My sons are in their forties but if you ask them, they are almost convinced they heard a ghost, or something, in our attic when they were teenagers.
We lived in a big, old house in Petange, Luxembourg at the time. The house belonged to the Waxweiler family and the mama of the family couldn’t live by herself anymore, so her children decided to rent the house.
We were the first people other than Waxweilers to live on that corner in the last 300 years or so. I liked the house, but I’ll admit that it made some weird noises in the night. I’m not sure that all the Waxweiler ancestors liked the fact that we lived there.
One night when we were out late and the boys were already in bed in separate rooms, they both heard something in the attic that scared them. If you see Stephen or Charles, ask them about it. They still remember.
I’ll admit that there were some nights when we first moved in that I would lie awake and hear strange things.
There was a lot going on in my life at the time. We were trying to readjust to Luxembourg after having been away for a year of fundraising. We wanted to start a church in a city that had no evangelical church and the bottom had dropped out of the value of the dollar, which seriously impacted our finances.
On top of that I had read some books by Frank Peretti that talked about demonic attacks and spiritual warfare. Those creaks and strange noises in the night, combined with everything else, convinced me that I was under spiritual attack. I certainly felt fear, not just from house creaks but from unseen enemies.
We Made It
Flash forward thirty years. We made it. I’m still alive (though a bit worse for wear). Those boys weren’t eaten by ghosts and they have kids of their own. We started a church in that city and we didn’t go bankrupt.
And I haven’t read any novels that prominently feature demons in quite a while.
You know the nice thing about getting older? You get to see the end of a lot of stories and you’re often pleasantly surprised. I don’t know why we’re amazed because that was what we prayed and worked for.
The thing I also noticed is that fright doesn’t stop. Different things scare you at different stages of life and you have to deal with fear by faith. Ghosts still make noises in the attic, even when you’re no longer a teenager. I expect they still hooting when you are 100.
So, deal with it.
Someone told a story about Martin Luther (whether true or not, who knows? It’s a good story, though).
The old reformer suddenly came awake in the night, aware of a presence in his bedroom. He turned over and saw the devil.
“Oh, it’s you,” he said, and went back to sleep.
Here are some principles for dealing with fear at any age.
–Don’t just lie there. Fight back! “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7, NLT)
–Get filled with His Spirit so you will be filled with His love. “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.” (1 John 4:18, NLT + Romans 8:15)
–Pray. Seek the Lord. “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4, NIV)
–Seize all the weapons God has given you to expel fear. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7, NLT)
–Repeat this truth to yourself, over and over, “So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6, NLT)
–Get full of positive fear, the fear of God. “But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. (Psalm 33:18, NLT)
Ghosts can be noisy but they should never steal the joy that God gives us. When they start their racket, you start your racket—praise God from your toenails to the top of your hair.
That scares the ghosts!
Craig Groeschel says, “the pathway to your greatest potential is often straight through your greatest fear.”