Sound the Alarm

There have been times when you can plainly sense you are under spiritual attack. I’m not talking about difficult seasons or times, situations or circumstances. Oh I’m certainly not diminishing the reality of those difficulties; we all know those times are inevitable in the Christian life (John 16:33; 2 Tim. 3:12). But I am talking about those specific times that are etched into our memory when you get a cold chill running down your back from the presence of evil itself. You know there is something wrong; something sinister in your midst. Your spirit is unnerved within you. You’re unsettled; unsafe; anxious; perhaps even fearful because you have caught a glimpse into the realities of Eph. 6:12. Last night was one of those nights for me.
Awakened in the early morning hours from a dream I wish not to recount, I knew immediately I had come under attack while asleep. This wasn’t your typical run of the mill nightmare that you shake off by sitting up, convincing yourself it was just a dream, getting a cold glass of water and then drifting back off to sleep. No, this was more than that. Adding to the urgency in my heart and mind was that my wife had awakened earlier in the night with a bad dream. We were under attack. As my heart beat within my ears I struggled to compose myself and gain control of my emotions and thoughts, but quickly realized my efforts were futile. Fear and evil weren’t creeping in, they were present and were as dark as the night itself that surrounded me in that room. Lying paralyzed in hopes it would pass, I heard something deep within my heart; something contrary to the noise distracting me and taunting me; something beautiful and commanding. It was that familiar voice; that still, small voice of peace and power that was calling for me to get up and take action. It was urgent, like someone sounding an alarm of an impending enemy attack during war. And it was calling me to go to battle for my children. I grabbed my Bible from the dresser next to me and hurried to the other end of the house and did the only thing I knew to do: I prayed. I prayed out loud. I prayed Scripture. I read Scripture. I opened my children’s Bibles as if drawing a sword from its sheath and laid them open by my children. I prayed and prayed and prayed some more. Each room; each child I prayed fervent, desperate prayer. I repeatedly called out the name of ‘Jesus Messiah’. And then I repeated the process until the darkness began to lift. Then as if the enemy attack had shifted, I was moved with urgency back to my wife in our bedroom. It was as if I was surrounded by a mobile and relentless enemy (1 Pet. 5:8). Praying as I walked through the house, I could still sense the attack raging and even intensifying. Kneeling next to my wife I began praying again until finally the attack subsided. I called upon and prayed aloud the Scriptures I myself had just preached the Sunday before (Deut. 33:27; Ps. 18:2; 104:1-4; 139:5). It was as if a huge blanket or protection had been draped over our entire home and I knew without question the God who walks on the wings of the wind was present with me and my family. The evil was gone; replaced with the protecting hand of my Lord; my strong tower; my refuge; my Rock, my Redeemer; my strong tower.
Jesus Himself confronted the powers of hell throughout His earthly ministry, but perhaps none more so than the night before His crucifixion. As the appointed hour drew closer (John 12:27), Jesus’ spirit grew weary within Him (Matt. 26:38; Luke 22:44; John 12:27). He knew the impending torture and violence, both physical as well as spiritual, at the hands of the forces of evil (Luke 22:53) that awaited Him (Matt. 16:21; 17:22-23; Luke 9:22; 18:31-33). He understood fear from a human perspective (Is. 53:3-5; Matt. 26:37; Heb. 5:7). So what did Jesus do? He prayed. He prayed more fervently (Luke 22:44). He prayed through the attack to victory. He sought the power of heavenly intervention (Luke 22:43). And He was delivered three days later to eternal victory (Acts 2:22-36; Rom. 6:9; Heb. 2:14).
Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18) and we know that God is that perfect love (1 John 4:8). Our victory lies in the hands of the One who has already defeated our enemy (1 John 4:4; 5:4-5). Claim that victory as your own (Rom.8:37) through fervent prayer the next time your enemy launches an attack.

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