Spiritual battles...
by Erin Olson on March 2nd, 2012

If Jerry Maguire had the girl at “Hello”, Jesus had me at “Jesus Loves You.”

A man, whom I had just met, who is the same height as me, who has the most beautiful, crystal clear eyes stared directly at me and spoke those three words “Jesus Loves You” to me. Outside of the song, Jesus Loves Me This I Know, I had never heard those words uttered to me nor had I ever said them to myself.

When he said those words, I was both intrigued and annoyed and many things ran through my body and my mind. Honestly, my first thought was that he was a little crazy. I wholeheartedly wanted to believe those things, but something in my body was resisting. There was no way that Jesus could love me. How could He love me for all of the things I had done, the things I had said, the things I had wished and hoped for or the countless years I wandered farther and farther away from God…absolutely, there was no way. My heart wanted to run to this man and say, “Yes, I want that. I want Jesus to forgive me and love me.” But, there was another whisper, “You aren’t good enough for Jesus. The people in this room would never accept you for what you have done. Are you really going to believe what this man says – you don’t even know him?” There was definitely an internal battle going on.

Since we were staying with these folks, there was no way of getting around going further with this conversation. As the night went on, there was about ten or so of us sitting in the living room. We were talking about the Bible, talking about things going on with the business and things that people were going through.

Then, out of nowhere, this same man looked directly at me and said those three words again, “Jesus Loves You.” But this time, there was more. The next words made my heart stop and from that minute on, my life has never been the same. He said, “What happened to you when you were three years old?” Every eye turned to me. I desperately looked at my husband and without speaking I gave him a look of How does he know that? Did you tell him anything? However, my husband’s response, since I was still shell-shocked, answered my thoughts. “Wow, she has been struggling with this for the past few months. It has been hard for her,” he said.

You see, the few months prior to this meeting, I had been having nightmares. Actually, the nightmares started almost seven years prior while I was pregnant with my first child. They say that dreams are heightened during pregnancy because of our sleep patterns. For sure, that applied to me.

With my first pregnancy, I started receiving visits from a dark spirit. They usually happened when my husband was away traveling (he did that quite a bit during my first two pregnancies). In my sleep, I would sense someone standing next to my bed. It was so real; I would actually wake up and expect to see someone standing there. These visits usually subsided or became less regular when I wasn’t pregnant. Clearly, they bothered me, but I usually just chalked them up to being nervous about being home alone or sometimes I worried that something had happened to my husband when he was out of town and he was stopping by before going to Heaven. Crazy, I know.

The nightmares leading up to the encounter with this man were much more intense and much more frequent. Several of them actually became physical. One of the worst episodes happened when my husband was home. We were sleeping and I felt an overwhelming dark presence. The spirit was literally on top of me choking me around my neck. I was screaming and as the pressure was applied tighter, I was gasping for air. My heart was racing and there were tears running down my face. All of this commotion awoke my husband and he then began to shake me to wake me up. It took several minutes to get my heart rate down and I felt as though I could have had a heart attack because of it. My husband told me that if we had owned a gun, he would have fired it. He actually thought there was someone in the house harming me because it was so intense.

Even as I write these words, I can remember that night several years ago.

That nightmare got me on a path searching. I was trying to figure out what in the world was going on. Why was I having these dreams. What did it all mean? I had become increasingly fearful around this time as well. I felt trapped in my home and felt as though there was a spirit of darkness over our house. I kept my doors locked all day and had my alarm system armed even during the day. All of my thoughts were geared toward this fear. It was crippling, both physically and emotionally, not only for me, but for my family. I was a wreck.

Then came this meeting. Because it was in another state, we had to make many arrangements to be there. However, I had felt a sense of urgency that I needed to be there and was going to let nothing stand in my way.

Once those words were spoken to me, I couldn’t deny that God had His hand in all of it. I was then asked whether or not I wanted to be free. “Yes,” I whispered. I prayed the sinner’s prayer and was saved at that moment. Even as the conversation continued for hours, I sat there wondering about what in the world had just happened. All of a sudden, my heart started racing and I blurted out, “I have something to say about grace and faith and being saved by grace through faith.” Some chuckled. This man’s sweet wife said, “That’s called quickening. God is speaking to you and He will continue to do so from now on. That is a verse in the Bible – Ephesians 2:8.” Let me remind you, I had gone to church since I was a child, but never read the Bible outside of what was taught (the Bible I had received for my junior high confirmation was tucked away somewhere in a box in the attic) or the Sunday School curriculum I was given to teach (Note: however, our church at that time didn’t teach this message to the children).

And here I was quoting Scripture.

Anyway, I went to bed that night still struggling. I didn’t have the emotional salvation experience with that group. I didn’t really cry (totally abnormal for me), start shaking, freak out, fall down or any of that. But, when I went to bed that night, I lay there talking to God. I was pleading to Him for a couple of hours struggling with whether or not all of what I heard was true. There was still an internal battle going on. It was at that moment, when I told God that I completely give it up to Him, no matter the costs, that I was baptized in the Holy Spirit (never having heard of anything like this before I had no idea to even pray about this or ask for it). A tingling, electric sensation went from my head to my toes. I had previously been having severe hip pain and it felt as though it had been removed. To verify this, I got up out of bed and started walking in circles next to the bed. I went into the bathroom and kept walking around. I couldn’t believe it. When I came out of the bedroom, my husband asked what in the world I was doing. I told him that he wouldn’t believe it if I told him.

A few months back, I read Charles G. Finney’s, known as one of America’s greatest evangelists, biography. In it, he described his salvation experience. It was so eerily similar to mine that I knew that what both of us experienced had to be from God.

Returning back home, I continued to search and dig. I started reading the Bible every day. I plowed through the book that this man gave me about spiritual strongholds. I was devouring everything in sight.

One night, a couple months after this trip, I had another dream. In the dream, my husband and I were having a conversation with someone – a spirit-like someone – who was tickling my youngest son’s tummy (eery) while we were talking. My husband was doing the talking and he said something to the effect of Why do you have such a stronghold on my family? Does this mean my businesses will fail? Just as this was occurring, there was a ton of commotion outside of my window. I looked out the side windows and there were dark people blowing leaf blowers making a ton of noise. I looked out the front windows and there were dark people backing a tow truck up into our driveway. On the flat bed was a junked up car. They were trying to deposit that thing in my driveway. No way! I screamed. The next thing I know, we were down in the closet and I was trying to put my clothes on to go and tell these people they had the wrong address. My husband was sputtering on about what he thought sin was. And I said to him, Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. I know now that is Scripture, but didn’t know it then. As I went to exit the room, there were crazy looking people there with electric drills with a disturbed look on their face.

Clearly, I was in battle against these forces. They didn’t believe that I was serious about being on God’s side now. Not only was I dealing with stuff during the day (although, upon my return home, I no longer had any fear), I was still being attacked and tormented at night in my sleep.
I had a pythonic spirit that had invaded me and had no idea. This spirit probably had been with me since I was three years old – the exact time in my life that had been questioned. What is a pythonic spirit? It is one of the worst kinds of demonic spirits. Why? What is a python known for? It is known for its size and strength and it constricts the air out of its prey in order for it to die and then it swallows it...whole. This spirit tries to squeeze the life out of what God is doing.
This spirit had tried to choke the life out of me literally when I started seeking God. It had figured out that I was looking at changing teams and it was not happy about it. This spirit knew that it might lose me and no longer be able to control me. It wanted to destroy me. It had gotten pretty close, but praise God that God, once again, triumphed in victory.

Prior to my conversion experience, my life didn’t seem very demonic or twisted to the common eye. I was a community volunteer and Sunday School teacher for goodness sakes! But, the spirit caused me to be completely unsupportive of my husband as he tried to get back into his Christian walk. I called him a “Bible-thumper” and would get angry when he tried to talk to me about the Bible. Little everyday things like that. And of course big things like making me completely fearful of everything and trying to knock me off the path that was leading me back to God.

There are many references to these demonic or pythonic spirits in the Bible. In Acts 16:16-18, Paul dealt with a woman who was demon-possessed (some translations actually say that she had a pythonic spirit and some say she had a demonic spirit) that had been following him around for a few days while he was preaching. This demon spirit even had the nerve to say, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.” (verse 17b) However, finally Paul got sick of it and he turned to this girl and said, “’I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.’ And instantly it left her.” (verse 18b) This slave girl was a fortune-teller for her masters and now that the demon had left, she had no ability to make them money anymore or allow this spirit to be leeched onto unsuspecting people.

Another example comes in Matthew 16: 21-22. After Jesus started telling his disciples about all of the terrible things that would soon happen to him, Peter said to Jesus, “Heaven forbid, Lord, this will never happen to you.” (verse 22 – NLT) But verse 23 illustrates Jesus’ response. He said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” Imagine what would have happened if this pythonic spirit had not been rebuked from Peter and the other disciples had this spirit laid upon them through Peter? What would have happened to Jesus’ destiny on the Cross?

This spirit is sneaky. He prowls around looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). He looks for every opportunity to get a foothold into our lives. Sometimes we don’t even know the extent of what our sins do to our soul. These spirits attack our soul. They will do anything and at any cost. They are on a one-track mission – utter destruction. I hesitated to include this gruesome picture, but I think it highlights this point so well.
This 4 meter long python decided to take on a 2 meter long alligator. The python consumed him alive and whole. However, sometime during the swallowing of the alligator, the python’s belly ruptured and both animals died. The python’s greed, hunger, and carelessness caused his death. In our case, these pythonic spirits are already dead – they have no chance at eternal life – so they are willing to do anything and everything to constrict us and lead us to death.
Back to my story. In the case of the slave girl, her demonic spirit left her immediately. Mine did not. No one cast that demonic spirit out of me the night I was saved, although I am convinced that this man knew it was there. He hadn’t received those orders from God. I believe he only received orders to make it known.

God could have removed that pythonic spirit at any time or that night, but he only removed the spirit of fear. He needed me to gain knowledge and press into Him in order to perfect His will in me. He also wanted me to be equipped to handle these spirits as I matured in my faith. These spirits will come and go throughout our lives “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) We need to know how to “put on the full armor of God” (Ephesians 6:13)

The battle had only begun, but God was with me.

My battle with this pythonic spirit lasted for almost two and half years. I received a book about spiritual strongholds when I was first saved (clearly a sign that this man knew something more than he was telling me), but I never once thought that I possessed any spirits. I knew there were probably some spiritual forces circling that lingered from my past that I needed to unload, but nothing else. However, one night, after a particularly rough day, I was literally pulling my hair out. Things were going horribly. Everything seemed to be going wrong. I thought How could this be? I have given my life to God and things are worse than ever. I am so unhappy. Ahhhhhh…….

And then I pleaded, God, help me! I can’t stand this anymore. I am going crazy and out of my mind. Help me, God! I want to serve only you. No matter what. Just you. No one else. Please, whatever is stopping me from serving you, get rid of it. Now!!!
And then it happened, my jaw opened wide and locked and a loud hissing noise arose from me. The noise lasted for several seconds. Then after that, as my body shook slightly, my jaw released and my breathing resumed. I felt as though I had been in my body, but out of my body if you know what I mean. From that point on, things changed.
I still pray over my children because this spirit can be passed to our offspring and we bear the sins of our fathers (Lamentations 5:7). I pray my prayers are answered for I do not want them to suffer.

We must learn to distinguish between the demonic spirits, especially the pythonic spirit, and the Holy Spirit. Discernment and wisdom only comes from spending time with God every day. We must keep our defenses up. Seek God. Pay attention to the things that we allow to enter into our souls. Be aware of our sins and repent often. We need to be in control of our souls and minds, under God’s direction, so these pythonic spirits know they have no power of Him.

I prayed about this blog this week because I really needed to be sure that the Holy Spirit was leading me to write this. This pythonic spirit is real and it will constrict the life out of you and anyone you influence if they cannot defeat it. If you have questions, turn to God. Seek Him. I knew nothing about pythonic spirits while this was happening to me, but oddly, a sweet lady in my Bible study this week confirmed that I wasn’t crazy after all….at least not about this!

I am fully aware that this post may send me into a new battle. I sort of felt it lurking around last night as I was preparing this and praying about it. But, I am prepared and I am armed with the power and Word of God on my side.

“But if I [Jesus] am casting out demons by the power of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. For when a strong man like Satan is fully armed and guards his palace, his possessions are safe – until someone even stronger attacks and overpowers him, strips him of his weapons, and carries off his belongings.” (Luke 11: 20-22)


Posted in not categorized    Tagged with pythonic-spirits, python, spiritual-warfare, Jerry-Maguire


1 Comments

Spenser - March 7th, 2012 at 2:19 PM
KONY 2012 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc
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