Last weekend we had an AWESOME time hosting the 2018 Portland School of Resurrection (Head over to Oneglance.org if you want to host one yourself). At the end, we had a fire tunnel, which is basically a cross between a gauntlet and a prayer line. You walk between two lines of people and everyone lays hands on you as you go, with the expectation that you will continue to be filled with the Holy Spirit and power until you reach the end of the line. At one point, a friend walked through and as people laid hands on her, she began to choke. I had felt led to keep an eye on her as she went through, and it turned out this was why—I could see her mouthing “I can’t breathe” as she held her hands to her neck and was crying.
Normally this might seem like a medical emergency, but under the circumstances, it was something different. This friend has a history of Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA), and as a result has what is commonly termed Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID. This condition involves the fracturing of the soul into different pieces, fragments and alters, to try to protect the individual from the pain of trauma. While everyone has fragments, in SRA this is done on-purpose for a variety of reasons, but mostly it is to use the soul like a spiritual battery. If you want to learn more about fragments and alters, DID, SRA, or just effective inner healing as a whole, check out my coauthored book Broken To Whole.
Back to my choking friend, I pulled her out of the prayer line immediately as I commanded the demons to let go of her, and sat her down on a seat next to us. I then asked her who I was talking to. The first thing she did was scrunch up her face and hiss at me. I immediately began to call her core personality up, saying “_(Name)_, come up!” I did this because I wasn’t quite sure how to get the demons to stop harassing her, or where to go next, and getting her back up seemed like a good place to start. While I rapidly got one of her main alters back up, as her core self was unavailable, I believe I missed out on an opportunity to bring her into greater freedom.
In hindsight, I probably should have taken a few minutes to interrogate the spirit who was hissing at me, as I probably would have discovered its entry point and been able to get rid of it once and for all. After all, what was it going to do—hiss at me some more?? I think sometimes we get afraid when we start dealing with demons. We wonder what is happening to the person inside when the demon is up and controlling the face or body. We wonder if the demon is going to hurt us (and in all reality, some can, so it’s not an absurd notion to consider), or other concerns or fears. The problem is that if we give in to those fears, try to avoid the demons, or otherwise freak out, we will miss out on opportunities to help people, like I believe I did.
While a good friend did spend some time praying with her afterwards, and I believe some good was done, she had been afraid the entire time that this episode was going to scare someone there. And in fact it had scared someone, but the truth is that demons exist, they like to hide their presence in people, and don’t want people to get rid of them. If someone gets scared because of a fairly weak, hissing demon, then how is that person going to be very effective against powers of darkness? I believe this encounter could have been not just a time of deliverance for my friend, but possibly even a time of practical training for some of the other people present—a moment where they could encounter a very real spiritual being and discover just how far the authority and power of Jesus Christ in us extends.
In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus both taught and commanded his disciples to cast out demons, so how is it any different for me and you? As the Church, we need to help people grow to a place where you don’t fear demons—but rather make the demons fear you.