I didn't always believe in a spiritual realm myself.
Back in October of 1988, when I was 19 years old, my world was turned upside down. Before that I thought I had a good understanding of the way the world worked and I didn't think God was part of it.
When I was faced with the reality of God's existence, my whole worldview changed. I came to realize there was a spiritual realm. There were also angels and demons.
Many people, even Christians would like to ignore the reality of demons but they are real and we should be aware of them and their tactics. The bible says the devil prowls about the world, looking for someone to devour - 1 Peter 5:8; and yet many post-modern Christians like to believe and teach that hell doesn't really exist.
Despite the lack of belief in the devil, he seems to be very active in the world today.There appears to be a lot of spiritual warfare going on. There are wars, factions, terrorism, abortion, human trafficking, an overall breakdown of morals in society and division even among Christians.
Since choosing to follow Christ, twenty-seven years ago, I've had both angelic and demonic encounters. Some of the demonic encounters were due to my own stupidity.
When I was a new, young adult Christian, my friend and I, looking for something to do on a Saturday night parked our car next to a teen debauchery party and we sat in the car and prayed for them and tried to take authority over the demons that were influencing them. Well, I'm not sure that is something God was calling us to do and therefore we placed ourselves outside His protection. In that situation we became very aware of the spiritual realm as demons were flying at us and attacking us.
An angelic encounter I once had was actually through a dream but yet I have no doubt that it was real. Leading up to the dream, the Lord kept telling me I was going to have a visitation. I wasn't sure what kind of visitation He meant or when to expect it but one night I had a powerful dream that was very real. In the dream I was in a dark room, wading around in murky water along with many other people. In the distance, I started to hear singing. It sounded so beautiful but I had to strain to hear it. The song started to become louder and louder. The words of the song were, "Follow God and walk in the light." Then in the middle of the room, an angel appeared on a rock. She was the one singing this song. It was the most beautiful song I had ever heard! The angel then lifted up her wings and as she did, the whole room was filled with light. She was so big and so beautiful! She then disappeared. After she was gone, I stood on the rock and said to everyone, "Did you hear the angel?! We need to repent and walk in the light!"
Back in 1998 when we still lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan, we lived in a historic, 2 story home. There was a door at the bottom of the stairs. One morning, around 6 am, I woke up before everyone else and decided to go downstairs and pray. I closed the door leading to the stairs and sat on the couch and prayed. While praying, I felt like the Lord asked me if I would like to be like a fly on the wall and see the schemes of the enemy. I was a little nervous but said, yes. As I was continuing to pray, there appeared to be what sounded like a rubber ball bouncing down the stairs and hitting the door. This kept happening and I was getting angry, assuming it was one of my kids. I fought through the distraction and continued to pray. I then started having visions of people fighting and being divided. When I was done praying, I opened the door and nothing was there. The kids were still sleeping. There was also no ball. I was a little freaked out but what I gathered from that experience is there are three main schemes of the enemy:
- Cause distractions - he likes to distract us from God and our main goal in life.
- Cause anger - he loves when we become angry with each other.
- Cause division - he loves to create division. He especially loves when Christians disagree and argue among one other.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner!
Ultimately, this type of prayer of humility is how to wear the armor of God, fight and overcome the enemy that very much DOES exist!
Ephesians 6:10-18 - Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your waist girded with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, having your feel fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace, and above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the fiery arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit always with all kinds of prayer and supplication. To that end be alert with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.