Tag Archives: spirit

Into All Truth, Part 2

Today’s post is a continuation of yesterday’s story

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Nneirda

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Nneirda

The next part happened quickly. A black shadow seemed to burst from the pot and flow over the half wall separating the kitchen from the great room. The motion light outside the kitchen window flashed on as the darkness fled. After an initial moment of shock, I darted into the kitchen. The vent on my greenhouse window was ajar. On impulse bordering on absurdity, I cranked it shut and grabbed a garbage bag from under the sink. I shoved the horrid pot deep inside, tied a knot, and continued out to my back porch where I smashed it against the concrete without hesitation. Had neighbors witnessed my fervent display, they would likely have kept their distance. Like a woman scorned, I marched it out to the roadside. I watched the bagged and shattered pot from my son’s bedroom window until the garbage men picked it up the following morning.

After that evening, my son enjoyed restful nights of uninterrupted sleep, and so did I. Yet it wasn’t a story I would have shared with anyone at that point in my life. Just. Too. Weird. Did others have similar experiences, keeping it to themselves? I wasn’t sure I wanted to know.

I can only speculate on the intricacies of what transpired that night — or the other odd events that took place during the years I displayed that hideous pot on the shelf outside my son’s bedroom door. I am far from an expert in such matters, but I can assure you that I now believe evil spirits move among us, plaguing unsuspecting believers and vulnerable innocents with dark intent. Prior to that event, I’d been numb to it. Blasé even. It was the stuff of movies. Not my concern.

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.” (Galatians 1:3-4)

So there it is. Not something that will come up often in casual Christian conversation, but perhaps something one of you needed to hear today. I’ve only told this story a handful of times before now and only to those close to me, but for some reason, it seemed important to share. I’ve learned to surrender to such nudges. Christ made the ultimate sacrifice to rescue us from the evil of this world. Faith in that truth will shield us from whatever form of evil Satan sends our way.

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. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:13-18)

Do I believe there are strategies and tricks of Satan at work in this world? Absolutely. Do we need to examine every object with suspicion? Probably not. But the prince of darkness rules this world and the Bible tells us there are huge numbers of wicked spirits in it. We need to be alert. We need to be ready: armed with faith and knowledge of the word of God. Nothing is worse than being deceived by the evil one. We must knock down his strongholds whenever they are revealed to us.

“It is true that I am an ordinary, weak human being, but I don’t use human plans and methods to win my battles. I use God’s mighty weapons, not those made by men, to knock down the devil’s strongholds.”
(2 Corinthians 10:3-4)

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

Do experiences like mine happen often? I hope not! It’s embarrassing to confess. Most people aren’t going to bring this kind of thing home, but those of us with non-Christian pasts may have some things around the house we need to get rid of. When things don’t seem right, view your surroundings with a discerning eye. We need to be alert, but we don’t need to fear. As believers, the Spirit is with us.

“The Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world.”
(1 John 4:4)

Are you ready to stand your ground in the face of evil?


Into All Truth, Part 1

Those of you who have followed my blog for awhile know I don’t post often, or even on a schedule, but as the Spirit leads. This morning, I woke up at 1:46 a.m. with the urge to share this, and although I would rather return to sleep, I’ll obey the prompting. Perhaps someone needs to hear this. This information isn’t what you’ll hear in the average sermon or Bible study, but seems to be common knowledge among missionaries. Why don’t we hear about it more often, I wonder? This was my experience as a new Christian, and an unusual part of my journey …


 

Photo credit: Nic McPhee via photopin.com

Photo credit: Nic McPhee via photopin.com

“If you love me, obey me; and I will ask the Father and he will give you another Comforter, and he will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, for it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you do, for he lives with you now and some day shall be in you.” (John 14:16-17)

I’ve always loved primitive pottery and I’m fascinated by ancient cultures. Early in my Christian walk, I traveled to Belize and Guatemala. One hot afternoon, I ducked into a dark doorway to escape the heat. It was little more than a hovel, lit only by what few rays of sunlight dared to penetrate it from the doorway behind me. Once my eyes adjusted to its sparse and dusty interior I turned to leave, but a man emerged from a back room and lured me in by bringing attention to his coral earrings. On a shelf farther in, a lidded pot attracted my attention. The shopkeeper seemed pleased by my interest and told me his brother in Guatemala had made it. This piece was about as primitive as a pot can get, unglazed earthenware with tiny sculpting on its sides. I ended up buying it and taking it home, placing it on a shelf in my living room where it sat pretty much off my radar for three years.

Fast forward to the early years of motherhood and the many nights my infant son would wake up screaming. His disturbing shrieks would wake me in the dead of night and I would run to his bedside, heart pounding and unsure how to calm his mind when we couldn’t yet talk through it.

Around this same time an older woman in the church was mentoring me and happened to mention missionary lore of demon-possessed items. It gave me pause, but didn’t prompt any particular concern. Then, one night as I dashed to my son’s bedside, I noticed it. The pot from Guatemala. It was as if a shroud of ignorance lifted and I could view the piece with fresh eyes. In short, it was hideous. A nagging concern clung to me as I held my son, soothing away his night terrors by rocking him in my arms.

After putting my sleeping son back in his crib and heading back to my own bed, my mentor’s words returned to me. Destroy objects if they seem threatening. But why would I do that to my souvenir of a trip filled with wonderful memories? It had to be my imagination, fueled by a mind torn from sleep by horrifying screams. I turned back to eye the object in question. Most primitive artwork has a rustic beauty. This did not. I peered at the sculpting on its rough hewn sides. The shapes registered in my mind: arms, legs, heads. Body parts decorated the pot. As I took an involuntary step back, my breath caught in my throat. Why had I brought this thing into my home and what was I supposed to do with it now?

“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

“The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.” (2 Timothy 4:18)

Out of a growing sense of panic, I did the first thing that came to mind. I recited the Lord’s Prayer, memorized in early childhood, aloud. My love for my Savior flowed through me as I spoke the comforting words … deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever

“Last of all I want to remind you that your strength must come from the Lord’s mighty power within you. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all strategies and tricks of Satan. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies—the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world.” (Ephesians 6:10-12)

Have you ever experienced an evil attack? How did you handle it?

I once considered such beliefs paranoid, but now I see my previous standpoint as naive. Where do you stand? Can an object pose a threat?
Is it something we, as Christians, should be concerned with?


What happened next??

To keep my posts brief, this story will be done in installments.
Return tomorrow for part 2, or subscribe to my blog for alerts.