View from the 9th floor balcony of the Palms in Destin, Florida
….he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” John 20:22-23
This is one of those posts I really didn’t want to write. I didn’t want to open up and tell everyone what goes on inside my head. But God said, “SPEAK. ” And so I will.
Before I tell this story, I want to remind readers of a dream I had on December 20, 2014.
In my dream I was attacked by a demon, and when I awoke I knew it was real. Prior to this I knew that the devil was real because I knew that evil was real and I knew that God is not the orchestrator of evil. But this day, this dream changed me. I knew for sure that the devil was an active entity, a real entity, one that was trying to steal, kill and destroy.
I bring this up because I had known and established a relationship with God and knew I could hear Him speaking, but I don’t think I realized that the “voices in my head” could also be coming from Satan. I had thought it was either my own voice, or God’s, but after this dream I knew there was a third voice, and it was one that wanted my destruction.
Discerning where something is coming from can be hard, but the nearer you draw to the Lord in prayer, the louder the Lord gets, and it gets easier to discern when the enemy is trying to derail you. It’s how I know that my post-partum depression and anxiety contained the spiritual attack on my motherhood.
I tell you all this so you know there are 3 voices that speak to you. God’s, your own, and Satan’s. The more you sin, the louder Satan’s gets. The more you pray, the louder God’s gets. Whichever one you choose to make your own and you internalize and believe becomes how you interact in the world. If you internalize God’s and walk as a loved child, you bring that love to the world. If you internalize Satan’s you bring hate, death and sin in the world and you call it love but it’s a lie.
One of the things that brings a barrage of demonic voices to anyone is getting stuck in unforgiveness. This is a wide open door that will let those voices pummel you with fiery darts of suggestion. I know I have an area of forgiveness to work on when my anxiety rises and the images and thoughts make me feel out of control. They make me accuse and suck all my joy.
So that brings me to my story. I finally got to go on vacation after several months of feeling like I was on a treadmill. I was so very very excited!!! Until I got to our destination…
My wonderful, loving husband booked us a room on the 9th floor of a high rise in Florida. Now anyone who knows me knows that I have a grave fear of heights. It isn’t just the healthy caution that one should have, it is an irrational anxiety that keeps me from doing things. When I walked in the condo I cried. Which promptly made the 17 year old roll his eyes and go out on the balcony of death to look over the railing.
Now I will say that in my journey I have come a long way about a lot of things. There was a time when I would have LIT MY HUSBAND UP for booking a place like that. I would have taken it so personally like he was malicious. But I knew he wasn’t malicious, he was clueless. Apparently my fear of heights did not occur to him when he was booking our vacation. He worked hard to plan it, and at a nice place. I wasn’t mad. He sheepishly looked at me and said next time we wouldn’t stay up this high. I knew God had something for me to work on. I knew God wanted me there. So it was time to take it to prayer. I hugged my husband and retreated to prayer.
I had to shut the blinds as the balcony was like a magnetic pole to my children who must have been wearing metal clothing. They wanted to be no where else but there. So here’s where I tell you all about the “voices in my head.” I would get barraged with image after image of my children falling off the balcony. Then if I even tried to go out myself a voice would whisper, “jump”. Now this one voice made me angry because it was so bold and I KNEW IT WASN’T MINE. And I knew instantly Satan just wants me dead. But God wants me to figure something out. I wasn’t always afraid of heights, at some point something had changed.
I knew I could command the voices and images to go away in Jesus’ name, but that if I had an area of unforgiveness they would just come back immediately. That’s why Jesus says;
But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
So I set to my task of asking God because I didn’t want to hand myself to the torturer’s any longer.
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” Matthew 18:32-35
He showed me a moment in time. It was September 11, 2001. I was newly pregnant with my firstborn. The one I would suffer post-partum depression with. I was watching the TV in my living room, watching the towers burn. Watching people jump to their death. I held my stomach tightly and I said, “my God, what kind of world am I bringing this child into.” And I questioned having a child in a world filled with evil. Like speaking a curse over the blessing God was giving me.
And I knew immediately who I needed to forgive. I actually needed to forgive the terrorists for the trauma. I needed to forgive myself for the doubt of life I spoke over my child. Once I did this I could command those demons to leave and break any curses in the name of Jesus. Thank God for confession.
I felt God further say that he wanted me to share this story so people would know how to discern the voices, and how to make them leave.
I could have spiraled into a wild amount of control, refusing to let my kids on the balcony. But God let me know that we were on the 9th floor for a reason, because 9 is the number of the angels. They surround me and my children, and if I don’t trust God with my children, then I don’t trust God. These voices are barraging everyone, but not everyone recognizes it. And even when you do, it is often a struggle to make it stop. Don’t let a stronghold of unforgiveness keep you stuck.
By the end of the week I could sit on the balcony and have coffee. I wouldn’t say I am ready to climb the Empire State Building, but I would say the voices left and the fear subsided. And I rested in the love of God, and relaxed on my vacation. In the months ahead I think it is important not to get stuck in our own control, and unforgiveness. You are not your Savior, Jesus is, and he has left us so many tools to fight this battle. If you think you have it figured out on your own, He will let you know you don’t. If you find yourself in fear and accusing others, there’s probably something you need to work on. Remember forgiveness does not mean no consequences. Forgiveness just means you can be free. Totally free.
The demons are so active right now. My friend Charlie also had a vision on December 20, 2014. These demons are actively trying to take us down. So RECOGNIZE IT and fight intelligently. Put your Holy Hatred on Satan where it belongs. Don’t be afraid, be MAD, at the right entity and put on the Armor of God.