A dozen common emotions overwhelmed me. I was excited. I was terrified. I was ready. I was willing to face my fears, especially with public speaking.
Despite my countless years of doing public speaking, it never takes away my jitters. Each time, I have butterflies. It's scary walking onto a stage to give a speech with all eyes upon me.
I am still in a process. I have never arrived. I don't think I will ever be perfected, until I reach the other side of heaven.
Even though I'm an author and speaker with a captivating story to tell, my heart races when I step out of my comfort zone to share it. And the truth is that the enemy will go to great lengths to stop me. He uses sly tactics to silence me.
Each time I prepare to launch a new book, the devil slips in to stir up trouble. Usually, it's technical difficulties; minor and major. You see, this is an area where I am not confident. I lack savvy technical skills. And Satan knows it.
He preys on our weaknesses. He's aware of our vulnerabilities. He knows exactly what buttons to push to create fear. His cleaver schemes are cunning. And he will do whatever is within his ability to prevent us to share God's grace, love, and hope.
He will plague us with confusion. Chaos. Frustration. Division. Anxiety. If anything can go astray, it will.
In September 2017, when I accepted the exciting invitation to speak at a Christian women's conference, Power Surge, I knew in advance that I might experience spiritual warfare. In all forms of ministry, it's typical. We can expect it because we're being used as a vessel to share the salvation of Christ.
What I didn't anticipate was such intense spiritual warfare. The kind that aims to destroy everything in my life. To be stripped of my Freedom of Religion. To lose my constitutional rights. And my Freedom of Speech.
Looking back on the past nine months, I should have suspected it. After all, I had experienced repeated dreams in my sleep that warned me of it. Night terrors, which had me drenched in perspiration. Countless dreams of being silenced. Of not being able to speak. Of darkness surrounding me and suffocating me. Of evil spirits haunting me.
I even had a dream of vicious women trick me into using poisonous eye drops. They intentionally tried to hurt me. I felt helpless. Powerless. Defenseless.
Isn't it just like Satan to want to blind us? To endanger our lives? To kill, steal, and destroy us? "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10 (NIV)
In the midst of this wicked turmoil, I sense my Abba Daddy is with me. He protects me. Gently, He whispers, "Dear daughter, be still. Rest in Me. Not even the darkest fires in hell can stop what I've destined for you."
Similar to biblical days, God gives some of His children a prophetic mantle. It's a spiritual gift. The purpose is not to glorify ourselves or make a name for ourselves. Rather, a prophetic mantle is to magnify and glorify Christ.
The mantle represents a person's gift, the call of God, and the purpose for which God had called her. One way to use this prophetic mantle is through visions, dreams, and supernatural experiences. Even today, these visions, dreams, and supernatural experiences teach us, warn us, prepare us, and lead us into the Lord's purpose for our lives.
For years, I have experienced "strange happenings" with dreams and supernatural miracles. Many have come in the form of prophetic dreams.
One particular dream that I will not forget is crystal clear. I was on the street in front of my house. Suddenly, a creepy man strolled down the road. I sensed a foreboding. My gut intuition knew something was wrong.
Immediately, I walked into my driveway. As the suspicious man came close to my garage door, I fled quickly up the staircase. I never stopped to shut the garage door because my time was running out. I had to escape fast.
Just when the evil guy approached the bottom of my steps, I grasped onto a golden key. I ran up the stairs and unlocked the door. And then I awoke from my dream. The overall message was that darkness could not win. The golden key symbolizes power and authority. It represents the key of knowledge. As in knowledge of the kingdom of God.
In the Bible, giving keys to a person signifies the entrusting of him or her with an important assignment. Therefore, in my dream it meant that God had given me the key to do something important. I had nothing to fear because the Lord provided me the key to life.
Gold is a precious metal. It has great value, which is highly desired. In 1 Peter 2:5 (NIV), we read that Jesus is the living stone and we are His chosen people. "As you come to him, the living Stone - rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him."
The gold shade points to God's supreme nature. He is omnipresent. Holy. Sinless. And sacred. Gold signifies a high position, such as kings and pharaohs in ancient days.
Based on my dream focusing on a gold key to unlock a door to enter safety, I believe it represents Christ is moving me upward. He's repositioning me to fulfill His calling for my life. He is lifting me higher for such a time as this.
Climbing the stairway in my dream means that I will be climbing up to a new spiritual level. And with this comes responsibility. It requires boldness and courage to share the Word to our hurting, lost world.
Also, it threatens the enemy. This is why spiritual warfare is escalating. It can explain why I've been hit on every side with opposition. And the overall theme is suppression. The definition of being suppressed is, "To end something by force. To subdue. To silence. To prevent something from being seen or expressed."
The darts of the enemy are flying in every direction! Daily, I've been rebuking and silencing the devil. God's Word is a powerful tool to use to remind Satan that he will not win this battle. We have the authority to bind the enemy in the name of Jesus' precious blood!
In my entire 25 years of being a woman of faith, I have never experienced such furious evil attacks to this magnitude. It's shown up in various forms. In unexpected ways. Even with Christian women on Facebook who were faith-shaming me.
The worst attack was being censored on YouTube and Google who suspended my account. For no justifiable reason. Without an explanation. With zero lack of clear communication.
The struggle is real. It hurts so much. I'm at my wits end to not give up. On my knees crying out to my Abba Daddy. To actively rise above this horrific darkness. And to not let the demonic attacks to weaken my faith.
We must understand that the enemy fights the hardest when he knows God has something great in store for us.
Therefore, we must not lose heart. Cling to the Lord's Word and His promises. Speak it our loud. Write it down to remind yourself that greater is he who is in you than who is in the world.
Prayer is powerful! It is your weapon to defeat the enemy. Pray on it. Pray over it. Most of all, pray through it.
Today, if you are experiencing spiritual warfare, trust Christ will fight your battles for you; you only need to be still. There is hope for your weary soul. With Him on your side, you can be victorious.
"Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him." Psalm 62:5 (NIV)