|Posted on July 11, 2012 at 1:05 PM|
AUTHOR NOTE: I apologize for the lateness of this entry. I had to take an emergency run to the hospital because my heart kept getting weaker and weaker. After 10 days, I now have to spend another 30 days in rehabilitation to get stronger, which is where I am now. Fortunately, they have Wi-fi, so I’m back now, I am posting my intended July 11 blog, and in two days I plan to do my chain blog, on schedule. I have missed you guys! The subject of last week’s blog is ironic too, so here it is.
Things have been happening to me in the past year, so intense that I’ve never experienced anything like them. Those of you who know me, you know I wouldn’t mention this frivolously. Too many people have blamed the Devil for simple hard times, or a plunge in finances, or some other trivial matter, and I do not want to be counted in their number.
You see, I’ve been under vicious attack lately. Satan has a contract out on me, because I write science fiction and bring God’s redemption into space stories.
As long as Christians adopt his ideas about aliens and outer space—Christians who even force those ideas into Scriptural doctrine—he’s not threatened. As long as Christians dismiss the genre as “of the Devil,” he’s happy. It leaves him free to promote an anti-God agenda so insidious, nobody notices they’re being led away from God by the nose.
But I’ve been called to upset his applecart, to preach the Gospel by comparing sci-fi ideas with the Bible. And people are being convinced. My blog counter has shown at least 100 hits per week, even when I get no comments, so I know lots of people are reading. You think the Devil would take this lying down?
I don’t intend to imply I’m the only one going through this. I’m quite sure many, many of my brothers and sisters endure similar experiences, especially when they have an effective ministry. I’m simply relating what has been happening to me.
Early in February this year, I had an incident with my defibrillator. On a trip to Wal-Mart, I tried to cross a miniature Himalayas of ice and snow, a rough patch under a bridge which is subject to passing cars splashing water on it, which would freeze. I noticed my heart was beating unusually fast, but I took frequent rests and hoped for the best.
Arriving at Wal-Mart, I was walking a sidewalk in the middle of the driveway when I felt a thump, complete with a sudden thudding noise. Someone suggested it felt like a mule kicking them in the chest; sounds pretty close to me. I was concerned and paused for a minute. A few yards later, there came a second thump. A couple of steps later, a third. I sank to my knees and endured a fourth one.
A young lady named Tanya Stephens came out of the store with her purchased treasures when she saw this. She called an ambulance for me, and stayed with him until it arrived. In the hospital, my doctor started a systematic IV regimen to pump Amiodarone into my body, which works not only on the ventricles, but the atria as well.
Very frightening time for me, of course, but it was a natural occurrence which was bound to happen sooner or later. My cardiologist said the ice patch really had little to do with it.
Over the next few weeks, however, the spiritual attacks began. I had a couple of nightmares in which my heart beat so hard and rapidly, it felt as though the defibber would sound off again. The first one had me running from some vicious monster, though I couldn’t see it. But I could feel its hot breath behind me. No matter which way I turned, a barrier stood in my way. I woke up, startled, before the creature could catch up.
In the second nightmare, an icy wind blew and for some reason I felt compelled to trudge against it. My condition makes me highly susceptible to colds and flu, yet I faced the wind. The harder it blew, the colder it became. It was downright frosty, as though I was blazing a trail up Mount Everest. Still it blew. It became stronger, threatened to knock me off my feet.
Remembering the monster dream I’d had before, I shouted, “In the name of Jesus Christ and His blood, I rebuke you!”
I awoke, amazed at the experience. I lay in bed for several minutes while my heart slowed down, until I was ready to get up and start my day.
But there’s a third experience that screamed “demonic activity” more than these. This time I sat back in my recliner to watch TV, and I must’ve started to drift off. Next thing I knew, my head thumped with the same force and sound as when my defibber restarted my heart at Wal-Mart. It was as though somebody had come up behind me and powerfully struck my head with a hammer. My first words after feeling it were: “That’s not possible!”
Then there is my current condition. The timing was horrible, and though I had a cardiologist visit scheduled for July 5, on June 29 it got so bad that I had to call paramedics to help me to the hospital. Was this part of Satan’s assault, too? I hesitated to think so, though the thought had entered my mind.
However, at the hospital my first instinct proved right. My hospital room had a window alcove with the window at the end and two walls opposite each other. Suddenly I heard knocking from the window, doorknobs rattling, even pounding on the walls. It was as though somebody was trying to get out a locked prison—or several locked doors—yet I knew the walls were solid. I also knew knocking on the walls is a clear signs of demons being present, but the knob rattling was new to me. Nevertheless, it had to be the same phenomenon.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). Apostle Paul goes on to explain what the “full armor of God” looks like. “When the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (verse 13).
I’ve heard it said if you’re living a trouble-free Christian life, you must be doing something wrong. Like the classic tune by Lynn Anderson says: “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden.” There have to be a few thorns along the way.
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). That’s exactly what I do! And then, of course, there’s this little gem from the teaching of Jesus Christ: “The gates of Hades shall not prevail against [the church]” (Matthew 16:18b NKJV).
Many have assumed this means when Satan attacks, we can stand up to him, but the image is just the opposite. We take the initiative to move forward and storm his castle, like those ancient battles using battering rams and catapults.
I’ve seen a great many detective stories where the hero is out to find a killer, and he/she is shot at, mugged, chased, or narrowly dodges an oncoming car. The usual reaction: “I must be on the right trail”; and they determine all the more they’re going to forge ahead and learn who is behind the crimes in question.
“Jacob also went on his way [to confront his estranged brother Esau], and the angels of God met him. When Jacob saw them, he said, ‘This is the camp of God!’ So he named that place Mahanaim [Two Camps]” (Genesis 32:1-2). So I have to forge ahead, demolishing arguments and every pretension contrary to God’s Word. Maybe more attacks are coming, but I’m gathering an army of prayer warriors to put a hedge of protection around me. Will you be one of them?
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life God has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).