There's a lot of recent talk about evil spirits in the form of spiritual warfare, demon possession and exorcisms(especially in movies) and conspiracies around the illuminati - believed to be a devil worshiping group driving much of the entertainment industry. While a lot of the comments I read indicate that many young people feel that its all made up theories to get them back in church and off of any-non gospel music, you kind of have to stop and wonder - is this spiritual warfare thing real and relevant to young people in real life?
Growing up, I never really paid much attention to talk of evil spirits, spiritual warfare, or even the devil's schemes and power. All I knew was that there was a God somewhere and He's boss - which still holds true (praise God). And frankly, being from a Nigerian background and watching 1000+ movies about people going crazy, killing for rituals and seeing witch doctors and whatnot, I didn't really see any of those theories as anything more than entertainment, or ways to scare people into church. [I still think people use this to their advantage though, but that's a topic for another day]
However, a lot changed in recent years as I started to ready my Bible more often, get saved, and grow more into my spirituality, I've definitely become more sensitive to these things.
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. -Eph 6:2
I never really felt like I'd end up wrestling against any spiritual forces of evil, but as I read and meditated more, I realized I have since my youth, and as I talk to other people - its more prevalent than you might think. This morning actually was no exception. As some of you know, I balance my business with many other priorities (another startup, professional societies, church and having a life) so last night ended up being a take-a-nap-then-get-back-to-work-till-dawn kind of night. At around 6:45am I was finally done, and decided to take a nap before getting to my 9-5. After finally falling asleep, I had a really weird series of short dreams then realized I was dreaming and woke up.....partially. I heard a voice, which sounded like a family member talking to me, and then pressure on my bed like someone was sitting next to me......and then as soon as I remembered that I wasn't with my family that day.....and was in my house alone I panicked and tried to get up, but I couldn't. Something was holding me down, and I couldn't breath or really move. The strange thing is that this has happened to me since maybe middle school every few years or so, and praise God I always knew that if I could just push through enough to say Jesus' name, the hold would loosen up. [sidenote: Take your kids to church people.] I never really talked to anyone about it because I figured no one would understand, but Jesus had my back anyway. But in more recent years, where I've come to know God a lot more intimately, things have gotten harder. A few times its taken longer to push through to finally call on Jesus, and the episodes where I can feel something in the room with me started happening - and I'm positive that these aren't just dreams. I always wake up just exhausted and breathing heavily. And in recent years, this has only really happened during lent. Other things like feeling something hit or shake my bed has happened, but strangely, in my entire life - there's only one time (3 years ago) that I remembered actually being afraid. That time, things happened for 3 days in a row and I started getting scared that it'd keep going, but thank God again, for prayerful friends who rallied around me when this happened.
Today I may be rambling a bit - but it really was on my heart to remind all of us young people to be sensitive to the spirit. We have to feed it so that we're READY and can remind ourselves of what the Bible says when it counts:
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.......
and with your feet fitted with the READINESS that comes from the gospel of peace.-Eph 6:13 & 15
You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. - James 2:19
So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty. -Zech 4:6
I don't think I really have to paraphrase the scriptures much, but there's a lot here that we HAVE to remember, and remembering this kills worry, and equips us to receive what God has for us, as well as what he protects us from. The devil can't lay a finger on us, unless God allows it first. So yes, spiritual warfare is very real, but we don't have to be afraid. We just need to keep feeding our spirit with God's word and God's spirit and when the time comes, put that full armor to work!
I'm hoping today's post was insightful, and if you agree, disagree, want to add something or all three, please comment below! I'm a growing Christian myself, and healthy conversation can only bring good.
Until next time folks,