“Mom…there is someone in my room…I saw them!” “No honey…I looked under your bed and in your closet. There is no one there. Now go back to sleep!” This was my response many times when one of our three kids saw someone or heard someone in the night.
Now at 52, I can honestly say with wisdom and spiritual maturity, and as a future grandparent, I want my kids to have a different response to their children. Allow me to explain. Even if there is not a person there physically does not mean that what I, you or our kids experience is not real. It may only be in their mind, subconscious or their dreams. But to them it is real, very real.
It is hard to always distinguish the source, but at 52…I better understand the spiritual world in the realm of the physical world we live in! There is a spiritual world that exists. Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” The evil one, Satan, wages war each and every day to be supreme…to steal, kill and destroy us. His most effective way to “capture and control” is in our thoughts!
Scripture clearly teaches that Satan is capable of putting thoughts into our minds. In the Old Testament, “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel,” (1Chronicles 21:1). What is wrong with David taking a census of Israel? Shouldn’t David know how many troops he has to take into combat? The verse reveals the subtle nature of Satan. He knew David had a heart for God and would not willingly defy God. Satan’s strategy was to get David to put his confidence in his resources rather than God’s resources. David knew the battle and outcome belonged to the Lord but all of a sudden Satan planted the “thought” to take a census despite the protest of Joab who knew it was a sin.
I love what Martin Luther wrote, “The Devil throws hideous thoughts into the soul…hatred of God, blasphemy, and despair.” Concerning himself he says, “When I awake at night, the Devil tarries not to seek me out. He disputes with me and makes me give birth to all kinds of strange thoughts. I think that often the Devil wakes me up while I am actually sleeping peacefully, to vex me and torment me.”
Has this every happened to you? Maybe you don’t recognize it as the tactics of the evil one? At 52, and going into the seventh year of my tremendous spiritual growth, I can say for absolute sure and without a doubt that God…through the sending of his Son, Jesus, who died and rose on the third day, has won the war. But until He comes again, Satan is the prince of the world and his very first tactic is to invade our thought life….subtly…such that we don’t even recognize it. If he can hinder, lie, capture and frustrate our thoughts, and he is the author of “confusion,” then he has won a major battle in controlling our lives because…all actions are preceded by a thought. All behavior is the product of what we choose to think or believe.
Point of post….there is a battle between good and evil; it is a spiritual battle. The spiritual battle for our minds does not operate according to the laws of nature, which we can comprehend. There are no physical barriers that can confine or restrict the movements of Satan. Now I look back and know, at times, Satan was possibly attacking our kids…seeing the fear in their faces.
Today, I would respond more like the following, “Sweetie, I believe you heard or saw something. Since I didn’t see or hear anything, nor do I now see or hear anything, it tells me you may be under a spiritual attack. Or, it could be the result of a bad memory of a movie you have seen or a book you have read. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish what is spiritual and what is not…but God is bigger than any attack or anything that ever frightens you.” I would quote the scripture found in I John 4:4, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world!” I would also pray with them and pray over them.
This response is a small but real way in which I would now teach our kids how Satan attacks in the spiritual realm, even in our sleep. I feel we live in a world of scientific proof these days. We are self-indulgent and discount the “spiritual realm”. It is real, very real and because we discount it, we are being seduced by Satan.
His ultimate lie is that we are capable of being the god of our lives. His ultimate bondage is for us to attempt to live as if his lie were true. Satan will always tempt with lies. Many, many times they start as thoughts he plants there. It brings us back to the need to pray, to seek the Lord, to seek wise counsel. I John 4:1, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
If you think you’ve been listening to a lie for too, too long, seek the Lord…today. He will show you the truth.