There are places on this earth where a portal into Heaven has been opened, making it easier to rise in the Spirit into the realms of God. (see post from April 15,’13). Conversely, there are other places where quite the opposite is true. Those who have experienced this will need little explanation of it. Interestingly enough, the reasons for this are quite similar.
We saw in the April 15 post that God sometimes opens portals on earth to mark certain places where He has met with man in a significant way. At other times He opens a portal because of all the worship that has ascended from that place. Christians go to these places and are able to receive anointing, healing and blessing.
Other places have been marked by satan because of the great evil that has occurred there, allowing him to set up an evil reign over the area. Those who belong to him make pilgrimage to those places to practice evil and they are empowered by doing so.
Satan is the master of counterfeit. He delights in taking what God does, twisting it for his own evil purposes and deceiving people with it.
The missions compound that I spoke of in the April 15 post was like a glorious bubble in the midst of darkness. There was an open Heaven there where we delighted in the presence of God. But on one side, just across the wall, we heard early morning prayers being chanted to false gods while on the other side the witch doctors banged their drums all night cursing us and our leaders by name. Things would be fine for awhile, then suddenly there would be 10 cases of malaria and several people having odd accidents. We’d give each other the “uh-oh” look and realize we had been lulled to sleep and neglected our prayer cover. So we would once again put on our spiritual armour, plead the blood of Jesus over us, do prayer walks around the compound and break the curses that were aimed against us.
While there are ways of redeeming land in evil places and breaking the curses that are on it, this is never a job for one individual or a few who are untrained. It usually involves finding out what defiled the land there historically, repentance by those involved or their families, tribes or nations and making amends in some way. Each place is unique and only God holds the keys to the deep secrets of restoration. For the untrained, these places are best avoided. There are those He trains and sends to such places and when He does, realms collide and light wins over the darkness.
My purpose here is not to study spiritual warfare in this area but only to contrast the access of Heavenly realms in areas where a portal exists with those areas where great evil reigns. In such places it is decidedly difficult to even feel the presence of the Lord since everything is geared toward the evil one. Sometimes people stumble into a place like this and don’t understand it. They think something is wrong with them. But the problem may actually be the geographical location, or even other people around them who have ungodly spirits. When you feel that something is out of line spiritually, always stop and ask the Lord for discernment and instructions. Putting on your spiritual armour (Eph.6:13-18) and staying alert is mandatory. Remember that Jesus is always with you and will never leave you. The enemy plays games of shadows and darkness meant to deceive you. But greater is He that is within you than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
A word to tourists:
I have travelled much and seen tourists repeatedly invite trouble, whether innocently or not. Remember that you do not understand the customs of the country you are visiting. Most things have spiritual significance that those in the West are ignorant of.
Visiting the “holy” sites of other religions and false gods is a bad idea. You serve the One True God who is very jealous of your love. He is so jealous, in fact, that He says His very name is ‘Jealous’! (Ex.20:5, Ex. 34:14) These verses talk about bowing down or worshipping other gods. Most Christians would never do that. However, any time one goes into such a tourist site, especially into temples and other places where false gods are worshipped, they will be asked to remove their shoes and often cover their heads. This is a sign of honor to the ‘deity’. Satan, who is behind all false gods, accepts this as worship! And it particularly pleases him when it comes from a Christian. Please do not do this. Be wise enough and strong enough to say no to your hosts if necessary and refuse to go. (Mt. 10:32, Rom.1:16) It can open doors of access to the enemy into your life. Often, people don’t know why they become ill afterwards or why many evil things begin to happen in their lives. They don’t even trace it back to the source and things can drag on and become worse over time. In such cases, repentence along with prophetic intercession should be done to pinpoint the problem and break the curses.
This leads also to the matter of souvenirs that people bring home with them. One must use much discernment in gift shops. There are certain things to always avoid. Masks are in that category, and carvings/idols, along with anything that is obviously to be used in a religious ceremony. If it has the look of evil about it … it likely is. Jewellery is another questionable item, especially if there are words or symbols inscribed on it in a language you don’t understand. (When we were on the mission field in Mozambique, babies who were brought to the orphanage always wore a small leather bracelet that had been put on them by the witch doctor. The parents were told that it was a ‘blessing’ but in reality, it was a curse which had to be broken when the missionaries removed the bracelet.) These things are unheard of by those of us in 1st world countries. How harmful could a simple leather bracelet be? Plenty, if the one who made it placed curses on it.
You see, it works like this. Whatever man worships, he empowers. For example, an idol made of wood is only an object and has no power. But when men believe it has power and they worship it, satan uses that to his advantage and begins to work through it, thereby strengthening their belief. When you give an object like this a place of honor in your home, that power comes along with it, even if you were not the one worshipping it. It’s a very foolish thing to do and also falls under the list of things that make your God jealous.
It works in the same way (but opposite) as the aprons and handkerchiefs that the Apostle Paul prayed over and sent out. (Acts 19:12) Those who received them were healed of diseases and even delivered from demons! Unfortunately, the opposite works in the enemy’s realm as well in the form of evil anointings and curses.
This may seem like a rather hard word but please hear my heart. It is not meant to bring fear to you, but wisdom and protection as you heed this advice. If you find yourself inadvertently in a situation or place of danger, do not fear. Plead the blood of Jesus over yourself and ask for wisdom and guidance. And remember that Jesus is always with you to protect and deliver you from evil.
We have been discussing several on-ramps into Heavenly realms. (see previous postings) In that list # 2 and 3 were “entering into our past dreams and visions and also those of other people.” Our prophetic encounters with the Lord can be re-entered and also used as an on-ramp into His realm. The same holds true for listening to other people’s experiences, whether through books, videos or hearing them personally. When we speak of the Lord, He comes with His presence. It’s an open invitation for those who hear or read to enter as well.
If entering Heavenly realms is possible in this way, then it is also true that re-entering negative dreams or experiences, whether our own or others, can block us from His presence. If we talk about the Lord and He shows up, the same is true when we begin to talk about the enemy and his evil realm. We have all experienced this in small groups when someone is speaking of the Lord and His presence floods the room … or when someone wants to talk about demonic activity and suddenly the light is sucked from the room and you feel a cold chill.
If there was witchcraft or any type of occult activity in your past (or your generations) repent of it and renounce it. Do not go back to think about or re-enter those experiences or nightmares again. They are a trap that must be avoided. In the same way, it is very unwise to read of other peoples occult experiences or activities. Do not allow that into your house or your thoughts. It opens up a realm of darkness instead of light. We are of the light, not the darkness (1 Thess. 5:5)
If you are a counsellor you will have to listen to many negative experiences. The purity and holiness of your own heart will be a safety for you. Then when the enemy comes he will find nothing in you that can be used to bring you down. (John 14:30) Make it a practice, before and after counselling sessions, to repent of all sin and plead the blood of Jesus over you. This is not out of fear but wisdom because we are not ignorant of the enemy’s devices. (2 Cor. 2:11) He always seeks to gain entrance. (1 Pet. 5:8) Counsellors and intercessors need to be careful not to take the pain and trauma of others upon themselves. This helps nothing. God is the great counsellor and intercessor and our goal is always to bring them to Him. He is the one with the comfort and answers. Sometimes that will flow through us in words of wisdom or acts of compassion. Sometimes the wisdom is just to bring them to Him so they can experience His presence. Teach them how to find Him. Place them in His arms and let Him do the rest. Then leave the pain and trauma with Him.
There are nightmares sent by the enemy to torment us. Perhaps this is a good time to note something important. Nightmares sometimes come from traumas of the past. This includes not only obvious emotional trauma … death of a loved one, divorce, miscarriage, job loss, bankruptcy and other obvious situations, but also things like accidents and injury. The enemy loves to find a weak spot and use it as a place to attack us repeatedly. If you are experiencing this, lay your hands on your head and let me pray for you.
“Father, in Jesus name I break the shock and trauma off of these people. I command nightmares and destructive thought patterns to cease now and be replaced with dreams and visions from the Lord. Fill them with Your peace.”
Another important thing to know about nightmares, especially in children, is this … the enemy knows that this is a prophetic generation of young people and he tries to stop that in its infancy. His tactic is to send frightening nightmares which cause the children to be afraid, not only of sleep but of dreaming! When this is happening to your children you can be assured that they are dreamers who God wants to dream through and speak through! Satan has overplayed his hand. Pray with your children, rebuke the enemy and command nightmares and all their ill effects to be gone and replaced by God’s dreams. Pay close attention to your childrens dreams and never just pass them off as childish. God does speak to them and through them.
We can enter into other people’s experiences in a positive way by hearing testimonies of angels and Heavenly realms. Or we can enter into another persons negative experiences and be adversely affected by them. Just as there are Godly impartations through various forms of media, there are also ungodly and evil impartations through books, movies etc. We do well when we choose to avoid these things, keeping watch over our own minds, our homes and our families.
If there are things we can do to help us enter into God’s realm, we need to also be aware of things that can keep us from ascending. After spending the last few months dealing with on-ramps into Heavenly realms, I thought it necessary to comment on specific things that can block our progress in each of the areas we have looked at. As a review, here are the on-ramps we have discussed.
#1 Quieting your spirit
#2 Re-entering you past dreams and visions
#3 Other people’s dreams and visions
#4 Going into the Word
#5 A Godly imagination
#6 Geographical locations
God has extended an invitation to us through the open door of Rev. 4:1 to “Come up here”. He also tells us in Eph. 2:6 that we are seated with Him in Heavenly places. One of the most basic ways to access this reality is in learning to quiet ourselves, to listen for His voice, to be at peace. We discussed this at length in the postings from Dec. 3,’12, Dec. 17,’12 and also at the end of Dec. 31,’12.
If having a disciplined and quiet spirit is helpful in ascending into Heavenly realms with the Lord, then the opposite can actually prevent us from getting there. Although this seems obvious, it’s helpful to stop at times and take inventory. Most of us lead very busy lives. But how much of that busyness is actually necessary? Are we involved in things that will really count for eternity and bear fruit for His Kingdom? Are we spending quality time with the One we love? The spirit of this age is designed to keep us away from Him and even to trick us into being involved in busy work that is masked as ministry, especially in many churches. We can be running in circles always doing things, going to meetings, running programs, until any meaningful time with Him is edited out of the picture. It’s like eating less and less until finally we become sick and wonder why.
In very busy times of ministry and travelling I have had to rely on “in-flight refueling”… trying to spend time with the Lord on an overnight flight or finding a quiet place in an airport waiting lounge. This is at best like grabbing a snack here and there instead of a full meal. When I arrive at the place of ministry I’m always careful to explain that I need some time alone with the Lord. If I have no time with Him I’ll have nothing to give anyone else. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t since plans have already been made for me. Even in meetings where God is moving mightily and His Presence is tangible I find this is not a substitute for private time with Him alone. A corporate anointing is awesome and necessary but we can be swept along in that without ever being encountered personally. I simply must be with the One I love. And when I return home from that busy time I often find it so difficult to get back into spending that quiet time with Him that I have to start over as I did in the beginning by disciplining myself to just sit quietly and “be” with Him until He reprograms me back into intimacy once again. This is what I was created for and where my heart truly longs to be.
For many people, their time is not their own. They are responsible to families, employers and others who have need of them. Mothers with small children, caregivers and those with demanding jobs are in this category. Of course God understands this. This time in your life is temporary. Children grow up and jobs change. In some cases God may have a way out of a demanding job into something better for you. But even where you are now, if you stop and listen you will hear His voice calling you to quiet yourself and come to Him. He is not just another demand on your list. He’s in love with you and your heart longs for Him as well. Ask Him to create a space of time for you just to be with Him. I’ve seen Him do that. Then be very sensitive when that time appears out of nowhere. Remember that it’s for Him. Spend it with Him and you will be rewarded by His Presence and His peace.
Remember as always that this is a relationship, not a duty or a formula. We do not simply check Him off the list of things to do. This is a love affair!
If learning to quiet ourselves and spend time with Him is an on-ramp into Heavenly realms (and it is) then being too busy for Him, physically, mentally or emotionally is definitely something that can block us from getting there. He can help us fix this if we let Him.