This month has been very interesting so far. When I look back over my notes, there have been quite a few “lessons” in God’s training program.
One of the overreaching arcs of what I’ve been learning in the past year is about spiritual warfare: what it is, what it actually looks like, and what we are supposed to do about it. Volunteering in a prayer ministry, I’ve come to realize that there is more demonic interference in our lives than I would have believed before.
It’s been a learning process. It’s like as soon as I come to the realization of something, God says, “Okay, it’s time to go a step further.”
If you are familiar with deliverance, none of this will come as a surprise. If you are someone who thinks that Christians can’t be oppressed by evil spirits, you might get a little worked up over the rest of this post . . . but I’m just telling you . . . this is what I experienced, part of it was confirmed by two other people. I would also suggest that you go through the New Testament and reread what it says about spiritual warfare and our role in it.
The Scent of the Spirit
About a year and a half ago, I started recognizing certain scents when the Holy Spirit was present. They weren’t always the same and the smell varied depending on what was going on at the time, what the Holy Spirit was doing. Then later I started smelling different smells, ones that weren’t good. It didn’t always happen, sometimes a month or so would go by between experiences.
In the beginning, I was just thinking “Oh wow, this is cool.” Then I started paying attention to what was going on, what the different scents represented, and if it was a signal to intercede for something. Just a little backstory.
She Doesn’t Look that Good
A month ago, I volunteered for the first time in a Sunday School class. A little girl came in and she just looked down and out. Imagine a picture of the “spirit of heaviness,” 2“Isaiah 61:3 (King James Version) Biblegateway. and that is what she looked like. Her face was a yellowish gray color and besides her demeanor, the thing that I noticed was that around edges of the lower half of her nose there was a blue cast.
I had noticed the same thing on someone else a few days before. I don’t know why, it just stood out to me.
I volunteered in the class again last week. This time, that girl’s sister was in the class instead (there was a mix up the time before.) She sat down next to me and was burbling along about her family. She told me that she hadn’t been able to memorize her Bible verse from the week before because her sister had torn up the card it was on.
I asked, “Does your sister do things like that very often?”
She said, “Oh, I can’t even tell you what she does. She starts scratching people and she doesn’t stop until my mom or dad give her a job to do!”
Then she showed me her cheek where she had a fingernail gouge where her sister has scratched her.
A few days before this, I volunteered in the prayer ministry and one of the people we prayed for was suffering from severe chronic depression. (She is seeing a medical doctor, but part of the issue was her medication wasn’t working.) It was intense.
The ministry doesn’t get into deliverance, or really even indepth emotional healing. But as the lead prayer person was ministering to the person, I smelled this putrid smell, like a musty yuck. It was followed by the smell of clean laundry. There were waves of the musty yuck several times during the prayer session.
Two other people that prayed for the person confirmed that they smelled the same thing.
This kind of puzzled me for a little bit. I’ve been reading about deliverance for the past year and in everything I’ve been reading it is always an active and intentional process. There was none of that in this case.
There was a lot of prayer and many words of encouragement.
I know that there was some deliverance that night. I think that it was just that there were strongholds (wrong thoughts) that were either broken or started to be adjusted, and when they were, the foul spirits that were attached to those thoughts had to go.
Back to Class
So what does this have to do with the little girl in Sunday School.
After she told me about her sister and her raging attacks, I said, “The next time she starts acting that way just say, ‘I rebuke 3“Jude 1:9 (New Living Translation) Biblegateway. this angry spirit in the name of Jesus.'”
She gave me a startled look. At first I thought it was that she thought it was weird, but about a minute later I smelled a really rancid cigarette smoke like smell.
That surprised me. If I hadn’t had the experience in the prayer ministry a few days before, I’m not sure if I would have recognized it for what it was.
Just to be clear, I wasn’t trying to teach seven year old how to do deliverance.
A few years ago, someone came to my house and they were really aggressive and antagonistic. They were standing in my doorway ranting at me. I don’t even know what prompted me to say this because I knew absolutely nothing about spiritual warfare at the time, but I said, “You can stay, but this aggressive spirit is not welcome here and has to go.”
I am not kidding you, I could literally see it passing over their face. The person’s demeanor changed just like that.
Because of that personal experience, I shared that with the little girl, and as a result something left her.
I shared this with a friend and she said that it was probably something that had been transferred to her from her sister’s attacks. I don’t know of a verse to support this, but I have heard of this before from people involved in deliverance.
Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them Hosea 14:9
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; Philippians 1:9-10
But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Hebrew 5:14