As I think back to my frame of mind of psychosis, I am familiar with the voices in my head that blew up my sanity. I am familiar with the “sense” of evil that seemed to follow me wherever I went while fighting not “against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,” as Ephesians 6:12 says.
Everyday was a spiritual battle to wake up in my right mind when manic. I know there was a connection to the spiritual in this naked state of mind. I was spiritually vulnerable and scared to death of the evil that seemed so invasive. Especially in the hospital. In the following excerpt from my memoir, Bipolar Brave, I share a scene that shows the wrestling of powers alive in myself through Christ, and powers in the Satanic patient I encountered. Never meeting this man before that moment, nor after, was a curious thing, but spiritual warfare was all too common in this setting.
For the best of encounters with demonic play, I was honored by the presence of a man covered in pentagram tattoos, with half his head shaved, and the longest set of fingernails I’d ever seen on a person, man or woman. At about seven o’clock in the evening, his black eyes looked at me from across the room and I heard him speak into my head. Telepathically.
Come outside with me.
I wasn’t shocked, I wasn’t appalled. I was slightly intrigued, but ready to rise to the challenge. I tried to do it back to him and tell him “no”, but that didn’t work. So I followed him outside.
Sit next to me.
He did it again. And I tried to “think” back to him, but he didn’t respond, so I obviously didn’t have the magic. But I had the power — the power of the name of Jesus.
He opened his mouth and spoke. “So my people are ready. If you’re ready, I can get you out of here tomorrow.”
And there I sat on the bench next to him, swinging my legs and watching those around us. I could see inside to the common room as it was getting darker out – it was dusk. I wanted to leave, but I wondered where we’d go.
I sensed his evil, but it didn’t phase me or scare me. I took to praising Jesus now and broke out in song. The wind suddenly picked up as I belted out a Hallelujah-type chorus with my soprano voice worshipping my way out of this madness.
“Thy Kingdom Come,” I sang. “Lord Jesus, Thy Kingdom Come, Lord Jesus. All praise, honor and glory to your name, Lord Jesus. You reign, Lord Jesus, You’re coming with the clouds–”
At this point my voice carried over the fence and into the wind that grew stronger. Leaves suddenly blew into the courtyard while I prayed victory in song. My brown hair whipped around my face as my crescendo plateaued. The clouds’ racing shadows advanced over the courtyard. It seemed to stun the other patients. Their eyes widened and they filed inside. After my first stanza, the Devil-worshipper left me on the bench alone. He followed the others inside, and I never saw him again. I never felt so good. I smiled, basking in the presence of Jesus while I had hit the Devil’s curveball out of the ballpark.
As a Christian, my stance on spiritual warfare and evil is basic. I believe like it says in Proverbs 11:27 “He who earnestly seeks good finds favor, But trouble will come to him who seeks evil.”
If you look for evil, you’ll find it. You attract what you are looking for.
In spiritual warfare, there is a lot of power in prayer, but I feel like so much spiritualizing and prayer against evil is to only seek it out, and it find you.
So I try to follow Philippians 4:8 where it says “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
Another couple things I believe are related to this are the fact that our lives are hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3), and the Lord fights our battles for us (Joshua 23:10, Deuteronomy 20:4).
We don’t need to go looking for demon-oppressed or those possessed and exorcise them. Nor do we have to say anything to Satan. I believe there is a time and place for denouncing curses, and maybe I’ll get into that in another post. But for the most part, while being bipolar and psychotic can make you vulnerable to spirituality and stranger-than-fiction kinds of things, I do like to take comfort in the fact that God is alive, He’s in control, I am set free from the power of sin and evil in Jesus. It’s His job to save and redeem souls, not mine. I am to be a light in a dark world. Like Jesus said, others would hate us because they hated Him, and we belong to Him. So don’t be surprised or scared when spiritual warfare seems so real. Count it joy, consider yourself blessed to be persecuted for Jesus’ sake, praise Him through it, and when the storm passes, share your testimony!!
Speaking of, is there a time you were in the middle of spiritual warfare? I’m curious -what did you do and how did God fight your battle?