Over the years, I’ve had experiences when, in the Spirit, I would see the image of animals that would invade time and space to relay a message Yesterday, it happened again.
I walked into our guest bathroom and began to wash my hands. As I turned to reach for the towel that hung on the back of the door, I sensed a presence enter the doorway. It was the image of a black panther. It wasn’t an open vision; it was a manifestation like I was looking through a piece of sheer fabric. When the panther began to cross the threshold of the door, I realized there was only room for one of us. He was entering to possess that space.
As the panther and I came face-to-face, something came out of my mouth that surprised me. In a calm voice, I commanded the panther to “Sit!” as you would say to a dog giving an obedience command. Immediately, the panther sat, behaving more like an obedient pet than a dangerous predator. Later that morning, when Jan and I took communion, the black panther was given a final command to depart the premises.
I walked out of the bathroom unfazed by what had happened, not because I was brave in the face of danger. I walked out in that frame of mind because the authority of the Lord and the peace that authority exhibits took control of my emotions.
The Scripture models for us the power of Spirit-directed commands. In the book of Acts, the first generation of disciples commanded things to take place. They commanded healing. Commands were issued for demons to stop manifesting. They issued commands for lies to be exposed. As the disciples walked the streets of their cities and were confronted by evil and its manifestation, they didn’t stop to pray. They realized they carried the kind of authority that allowed them to command healing or demand certain things cease and desist. Those commands are what turned entire cities and regions upside down as people saw firsthand the power of God being demonstrated.
To many, this story, and others like it, can sound suspect and even threaten the credibility of the one who shares the encounter. That immediate response of suspicion and dismissal might be a contributing factor to why we as believers can appear impotent in the realm of the Spirit.
If our eyes were opened to the spiritual realities that prowl our world, we would see the spiritual predators that seek to devour our faith, hope, and love. Once we see those things, they are to be addressed by the power of the resurrected One who has authority over all things, even the strange images in the spiritual realm that occasionally will make an appearance in our lives. We should never ignore these things. They need to be confronted and given commands as the Spirit leads.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Garris Elkins
Featured Image by Ian Lindsay from Pixabay
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