The Lord had me sit down to work on this now, though there are yet three more weeks until it will be posted. He has given me one clear thing to share, and the suggestion of another, which, if I follow it, will surely become more clear over time. That's how it usually works.
The one clear thing is a dream I had in the last month. In this dream, I was visiting the house of someone I know, someone who knows Christ. Their house was dark. I was both in the house, and I could see it from above, as though there were no roof. Many of the rooms were bedrooms. There were hardly any windows. The house was sitting in darkness as though it were in a box.
I knew there were unclean spirits in the house. I had the sense that at any time, anyone might be attacked and that it was not a safe place to be. However, I also knew that I had authority in the name of Jesus Christ over these spirits, and I also knew that the owner of the house, belonging to Jesus, had authority, and so I was intent upon making the situation reflect the truth.
In the dream, I could remember that I had experience in speaking the truth to unclean spirits, and that they had to obey the word of God, because the Lord enforces it. So my faith was quite firm because of this experiential knowledge, and I had no hesitation to go from room to room, ordering the unclean spirits out in the name of Jesus Christ, though I could see nothing but the furniture.
However, this heckling, lingering kind of fear wouldn't leave until I reached the main living area. In fact, once there, the fear rapidly grew in intensity and in the same moment, I was seeing the spirit manifested as a mocking young woman, sitting at her ease in a chair. There was no question about the evil which filled this being. There was no mercy and nothing human but the form.
It was making fun of me because it knew I was afraid, and because it was indicating that it was unmoved and there to stay, and my response, which I tried to hide but could not, was shame at my fear and inability. Underneath all this, I had this blind determination to fight on through the fear and shame, but I had no idea how to begin or what I should do.
I knew also in this wash of realization that I had been taking the entire experience too casually. It wasn't that my faith was wrongly based on the authority of Jesus, or that I was wrong in knowing that I had done such things before. But I should have taken time to seriously prepare for the reality of this battle before entering into it.
The dream ended at that point, and the verse the Lord gave me in order to understand it were His words to the disciples when they asked Him why the unclean spirit of the epileptic boy wouldn't come out for them. He told them, "This kind only come out by prayer and fasting."
The other thing which the Lord wants me to share is that whole passage, and what I have learned lately in considering it. Here is the passage: