Last year, I faced one of the most frightening events of my life. I had unwittingly entangled myself in a domestic dispute between a boy and his girl friend. I had met the girl several times at church and thought her to be a strong Christian.
However, on this day, when the young man called and asked me to give him a ride home from work, I received the surprise of my life. When I brought the young man to the house where he and the girl lived, a fight broke out between the girl and the boy. I did my best to get in between the two, but eventually I felt the need to call for law enforcement intevention before someone was seriously hurt.
Then, the young girl, who was not herself, jumped in her car. She looked at me, but the being looking at me was not the young girl. A voice, an angry, masculine, harse voice yelled at me, “The next time you see her she will be a corpse!”
The young girl then pushed the accelerator to the floor and drove around 300 feet into an large old oak tree. The front of the car crumpled, but the air bags deployed (This particular car had been in two front end collisions and the air bags had not deployed). The girl was injured but not seriously hurt. Had the airbags not deployed she would have been killed. She had no idea she had driven the car into a tree.
I had an encounter with a demon.
I was not ready for this encounter, nor was I ready for the aftermath of spiritual desolation and darkness that stayed with me for the next eight months after this event. Everything went wrong. One of the churhes I served turn completely against me and manufactured lies in order to get me removed from my office. I face family crisis and had no support from the denomination I was serving, in fact, the person who was supposed to be supportive of me did her best either consciously or subconsciously to destroy me even more. The depression became so bad, like Dante before Virgil took him on a tour of hell, I considered ending my life.
But then came the opportunity for a morning prayer group. With this prayer group came support and nurture. As Ignatius instructs, in time of desolation do the opposite. I spent more time in silence. I refocused on more spiritual reading. I engaged in a more active
discernment of the spirits, and with God’s grace and drawing presence, I have moved back into a state of life in which consolation is more frequent than desolation.
I am not yet over the wounds of this battle, but I have forgiven the human elements involved and am more aware of the enemy that is likely still close by. I am better prepared now should this entity come close again. I know greater his He that is in me that he that is in the world.
I am afraid too many of us do not take the challenge of spiritual warfare seriously. I know I do and will.
1 Peter 5:8 Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. (1 Pet. 5:8 NRS)