31 March 2014

Pushing Back the Dark

". . . for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world." ~Alma 34:34
SOME kind of spirit possesses us all the time. 

ALL.  Not a single second left out. 

When we don't live up to the law we know, we fall under the power of the adversary. Unlike God, he seizes as much control as he can wrest from us. he is ravenous for power, claiming authority over others whenever he can seize it. he's the ultimate lawyer, working to win on technicalities . . . which he can do because the tradition of our fathers teaches those technicalities are right/normal/expected, or worst of all: according to the law of heaven.
"A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God." ~Joseph Smith, from History of the Church, 5:588.
During our Testimony meeting yesterday, there was testimony was full of the passive, empty declarations of salvation through works, implying that Jesus is separated & distanced from us, with His salvation (only & finally) coming into play at the judgement bar, after we've suffered all kinds of things at His hands. As I heard it, the fire of my own testimony burned bright in my heart . . . that Jesus is HERE, with us NOW. That we exist, and He won, so we might have JOY! That He walks with us, and our lives can be filled to overflowing with miracles and the joy and righteousness of His glory. Did I mention that's all right now? Right this minute? No enduring to the end first? That's God's astounding grace! :o)

One of my BFFs said yesterday evening how, when we walk into a dark room and flip the light switch, we don't hear the dark arguing that it gets to stay. ;o) Where light IS, darkness CANNOT be. Now, that principle gets interesting because we own our minds & hearts. Agency is the name of the game. When we have unbelief in our minds & hearts, we choose darkness over light. True testimonies & teaching might supply electricity to the switch, others can even open a door into the room so we can see light through the doorway . . . but we have to flip the switch to accept the light as our own. Heck, so many don't even realize there IS a switch, accepting their gloomy bondage under the abominable idea that God keeps them in the dark for their own good, because God manages to still teach them some good things, to manifest some of His absolute goodness, as they labor in their darkness.

In the areas where we deal with spiritual bondage, familiar spirits will fiercely defend their territory, struggling to keep that spiritual darkness, those veils of unbelief, just as they are. About a year ago, a good friend prayed for me. She prayed for protection against some things, including the spirit of confusion. While I felt the Holy Ghost in strength throughout most of her prayer, when she prayed against the spirit of confusion, I felt the Holy Ghost's power withdraw. In my understanding, God didn't want me to be free of a spirit of confusion, because He withdrew His approval when she prayed for that. And I was confused by that idea.

After the prayer I told her that I'd felt the Spirit leave at that one point, and she responded in a way I'd never seen before: "Okay," she said, smiling, "the spirit of confusion, huh? Let's pray about that." She then prayed against that spirit, and I realized I had been totally mistaken. God wasn't disapproving of my freedom from that spirit--I had given that spirit dominion in my life by submitting to it in the past. As she prayed further, I felt my near-constant depression lifting. I began praying silently in total agreement, and we kept it up until I knew (through my feelings and what God showed me in the spirit) that it was gone. As she began that prayer, I had felt the same lack of the Holy Spirit . . . but as we prayed for several more minutes, God's love came back as the spirit of confusion was cast out. (The fact that I had felt confused by an idea that I thought was from God was a HUGE red flag. He is not the author of confusion, but of peace and clarity. It still tries to return every so often, and tries new tricks, but now that I'm aware that's one of my weaknesses, I can watch for it and pray to understand what I see, and then pray specifically against what's going on.)

When we "feel the spirit leave", it's not what we've been taught: the Holy Ghost speaking to us that something is false. The Spirit of God blazes in us for truth, it teaches & reaffirms truth in us. It speaks truth or leaves. It leaves when we flip the light switch to "off", by allowing another spirit claim upon us (for whatever reason--including generational curses we've carried since childhood or earlier). Whether through sin or ignorance (both of those can include false teachings we accept), when we do that we have unbelief that keeps us blind, in a dark room shut out of the glorious light of Jesus.

So, the next time you have that experience, that you "feel the spirit leave" to use the Mormon jargon, ask God what's really going on. Ask Him to reveal the bondage you're under, so you can understand--so you can flip that switch that evicts the darkness without argument. :o)