12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Since moving to Denver I have encountered a sensitivity to the spiritual realm that I have not experienced since I was a child, living in the suburbs of Philadelphia. In particular, since June or July of 2017 until now, my spirit has sensed what I can only describe as territories of the demonic in different areas of the city. That’s really, really difficult to explain, and even more difficult to articulate what the “feeling” is. Here’s the thing – I don’t know why this is happening. For a while I didn’t examine the reality of this, but now I am beginning to. I don’t expect to understand the full reason for my renewed sensitivity to the spiritual realm, but no matter what I am reminded to become more prayerful. Everywhere. Always.
Between June 2017 – April 2018 Satan had a field day with the way I was living my life. I was broken-hearted, newly married, believing lies that I was alone and my husband didn’t want to be around me, grieving friends and family, feeling inadequate with my “lack of accomplishments,” and much more. My pride was being challenged daily. Even after starting a job that I loved I was depressed and exhausted from over-committing to church service or pouring into others when I was bleeding my spirit dry. I had no prayer life, nor an understanding that I wasn’t pursuing God, I was first pursuing community. I tried and I tried and I tried, until one day I broke.
The middle part of this story, from my breaking point into darkness, to my breaking point back into light, is not something I can write about yet. I want to and I believe I will in the future, but right now I can’t. I can say that between June 2017 – April 2018 Satan had a field day with the way I was living my life.
One thing I will share is that I unknowingly (at first) began playing around with tools the enemy uses to devour non-Christians. Now, he could not devour me entirely, because I am claimed by the blood of Jesus, however, he was given enough access to me to cause confusion and a spirit of heaviness. It was madness.
There is no way to simplify my way back to repentance. It was a long and very painful journey, complete with rejection, marital counseling, a consistent searing of my flesh, a few moments of falling back into the darkness, and a lot of prayer and reading the Bible.
- “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” 1 Pet. 5:8-9
- “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Eph. 6:11-17
- “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:3-5
- “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
- “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
God is so good, so faithful. I am thankful for the Holy Spirit, my counselor, who has brought me back to specific memories from my “moments in the dark” to teach me what I was doing, and what was happening around me in the spiritual realm. I am now eager to be sober-minded, which not only includes alcohol, et al., but also the food I consume. For me, sober-mindedness is not completely possible when my brain is fogged from sugar or flowing along with the American diet. I have a renewed responsibility to be alert and attentive to the work of the Holy Spirit around me. One of my non-Christian co-workers is being plagued by a spirit of fear, and the Holy Spirit brought this to my attention over coffee this week, and then proceeded to provide me with the words to take the conversation deeper. She came to church with me today, and wants to come again. Another non-Christian friend picked up tarot cards on her recent vacation. I have been praying for her, that if/as she begins to encounter the demonic she would have an immediate and palpable sensing of Jesus when she is around me. I want her to become curious and incredibly attracted to Him.
God is at work.
Cities are places with high-densities of broken and abused people, who are made in the image of God. Evil is present in corners and crevices, and evil is blatantly paraded on the streets. There are times the air is thick with heaviness and I become quite aware of my small size and seemingly small affect on this place. But — greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world. I will put on the garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness. I will thank the Lord for what He has done and who He is. He has ALREADY conquered sin and death. While I am confused by what I see around me, I rest in Him.
And they have conquered him [the dragon] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Revelation 12:11