[box_light]Are your enemies attacking you?  Is Satan chasing after you in your dreams?  Don’t be afraid!  Unleash your inner warrior! 

The atmosphere was ominous with a hint of eerie.  Susie felt uneasy in her Spirit.  It was as if something were about to happen… but what?  She found herself wandering about in her childhood home that had been sold years ago.  However something didn’t seem quite right.  Instead of being immersed in the warm welcoming feeling of a house that held so many positive memories, it now seemed cold and dark.

As she wandered the once familiar halls in almost pitch black darkness, fear began to well up within her.  Something was wrong.  Something was very wrong.  She could sense it.  Susie wanted to run… she wanted to flee this place.  But she couldn’t.  All she could do was move on as if she was being drawn forward by an invisible force beyond her comprehension.  The only sounds she could hear was the echo of her footsteps along the hardwood floors, and the sound of her blood pulsating in her veins.

As she was half-way down the long corridor of the upstairs, she could see a shadowy figure moving in the distance.  She squints her eyes in an attempt to make out who it was, but to no avail.  The person was moving- almost gliding- closer to her, and the closer they came, the more panic engulfed Susie.

With her heart thudding loudly in her chest, the figure came closer… closer… until Susie could make out who it was.  It looked like her grandmother who had passed away five years ago, but something inside of her told her that it wasn’t her grandmother.  Susie’s grandma was a kind, gentle soul.  She was nothing like this mean, angry, malicious… EVIL thing that was approaching her.  But who was it?

As it came up to Susie, it leered at her, and said, “Hi, Susie!  It’s me, Grandma.”

“Grandma”, Susie noticed, smelled like death.

As “Grandma” began talking, it began to morph and decay.  Everything it was saying to Susie was harsh and angry.  It was as if her grandmother was displeased with her, and was getting violently angry by the second.  It began to shake with rage.  Spit was flying out of its mouth.  It came closer to Susie – it was right in her face.  It was so close she could smell the sense of death on its breath.  Susie was paralyzed by fear as its gnarled, bony hands began to rise, and she could feel them just inches away from her neck.

“Please don’t kill me!”  She whispered in a squeak as the hands enclosed around her neck cutting off her oxygen.  Susie couldn’t breathe.  Everything began to fade to black and then…

Susie woke up in her bedroom to the sound of her alarm drenched in sweat.  The dream seemed so real… too real.  What a nightmare!  Or was it?

Who are we, as Christians engaged in battle with?  Is it still each other or forces in the spiritual realm?  Do demons really exist?  Or are they some fictitious, over dramatized, over sensationalized, Hollywood boogeyman designed to frighten us?  Do poltergeists truly exist?  The answer is somewhere in the middle.

The reality is that demons do exist.  Their purpose is to deceive you, scare you, to misdirect your steps, and to bring misfortune.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

They may look like your sweet old granny, but they aren’t.  Demons can take many forms, and it is important to know how to discern what is the enemy so that you don’t fall prey to Satan’s manipulations.  Demons can take on a shadowy form that you may see in the corner of your eye, you may see them directly as a person (may be distorted), or as a loved one (familiar spirit).

However, Satan doesn’t just use demons to “torture” us in our sleep, he can use people too.  The people who may persecute us may not just be strangers or acquaintances, but can be close family members.  The question then becomes is it just them (meaning is it something the other person is working through), is it me (something I need to address), or is this an assignment from the enemy.  People may persecute you for no real reason that they can define.  They just may know that they don’t like you, and often it isn’t you that they don’t like, it’s the Jesus in us.  Remember, Satan doesn’t like to see Jesus reflected back to him, and certainly does not like God’s children.

Don’t worry, though.  We aren’t doomed to be scared and persecuted by Satan.  God loved you so much that He sacrificed Jesus on the cross so that we could not only be saved, but be redeemed from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13-28).  Jesus said that we would perform miracles and cast out demons in His name.  God’s word over you is that you have authority over the wiles of the enemy- you are a victor, not a victim.

“So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)

“For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” (Colossians 2:9-10)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:1-51)

The most poignant phrase in John 1 is “in Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  When we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit entered into our inner man.  God’s light radiates from all those who are in Christ.  Darkness cannot overtake us.  It has no purpose, it has been defeated.

You see, God loves you so much that He won’t let anything harm you.  He protects you even against the enemy.  He fights for us, and when we speak the name of Jesus, the word says (as mentioned above), that every knee should bow.  That means even the defeated powers of darkness cannot touch God’s children.  How awesome is it to know that our Father will fight on our behalf… and WIN!  All we have to do is call on Him, and use His name in faith.  It’s really that simple.

So, firstly, how can you recognize if you are dealing with a demon as Satan can often masquerade as the light (2 Corinthians 11:15)?  The answer is discernment of spirits, knowing what the word says, and the fact that most evil spirits will not say that Jesus is their Lord.  They may be liars, but they cannot say that Jesus is the Lord over their lives (1 John 2: 22-23).  It would be like committing treason to Satan.

Also recognize in terms of dreams that demons will take on the form of a loved one.  The purpose is so that you will be relaxed and that you will listen to the lie.  It wants you to trust him.  If you don’t, then how can you believe the lie?  Truthfully, once a person goes to be with the Lord (or dies), unlike Hollywood movies, they don’t return.  The Bible does not list any visitations by dead relatives.  People may have been raised by the dead, but the dead have never returned in spiritual form.  The dead also cannot communicate to you via Ouija boards, or mediums.  It may seem like the spirit knows a lot about you… and it does, but it’s from what is spoken.  Satan does not know your thoughts (although he does like to speak to our thoughts).  The only thing he can act on is our spoken word.  Satan cannot predict the future (accurately).  The only things he can speak back to us are the thoughts that we have verbalized.  Only God can reveal your future to you… if you ask.

Visually, you can tell it’s a demon because it’s either shadowy, or features are distorted.  Something will seem off.

So how do you get rid of a demon?  Simple.  “In Jesus name, get out.” And it has to flee.

“But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” (Jude 1:9)

  However, it can’t flee if you don’t have the faith behind it.  You have to know in your heart that it doesn’t belong here.

“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  (Ephesians 6:16-17) 

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)

 The word commands us to use our faith when dealing with Satan.  Part of our power is the knowledge of scripture.  It is through reading God’s word that we are able to discern truth from lies.  It is through the speaking of God’s promises that we are able to destroy the attacks of the enemy over our lives.  Satan can’t win… He was defeated.  He cannot reign over your life unless you let Him.

  So who are you going to be?  What are you going to believe in your heart?  God says you are victorious over your enemies- that no weapon formed against you; no evil plot to overthrow you, no malicious gossip, and no slander- will prosper.  God will fight against the assignment of the enemy on your behalf.  All you have to do is utter the name of Jesus, and know the truth found in God’s word.  In God’s eyes, we are the mighty undefeated warrior slaying all evil with the sword of the Spirit (word of God).  The word is our weapon.  The truth will bring us freedom.  Our win is guaranteed.  If we choose to use the word, you will see victory over your life, and a whole bunch of those once frightening spirits running in terror for mighty is the voice that speaks the name of Jesus.[/box_light]