Have you ever experienced a time in your life where you are in the process of waking up, and you feel a strong presence in the room. You try to scream or shout for help, yet this simple ability you have to speak suddenly disappears, and becomes a mammoth of a task. You try to use the muscles in your body to help you turn over, to help you speak, but you simply can’t do anything. I’d just like to tell you, do not fret, for you are not alone. Personally it is one of the scariest things I have ever experienced in my life, and it’s happened to me MORE THAN ONCE.
I give thanks to God that I have not experienced sleep paralysis again in the last few years, because it is not something enjoyable to encounter. When I faced my episodes of what they call ‘sleep paralysis’, I always felt a very dark presence in the room, automatically I’d always want to shout out the name of Jesus, but could only repeatedly say so in my mind. There has been times where I felt like I was being strangled or raped, even though I’ve never faced or been through such circumstances in my life. While I hadn’t encountered such violence in real life, I felt within me that what I faced in my mind, is what it would be like in actuality. At times I felt like I physically had to fight someone off me, like I was fighting for my life. From this I immediately knew I was under spiritual attack from the devil. As a Christian I firmly believe that there are angels and also demons, as this is exactly what the holy bible tells us. Matthew 25:41 ‘Then shall he say also to them on the left hand, Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels’. With that said, I shall go on to discuss why I believe this topic is so important to talk about.
The main reason in which I want to share my experience with you all, is so that anyone going through the same experiences which I previously faced, doesn’t feel condemned. It is so easy for us to start thinking ‘what have I done wrong’, or ‘what am I doing wrong’. Yes sometimes through certain actions we take, we can provide the enemy with access into our life, but this is not ALWAYS THE CASE. One can also start to think and believe that they are a ‘WEAK’ Christian. You may even think that your prayers are ineffective, and that you do not deserve Gods protection. You begin to feel like you are not worthy enough to come before Gods presence, so you give up on prayer altogether, and think wants the point. This is exactly what the devil wants, he wants to rob you of your confidence of coming before Gods throne of grace. This is the very path which I found myself along, I didn’t even think I had the right to talk within the church, because these attacks kept on happening to me. I felt that in order for me to share my faith and the gospel, my life had to be in perfect order, and free from spiritual attacks. Which is a dangerous and false belief, I mean Paul wrote most of the New Testament from a prison cell (Philippians 1:12-14). He faced a lot of persecution, yet God still used him. You facing a difficult trial does not mean that you cannot be used for God’s glory. I always like to remind myself that even though Satan intends to harm me, God intends it all for good (Genesis 50:20). I also choose to remember ‘when I am weak, then I am strong’ (2 Corinthians 12:10). These scriptures are of constant encouragement to me!
I really don’t want you to feel condemned, or suffer silently. I believe the Lord uses such situations to strengthen our character, it also helps us to develop patience endurance (Romans 5:3-4). What we must realise is that when we face trials, and go through challenging life situations there is ALWAYS hope. I just desire for all who face such situations to feel encouraged. The devil likes to instil fear within us, but we should be strong and courageous. The very thing you are afraid of (Satan and his demons), God has given you complete and total authority over (Luke 10:19). So do not let this circumstance make you fearful, do not be afraid of the devil, begin to exercise your authority over him. You must begin to use the name of the Jesus, for demons are subject to the name of Christ (Luke 10:17).
My penultimate note of encouragement to you people today is… There is GREATNESS in you. The devil knows this truth, better than your own self. He knows that you can accomplish great and mighty things through Christ Jesus who strengthens you, and that is why he will try everything in his power to stop you from believing the truth. He will throw every obstacle he can in your way, to get you to give up. One thing I’ve noticed is that whenever I experienced such spiritual attacks (what they call sleep paralysis), it would always be at a point in time where I was drawing closer to God. Or when God was using me to minister the gospel to others. I believe as Christians that we must be smart at identifying Satan’s tactics, and not let them get the better of us. I always like to look back to the story of Jesus birth, to gain strength concerning the matter of spiritual attack. Satan knew that Jesus Christ was God, and that the baby born in Bethlehem was the King of kings. So he used King Herod to carry out his work to kill all the young boys, with the hope of killing Jesus Christ the Messiah. So you can see that Satan knew that Jesus was GREAT, so he tried everything in his power to try to stop Jesus from fulfilling His potential. And as a result Jesus parents had to flee to Egypt. From this I’ve observed that, the trials we face in life may lead us to unexpected destinations, but this does not make us failures. We should also never allow trials to lead us to giving up, or prevent us from fulfilling our full potential. Christ faced many challenges in life, yet He still fulfilled His purpose, He still chose to lay down His life for you and me. His death on the cross and His resurrection, was Him accomplishing His calling. And through His great act of selflessness all mankind has the opportunity to receive the free gift of salvation.
Finally, I believe that God is using my very fear to help me encourage others. I remember when watching Nollywood as a child, I would not be able to sleep at night, because of all the witchcraft they showed in like every scene of the movie. If you grew up in a Nigerian household, you probably understand where I am coming from lol. I used to have sleepless nights after talking about evil spirits, and could not even read Christian books which discussed such matters. But now I am a transformed individual, the very demons I was afraid of, I now know I have the authority over them, authority given to me by Christ Jesus, Amen (Revelations 2:26-28). I am now unafraid to wage war against the kingdom of darkness through prayer and fasting, praise be to God.
So people stay blessed, and stay encouraged. Remember you are not the only one who is going through such battles (spiritual attacks), do not keep it to yourself. Always find a Christian brother or sister to share with and confide in, as their prayers and words of encouragement, will be of great help. The bibles says the prayer of a righteous person has great power. And most importantly cast your worries onto God, for you were not designed to carry them yourself. I want you to realise that sharing your struggles with others is so important, especially with God. My greatest advice for you today is NOT TO BOTTLE THINGS UP.
Have a blessed week influential people and may God’s grace be with you
The godly lady after God’s own heart.