Last night at Macy's, my supervisor asked me if everything was OK. She had asked me the same question two days before, and I said, "Yes." She said, "Carol, you are making faces and don't look happy." I didn't realize that I was whincing, but I was doing that while putting clothes away. When I would work with a customer, I would smile and be cheerful, but as soon as they left, I was back to feeling sad. Last night, I was really sad, so I told her that some things were going on here at home, and that I was a bit depressed. I tried to joke about it, let her know that I was positive that I would feel better shortly, but this was a lie (a nice lie, if there can be such a thing -- a wish on my part, kwim?)
Two nights ago, I awoke to see a black figure in my room. It was standing at the foot of my bed. I recognized the size and shape of the figure immediately, and I knew what it was. I was too tired to engage it, and too tired to be afraid, so I just rolled over and shut my eyes tighter than normal and tried to sleep. Unfortunately, I became excessively cold, almost chilled to the point where I thought I was going to freeze. This lasted for a long while, and I did eventually fall asleep. In the morning, I inquired of the Lord, and knew that once I again, I was being harrassed by the enemy (Spiritual), and was undergoing a major attack.
I have been cold beyond normal measure these past couple days. My DH expressed coldness too, which is very unlike him. Our furnance is set to 80, if you can believe that, and our outside temperatures are hovering in the 40s at night, 60s during the day. We certainly do not need our furnance to blast at this high of heat. You'd think we lived in Minnesota or some place frigid, and not Arizona.
This morning, I woke up feeling worn out and undone. I talked with my Mom first off, and she could tell I was depressed. I could tell it, and I cried to the Lord and said that I needed to know why I was so depressed. As I sat in my chair sipping my coffee, I asked Him if I was being oppressed. Spirits can oppress you and some take the form of mental illness. Some can bring on depression, anxiety, helplessness, etc. It is not always a circumstance in your life, and the way you can tell the difference is if the feeling is overwhelming and immediate (there is no lead up, no connecting cause). This was how it was with me. I was doing well earlier in the week, and then WHAM! I got depressed, mightly depressed.
I prayed it over today, asking the Lord if this was something I had done. With oppression from the enemy, the inroad (or way in) can be through something you have done or said (sort of opened yourself up -- shown a weakness in your defense) or something someone connected to you has done or said (in the case of a spouse). Consider Satan, who is called the Accuser, and who stands before God and utters accusations at God's people. He is like your best prosecutor, someone who is savvy and sharp and quick to jump on any opening. This is what he does, and this is how he attacks us. He sends his workers out whenever he finds a hole in our testimony, a mistake we have made, or something we have said in haste. Then BAM! we become attacked, all the while, he stands before God and says "See, I told you she would fall, I told you she would crumble and lose faith."
We do battle not with flesh and blood, but with the elements and beings who live in the Spirit world. Whether you like it or not, this is what the Word of God says to us.
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]." Ephesians 6:12 KJV
Our battle may seem like it is earth bound, but really it takes place in the Heavenlies as well as in the here-and-now. Satan accuses us before God, and his minions do work to hurt us in the present. We must stand ready, to be aware (on guard), and to remain faithful. We wield the sword of the Spirit, and lift up the shield of faith, and in doing so, the enemy is vanquished.
Sometimes, however, the enemy doesn't go away. Sometimes the enemy remains because of a foothold (or a point of strength). This doesn't mean that the enemy is more powerful than your faith in God (no, may it never be!), but rather that there is something that has given them power over you. Consider again a court room drama on TV where at the last moment the prosecutor announces a surprize witness or a daming piece of evidence. It is the same thing in the spiritual realm. If there is a witness against you or a piece of factual (concrete) evidence laying about, this often is the reason why the oppression lasts. It might be something you hold dear that needs to be relinquished (perhaps photos of old boyfriends and now you are married, or gifts given to you by men who liked you, but are not your husband). It can be sin natured type items as well -- things that are clearly forbidden in the Word, and they are left in your home or room. These things need to be removed, taken outside the camp, and ideally, burned. Have you ever wondered why God had the Israelites take the foreign idols and objects outside the camp and ordered them burned? This is why. Fire will destroy the connection, the hold, and therefore it is a permanent way to say "I am done with such and such an object." For the sake of other items, more costly ones, they can be sold and the money given to the poor. The point is that items can entangle us in spiritual battles, and simply putting them away in a box, isn't enough. They must be removed from inside the camp (your home -- remember it is Christ's home).
I found such an object today, actually just a piece of paper that had words written to someone else (not me) that professed affection and love. They were written and attached to an item that was to be given as a gift (I am sure for Valentines day). The problem is that I am married, and until the Lord or man separates us, there can be no division, no other person. The problem, of course, is that there is another person, and this person has been in the middle of our relationship for the past two years. I am in a relationship with two other people, and this is not to be (whether the relationship is friendship-based or more romantic -- and it doesn't have to include sex -- it can just include the desire for or longing for another person, not your spouse).
I took the words outside and burned them. I felt the spirit of oppression lift off me immediately, and my mind cleared. In addition to feeling depressed, I also felt confused mentally. I have cried out to the Lord this week, and I felt so undone to the point where I couldn't make a coherent sentence. This is not normal, unless of course, I really am losing my mind (LOL! My success in graduate school bears out that I am not losing my mental faculties!) The depression and confusion are gone, and I feel OK. I am still suffering with some pain (my back especially today), but other than that, I am OK.
I hesitate to write this out, but it is the only way I can explain it. God has enabled me to understand these things, and while they are unpleasant to think about, and many Christians simply do not believe that Satan attacks us this way, I know the truth through experience. Perhaps I just like to think this way, to make excuses or to choose to believe this is so -- I don't know. I just know that when I do these things as the Holy Spirit directs me, the spirit that was here is gone, and I am set free.
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:36 KJV