Things That Go Bump

As we were watching TV one evening, we heard a loud thump from the upstairs bedroom. Certain that one of the boxes stored in our spare bedroom had fallen, I went upstairs to check.

Nothing. No sign of anything out of place. Maybe it was the cat. No, the cat had been in the living room with us. Oh well….

We were living in Richmond, Indiana at the time. The owner of one of the local car dealerships had brought us there from the main store in Kentucky. But things hadn’t gone too well.

In spite of breaking an eighteen year store record, we had left the store and were making the eighty mile (one-way) commute to Indianapolis.

We had accepted the job in Indianapolis with great expectations. The general manager had given us a generous offer and pledged complete support for our program. Little did we know what we had stepped into.

A few months after making the job switch, we located a rental in the Indianapolis area and relocated. About this same time, we both had an unusual stirring in that we were anxious to find a church home.

Before we had married, both of us had been baptized and had begun to live in our Christian faith. Over time, coupled with each of us going through a divorce, we had been less than steadfast in our commitment to our new faith.

Yet that hunger had always been there. We just hadn’t talked about it too much. Then, one night, we tuned into a religious broadcast – the 700 Club. And that inspired us to begin our search for a church home.

During this time, we seemed to be constantly encountering strange problems and resistance to our work. It seemed like there was a constant cloud over work, a darkness and heaviness that you could actually feel.

Our co-workers were openly opposed to our success and were constantly trying to undermine our progress.

It was about this time that my wife began to tell me of some of the strange occurrences that took place while we lived in Richmond. The falling box that didn’t fall was only one of several instances.

On one occasion, she heard me coming down the stairs. She came over to the stairway only to find it empty. I was in the shower.

Then there was the night that she was awakened by a scratching sound on her pillow. Thinking it to be the cat, she was surprised to find him peacefully asleep at the foot of the bed.

There was also an incident in which she heard someone shouting her name from downstairs while we were sleeping and an instance when a shadowy figure appeared in our bedroom one night.

After she had told me of these strange goings on, we talked about it a little and admitted that neither of us had a clue. We just chalked it up to “strange things that happen.” It would be another year and a half before we found out what really went on.

Things at work were continuing in pretty much the same fashion as always. There were occasional periods where I would enjoy some free time.

During one of those periods, I stumbled across an introductory chapter of a book on the internet. With nothing else to do, I started reading. And I was hooked.

I left the store and proceeded to a nearby Christian bookstore to purchase a copy of Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. That led to reading his Waking the Dead, and there was no turning back.

Eldredge introduced me to something I had only vaguely heard about……Spiritual Warfare. And I began to study this fascinating subject.

Evil spirits, demons and devils. I had heard of these things sometime long ago. Most of us have. But here was a man who insisted that they actually existed.

Not only that, he made some rather startling statements about how they influence us and our daily lives. And the most amazing statement I had ever come across……As Christians, we have authority over them. Wow!

He also had some strong warnings. Don’t start anything unless you’re prepared. Study your Bible and get grounded in the truths you need for this war. If you’re not prepared, you’ll get taken out in a heartbeat.

With the sense of darkness at work, it wasn’t long before I just had to start applying what I had learned. Just to see.
As we went into work, my wife and I would start praying. And then we would use this newly-found authority against the spirits we thought might be causing the heaviness.

And it worked. Initially, we had great success. The heaviness over the dealership would disappear almost instantly. And then we started to notice something that had initially escaped our attention.

A surprising number of our customers were other Christians. We began to realize that maybe we weren’t there only to sell cars, but perhaps to minister to God’s children.

Then the battle heated up. The spirits of heaviness and resentment returned. And they were stronger than before. Constant, relentless. Our prayers weren’t nearly as effective as before.

It was some time later that I began to realize just what was going on. It was a “good news – bad news” situation. The good news was that we had succeeded in driving off some pretty nasty stuff. The bad news was that they came back – and brought their big brother.

And then, I was fired. Which wasn’t really too surprising to me considering the atmosphere of that place.

Cut-backs, I was told. Eliminating your job.

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