairs of life.

Remnants gives you an insider’s view of what it is like to discover you have supernatural gifts – particularly some of the gifts we talk about on this blog. Like being able to sense spirits – good ones or bad ones. Being able to sense another person’s soul or emotions. It also has a LOT of battle scenes between good and evil, using both natural elements like sword fighting as well as supernatural elements like prayer.

The story develops and unfolds over three books and it’s definitely worth reading. In fact, I appreciated that this was not a “preachy” Christian book. It dealt with some hard subjects like family conflict, reconciliation, betrayal, forgiveness, guarding your thoughts against negativity and avoiding sexual immorality. The main characters grew in their faith and in their gifting as they encountered and overcame many different kinds of obstacles to their mission. They also learn the power of being part of the community of faith and learning to follow the advice of their elders. It never mentions Jesus but instead refers to God as “Maker”. I think the author probably used that as a means to reach an audience that may or may not be Christians. I think it is very effective. The main theme is trusting God no matter what the circumstances look like – a good reminder to us all!

The author was asked about the spiritual aspect of the book – she replied:

Lisa: I believe there is an unseen realm that we humans spend little time considering, but should. Once you begin walking the road of faith, it’s like you put on glasses that allow you to see more and more of it. But I don’t get hung up on angels and demons, because my soul has already been won, and there’s enough to deal with here in our physical world. But are there battles? Yes. Every day, every hour. Given that the Remnants are all about fighting off the dark and leading others toward the light, angels and demons will logically take a bit more stage time with each book. But our human characters will remain the focus.

I could relate to the characters and their struggles – it made me stop and think a few times. It’s rare when a fiction book is that deep and carries such truth. Kudos to the author, Lisa Bergren! 🙂

(You can read more about the spiritual aspect of this series in the author’s online interview here, if you’re interested.)

Emergency Maneuvers in the Spirit

The other day around 5am, I woke up coughing. I realized I could hardly breathe – my chest was very “tight” and my nose was stuffed. I was surprised because I don’t have asthma or allergies and I didn’t have a cold. I had been deeply asleep when I suddenly sat up and started coughing. As I was struggling to clear my airways, I became aware that I was not alone in the room.

Freaky, right?

I could sense a presence next to me – as though someone (or something) was sitting on the bed next to me. I was focused on trying to clear my lungs but I kept glancing over, feeling very uncomfortable. I wasn’t afraid – just disturbed, like you would be if you woke up and a stranger was sitting on your bed.

I started praying and asking the Lord what was going on. The only impression I got was the Spirit of Death. But it was a faint impression – like an outline of a shadow. I tried to see if any legal ground for the Spirit of Death came to mind. Nothing.

I kept praying, trying to “clear the air”: First, I came out of agreement with the Spirit of Death. Then I commanded any spirit not sent there by Jesus to leave NOW. I closed any open doors to the enemy’s realm and sealed them with the blood of Jesus.

It felt a little “lighter” in my room, but that “thing” was still there. I didn’t feel threatened – it wasn’t that strong. I was just annoyed and wanted to go back to sleep.

Related image

I remembered some “emergency maneuvers” I had learned and implemented them. Finally, the air cleared completely! Whew! Thank goodness for my earlier training in spiritual warfare. I certainly didn’t want to go back to sleep with that spirit next to me in bed. Creepy!

As I was settling down to fall asleep, I thought, “I should share these Emergency Maneuvers on this blog in case anyone else finds themselves in a similar situation”. If you pray and rebuke and command and everything else you can think of and things aren’t shifting, then try some of these:

  1. Start talking about the Blood of Jesus. The enemy hates the blood of Jesus. Start thanking God for the blood OUT LOUD. Sing songs about the blood of Jesus. Read or quote scriptures about the blood out loud. Focus on it for a while & things will shift.
  2. Pray in tongues. This is always a good strategy – when you don’t know what else to do and you have no direction from the Holy Spirit, praying in tongues can do wonders. An elderly Sunday School teacher once told me, “Ask the Holy Spirit to pray through you the perfect prayer that is needed for the situation and then pray in tongues.” I always keep this one in mind if I ever feel too foggy mentally – sometimes you just can’t even think straight to pray.
  3. Worship and sing. Worship can be in spoken words or in song – it doesn’t matter. Singing songs can be comforting to your heart and mind, reminding you of God’s power and might. But in my experience, it also specifically increases my awareness of the presence of God. In other words, more of God’s presence fills the room, pushing out any other presence that doesn’t belong there.

I put some Vicks on my chest and was able to fall back to sleep, thankfully. That afternoon on my way home from an appointment, I saw a vehicle that made me stop and stare. Ahead of me in traffic was a white boxy sedan with a white casket attached to the top. The casket was decorated with plastic skulls. The back window said in large letters: DEATH. There was a statue attached to the casket that looked right down at you when you pulled up behind the vehicle – it was the spirit of death (a black hooded cape with no face and no hands – like an invisible being). I was shocked! I almost took a photo of it to post here, but then I thought, “That is so creepy – I don’t want to pass this on to anyone who views the photo!” Here’s an example – a black hood and cape. Imagine the arms stretched to either side in a menacing stance. That’s a pretty good depiction of that spirit (kind of like the grim reaper).

Image result for black cape hood blank face

When my husband got home that night I told him about both events to see if he got any insight from the Lord as to why this was happening. He said he got two words “despair” and “suicide”. Since neither one of us felt that, I asked the Lord to show me who was feeling that way. That evening I baked some sweet bread and took a few slices to my neighbor. She answered the door in her robe and said, “Please pray for me – the depression is really bad right now.” I knew she had been suffering with a lot of pain and was counting down the days until she could have a procedure done that might bring relief.

I asked if I could pray for her right then; I took her hand when she said yes. I prayed against the depression, heaviness and any thoughts of despair or suicide. She agreed with me by saying, Amen.

As I walked back home, the Lord reminded me that about 2 weeks ago she had mentioned to me that she was in so much pain, she had considered ending her life. We talked about it and she made jokes about her husband looking good in all black – he happened to be walking behind us dressed in all black. I told her I would pray for her and I had. Later I looked up the condition she had and an article said it was called “the suicide disease” because so many people find the pain so unbearable that it drives them to consider suicide.

Wow, thank God He gave me a warning to be on the look out for this spirit of death. I’ve been checking on her every day since then – her procedure is in 3 days. Would you mind saying a prayer for her that she finds relief from the pain?

Let me know if you have any emergency maneuvers that you use when nothing else seems to work. Comment below – I’d love to hear them!

By the way, you see why I write this blog – you can’t make this stuff up! It’s just too unusual.

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.)

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: