I just joined and am looking forward to being a member of this site. I was raised Baptist and the Church I am currently attending is maybe a little too relaxed and 'hip' for my liking now after some recent events I have experienced. I felt comfortable there when I was unknowingly still serving Satan. Now that I am again living in the Holy Spirit, I am finding more and more issues with it. I hope to find some other opinions and similar experiences as I dig through the site.
Now, about me. I am a long time sinner. In fact, it has always come natural. To the point I could be sinning when I thought I was doing something good or serving a good purpose. I have resisted the Lord so much and turned to sin that it is beyond shameful.
Like i mentioned, I was raised in a Baptist Church. One of my Grandfathers was a song leader and the other was a Pentecostal Preacher. I have always known the story of Jesus. Almost so much that it didn't seem special, at least until I reached my darkest hour. The darkness was literally trying to take me over and the worst part was I had ignorantly invited it and given it a legal right to me. The Faith I had seeded in me at a young age and God's Amazing Grace are the only reasons I was able to escape the darkness. My eyes were open spiritually like I never imagined possible. Evidently many Christians I've since shared my testimony with find it impossible as well, which gives me an awful sinking feeling in my gut even as I type about it.
In 1995 I graduated from college. As lost as a person could be, but searching hard. I had messed around with a "board game" years before and looking back on it now, it was one of the dumbest things I've ever done. I wish I could say it was the dumbest, but like I said, I have been really good at sinning. It disgusts me knowing now how much I have pleased Satan over the years and had no idea about it. A few months later I had a guy tell me how to do some kind of black magic ritual which I started to do, but then it freaked me out so I stopped. I remember waking up one night, shortly after, with just the scariest feeling. I knew something evil was in my room. I knew it so much I was scared of what I would see so I pulled the covers over me and tried to hide until I somehow managed to fall asleep. The next few years of my life were very confusing and trying. It reached the point that I began my baby steps to the Lord. Starting off just trying to get through each day, one at a time.
Then after graduating, I felt like it was time to change my life. I was leaving behind a really dark and negative time in my life so I began praying every day and night and reading the New Testsment. I think I read the Gospel 7 times to be exact over the course of several weeks. I prayed for wisdom, understanding and knowledge. All of which I kept receiving. Figuring out what was missing was very frustrating. I believed in Jesus and his words, but I now know I simply wasn't ready to commit everything. One night I had a dream. In the dream I had somehow found the Holy Grail. I was so proud of myself. Somehow I felt God was going to be so pleased with me. Then a tornado came over me and I tossed the Grail up into the sky and watched it swirl as it was seemingly swirling it's way to Heaven. I was so happy and I think I was even yelling out loud as I was dreaming, "GO!! GO!! GO!!" Then suddenly it stopped and it came crashing down at my feet. I asked, "Why???" Then a voice said, "You have to change". At that point I woke up extremely sad.
God began working in my life. Things were turning around and everything was headed in a good direction. But I was still a sinner and was missing something. Finally one night I was at a club enjoying live music. It was at a place that was actually on a large boat dock. Just before closing time, I saw a bright orange light outside one of the windows and everyone yelling FIRE!! Chaos ensued as everyone ran out and got out safely. A boat was on fire and it caught the whole dock on fire. Finally the fire fighters showed up and as I watched all of this I had a revelation. Many of the boats were drifting out into the middle of the lake. Being consumed by fire in the darkness as they kept drifting further and further away from the dock and the firemen. Other boats were on fire but still close enough to the firefighters that they could be saved. While a few were still sitting at the dock, completely safe. Symbolically speaking, I saw the boats as our souls. The middle of the lake was where lost souls in darkness died. The firefighters were Jesus who was able to save the souls that didn't stray too far away. And the safe boats still connected to the dock that werent on fire were saved souls with nothing to fear. I was basically a burning boat beginning to drift too far into the darkness.
The next day I prayed and prayed and finally invited Jesus in my heart. I asked Him to work through me. Even in ways I didn't know or realize. I confessed I was a sinner and repented. Although I'm not sure my understanding of true repentance at that time was correct. Immediately at that time I felt the Holy Spirit consume me. Love, joy, peace, comfort, and positivity was flowing through like never before. I could feel it washing me clean and forcing the negative and evil inside of me out. It was simply a feeling that nothing on Earth can come close to. Unfortunately I was ignorant to how much of an asset I was to Satan and how ticked he was. He was going to come at me hard and strong and I was ignorant of spiritual warfare and ended up succumbing to him once again.
There are numerous supernatural things that happened right after that moment in my life. I eventually found myself lost once again as I realized I said the right things, but some of the sins I confessed, I never truly repented of. I was a much better person with better ethics and morales, but Satan is a master of deceit and he slowly gained control of me again as I cared less and less about sinning and trying to please Jesus by doing my best to live like He did.
A few years later I found myself in bad situation. Nearly getting in serious trouble with the law. I prayed hard to God to help me get out of it and I would say goodbye to that part of my life forever. He did and I held to my promise for 17 years. During those 17 years my prayers slowly got weaker and weaker as Satan got stronger and stronger in my life. Eventually I felt I had lost the connection with the Lord and he wasn't listening. I didn't blame Him. I felt I would still go to Heaven right?? Or would I? Those were the two questions I was now asking myself. So there I was again wondering how to recapture what I was missing. I felt I no longer had the energy to do it all again and I was now comfortable in my life. That's when I broke my promise to God. Remember when I said I had done one of the dumbest things ever in my life? This is where I got even dumber. After breaking that promise, it instantly felt like I had a black cloud over me for months. I had no idea how accurate that was until recently. It was becoming amusing how the universe suddenly was working against me. Nothing was working out and it reached the point I didn't expect it too. But Satan kept whispering, "it's just a little bad karma. It will pass. You will be fine" I no longer could discern the difference between Jesus and Satan speaking to me.
A couple months ago I saw a YouTube video about a magician that was on a popular prime-time television show. The video explained how his magic was real and the work of demons. It lead me to other famous magicians who it explained were not illusionist. They were demon possessed magicians. Unfortunately, the next thing I know I am googling about sorcery and reading up on it. I didn't intend to do it, was just curious. Well, just like you can commit adultery in your heart without the physical act, evidently the same holds true with other sins. Especially one like this that is a direct sin against God. I had now re-opened the door for evil spirits and demons to have legal rights to me and my life. I didn't know this at the time but would learn all of this later. After a couple of weeks of hearing voices in my head, hearing strange noises, lights flickering, quick electricity outages, and seeing shadows move around my house, I was about to have the scariest and darkest moment of my life imaginable.
Just as I dozed off one night, I had loud screech right in my face that woke me up. Hoping it was just a dream or my imagination, I tried to go back to sleep. Only this time, instead of pulling the cover over me, I saw a huge black shadow moving like smoke across the room and around me. Some of the specifics and details I am going to leave out. I will speak in general terms about the experience but I'm finding even a local pastor doesn't believe my story and frankly I wouldn't believe it either 100% had I not experienced it. But basically a demon was wrapping itself around me. It was total darkness trying to engulf me. Over the years I had been successful using the name of Jesus and witnessing how powerful his name is. With faith and Jesus, anything is possible. Well, I tried to command this darkness to leave in the name of Jesus and wasn't successful. At that point I looked up with raised hands and cried to Jesus to save me. To make me his disciple. I not only confessed my sins and truly repented my sins, I gave Him my life to use for his Kingdom. I rebuked Satan and said I no longer wanted to asserted him. I wanted to serve Jesus and His kingdom.
At that moment God sent a powerful Holy Angel to me to assist me. When people say they were lost in darkness and then saw the light, I will say it isn't always just a figure of speech. But the details sound so far fetched and crazy I feel it's best to keep those to myself now because it can hamper the message of God's grace and mercy. I will say the Angel showed me many visions. I was able to see visions for about a month. The Angel showed me the mistakes I had made in the past and how it lead me to this point. He also informed me of the celebration in Heaven when my faith was proven to be strong enough to defeat these demonic forces just as Jesus defeated them on the Cross. I no longer fear these evil forces like I did. I can't say they aren't scary, because they are, but with Jesus' name and the Holy Spirit, you realize how defeated these beings are. Like before, Satan came back at me hard. Fortunately I was better prepared to deal with him and his evil army by protecting myself with the power of the Holy Spirit and wearing the spiritual armor of God. This time I wasn't defending myself against the evil army that can eventually wear you down, I was now on the offensive. With God's guidance, I came face to face with more demons than I could count and commanded them all to leave. The first one was the hardest. After that my faith and spirit were so high that I actually enjoyed facing these demons that once mocked me casting them away with the authority that Jesus grants Christians.
God's Grace is wonderful and amazing. The next day I heard a noise at a window that almost sounded like a bird flew into it. When I looked I saw what looked like a handprint that when u got closer looked like the outline of an angel. When you got even closer you could see the events of the night before. Beside it was written in Hebrew, ןח, which means Grace or Life through Grace. I don't deserve eternal salvation, but for the first time in my life, I am sure I have it. Within the blink of an eye my life went from the worst scene imaginable to the greatest. All due to faith, God's grace, mercy, and the blood of Jesus Christ that defeated sin and it's death, so those of us who believe in Him and accept Him as our savior are washed clean and made worthy of eternal life with our Father in Heaven.
I have been blessed to be able to see the spirits battle. In the stars and in the clouds through visions. I had a pastor tell me it wasn't reality, which I guess I know what he meant, but in my opinion it was all 100% real. He just has a different definition of real than I do. It really felt like blasphemy to me. I was granted a gift of the Holy Spirit that he said wasn't reality. It literally felt like the Spirit in me was weeping.
Spiritual warfare is real and happening all around us. For several weeks I was blessed to be able to see it. Just because I don't see it now doesn't mean it's no longer real. My opinion is that the spirit world is the true reality and this world does everything possible to hide and disguise it. Blinding us to it. Thank you Jesus for allowing me to see and witness these things and experience how weak these fallen angels and their servants are against you which you have already defeated.
Jesus is Lord. God Bless you all.