Discovering Spiritual Warfare

Today was really the first day since I started my downhill spiral that I really won a battle in this war. It definitely didn’t start out like a winner, in fact it began just the opposite.

I woke up around 10 am and laid in bed not wanting to be disturbed by anyone. I had work at 4 pm and so my plan was to stay in bed until 3, go to work, come home and go back to sleep. And I would have if I hadn’t made lunch plans with a guy down the hall named Eli. I wanted so badly to cancel on him and just lay there all day. Also in the morning, two people on mission send messages to the GroupMe message for us all to read. One of them, from my friend Sara, shared with us on mission how the night prior her brother accepted Christ into his life and wanted to learn what having a relationship with him was like. The other message from my friend Hannah was a message asking people to post or to text her with specific prayer requests so she could more completely pray for others on mission. These two texts stood out to me because of how I felt immediately after reading them. I was furious, and felt filled with anger and disgust towards both of the messages. And this was something that I picked up on and knew was not how a Christ loving person would react.

During lunch, Eli asked me how I was doing and I just opened up completely to him. I told him how I didn’t feel like I had been myself the past several weeks and how I didn’t feel like I was contributing at all to the community here. I also told him how I was having a very hard time praying to God and felt very disconnected to Him, as well as how the text messages from the morning affected me. After I told him these things he said he was getting the feeling that I was going through spiritual warfare and that I was being attacked by Satan. The fact that I didn’t feel like myself, and that I couldn’t connect with God or with other people, he said, is exactly what the devil takes enjoyment in. I of course had no idea what this all meant and just asked what he thought I could do. He gave me some really good advice, the main theme being to pray to God even though I don’t think I can. And then he prayed over me and really asked God to come into my battle and to rid any evil that had come over and taken hold of me. I remember having the same hatred towards the text messages fill me as soon as he started praying and it made me shake while I was sitting trying to keep still. I felt like I was going to explode and really wanted to get up and run away. As he was praying I started to feel the weight and the hatred slowly leave me and my shaking eventually turned to tears. I don’t know how to better explain it other than I feel as though I had been attacked and evil had taken root inside me and I couldn’t get rid of it the previous couple weeks. It really wasn’t until Eli prayed that God cast out anything not of Him and His love that I started to feel light again and not be consumed by hatred.

After he prayed I was just crying and giving him a hug because I had been so tired of feeling heavy and negative and it was the first time in a long time that I felt free. I went about my day and went to work that night, coming back to the Dwight afterwards and hanging out with some of my friends and my roommates (including both Hannah and Sara who sent the messages to the GroupMe) until 5am in the Skylounge. This was easily the best time on mission I have had. It was the best day on mission I had. Although it started out terrible by the grace and power of God I was given my life back from whatever had taken hold of me and can truly say I felt like a completely different person after the prayer.

This day was Friday, July 29th but I am writing this on Friday August 5th and I can truly say that I have not once felt the hatred or evil tendency that I was filled with on the 29th since Eli prayed over me. I have had several other nights where I have gotten to be myself and spend time with friends and I finally feel like a part of this community…completely. My roommates, as well as Hannah and Sara make up my core friend group here on mission and I am so happy to have a group that always wants to be around each other and really cares about each other. So many people on this trip have been wonderful to me and I cannot express my gratitude for those whom I have gotten to know in this past week. I have had so many amazing times and I am completely confident that God is now not only present in my life but is leading in the battle I have been struggling with for so long. And if God is for us, who can be against us. This is definitely the first time I have ever heard of or actually looked back and seen how spiritual warfare can affect us. I do believe its a real thing and I am for sure going to be remembering this experience for a long time to come. Thank you to all those who have been praying for me; prayer is powerful, and I just realized how powerful it truly can be.

3 thoughts on “Discovering Spiritual Warfare

  1. Wow Josh I had no idea how much you had been struggling lately!! So glad your friend, Eli was there for you. We will continue to pray for you and your friends as you wrap up this chapter of your life in Chicagoland.

    You are loved!!

  2. Life is a struggle one way or another for everyone! I’m glad that your friend was there to help by praying over you. He took the role of a priest in the confessional. You have certainly grown spiritually over the summer! That’s progress in my book! Thanks for sharing your ups and downs! Incredible, young man! Like you said, “If God is with us, who can be against us!” Well put! BIG hug from Grandma! Proud of you! See you soon!! xo xo

  3. I can tell you that I remember having a similar experience even going to confession and telling the priest how I was really angry with God and not wanting to be there at all. I was surprised how the priest was so understanding and told me he himself had episodes where he was angry with God and told me to go home in a room closet or wherever and tell him what I think. And “if” I felt like it than pray, if not wait until I felt like it. Will never forget that. Really helped clear my head and lose that negativity.

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