For too many years of my life, even after becoming a born-again believer in the risen Lord Jesus Christ, I dwelt in a realm of spiritual ignorance and defeat. I had learned a little about the Bible but not enough to make much of a difference. It's the place where average church-goers dwell a Laodicean land with a powerless form of religiosity.
No one had mentioned that we were in an invisible war. The days were sunny and the golfers were swinging. Everything looked normal to me. Sunday was the day of rest, following a lifting sermon. And the rest of the week was the daily grind. I did the best I could with what I had, believing the mantra that God helps those who help themselves. Family arguments were a way of life and when there were problems, wellwho didn't have them?
Such a state might have gone on indefinitely if it had not been for a phone call that came one Christmas Eve It was a weak and trembling female voice. My wife and I had agreed to spend the holidays watching over a Christian retreat center. While we were celebrating in our own insulated world, a desperate young woman had found the number "I need help. I'm about to commit suicide" Suddenly, our party ended.
I was totally unprepared, but had to do something quickly - "God really loves youHave you ever read John 3:16?" The only thing I could think of was to slowly repeat the verse and pray that the Word of God would take hold. She was quiet as I spoke the words through the phone. Then, I thought get her to say it and put her own name in place of "the world" "For God so loved Lisa" But she could not do it.
It was not that she refused I could tell that she wanted to cooperate but for some unknown reason was being stopped. As I pressed her to speak, the uncanny thing happened that sent a chill up my spine and turned my understanding of Christianity upside-down.
It was a different voice that emerged raspy and snarling spewing profanities with a stench of evil and hatred to everything holy. It had blocked Lisa's name and prevented her from completing the verse. The message of love and forgiveness could not be received. She was being closed off in a vile prison of darkness.
Periodically, Lisa's real voice would return, but she would have no memory of the evil words that had passed through her lips. She attempted to cooperate but every time she came close to connecting with the truth, her voice changed. This went on until I realized that I was powerless to truly help her. I needed help.
Later, I remembered that I had asked God a day earlier to open my eyes to the spirit world - if what the Bible claimed was real today! I had grown tired of playing church and wanted more. God had surprisingly answered my request in a way I would never forget.
Lisa was set free that night with the help of some of my Bible-believing friends. As commands were repeatedly issued in the authority of Jesus' Name, I heard clusters of ethereal high-pitched screams lifting, then trailing off. It took several hours until she was finally at peace. Lisa renounced her involvement in the occult and witchcraft and received Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior with great joy.
As I lay in bed that night, my eyes would not close. Looking up, all I could repeat was, "My GodIt's real!"
Since that day, I have served as a pastor, teacher and missionary to the former USSR. My worldview was transformed that night and many other experiences have only validated the truth of God's Word in the Bible There is a warfare going on that is largely hidden from human view. The nature, weapons, and outcome of this battle need to be understood if we are to "fight the good fight" and be more than survivors. For the Christian soldier, victory is assured. And soon the faithful will behold the rewards of their struggle.
John L. Owens
This is the introduction to a free 20-page pdf booklet Positioned for Victory: A Battle Briefing on Spiritual Warfare. Download a complimentary copy at http://ebooks.faithwriters.com/ebook-details.php?id=511
John L. Owens and his family were full-time missionaries to the former USSR in the early 90's. He continues to teach and write from his home in Coastal Georgia. His website, www.TheNinthGeneration.com, features his published novel on the pre-flood earth.
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