Saturday, May 26, 2007

Satan's Role in My "Charismatic" Experience

I've been down in our basement all day going through boxes throwing things out, packing things up getting them ready to put in storage for our big move. I came across a bunch of papers that have been in hiding for probably 10 years and I can't resist posting something I wrote 'back then'. I'll set the stage for you a bit:

It was early in 1998, Aaron and I had been married for 2 years and he was the assistant pastor in a Wesleyan church. So I was a 20 year old pastor's wife. (This both amuses me and terrifies me to think back on!) We had been developing relationships with the pastors and people of The Meeting Place and also Dave and Rosie Fellingham from CCK in Brighton.

Satan's Role in My "Charismatic" Experience

For almost my whole life I've been a wonderful Christian. From my childhood I read the Bible regularly, rarely missed any service at church, and always tried my best to treat others kindly. Never in my life had I tried smoking, drinking, doing drugs, swearing, or sex outside of marriage. I knew a fair amount about the Bible and even attended Bible College for a year. I married a good Christian young man who was going into the ministry, and now I am a pastor's wife. Of course being the good Christian that I was, I struggled to become more disciplined at reading the Bible and praying, and of course I went to church and helped out as much as I could in ministry. So why was I feeling so far away from God?

After a few years of such a totally dry and impersonal relationship with God I began to question why we did church the way we did. I had been taught that the Bible was all true and God never changes and yet the church was so often just tradition with no power. In the course of being in the ministry I began to meet Christians from various other churches and denominations. That's when Satan began his luring tactics.

It all began with a deceptive friendliness and seemingly sincere love for brothers and sisters in Christ. Not that I wasn't aware of some of the "un-Biblical" experiences that were going on in some of these churches, but Satan has a way of making things look so attractive. Some of these people were crazy when it came to talking about God. I mean, they loved God as if He was a real person in a real relationship with them. And not only did they talk about Jesus as a friend, King, our shepherd; they considered Him to be a lover and bridegroom to the church.

Well, I guess I should have picked up on some of these things as warning signals but I was too far gone. I began to be more and more consumed by the desire to experience that kind of relationship with God. I eventually ended up at a service sponsored by some of these churches and something happened to me. I don't know how I could get to a place in my life where I not only allowed this to happen but wanted it to happen, but I let some people pray for me (with my husband). How gullible and vulnerable to let people put their hands on me and pray for me and prophecy over me as if I were living in Bible times or something!

And now to my problem: ever since this happened Satan has severely attacked me. At first it was just this overwhelming sense of peace and security in God's love. I kept waking up through the night with sensation of being wrapped up in God's love. I can't get rid of this problem. I think the next tactic of Satan was to draw my husband and I closer together in love and unity. We don't know how to deal with this because nothing like this has happened to us during all our involvement in the safe churches we've been in. To make matters worse, the very next morning, as if peace wasn't enough, I had a motivating desire to read my Bible and spend time with God. I realized Satan ruined my sense of guilt and obligation about my Christian duties and replaced them with a real desire to be with God. He even caused me to actually enjoy that time as I haven't in a very long time. A major Satanic interference in my life then caused our church to be cancelled due to weather and we attended yet another service at this other church. That afternoon I experienced a real time of intercession on behalf of several of my friends who are in need of Christ. I couldn't wait to share with them what God was doing in my life. I've never felt so loved and accepted in my whole life. I've never realized how much God really personally cares about me no matter what I do.

If you are appalled at my giving Satan the credit for the wonderful things God has been doing in my life, you should be. I realize now with great sadness that many Christians have doing this for too long--I mean, giving Satan the glory that belongs to God (I did). I believe it is time to wake up and find out what God is doing in the world so we can finally be a unified church working to save the lost.

It's alright, go ahead and laugh...I did!


dogimo said...

Quite cleverly done. Very nice.

Say, we're pretty much free to worship in unbiblical ways. Far as I'm concerned. Given that any little add-ons are not anti-biblical of course!

I suppose I should say non-biblical ways rather than unbiblical ways, but it seems rather the same to me.

I think it's cool to find all sorts of little novel ways to rejoice in God. The key is always to inspect what we're doing with one question in mind: am I inserting this as a buffer or a bridge?

jul said...

Glad you liked it! It brings back fond memories for me.

Peter Day said...

This is wonderful. You remind me of the way in which God dealt with me over the whole period known as the "Toronto Blessing".

I was told by respected church leaders that all of this was of the devil. And then I began to see people whom God had touched, whose lives were totally transformed. Does the devil give people a greater hunger after God's word and prayer? Does the devil make people more passionate for people to come to know Jesus? Does the devil give people are heart to worship God more?

I had to conclude "no he doesn't" and repent of my rejection of God's mighty work in so many lives.

So thank you for posting this. It is so funny and yet a great reminder of what only God can do. And that is why I am so desperate (as are many more in these exciting days) for fresh waves of God's Holy Spirit to be poured upon us.

jul said...

I'm Canadian, so during that period we had a channel on TV that would broadast live from the Toronto Airport (then Vineyard) and I remember watching it and being so angry! I was convinced it was demonic and no way could be from God. Oh, how times change...thankfully!