As mentioned in my last blog, roughly a year ago marks the date when I was healed of insomnia - instantly, miraculously. All I knew at the time was that a woman who had a gut-wrenching testimony and apparently a gift of healing had prayed over me; then there was a sensation like a physical release, and she said "there it is." I never saw or spoke with Marlene Klepees again, but I left that little chapel, first and only time I was there, with the realization that I was going to sleep beautifully that night. And for the first time in months, I did, and without a prescription sleep aid.
At that time, I knew almost nothing about healing, about the supernatural works of God, nor was I even familiar with the term "deliverance" as anything other than a Burt Reynolds movie. But I was hungry for the things of God, and the LORD sent Bible teachers into my life at exactly the right time. For the first time ever, it was pointed out to me by one Bible teacher that Jesus spent His time on earth doing four primary things: preaching, teaching, healing, and delivering people. This same teacher pointed out that Jesus spent as much time casting out demons and healing as he did teaching and preaching - but when was the last time your church taught on deliverance or miraculous healing? When was the last time you witnessed someone being set free from an evil spirit, or watched a leg suddenly grow two inches longer and thereby correct a back problem?
Personally, I'd never seen or so much as heard a message on either of these subjects - comprising no less than half the ministry of Jesus - in all my years of church, retreats, prayer meetings, camps, and Bible studies. At first I was a little wary. However, the teaching of the Bible teachers God sent me was solid in every other area, and the one pastor was a close friend of our youth pastor. As far as I knew, neither were in the business of peddling snake oil or swinging from the chandeliers, and both were men of deep integrity.
Understanding that the Greek word translated by most versions of the Bible as "demon-possessed" actually is better translated "demonized" was the first step in realizing that a Christian can be demonized. That is, a Christian can suffer depression and oppression caused by evil spirits, although a believer cannot be possessed by a demon. Christians are inhabited by the Holy Spirit.
Further learning that we human beings, Christians included, can open doors to the spirit realm, intentionally or not, and thereby give the enemy legal access to areas of our lives (Eph. 4:26), was another key to realizing what had happened to me. My insomnia had started not from anything that a physician could cure or explain, but by lying in bed, fearful. We are instructed to be anxious for nothing, and I had taken on anxiety. Repeatedly doing this opened up a door for a "spirit of fear," which in turn meant that I was harassed mercilessly for several months, going entire nights without ever falling asleep.
I could go on at length about all that I have since learned about healing, demonization, and deliverance, but I will summarize by sharing that most of the church, like me, "is perishing for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). Knowledge in this area especially. For whatever reasons pastors, priests, and Bible teachers fail to teach on this subject and administer in it, the church continues to walk around hobbled. Depression, mental illness, and so many other forms of sickness are works of the enemy that the church should realize are under His feet (Eph. 1:22). I am not at all against the use of counselors, physicians, and medication. However, the church needs to start "fixing our eyes on what is unseen" (2 Cor. 4:18) and realize that many of these ailments that rock our lives have spiritual roots, and only Christ can set us free from them. We should not be walking around in this handicapped state of perpetual incompleteness!