Yesterday, I shared some of the first things I have learned as God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are teaching me how to conduct effective spiritual warfare that transforms lives. I would remind you of what I wrote yesterday -- that the primary way They are able to communicate with hurting people is through our imaginations... Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered (Proverbs 28:26). And as you will see in the following instances, Jesus is able to heal [rescue and deliver us] in inspired and inventive ways.
I will also tell you that I instinctively know that this will be a life-long journey. The Enemy has had thousands of years to perfect his tactics, and I am new -- yet enthusiastic -- to help set the devil's captives free. And I know I can be successful because I am blessed to partner with Jesus and the Holy Spirit (and my faithful husband), who do the heavy lifting. I just have to be obedient and willing to assist them.
And I would be remiss if I did not thank those who have come alongside me and my husband and shared their experiences and their expertise. They were way out in front of us, but the Lord arranged for a connection to be made, and we have greatly benefitted from the hands-on teaching of Dr. Charles Kraft, and Barbara Bucklin and Luke 4:18 Ministries. Additionally, what I believe Satan has meant for harm (namely the internet; and I'm only half joking), God has used for good; and we have had the benefit of the many videos and website teachings of spiritual warfare by Steve Harmon, Russ Dizdar, David Hogan, Heidi Baker, Dan Duval, and others. We stand on all these shoulders and hope to be as encouraging to others who follow in our footsteps, as we have followed in Jesus's.
So now, I would like to continue with the things I have learned concerning those times when a person is struggling to get healed...
At this point, it is often helpful to get more descriptive in helping them engage with their younger victim in the spirit. Take the focus off the event, and center their attention on more precise details: How old are you? If you can picture the place, where exactly are you in that room? Describe any pictures you see on the wall. What color dress are you wearing? Focusing on the details will often enable the person to view the event with less fear and allow that part of themselves to move into the safe place with their older, protective self.
5) Taking responsibility for yourself. Oftentimes, victims who need spiritual healing feel abandoned or neglected by adults, who should have been protecting them. They can be angry at those adults, as well, and usually with good reason. But we try to turn the tables on the Enemy who uses these emotions to keep the person in bondage to those spirits of abandonment, neglect, and anger. If a part of you is still hanging on to those emotions, even if you are unaware (and you most likely are!) it can cripple the adult part of the person who can't understand why they are still depressed about the event, long after they have forgiven the offender.
What they don't understand is that the adult may have forgiven, but that child who was offended didn't have the chance to forgive, and those emotions are trapped inside their spirit, and fair game for the devil to exploit. He assigns one of his "spiritual forces of wickedness" as Ephesians 6:10 calls them -- or their more common name, demons -- to tyrannize those emotions, resulting in an adult who suffers from spiritual oppression, without ever understanding why.
So, we have learned that it seems to help to tell the adult, you are now the one responsible for your younger self. Yes, others let you down, leaving you feeling powerless in that situation. But now you can take responsibility for that child version of yourself and feel empowered to take him or her out of that situation and into Jesus's Light.
6) You may need to go through regions of captivity to be set free. If you hit a particularly difficult area to set free, we have found that sometimes the Enemy has sunk to new lows to keep that person in captivity to their past. We have actually had people complete a session and declare that they felt all kinds of chains of oppression coming off them. They met Jesus in their pain, allowed Him to receive those hurt parts of themselves, healing their deep spiritual wounds and making them whole again.
They have expressed that we look different than when they first sat down; we look "clean and bright". They weren't even aware of the dirty veil that Satan had imposed on their worldly vision. They have left, refreshed and rejoicing in their newfound peace and sense of freedom. Yet, some have returned saying, "There's still something being hidden from me. I now know what freedom feels like and I am not willing to let the Enemy keep any part of me in bondage. Can you help me find what it is that is keeping me from being completely free"?
While most people do not have to return for this reason, it is not hard to realize that the Enemy will try to keep a fragment under his control, and he thinks if he keeps it buried deep enough, it will not be discovered. People who are in harmony with their spirit are not so easily fooled. One woman, (I will call her Carrie), felt such an unsettling in her spirit and decided to go after that fragment to retrieve it from the clutches of the Enemy. (NOTE: This is going to seem as if it was written by a science fiction writer, but I assure you that it was very revealing to Carrie).
In a subsequent session, the Holy Spirit showed Carrie that there was a part of herself who was so mad about how she had allowed herself to be treated by her spouse, that she didn't trust Carrie not to repeat the pattern of abuse. So she had allowed herself to be imprisoned by the Enemy in what looked like a deep underground cell, preferring to remain in that bondage, rather than suffering the possibility that Carrie could not retain her freedom. It was eye-opening to Carrie to realize how her spirit had suffered while she had rationalized and accepted the abuse as normal. This just shows that sometimes the wounded part is buried so deep that you have to work hard to find it, pull it out and away from the prison the Enemy has hidden it in, and take it to that secure place inside of you, where it can be introduced to Jesus and feel safe enough to become part of the healed spirit.
7) The Enemy will try to stop your progress. It should go without saying that Satan doesn't want you set free. And he will do whatever it takes to stop you from growing and maturing in your faith and letting Jesus heal you. He will try to convince you that your freedom is only fleeting; that Jesus's healing "didn't take". He will whisper the lies in your ear and mind that worked to put you in chains the first time. He will try to convince you that what the Holy Spirit has whispered to your heart, and the things that Jesus has shown you in your spirit are not true; they are just figments of your imagination. He will taunt you that you are not strong enough to keep your freedom, and he will send his demons to attack you to prove it. That is the way he operates. But you know that He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world, and you can resist and overcome the schemes of the devil! You have seen Jesus work miracles in your spirit, and you know He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is your Victory!
8) Finally, I have learned that even Jesus needed times of rest and restoration. I will tell you that once God laid upon our hearts the great need for willing workers to help Jesus heal the spiritually wounded and set the captives free, our world has changed. We have to live in this world, and that means making a living and taking care of our physical needs. But the demand (and our desire) to help hurting people is so great and taking precedent in our lives; but it can also be overwhelming at times.
I am learning that we must be wise in getting enough rest, and it is important to restore our own spirits so that we can assist in the work Jesus wants to do in this hurting world. In Mark, Chapter 4, Jesus urged His disciples to get in the boat to cross to the other side. He saw the crowds and knew the amount of work that would be required of him -- there were people to be healed, demons to be cast out, and lessons to be taught. Yet He laid down to sleep, knowing He would need to be rested to accomplish what needed to be done. And there are other instances of Him removing Himself from the crowds to pray alone. Those must have been times of asking for increased strength and stamina to do His Father's work. I have to remind my husband and myself that we, too, need to occasionally be restored if we wish to be capable and competent partners with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In short, to be our best, we must withdraw and rest.
So, that is a summary of the most important things we have learned since the Lord has called us to take part in this ministry called spiritual warfare. When I step back, I realize what a tremendous amount of information and confidence He has given us, and all in a very short time. And I am extremely encouraged when I realize He is doing the same thing in others around me. Although as little as two years ago, I would have been skeptical about this remarkable calling, I can tell you that the changed lives I have witnessed has convinced me, not only of the necessity of spiritual warfare, but the urgency of it. I can now recognize a spiritually wounded person in all the unhappy, angry, anxious, fearful people that I come into contact with -- both Believers and nonbelievers. For my husband and myself, and for the growing number of spiritual warriors, it is our mission and our determination to foil the plans of the Enemy to take one more captive. I invite you to submit yourself to the Holy Spirit, allow Jesus to heal your spiritual wounds, and join us in God's spiritual army.
Isaiah 42:16 "And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them."