When I was a child, I was deathly afraid of the dark. My room always seemed to be pitch black, even with a tiny little Cabbage Patch Kids night light I had for a time. When I would go to bed, I would try very hard to turn off the light without getting off of my bed. I even had a back scratcher at one point to try to hit the light switch off. Anytime I had to turn off the light before getting into bed, I would immediately run and jump onto my bed as fast as I could, so nothing could get me.
Even my bed wasn’t a safe haven though. In my bed I was still paralyzed with fear. I would lay in the middle of the bed, for fear something could come up and reach me from the sides. There was a space between the bed and the wall, only a couple of inches, but enough that I knew I wasn’t safe. As if that wasn’t enough, I also had to have at least a sheet covering me at all times, no matter how hot I was. It seemed that sheet was like a protective barrier between the monsters and I. My room would get sweltering hot in the summer. It gets to be up to 100+ where I live, and there was no air conditioning in my room. So I would be miserably hot, yet still be covered up and hiding under that sheet to protect myself.
If I ever had to get up to go to the bathroom, it was even worse. I would get up as much courage as I could and then run out of my room and into the bathroom. I would turn on the light and shut the door as fast as I could. I did not like the darkness at all. Then I would get up enough courage to run back into my room and launch myself onto my bed. This lasted for all my childhood. I can’t remember when I started to become less fearful of the dark, but eventually it did get better. That fear never completely went away though.
At one point in time, when I was about 18 I think, I decided I wanted to conquer that fear of the dark. I wanted to believe there was nothing out there, waiting to get me. So I began to take walks at night, alone, in my neighborhood. I lived in a fairly good neighborhood, so I don’t think I would have ever ran into much trouble. Not that I am saying it’s a great idea, but nothing bad ever did happen to me. It was difficult for me to lose that “something is going to get me” feeling that I had in the dark. At that time I was very into the occult, and I thought my gods and goddess were protecting me. I used “magik” to put a protection around myself, so nothing with ill intent could harm me. And since nothing bad every happened, I believed it worked. I was completely opening up myself to and immersing myself in darkness, and the darkness was welcoming me with open arms.
It has been many years since I was 18 and testing the limits by walking around alone at night. It seems very silly to me know, but I had courage from my beliefs and from the substance (drug) I was using. I can say I have lost my fear of the dark though. I easily sleep in a very dark room, and do not have to run and jump on my bed when I get up to go to the bathroom. I think I had a period where I was very into horror movies where I did have a fear of the dark again, for a short time. For years I have been perfectly fine, and had forgotten all about it. That is until recently.
You see, recently I have been getting in touch with spiritual gifts that God has bestowed upon me. One of them is the gift of discerning spirits. Discerning spirits is one of the gifts listed in the Bible, and it means that you can tell if there are good or evil spirits present, even if they can’t be seen. Some people with this gift can actually see the spirits, I am not one of them. The gift of discernment also helps you to understand things about people by revelation of the Holy Spirit, that you would not otherwise be able to know.
In the past few months I have had several occurrences where I came into the presence of an evil or demonic spirit. As I mentioned, I cannot see them, but I can feel them. For me, this means when and evil or demonic presence is near, I get short of breath, my heart rate speeds up rapidly, and I feel shaky, as if I am very cold. This all happens very suddenly. I also get a sick feeling in my stomach and sometimes I even get that feeling that something wants to get me.
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 1 Corinthians 7:10
At first when I began to have these experiences, it was quite scary. I had no idea where this was coming from or why it was happening to me. I had never felt demons to my knowledge before, so why should it start now? I have been save for almost two years at the time of this experience. The first time was an isolated incident that didn’t happen again for two weeks. Then another two weeks after. Then it was a week later. It just started happening more often. I started to feel as though maybe I was crazy, yet it was clearly real to me. When someone told me I had the gift of discerning spirits, I laughed. Surely that wasn’t me.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Of course I quickly came to accept that God had given me a gift, a gift I was to use to help others in whatever way I could. And to tell you the truth, while it was a little scary, it was even more exciting! I began to see how God has appointed us to live a life that is far greater than anything we could ever imagine for ourselves! He has divine power He wants to use through us! Not everyone is going to have this particular gift, because there are so many, but we each have spiritual gifts from God, that are to be used in accordance with God’s Word to help and encourage others.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God. 1 Peter 4:10
So back to being scared something is going to get me at night. It was just a couple of weeks ago, when this gift was really starting to get active in my life, that I suddenly began to feel very afraid when I would wake in the night. I would have this sense of dread come over me and I would find myself fearing that something was going to get me. It was very out of the ordinary for my life at this point in time and it brought my memories of childhood flooding back to me. Why would I have that feeling after so many years? It was easy enough answered for me. There was a demonic presence near.
So many things have happened to me so quickly during this short walk I have had with Jesus. I have prayed to God over and over again, to please take me and use me for the good of His Kingdom. I want nothing more than to give my life over to Him, the best I can. I want to help people and I am open to God working in my life, because I love Him so very much. That is the only reason I can think that my spiritual gifts have really opened up to me. But another thing is, I realized that I have had this gift of discernment all along. As far back as I can remember, it has been easy for me to understand people and things about people I couldn’t have known on my own. And there have been times when I had that sickening feeling in my stomach that someone was just behind me, waiting to hurt me, even when I knew there was no one there. This was long before I became a believer in Jesus Christ.
It was very easy to begin to succumb to the fear I felt. The fear seemed to creep up out of nowhere and take hold of me. It whispered in my brain that I was not safe and that evil was lurking to take hold of me at any minute. And I believed it for many nights. It was so easy to believe, because it was just like being a little girl, alone and vulnerable, all over again. That is exactly the place that our enemy wants us to be in. In a place where we let our thoughts and feelings control us. It makes his job very easy!
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
For in our fears, our worries, our anxieties, we are not submitting to God, but to ourselves. For God has promised us countless times that He is with us, protecting us, taking care of us, and that Satan cannot harm us. We are His dear children and He wants to help us when things in life are difficult or scary. He delights in us coming to us with our problems! That means Satan cannot harm us, he can only lie to us and make us believe he can. We are to cast all our cares to God, and let Him comfort and guide us through life. When we stop trusting God and letting Him be our primary lead, we start giving the devil a foothold in our lives.
We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 1 John 5:18
We are not to be afraid of the dark. Jesus came to defeat death and darkness. Darkness can never win, unless we give ourselves over to it. That is through fear, worry, anxiety, anger, rage, unforgiveness, or any other sin that causes us to fall away from God. All of these things are like a slow poison that is killing our relationship with Jesus, our Savior. We must remember to daily repent of things that we do that grieve the Holy Spirit, and to continuously move closer to God. He has a plan for our lives, and He wants to prosper us and watch us be mighty warriors in His Kingdom! Do not let fear hold you back from the victorious life in Jesus Christ that God has given you!
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12