Many prophetic people have been prophesying an outpouring of the Holy Spirit at a level of magnitude we have never seen. I have been among them and have written of it in VISIONS OF THE COMING DAYS.
In that same book, I stated that I believe there will soon be an upsurge in demonic manifestations and attributed this to several causes, among them drug abuse, sexual compromise, aberrant doctrines and even the very outpouring of the Spirit I have referenced acting to dislodge evil as the Spirit penetrates individuals influenced or oppressed by those demons.
There remains, however, one other cause. In the realm of the Spirit, a kind of ongoing intelligence warfare is waged. The book of Daniel, for instance, reports that the prince of Persia (a demonic principality) delayed the archangel Gabriel for 21 days as he came to answer Daniel's prayer. He broke through when the archangel Michael came to his aid (Daniel 12:13).
The enemy of our soul tried to kill Moses before he could fulfill his calling by murdering all the Hebrew boys under the age of two. Similarly, Herod feared the birth of Jesus as a threat to his throne and murdered all the male children in Bethlehem under the age of two. In each case, the enemy saw what was coming and tried to prevent it.
In our own day, the enemy of our soul sees in the spirit realm that a great outpouring of God approaches and that souls will be saved because of it. True to form, he seeks to stop it before it can begin. For this reason, many of us find ourselves under heavy spiritual and emotional attack during this season.
Have you found yourself feeling stymied in your ministry? Questioning your gifts? Wondering whether you have God's favor over your life and ministry? Feeling like a failure? Struggling with divisions in your family or your ministry? Laboring against a sense of futility? Has it been difficult to hold onto your sense of hope? If you hold a position of leadership, have you suffered accusatory attacks that seem to have no adequate foundation? Are your relationships confused?
This is spiritual opposition at the level of demonic principalities—"spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12)—intended to destroy a move of God before it can begin by neutralizing those who would carry it forward. In some cases this has been powered by actual witchcraft directed specifically against ministries and ministry leaders.
Our enemy needs only to quicken his servants to action through the entrenched demonic influences in the lives of the ungodly. In some cases he works through the weaknesses and unhealed hearts of those who would otherwise stand with us. This magnifies the pain.
What To Do
This demonic onslaught thrives on false assumptions and distortions of events and intentions. It strips away the grace we have been called to grant one another and substitutes judgmental assessments of attitudes, motivations, words and deeds while posing as godly discernment.
Guard your relationships, therefore, by keeping communications open. Ask questions and then listen to and respect the answers you're given before assuming you know anything concerning the heart of your friend, your spouse or those with whom you work. Most especially do this with the leadership and authority over you.
Strive to focus on what you know God is actually doing and try not to feed on things you don't currently see Him doing. Let prayers be focused not on the alleviation of your personal pain but on freedom for those caught in the deceptions and perceptions that have wounded you. Strive to bless those who cause you pain, and by doing so, get the focus off of yourself.
You may be one of those fortunate ones to whom this word does not apply. You may be walking free of this kind of pressure from the adversary. Hallelujah! Nevertheless, it won't hurt to arm yourself.
I'm not predicting when the coming outpouring will begin. I just know that in these coming days it will be important to stand our ground in love, in relationship and in the genuine Holy Spirit.
R. Loren Sandford is an author, musician and the senior pastor of New Song Church and Ministries in Denver, Colorado. He has a bachelor's degree in music and a master of divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.
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