“I know that You are for me. I know you will never forsake me in my weakness.”
– Kari Jobe
To hell with you, Satan.
I just woke up from a very demonic dream, not sure how many that makes for this week. I can’t go back to sleep, and the hubs is fast asleep, so instead of bothering him (which I’d really like to do), I’m trying to calm myself down with some hot tea, Hillsong United and the power of the pen.
Let me just say that spirtual warfare is real — very real.
I know. I grew up – and still attend – a Baptist church (the same one). Baptists don’t talk about spiritual warfare. Not that all of us think it doesn’t exist. It just seems to be a taboo of issues, at least of sorts, when it comes to teaching from the pulpit. After all, we wouldn’t want to become one of those “crazy Christians” that blame everything on spiritual warfare and not sin/effects of the fall, etc, now would we?
No, we wouldn’t, but that doesn’t mean that spiritual warfare doesn’t exist. Hardly so.
I’m thankful that well-known people, like Amanda, Beth Moore’s daughter, is willing to share her struggle. I’m also thankful that her experience has been somewhat like mine; it makes me feel less alone, less insane.
As for my experiences…
I first encountered my first real bout with spiritual warfare in 2005 when I was bedridden and dying. Satan and his demons would come like a thief in the night, planting lies formed by twisted Scripture. Since I was half out of it at times, it was easy to buy into these lies – at least for an hour or two. Lies that told me that God hated me and was just out to get me. I also remember when my church experienced a huge church split in May of 2005, mustering up enough strength to go up to the church a few times to pray around the sanctuary. That was the first time I actually saw the outline of demons. I don’t care what anyone says. I know what I saw, and it was evil to its core.
Fast forward to 2006-late 2009:
During this three year time period, I began to understand that Satan and his minions not only attack the mind but the body, as well. During the time I was writing Breathtaking, waiting for its release, and then speaking across the country once it was out, I woke up in the middle of the night many times with a feeling of something on top of me. I couldn’t breathe. Multiple times I felt the presence of evil around me in hotel rooms the night before I was to speak at a conference or a church. I learned how to fight those battles in Jesus’ name and not give in, not recant or back down from my allegiance to the Cross.
November 7, 2009 – present
Satan hates marriage. I’m convinced of it. Why wouldn’t he, after all? Marriage is God’s earthly picture (or is supposed to be) of His Son’s love for His bride, the Church. Don’t get me wrong, John and I have a very good marriage, a blessing for which I thank Him for every day. It’s not perfect, however, nor is it free of spiritual warfare. A phrase we’ve adopted in our home, and often say to one another, is, “I am not the enemy.”
John and I both have had dozens of demonic dreams since we’ve been married. From “chasing” dreams, where one – or both – of us dream about animals or people who then turn into demons chasing us down and either seriously maiming or killing us, to the more sexual dreams that involve being raped by a demon that laughs in my face while I try to quote Scripture, we’ve experienced it. None of these dreams are any fun – at all.
Since we’ve begun moving forward with the ministry, the dreams and lies from Satan have been amped up. There’s even been dreams of demons laying right between us, scheming on how to divide us in our sleep. It’ s exhausting at times. Since we aren’t sleeping all that well, when we’re awake and together, Satan does his best to divide us in any way possible. On our good days, which thankfully outnumber our bad, we fight for each other in a beautifully united front. On our bad days, we give into the lies and don’t give our spouse the benefit of the doubt. We get cranky, inconsiderate of the other and, once in a great while, just down right mean. It’s not pretty. I’m not proud of how I’ve added to the strife. When I buy into Satan’s lies about my womanhood being tied into my fertility (or possibly lack thereof), I can get extremely emotionally needy and insecure, which only adds flames to the fire. Once Satan has me believing that my husband doesn’t truly love me, desire me sexually, or care about my needs, watch out! It’s even uglier.
Pat Benatar was right. Love truly is a battlefield — a holy one.
Either your affection goes to Christ 1st and you selflessly love your spouse, and stand united in that common prioritization, or you’re going to be at war. Simple as that. I can attest to its truth from personal experience multiple times over.
With or without a spouse, though, spiritual warfare is going on. You may not be under a season of heavy warfare now, but trust me, if you truly following the Lord and saying as Isaiah, “Here am I, send me!” (Is. 6:8), you will. Each believer’s experience with it is going to be unique, so maybe you won’t get demonic dreams, evil presences laying on top of you, etc., but know this:
Satan is out to destroy you, so you’ll give up your God-given calling and stop proclaiming His name.
I’m tired, yes, but I’m not planning on renouncing Christ any time soon. The warfare is heavier now that it involves not just how the enemy plays with my mind but also my husband’s. When we corporately call on Jesus’ name, though, and experience victory, that is so much sweeter than before. It makes this season worth it to see God moving in our ministry after being on sabbatical for so long.
Don’t give up, friends.
You’re not alone.
Through Jesus’ power – and nothing we could ever do on our own – we have the final victory!