I feel compelled to write about my own personal experience with spiritual warfare. I’m thinking back to a time when I went to a military boarding school. At this point in my life I was not yet firm in my faith, although I thought I was very spiritual and that this was something that was separate from religion.
While away at this boarding school I had a mentor that practiced the art of Qi Gong: an ancient Japanese practice that dealt with energy manipulation. He had lured me in by giving demonstrations, such as showing me how to read auras. He had explained Qi Gong as “like the force from Star Wars”; and as an avid Star Wars fan, this is what sold me. I was his student and he was my mentor. He started teaching me about meditation also. He was very impressed with what I could do and he continued teaching me more and more. Eventually I had this guilty feeling like something wasn’t right about it all. When I mentioned my feelings to him he immediately stopped teaching me. Now, before I continue, I have to say that he was not a demon worshipper or part of some occult. He had changed many lives for the better and he was just trying to help me. He was a good man – my friend and my teacher. He was just lost, and I wish I could have helped him but I was also lost at the time. I wished I could have shown him the Truth of Jesus Christ. He passed away last year from cancer and I pray for his soul often, hoping that our Father will show him mercy. I ask for your prayers as well, and I ask for you to please pray for all the souls that did not have the chance to know Jesus in this life.
As my story continues, and before knowing Jesus deeply, this curiosity kept gnawing at me, “Blake, what if you could cure cancer? What if you could change someone’s life? What if you could change the world?” It was driving me insane. So I continued teaching myself Qi Gong, or at least I tried to. During this time I was also addicted to masturbation and I was receiving the Eucharist in the state of this dirty, mortal sin. My relationship with God was very distant, making my soul very vulnerable to the works of the evil one. I experienced several, rather grim, encounters with demons during this time of my life and can say, firsthand and without doubt, that there is evil in the world. If you don’t believe me take a look at Mark, Chapter 5. It speaks of a man that is possessed by a demon, “Legion”, and this demon trembled at the sight of Jesus, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!” (Mark 5:8). Jesus had this demon begging desperately to spare its life.
Brothers and sisters, I have great news! We are not alone in this spiritual battle – we have God on our side – and God is limitless. He is our Light. Demons, even satan himself, tremble in His presence. Even better news: this God is our beloved Father! Yes, evil exists because there is a lack of good, but do not be afraid, for God is good. This doesn’t mean that we can sit back and relax. We are at war! The devil is working now more than ever through our culture of death: babies are being slaughtered, the traditional family-life is being attacked, and more. We as Catholics have to stand firm with our Christian brothers and sisters and protect each other’s backs. We need to be vigilant with our spiritual life and remain full of zeal in our prayer-life and active in our apologetic studies. I know most of us waste a lot of time on facebook and other social media, but imagine if we dedicated some of that time to researching and learning more about our faith.
What we need to know about the battle is in scripture. God, our Father and Almighty Creator, gave the Church the gift of scripture. We need to use this gift as a guide through life and learn how to win this battle that is going on within each one of us. It says it all in Ephesians 6: 10-17, “draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power” (Eph 6:10). This means do everything in the name of Jesus, dedicate your life to Him – the One who dedicated His life to us! I promise you, if you live a life centered on Christ He will not let you down. Don’t make the same mistakes that I made, thinking you can change the world without Jesus because, not only will you fail, you will lose yourself in the world and guess who will find you? The evil one. So, give it all to Jesus, for He is the “gate” to His Father – our Father, and “whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.” (John 10:1). God gave us this gift, let’s use it.
See, we have all of these tools to fight this spiritual battle that is happening within us. Brothers and sisters, we can win this battle – but only through Jesus Christ – for He is the gateway to eternal life. If you were to get anything out of scripture it is, “be not afraid”. It is one of the most common phrases in the Bible so we should at least take that to heart. God has given us everything that we need in order to change the world so what’s holding us back? Fear? Shame? Negativity? Thoughts of uselessness? These are all tactics that the evil one uses to sway an individual. We need to discover God’s graces and He will guide us towards the Light and will work miracles in our lives.
We may all be imperfect beings but if we allow God to work through us we will become saints!
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