I was a nut, a complete nut. What you see on the outside with a person is rarely what they are really like on the inside or in private. I had been saved for decades, was a bible school graduate, held full-time pastoral positions…but I was still a nut.
In my childhood, the seeds were sown for this “nuttiness”. We played with the ouija board. It worked. With amazing accuracy, it predicted things. It was fascinating.
As a very young child, I watched a daytime talk show about alien abductions. It too was fascinating and very frightening.
Fast forwarding to manhood, after my conversion in the Jesus movement, I was delivered from outright occultic practices. However, I still held on to what was politically correct occultism.
I was intrigued with the paranormal world of ufo’s and aliens. The more I read, the more my life was filled with anxiety and fear. I would be out in the country with friends and see alien craft. Waking up in the night, I was often literally paralyzed with fear. There was something in my room. Invisible, possibly touching me, I couldn’t lift a finger or even begin to scream.
I hated lonely places. I was sure I would be abducted some day.
One night we were camping on top of a mountain in a very secluded place. Our family campfire was interrupted by two bright lights coming at us rapidly though the woods. It was every man and child for themselves! Neurotically, I led the charge up the hill and back to the cabin. I was sure aliens were about to abduct us. It turned out to be a tractor.
My children were not exempt from this spiritual nuttiness either. They saw things.
Our girls would wake up in the middle of the night and see “little people” in the hallway.
The boys shared a bedroom in the basement. Each night they lay frozen in abject fear. Ugly ghoulish faces floated in the dark right in front of their eyes. They knew enough to tell the ghouls to leave in Jesus’ name, but they were not obeyed. The entities remained, taunting them, mocking them.
In desperation, they would play Carmen’s music. Carmen was a popular Christian music artist who had a ministry of exposing the demonic and freeing people from it. Carmen’s powerful music did not work either. The terrifying, luminous faces would persistently visit night after night.
My eldest son would sit in the evangelical church where I was on staff and see the pastor’s face morph into a hideous demon before his very eyes.
When there is a genuine encounter with the Holy Spirit there is deliverance. Many attest to deliverance from drugs, alcohol, illicit sex, etc. We were delivered from “nuttiness”.
Here’s how it went down.
We were weeks into the renewal (see previous posts). God was shaking us upside down and emptying us of crap and pouring into us His presence. In worship and in ministry time, I was literally feeling myself being washed from anxiety, fear, and paranoia. I no longer woke up in the night, frozen with fright. Lonely places were no longer dreaded.
As His living water rinsed away the demonization, tangible spiritual power and authority would be deposited in its place.
Our boys divulged to us the nightly torment that was occurring in their basement room. We felt led to confront the problem head on. Joining hands that night in the basement, we invited the Holy Spirit to fill us and the room with His powerful presence. The weight of His glory came immediately. Debbie fell over. Authority filled our beings. We commanded whatever it was to depart in Jesus’ name. Going from room to room, we went through the whole house commanding and renouncing the darkness.
All of us went to bed confident. Surely, the problem was now solved. It wasn’t.
In the middle of the night, the boys heard loud thumping from the crawl space behind the wall of their room. Apparently, the demonic entities felt they had permission to remain there. It was the one space we did not specifically deal with the night before.
We gathered in the basement again, addressing the crawl space. It was done. The torment was over.
The Holy Spirit was teaching us that words without power are useless. We can command the enemy all we want but if we are not presently filled with Jesus’s presence and power, they will laugh at us just like they did with the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19:14.
Renewal is not about people falling down, shaking or having encounters. It is about change, real change for the better. The Holy Spirit is a powerful Friend. He so wants to free us…even from our nuttiness.
The Spirit of God wasn’t finished with us in this arena of spiritual confrontation. He wanted to export it. Halloween had previously been a time of fascination and fear for our family. Now, He would turn it into harvest.
Next – “Hell House”