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Today on the church blog, here’s a personal experience from my own life about spiritual warfare!
As I’ve preached on before, for the summer of 2009 I worked with a mission organization in Qwa Qwa, South Africa. This experience really opened my eyes to things like the power of prayer, importance of missions, and spiritual warfare.
We stayed on a game preserve in a rural area and traveled to local towns and cities from there. It was absolutely gorgeous scenery. Here are a few photos of our “home base.”
As you can see, South Africa is such a beautiful country.
One issue I quickly noticed, however, was an occasional sense of feeling isolated. We were quite far from town, so this had an interesting psychological effect on us at times. This was only compounded by what we saw while working out in the towns and cities. We might see extreme poverty one morning, then have an odd encounter with a traditional sangoma (or medicine man) in the afternoon, and then in the evening be miles away from others in total darkness and isolation.
I remember suddenly waking up some nights (this was very odd because we were always exhausted from busy workdays). One time in particular, I remember feeling a disturbing, eerie sense of darkness in the middle of the night. I felt like someone (or something) was inside our cabin, but nothing was visible. I quickly heard a slamming sound, too, and saw that one of our windows had flung open and was rattling against the wall. This was real spooky, considering we locked these windows shut before bed. My heart began to beat faster and the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. I had no idea what was going on.
But during this frightening experience that felt exactly like a horror movie, I quickly resolved to pray and recite scripture. Silently praying the name Jesus over and over brought about an indescribable sense of comfort to me. It also gave me a sense of authority, too, where the presence of evil stood absolutely no chance. I felt as though I were slowly gaining the “upper-hand” and restoring peace to this unseen and quiet conflict. Eventually, I fell back asleep with a confident sense of peace after this bad presence had totally disappeared.
I’ve also had a couple friends experience this kind of thing, too. One was traveling alone and saw what he believed to be a small demon in his hotel room. Again, saying the name Jesus gave him courage, strength, and comfort. Another friend of mine worked in Zambia as a missionary for a time, and would hear the sound of radio static at night. And again, saying the name Jesus Christ resolved the terrifying encounter.
I share my own story and these others to emphasize that we don’t ever have to worry or fear spiritual warfare. With the strength of God, nothing will ever overcome you. Darkness will never triumph over the light of Jesus Christ. This week, remember the words of Paul in Ephesians 6. May these verses guide you to stand firmly for Jesus:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 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. 13 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.