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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Spiritual Warfare

Hey there warriors and skeptics alike.  Personally I don't like horror flicks like "The Exorcism".  Firstly, I don't enjoy that sort of thing.  Next, I think that one of the reasons people don't take the spiritual realm seriously is that these movies try to make it into entertainment.  Also, I don't want spiritual warfare to be made into entertainment.  I've been in some spiritual battles myself and it is not fun nor is it something to glorify.  D&D by itself doesn't bug me because it is fictional and not related to horror, although I do feel that it could be twisted by evil.  Any hobby can be twisted, although it might be different forms for different hobbies.  I don't play it because I'm not a big RPG guy and if I did play an RPG it would probably be Star Wars or Stargate. 

Spiritual warfare is a topic that tends to be viewed from a lot of different thought points and paradigms.  Some talk about it so much that it seems to permeate every day of their lives and you have to wonder why they take every bad weather situation as an attack by demons.  Then there are those, even in Christendom,  who believe that the spiritual realm is nonexistent.  They try to explain everything with "facts" and "reason" but they are not truly objective as they count out the spiritual realm altogether.

Some say that science has explained away all spiritual.  Now, somethings that used to be viewed as mystery have been explained by science, but not all, and a lot of spiritual warfare is still unexplained.  We still have cases of illness and healing that Doctors can not explain.  In the New Testament, I feel like they did a very good job of differentiating between illness and spiritual possession/oppression.  The gospels will mention times when Jesus cast out spirits, but also times when he healed illnesses.  These were different to them and they should be different to us as well.

I have had times when I saw black forms over my bed at night and had to order them to leave by the guidance/power of the Holy Spirit.  This darkness was different from the normal darkness in that it had a form.  Normal darkness has no form, just the absence of light.

I remember a day in my Discipleship Training School in Slovakia when we were talking about spiritual warfare, and in particular the aspect of "deliverance ministry" or essentially performing exorcisms.  I had slept really well the night before, but in class, with no reason, I started passing out.  I went up to my room knowing something was odd to get some rest.  We all knew there was something strange about my sleepiness so our school leader came up to my room to check on me and asked me to come down.  I did and a friend of mine who was also the leader of YWAM Slovakia started praying and dealing with it.  Now, I'm not convinced that this was a situation of possession, but I do think it was a situation of spiritual oppression.  Something spiritual was cleaving to me.  We agreed that it might be related to rejection.  After telling it to manifest and then telling it to get out (plus a LOT of burping on my part), something did change about me.  It wasn't psychological, emotional or physical; but it did lead to better emotional health.  It became less frequent for rejection by women to haunt me and I found it easier to be at peace or content about this issue.

These are a couple of my experiences with spiritual warfare.  I also have a few things for you to think about:

1.  Have your Bible ready.  I remember a 2-hour long spiritual battle I had one night.  One of the reasons I made it through was reading scripture over myself out loud.  This wasn't "magical" or "the Force" it was simply the fact that God's Word has power in all realms.  

2.  Don't let the enemy impress you or scare you.  The enemy can't do anything compared with what God can do.  He created ALL of existence!  If you have Him, how can anything else hurt you?  Romans 8:31 "What then shall we say in response to this?  If God is for us, who can be against us?"

3.  Things like sin and, yes, exploring the occult, even through Ouija boards or similar spirit boards, can allow more points for the enemy to attack you or to oppress you.  One thing I learned in my training is that spirits like to specialize in certain issues and make it more difficult for you to draw near to God in those particular aspects of life.

4.  Remember, Jesus already took the biggest step to help you by dying on the cross to take the punishment for your sins so you can be closer to God.  He has help available for you, if you ask.  That is all you have to do, is admit you need help and ask Him for it.

5.  PRAY!  

MOST OF ALL: Don't focus to much on the power that Christ provides in a way that is proud or haughty. Luke 10:20: "However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that you names are written in heaven."  In other words, spiritual warfare is necessary, but not something to celebrate.  It is not as impressive as being able to know God!