My honeymoon took place the week of the church service that I wanted to go to, so this morning to listened to Citybeautijful’s sermon on the spiritual gift of “Deliverance” I honestly dreaded this one since the spiritual gifts series started, and before I get into the gift I need to explain some of my life to you. Since I was young, I’ve been sensitive, and by sensitive I mean I can feel whats going on around me and what is going on inside of others. For a long time, I was scared to tell anyone because I didn’t want them to think I was crazy. At this time, I hadn’t met Jesus yet, my parents took us to church but they acted one way there and another at home so I didn’t want to be like them. I hated my parents for faking their relationship with God, and it pushed me away from the church.
We moved into a two story house when I was in fifth grade, this house, I could never go upstairs alone, there was always something about that upstairs area that made the hair on my neck and arms stand up. I did not like going upstairs and I did everything in my power to avoid going up there. I wasn’t scared of the dark or anything, it was just the upstairs. The upstairs didn’t even look scary, it had wooden floors and was our living room, it was open and big, with a stage and fireplace. There was absolutely nothing terrifying from the looks of it, it was totally inviting and pretty I guess. Overtime I went up there though, my back hurt and I was nervous. Now lets fast forward to high school, I was dating a guy who lived with my family, and I was not a happy person and I still wasn’t in a complete relationship with Christ.
At the end of the summer after my junior year of high school something absolutely scary happened, I had gone to my room and laid in my bed. I looked over the the part of my room where there was a large window adjacent from my bookshelves (even as a kid I was a bookworm). I remember so clearly, noticing that it was much darker in that corner than the rest of my room, and I thought I saw something. I closed my eyes and convinced myself I was just being silly and that my mind was playing tricks on me. See, at this time, my ex and I often watched many scary movies and so i thought it was because we had just watched one. Then I had a nightmare, and it started with me laying in bed and seeing the same thing I had seen hen I laid down in reality. I won’t describe the dream, but it was demonic and terrifying, and I remember waking up and feeling hot, not physically but internally. There was a pressure on my chest and I couldn’t call out to anyone, partially out of fear and partially out of not being able to move.
I didn’t know what to do, and out of desperation, I cried out to Jesus, it was all I could think to do, I had started going to church and was about to start my senior year of college. It took nearly thirty minutes of my praying and asking Jesus for protection and telling that presence to go away for me to feel normal and at peace again. I didn’t tell anyone about that dream for three years. I got nightmares often when I lived at my parents home, and the second attack happened my senior year close to the end of my ex’s and I’s relationship it was similar to the first but more intense. The third attack happened the first Thanksgiving I spent with my husband and his family while we were dating. We had gone to bed and I was looking around the room I was in, I thought I felt something but again, as before, convinced myself that it was just my mind playing tricks on me. I tried to sleep but for and hour or two I could not sleep. I texted my husband to come into the room, I told him something was in there, something wasn’t right.
Matt took my hands and started rebuking whatever was in there and suddenly, I felt something fiery hot running through my body, pushing its way into my head. Breathing was getting harder and thats when I knew what it was, I sat up and looked at Matt. We prayed and rebuked for about an hour and got his grandmother into the room. We went through the house and prayed and rebuked and put oil over the doors and windows. My body at this point I almost couldn’t control, I was shaking so fiercely from fear of what might happen. After this I started talking about these attacks with professors and pastors (I went to a Bible college) and as soon as I started understanding that something new began to happen. I have always had strong discernment with people, but I began to receive words for people, even ones that I didn’t know and if I didn’t tell them it, I wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about it. God would press and press until I finally spoke to that person. Its not prophecy because often I don’t know whats going on in the person’s life, but God tells me things to speak to them.
For a long time I didn’t know what this gift was, I thought it was just something I had to deal with being a Christian, at this point I was totally in relationship with christ. Citybeautiful church began a series on spiritual gifts and I read and listened to the one about deliverance. I felt God speaking to me, He said to stop questioning in fear, to stop trying to reject this gift. I didn’t want it, I didn’t want to see someone who was oppressed and have to pray with them, especially if i didn’t know them. I have social anxiety and so this makes it ten times harder sometimes. God I felt, was frustrated, and so during my internship with Tomoka Christian church I started to allow myself to step into the gift. God moved in so many ways through it, I spoke and prayed with more people than I had ever before, I saw more people being set free, I saw them break down, and I felt more emotions than I had ever before.
Listening to the sermon this morning, I could just feel and know, God was telling me, “See? This is good, this is okay, this is work for the kingdom.” He was reassuring me that it was time to stop being fearful, to stop ignoring this gift. Spiritual warfare is a real thing my friends, we need to stop treating it like it is only in horror movies because spiritual things do happen! In Ephesians, Paul talks about deliverance and how Christ Jesus has delivered each of us. I found this stuck out to me:
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature DESERVING of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions- it is by grace YOU have been saved.” -Ephesians 2:3-5
Deliverance is a spiritual gift, not only in delivering others from oppression and bondage but when they come to Christ, He delivers and has delivered us all from many things. If you find yourself fearing this gift and not knowing how to handle it, I encourage you to get into scripture. The best thing you can do is pray that God would reveal to you about this gift! Do not push it away because it will never go away! These gifts God has given to us all, though some of us may be stronger in one than the others. If this is the case for you, I encourage you, talk to your pastors, pray that God would reveal to you things you cannot know on your own and to step into the fullness of what God has purposed you to do.
I hope that this encourages you, and shows you that you are not alone, and it may be terrifying but, know that God will never leave you alone. You are a child of God, you belong to Him not to satan. You belong to the light, the kingdom of the Lord God, those spirits, and satan have no business in your life, they have no power over you that the power and the name of Jesus cannot drive out. The name of Jesus, as the pastor at Citybeautiful said, is extremely powerful! I am always open to talking if you need someone to exhort and comfort you!