A little while back I promised some more of my "deep thoughts". Well, here is one that has been on my mind recently. If this kind of stuff bothers you, do not feel obligated to read it...
|Like this? Yeah, hogwash.|
But that all sounds a bit ridiculous, doesn't it? It sounds more like a paperback fantasy novel or a summer Hollywood flick. A second-in-command turned to evil arch-nemesis bent on destroying humanity? Think of all the fictional villains I just described in that sentence!
To me the whole thing about "angels and demons" was something I just didn't think about for a long time. You probably know I am a Christ-follower, or technically a "Christian". I was raised to go to church every Sunday and youth group every Wednesday. Every summer I had to go to Vacation Bible School and Bible Camp. I was fed the kind of stuff about angels being Caucasian and never hitting puberty. And when you're a kid some of the stuff in the Bible has to be toned down before you're allowed to learn it. But we're not kids anymore; we all know what really happened in the Garden of Eden. Anyway, I've long since grown and moved far away from that stuff. Now I'm able to study Scripture on my accord and come to my own conclusions. Over the past several years I have met people who told me a ton of fascinating stories, and read a few books on the subject as well. Now one thing is becoming increasingly clear to me...that the spiritual realm is not just "out there" beyond the clouds or down below. It's not about harps or horns, or fire and light. It is a lot more real than that.
I have a family member who for the past couple years has been able to sense demonic and angelic presence. She told me that sometimes she can sense a demon latched onto my shoulder if I am having a really bad day. This family member also has a very, very hard time being in places with a lot of people, like a mall or public setting; her personality literally shuts down because her "sixth sense" is bothering her so much. I also have a friend who told me about her youngest daughter describing an "imaginary friend" who would turn into a hideous monster if she didn't do what it told her to do, which was often to misbehave. I also once knew a young man who said he could see demons hanging out in the balcony of a church whose leadership later crumbled tragically, and once saw a "ring of fire" surrounding another church in which people were praying. And one man who "saw" Satan in the form of a businessman, who later transformed into a dragon saying that he "felt more comfortable this way".
I've heard lots of other stories too, but you get the idea. It feels really weird and strange, doesn't it? To think that there could be a demon behind me right now feeding on a negative thought? Or that angels and demons are battling for life in hospital rooms?
But the spiritual realm is not a fantasy or an illusion. I believe it is all very, very real, and it's happening right now. There are people using real voodoo and witchcraft on the night of October 31st. There is still demon possession happening in 2013 AD and beyond. We may even be in the presence of the same angels and demons who walked alongside people in the Bible or ancient Rome or the Italian Renaissance.
In some ways, I think, the spiritual realm is even more real than we would call "reality".
In conclusion, I don't think this is meant to frighten us at all, but if it does that is understandable. It is scary to think about enemies we can't see or hear. However, there is more to it than just scaring ourselves silly. Instead, I think it should help us see our world in a very different way. I think it should lead us to think twice about things we toss around as just normal and a "part of life", like bad days, mood swings, destructive habits and addictions, dark thoughts, and temptation. When you view those things in light of the spiritual war going on, they should seem a whole lot more significant. In light of the fact that demons are constantly preying on us and waiting for something to latch onto, perhaps we shouldn't take "just another bad day" or "just an old habit" so lightly.
Of course that is just one side of the whole battle. There are also angels protecting us and coming to our defense. Angels that, when they appeared to someone in Scripture, always had to say "Do not be afraid." And they literally say that every time...pretty convincing argument that angels look more like they're from the WWE instead of a Hallmarks "get well" card!
I believe it is the same matter with angels and demons. We're involved even if we deny they exist, but being aware of how very real it is can save our spiritual lives a lot of "suffocation" and "drowning".
FOOTNOTE: If this sort of spiritual stuff has you interested and you want to know more about how demons try to "attack" us, read C. S. Lewis' "The Screwtape Letters". It is technically fiction, but it's a great insight into how demons influence us without us even knowing it. A very scary but eye-opening book!