What follows is the content that will become a book and study on spiritual warfare. My wife and I have presented this material for two, seperate adult small group classes at our church and have received much positive feedback. Your feedback is also much appreciated…
What Was That?
Our wakeup call
My wife and I were deep into a much-needed night’s sleep. Our young boys had been asleep for several hours – when out of our oldest son’s bedroom (then three years old) came a sound no parent wants to hear, ever…..
Screaming – like nothing we had encountered in his three years of little boy activities and adventures – this was different. Not the typical “I don’t want to go to bed” protest, or the “I accidentally wet the bed” distress. This was different…way different… scary different.
Matt was screaming. Frightening, goosebumps causing screaming.
We ran (literally) to his room and threw open the door….and our stereotypical, comfy-casual Christian paradigm would be forever changed.
We immediately noticed two things:
- Matt was sitting up in his bed, but screaming in fear.
- The room felt like a meat locker…… ice cold, strangely, eerily cold.
We had been Christians about ten years; attended church and small group faithfully; read our Bibles, led Young Life clubs and Campus Crusade meetings. I had been leading worship at a local church, and we were both involved with the youth there…..
But this….this was new; this was different. To be honest, it was a little scary. The kind of scary that makes hair stand up on your arms and on the back of your neck . We both felt that we had come face-to-face with something in the cold darkness that felt creepy, dark….evil….and we had never encountered this before.
First priority? Matt.
I snatched him up and held him close.
My mind raced through the Scripture I had been taught and all the sermons I had ever heard for an answer. What do I do here? Arm hair standing, heart pounding, I uttered the only words that I could come up with ….
“In the name of Jesus”, be gone!”, I shouted nervously – not knowing what on earth would happen next. But what happened next would forever change our theology.
It was our wake up call.
Matt instantly stopped screaming. The cold immediately vanished. The hair on my arms fell back in place and my heart rate normalized. Peace. Instant warmth and peace.
My wife and I looked at each other and said simultaneously…”What was that?”
But we already knew.
We had encountered darkness. Our domain, our home, our three-year-old son…had been targeted by evil.
We talked into the night about our encounter, and I remember my first thoughts were honestly relief (it actually scared the pants off me), but those thoughts quickly turned to anger.
“Why Matt?” “Why didn’t whatever that was pick on someone his own size?” I wondered.
As our blood pressures returned to normal and we settled back down into our bed for the reminder of the night, I remember saying to myself – “This makes me mad – this just got personal!” I boldly proclaimed (to myself) – “I will never let this happen again. I am the father, the husband, the leader of my home….. but I have no clue why or how that just happened and what to do to keep it from happening ever again”.
The next day, I was reminded of when our small, newlywed home was broken into and robbed while Billie and I were away for a weekend. We didn’t have much to steal, but they did take our silver set and a Cameo ring, both gifts from her side of the family. I remember the feeling of shock when we walked in and realized what had happened. I also remember stupidly picking up a kitchen knife and tactically slinking around the house looking for the intruders – who fortunately weren’t there.
But it took awhile for us to get over the nauseating feeling that we had been “violated”. Evil people had done evil things – to us. “This is supposed to happen to other people”.
Solution? Take initiative. Take action. Spend the time and money to buy stronger locks, or an alarm system, or a German Shepherd or something to better protect ourselves from evil and those evil people.
The encounter with Matt scared us. But, thankfully, it also woke us up, and our approach to spiritual life would never be the same. We realized, like never before, that we were living in a world at war…and it was not make believe. We could no longer settle for the “church on Sunday, sing a few songs, give some money, read our Bibles occasionally and pray whenever we felt like we needed it” kind of Christianity. We had been broken into, violated – and that was unacceptable.
Once again, we needed to be proactive, take initiative – but what….and how?