In which it’s either real…or make believe

by Craig on January 20, 2012


Either Jesus caste out real demons…
and real demons exist…
and they mess with us today
or it was all dog and pony…
smoke and mirrors…

make believe.

Things have been very heavy around here.
Yes, I haven’t had much sleep…but I never do.
And yes, I’ve been sick…
but been there before…
everybody gets sick….
it’s not that either.

Something deeper has been going on.

It’s happened often recently, much more than I’ve written about it, but I’ve written about it on both blogs. I write my life, and right now this intermittent but unrelenting darkness is part of my life.

It comes with no apparent reason..
disappearing as quickly as it comes…
and it seems fairly obedient to prayer.

But it’s been staying longer and getting heavier.


I didn’t write posts on Tuesday or Thursday.
I write posts before dawn, and both mornings I couldn’t get up at all…
I wasn’t asleep…but I physically could not move.

Could. Not. Get. Up.

That’s never happened before.

Is it that I keep getting what I ask for?

In December I asked for humility and got a month of terrible humiliation.
In January I named the year, “see”…to see with spiritual eyes.

Am I “seeing”?

I expected this year of “see” to be one where I see rainbows in storms instead of the storms. I expected to join Our Lord out on the water and not sink like Peter. (MATT 14:22-33). I didn’t expect days and days of utter. pitch. black. darkness.

Some of you did.
Some of you warned me.
I didn’t really listen.
I’m listening now.

As I said at the top of the post, either Jesus caste out real demons…and real demons exist…and they mess with us today…or our faith is all make believe…and as Paul put it:

“…then empty is our preaching; empty, too, your faith…we are the most pitiable people of all.” (1COR 15:14-19)


It keeps coming and going.
It’s stopping me completely.

It’s not sickness.
It’s not lack of sleep.
It’s not circumstances or clinical depression.
It’s something different.

I need to fight this. I need to pray, and be prayed for.

And I’ll be studying, and writing about it here.
I’m not gonna get all “out there” about it…
just stick to the words on the pages of the Word….
and strangely, it also fits in with Bernard of Clairvaux’s 12 steps of humility I’ve been studying.

Buckle up with me.

I think there’s a fight on, and I’m in it.

Or maybe I’m wrong.

Maybe it’s just make believe.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora January 20, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Craig, I know darkness, and I don’t sleep much, and I know about battles, so I know how important it is to pray, and I’m praying for YOU. I’ve blamed the darkness on many things in my life —- from depression to being born this way. I can remember the “down” feelings as a child. I often wondered if having menengitis as a 3 month old had anything to do with it. It’s one thing to be in the darkness and struggle and push your way through. It’s another thing to actually SEE and FEEL the darkness — so much so, that you are almost convinced that this dark is a thing, a being, a reality that chases you and haunts you and holds you down. There were times when I thought I was crazy, needed a safe room, or maybe bubble wrap padding!!!!! There were other times when I thought the oncoming 18-wheeler looked like a great solution if I just moved my steering wheel a little to the left and crossed that white solid line.

I can’t explain what happened or when or why. I only know, once it was dark, but now it isn’t. I prayed a lot, cried a lot, was scared a lot. Why God chose to leave me there for that time period, I will not understand this side of Heaven. But I do know I learned a lot and came out the other side a changed person. I learned to SEE. REALLY SEE. You will, too, Craig. Those who walk through the darkness tend to be able to see darkness in others — not just a flippent seeing, but a compassionate, come-along-side seeing that becomes the eyes of the one that is flat down in the darkness and can’t get up. I am drawn to these ones, and sometimes I sit in silence with them, and sometimes let them cry in my arms, and always pray. You are right about the prayer thing. Darkness and prayer are always at odds.

You are beginning a journey, Craig. And I want you to know that I will be praying night and day.


Craig January 21, 2012 at 8:47 am

the prayer has been felt – thank you Cora. I’m not going to say it’s lifted – I said that once – and then had to say it again, and again, and again. So I’ll just ride through this with our Lord – and prayer – and be looking for what he wants me to learn. I’m thinking I might take a little trip through the “imprecatory” Psalms – I have a theory I’m working on…

God bless you my friend!


Hillcrest Cottage January 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm

You are beginning to see as Elisah’s servant did in 2Kings 6:17 in response to Elisah’s prayer of “Open his eyes that he may see.”
One of the Devil’s biggest strategies is that the minute a Christian opens his mouth to speak of demons and warfare, a little voices whispers, “Shhhh… don’t speak of such things. People will think you are a wacky Christian, that you are crazy, that you are taking this Jesus thing a little too far.” And, so we don’t tell people the things which we see and feel and even hear.
My husband and I have been in full-time Christian ministry since graduating from seminary in 1986. In 1999, we quit being on a traditional church staff ministry for a multitude of reasons which I will not explain right now. Six years ago we started a church in our neighborhood, and this is when the spiritual attacks really began. I could tell stories that would make the hair on your neck stand up. No time to tell details right now either, but I am here to say demons… are… very… real.
Encouragement segment: Prayer, on the flip side, is… very… real. Prayer is the work which God has given us to do. Prayer changes lots of things. Prayer is powerful. Prayer will make a group of demons jump into a herd of swine and run off a cliff.
I have felt darkness or… for me it is fear (fear is the opposite of faith btw) come upon me quickly and swiftly and from left field. I have experienced the power of prayer to drive it away as swiftly as it has appeared. Both the coming and the going feel like something which flies, swooshes. Once God opens your eyes to these things, you can even predict which people in the ministry will be attacked and even taken out by the spiritual snipers. You can warn people but many will not listens. I have seen a lot of casualties in this war. It is not pretty, even as war is not.
My husband used to think we were in the battle… ha ha. What we see now is like the difference between those who have seen real combat experience vs. the paper pusher at the desk job.
Looking very forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences. Until then know this: God… is… so… much…more… powerful. It is ***not*** a tug-o-war match. Slam dunk, Jesus rules over all creation… seen and unseen.


Craig January 21, 2012 at 8:53 am

WOW – test trying to soak all that in – all good stuff – and this “come and go” darkness – I know there’s a reason it’s here – and I know it’s not here without God’s permission – so I’m looking for the why – our Lord has a “why”. Anyway – I have so little to add to all that you said – and this IS what I asked for when I named my year – anyway – thank you Bev – and God bless you.


Dawn January 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm

While fighting pornography and all the demons of hell associated with that “industry,” my husband and I experienced how the demons can take control of people. It makes for a very rough battlefield. I could see the evil laughing from their eyes. I can testify with Hillcrest Cottage that, “Jesus rules,” and He lives inside us so turn on the light when it gets dark.

Hugs and prayers, for sure,


Craig January 21, 2012 at 8:54 am

just a simple thank you for this – thank you Dawn – God bless!


Katie January 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Oh I believe demons are very real, but God is more powerful! Jesus has won the victory! Keep praying and praising God. Praying for you during this time.


Craig January 21, 2012 at 8:56 am

there’s that saying, Katie, “to win the battle but lose the war” – the war is already one – but we still have to battle – and even though the battle is “his” – were still soldiers. I’ll follow your advice – and thank you for your prayers – prayers of already made a difference. God bless you Katie.


Stacy January 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm

The darkness comes swiftly for me on the heels of each period of rapid growth in my relationship with the Lord. I’ve come to believe that it’s when we are walking the closest with our Father that satan is right there working his hardest to drive a wedge in between. I actually find encouragement in that now….in knowing that I’m doing the right thing and satan hates it. Keep fighting the good fight. I am praying for you along with the others.


Craig January 21, 2012 at 8:58 am

so what you’re saying Stacy, is that this is a good thing – this brush with heavy, heavy darkness?

I think maybe you might be right – I’m just a little loath to give myself that much credit right now. Just off the big lessons in humility – I certainly don’t want to run around thinking I am spiritually “all that”. You know? And thank you for your prayers – God bless you Stacy!


Debbie January 21, 2012 at 3:02 am

Taking all of this in, the post and the comments . . .and praying. Thank you Craig, for your openness to talk about what is going on. You are going to help others to see too, those of us who need to, who God wants to. God bless you and keep you close to Him.


Craig January 21, 2012 at 8:59 am

thank you Debbie – there’s a lot to “take in” in these comments today – I’m doing the same as you. God bless you!


Sylvia January 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I’m taking in and mulling around, too. Have some thoughts that might help, but need to pray for more clarity myself first. (And I’m wondering if my own thoughts run along the same lines as your “theory” that’s prompting you to look at those “imprecatory” psalms… There’s a verse I can’t remember, but I prayed it a couple of years ago, and what breaking power that seemed to have!)
I’ll probably email (in a day or two) instead of writing more here and now. Too much for a comment box, for one thing. Yes, this kind of oppression is real. Sometimes you can’t be sure that’s what the darkness is (especially with so many other possible factors), but other times you just have a *sense* about it. (And other little clues…) Also real is the fact that our God is way greater than any other power. Prayer to Him is key — and I’ll be doing that, a lot. May He open your eyes to “see” His presence there with you, even in the dark.


Craig January 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm

First of all Sylvia, I got your e-mail, thank you. And I’ll give you a hint to my “imprecatory” Psalm theory. I get the feeling that all the biblical stories of war, that horrible part of Israel’s history – that part that we have such a hard time reconciling with the God of love – and then these Psalms – they are all there so that through the ages we would know how to battle… Evil. Thank you for your prayers. As I write this to you much of the darkness is lifted – in large part I’m sure to your prayers – and those of your hubs – because I ran out of them. Thank you. God bless you.


Sylvia January 24, 2012 at 4:31 am

Oh, He just did. Your devotional finally came, yesterday! (Our mail’s a bit slow up here in the sticks.) Thank you for this special and timely little book. Plus your good report here blesses me so much! Continued prayers.


Craig January 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm

thank you for your prayers Sylvia – and your continued prayers – and enjoy the little devo – just remember this – I always feel like I have played this – my writing is different – and I’m hoping better, now, then when I wrote that. God bless you my friend!


Martha Orlando January 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm

So many have shared such wonderful wisdom, prayers, and encouragement, I don’t know how much I can add . . .
Except to say I believe there are demons who wish to bring us to the dark side. This is especially true with persons, such as you, who are seeking a deeper relationship with God and sharing your journey in such a personal and inspirational way. You’re a big prize to them! You’re the gold medal! The grand trophy!
They won’t win . . . I know this. God knows this.
You know it, too.
Praying for you, Craig, and asking God to lift the darkness from you . . .
Blessings, my friend.


Craig January 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Martha, it’s taken me this long to respond because the battle has been that hard – and I’m sorry. Still, you are right – I do seek a constantly deeper relationship with our Lord – and I am sharing it publicly – and if humans can read blogs – I’m sure fallen angels can as well. I’m not so big a prize – I haven’t done a thing for the kingdom. I once thought I was the gold medal – now I’m just another of millions running in the race – and I know that. As I write this to you much of the darkness is lifted – in large part I’m sure to your prayers –– because I ran out of them. Thank you. God bless you.


Victoria January 21, 2012 at 9:01 pm

good comments here. Makes you wonder how anyone can deny the verse, “we wrestle not with flesh and blood but with principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
I can tell you’ve already won (and not you but Christ in you) because you are studying what you are experiencing as opposed to running.
I expect that if (or should I say since) God is letting you see the darkness, He will let you see the Light as well. Be prepared for that as well.
In the meantime, the Psalms…pray them. It doesn’t get much sweeter than that…or at least that’s been my experience.
God bless you Craig…you are still in my prayers.


Craig January 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Victoria, the battle has been waging – the darkness has been deep – that’s why it’s taken me so long to respond to your comment. And I don’t think it’s that we deny that verse – we just forget it – and we focus on things with our earthly eyes. That’s why I named the year “see”. I DO think that God has me seeing the light – later – but first, obviously to go through this first. There is something about naming a year. And not only will I pray those Psalms – but I have now studied the imprecatory Psalms – and I find a unique sort of wisdom there. I’ll start sharing tomorrow. Anyway, thank you for your prayers – there are super important – because up until today – I’d pretty much run out of them. God bless you Victoria!


Nacole January 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm


reading all the comments, taking it all in…

there is a lot i might could say but i will just say this…there have been times this past year that i KNEW that Satan was battling hard against me for my life…i felt an overwhelming sense of his desire to take me. it is for real. i agree with the others. so…since ive been in the very same place as you and still am, i will be along for the journey and in the fight with you. ive been in such darkness that it is impossible to tell here. but i have been wanting to write some about it. thank you for being brave enough to talk about it. those of us who have experienced it for ourselves know you are not making believe!

also…just on a side note, i agree with Dawn…dealing with pornography and other doors that people open in their lives…Satan comes in strong and heavy. there was a young man when my dad was pastoring that came to our house in the middle of the night claiming he needed help because there were demons flying around in his room. he was heavily involved in some dark things. but this can happen to anyone when Satan asks to attack…like Job.

continued prayers for you,



Craig January 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Sorry, fits off, that this is late again. I have so many comments to catch up with – and thank you for your prayers – I know you understand – and between you and me I’m thinking it might be a little bit like Job –and about Dawn’s point – I don’t have too many gateways in right now – I’m not perfect Lord knows – but my life sure doesn’t have a lot of sin in it. I’m thinking it’s not that either. God bless you Nacole!


Nacole January 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm

oh, no, please i dont mean you have sin in your life, and that is why this is happening, silly! 😉 it would be awfully pharisaical for me to say something like that to you. please forgive me for coming off so brash.

i was only agreeing with Dawn that when people open doors in their lives, Satan comes in powerfully and it is real–its not something we are making up. i have done this myself in my own life, many times. one of those ways that i will share with you is by not being submissive to my husband. boy, did i learn from that one. i am far from perfect and will continue to learn. i have a depraved, sinful heart and my only hope is Christ. but anyway, thats why i mentioned Job, because so many times in the life of a christian, there is no reason for an attack, no open doors that we are disobediently, knowingly keeping open, its just that Satan wants us because we are God’s.

i have already prayed for you today, Craig, and will continue. and i humbly ask for your prayers as well.

your friend,



Craig January 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm

No worries my friend! I got your point. and there have been times in my life when this might’ve been an issue – it just happens not to be now. I think it’s more of a Job thing – as opposed to an open-door thing – I knew you weren’t being judgmental – God bless you my friend– and I have prayed for you today – of course you can have my prayers whenever. Email me something specific to pray for. K?


Nacole January 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm

good–no worries…and will do.

Michelle January 23, 2012 at 1:08 am

“I think there’s a fight on, and I’m in it.”

I think you’re right. And there is so much good written above, so I will only add that I am praying and trusting God for you. Because He alone knows what is going on exactly and what you need. So, I will pray as He leads.


Craig January 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Michelle, my reply is so late, because the darkness has been heavy – until just last night – a little break – maybe more. Anyway, thank you for your prayers – Our Lord knows why, and what, and when, and how…

God bless you Michelle!


A. January 25, 2012 at 11:46 am

Craig, I have been gone almost two weeks and wow, lots of heavy stuff going on here! I know I have said my darkness is in part situational, and there is plenty of situational to be dark about, (and some basics to be thankful for, for sure), but these last two, long forays away were not all light as they usually are. i told you I was going to lean into the darkness, embrace the pain, and I have been. However, reading this, I am thinking I will simply lean into Jesus-I thought I was, and think I was somehow, but I think this shift in focus from embracing the pain to embracing Jesus, or leaning into the pain to Leaning into Jesus may be a better focus or shift. I am thinking about the powers of darkness, too. I have always believed they were real, but never paid that much attention to them in prayer. I just ‘trusted’ God to win out over the dark powers. I don’t want to focus on the dark, but perhaps I need to at least pray against it a little more. I am learning. The darkness is real. And I believe it can be due to a variety of factors: chemical, depression, lack of vision, spirits, oppression, etc. Like Cora, one gets tired of trying to figure out which is at fault after a while. Praying and thinking, and thank you for all this, and the praying includes you and your darkness episodes, yes.


CHETAN March 1, 2012 at 10:42 pm

though i am new to this CRAIG but trust in god and in his sayings..I am a HINDUISM follower(FULL RESPECT TO CHRISTANITY AND OTHER RELIGIONS AS WELL) and in HINDUISM it is said that whatever comes in your life good or bad, saint or evil…GOD WILL GIVE YOU THE POWER to get through it…as it is he who is the director of our life’s movie..there will be sad action drama tragic and every other sequence but YES the STORY’S DIRECTOR ALWAYS PREDICTS A HAPPY ENDING..KEEP FAITH IN LORD AND HUMANITY…


Craig March 2, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Thank you Chetan, so many of your viewpoints are so much like Christianity. I respect your right to believe other than me as well. The Director IS always in charge. God bless.


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