The Lord woke me up at 2:00 AM Friday morning. Ed is away on a trip to the East Coast and I have the house to myself. I had fallen asleep in my prayer closet (aka the guest bedroom). Now it was 2:00 AM. I got up and headed up the stairs to bed.
My two dogs seem to be a tad insecure and tend to need more attention when either Ed or myself is away. So I have learned that if I want to get any sleep, I have to shut the bedroom door securely. We really have a double door to the bedroom, but one of the doors (the right one) has a "ceiling bolt" on it, and we always keep it bolted, so that when we shut the other door, it is securely closed and therefore dog-proof.
As I climbed into bed, my eyes fell on the bible and I knew the Lord wanted to talk to me. I was tired, but sometimes the sweetest fellowship is late at night. So I grabbed the bible and it plopped open to Isaiah 13. I began to read.. about the fierce army of the Lord. It reminded me of an experience I'd had with the Lord, where He had commissionsed me into His army... Not to fight flesh-and-blood enemies, but to advance His kingdom and take ground from the kingdom of darkness. Soon I was lost in prayer and did not quite finish the chapter.
It was late and I was tired, so I decided to go to sleep.
"Not so fast." The Lord said. "There is something else I'd like you to read."
I was tired, but willing.. so I said, "ok, Lord."
My bible plopped to Nehemiah 12. "There is soemthing I want to show you, Teresa. And it is in the first 10 verses."
I don't know if you've ever read Nehemiah 12, but it is a rather boring list of priests and Levites who served God. It is not exactly what you would call "inspiring" reading.. I kinda wondered if maybe I had misheard because it was late and I was tired.
"No, Teresa, you did not mishear. What did you just read?"
"It was just a list of names, Lord" I replied.
"What kind of names?"
"Well, your servants and your leaders."
"Yes, exactly. That is what I wanted to show you. You see, I know precisely who they are and I write their names on My list."
"That's nice, Lord." I wondered what He was getting at.
"Teresa, your name is written down too."
"Are you one of My faithful servants?"
"Of course I am, Lord."
"Yes, and I have written your name down in my list of faithful servants. Now, let me ask you a question..."
Well, I was soon in a deep and intimate and powerful discussion with God. He met me in a wonderful and powerful way.... I can't share precisely what He discussed with me, because it is private. But it was such a powerful meeting with God.. one of the more powerful I've had recently.
We finished after an hour or so, and I began to remember how tired I was and to drift off to sleep. Suddenly I was aware of a demonic presense in my room. 'Not again!' I thought to myself. It seems that sometimes after a strong visitation from the Lord, the enemy tries to come visit me as well. I am not sure why that happens, but sometimes it does happen.
When the enemy tries to come at me, it sometimes tries to paralize me or to restirct my throat so I can't talk. (I think the intent was that it figured if I can't talk, I can't rebuke it and make it leave...). It also tries to make me feel terrified. This strategy used to be highly effective against be years ago before I discovered that we carry the power and authority of Christ. I was tired and did not want to deal with this. I tried to speak out a rebuke and found I could not speak, but I could still move. My movements were slow and heavy, as though I was in molassas instead of air.. but I could still move.
I rolled over and faced the door. It began to shake and rattle, as if someone was trying to get in the room. I could hear voices outside the door. Now, that scared me!! I mentally toyed with getting up and hunting up Ed's gun.. he keeps it in the closet. But if this were a flesh-n-blood intruder instead of a spirit, I could not imagine myself shooting someone. And bullets would be useless against an enemy spirit. So I stayed in bed and threw up a quick prayer, asking God to protect me.
I know it sounds crazy, but I was suddenly filled with a sense of God's presense and peace. Somehow I knew this was a spiritual attack, not a human intruder in my house. Besides, my dogs were not barking.. they'd be going crazy if an uninvited person was in the house. I still could not speak, so I rebuked the spirits in my thoughts. They don't have physical ears anyhow, so I suspect they could "hear" my unspoken authority prayer.
The doors rattled even more.. then they flung wide open. I had a sense of something rushing into the room and the bed began to shake a bit. I should have been terrified, but I was filled with this incredible sense of God's peace. I was not sure if this was really happening or if it was a dream. If I had to bet just then, I would have probably bet it was a dream. Anyhow, I was too tired to deal with it. I said, "Lord, I'm too tired to deal with this, please take care of me." Then I rolled over and went to sleep.
It was one of those spiritual warfare type of sleeps.. I ended up having some spiritual warfare encounters in my dreams.. but I won each of them.. I guess the enemy got tired of loosing and gave up and left.
I woke up in the morning with one dog licking my hand and the other dog licking my face..... I don't know if you've had a dog lick your face before, but it is not something I like to wake up to. I rolled over and covered my face with a pillow. One dog, the face-licker, jumped up on the bed and curled up beside me. The dogs are not allowed on the bed, but sometimes they conveniently "forget" the household rules. I sat up to remind Salsa that she is not allowed on the bed.. and looked at the bedroom door. Both of them were wide open.. the dogs might have been able to accidently force open one door.. but the one with the ceiling bolt is absolutely impossible for dogs to undo and open. Then I remembered the night before, where I was not sure if I'd been dreaming when the doors had flung open and something rushed into my room.
"Oh my gosh!" I said outloud. "I wasn't dreaming.. it really happened!"
I got up and examined the door.. the bolt was not broken, merely unlatched. I know it had been latched when I went to bed, because I had checked it to assure the dogs would not bother me.
I guess I had some enemy vistors last night after all.. not dreams but the real thing. I don't know why I was not frightened.. it must have been God's "peace that passes all understanding." Well, I had committed my way to the Lord ... and He certainly did take good care of me.
The enemy can be very powerful and scary, compared to natural human strength. But God is so much more powerful than the enemy, and He is so able to give us His peace and His victory.
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