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How to Overcome Spiritual Warfare

What Hell Must Be Like

How to overcome spiritual warfare? This is my story of what hell must feel like and how you can prevent spending yourself there for eternity.

There are times in our lives when we reach our lowest point. A lot of times we wrestle with our circumstances on our own strength until we are drained out of energy and resources and can not go any further. For some, they ended their lives too short and left a sad memory for their loved ones who are left behind. Leaving them questions why and what they could have done to prevent such sad decisions. Unfortunately, there are many people who have ended their lives due to different factors. It could be family issues, relationships not going well, loss of financial freedom, sickness and many more. In this story, I will be sharing my hellish experience and how it led me to surrender my life to God.

    I was about eighteen years old when I was working as a maid for a prominent family in Cebu, Philippines. My mother was working there first for a few years, but unfortunately got very sick with kidney stones. Her employers were very nice, so I decided to take her place while she was getting treatment and resting at home. I had just graduated high school at the time and had to make money to help my family. Once my mother got sick, no one else in the family could really do anything to help. So I stepped in and worked as a maid, washing clothes, cleaning the house, and ironing clothes for the family of six. That was my job everyday. My salary started low, I was paid an equivalent of sixty dollars and then later was raised to one hundred twenty dollars every month. Even though the salary was not much, my food and room was free.

How to Overcome Spiritual Warfare

The salary I made was not even enough to buy food for the family every month and especially for dad and mom’s medicine. Most of the time I would give them all my salary except for a few pesos to buy for my personal hygiene stuff.  There were times when I would go to the store to buy my things and at the checkout counter would have to leave some items behind that I needed, because my money was not enough to pay for everything. Simple as a bar of soap, shampoo, toothpaste and feminine pads I could not afford to buy a lot of time. Those were the very basic necessities I needed to have. So I would end up saving more and buy some of the items after the next salary. I only had a few clothes to wear, so I had to make sure that I washed them every time I changed.

    My schedule first thing in the morning when I got up at four thirty, I was cleaning the floor, sweeping, and then polished, as it was made of marble. Once I got finished usually around six o’clock I would have my breakfast. Then once I was done with breakfast, I would be at the back of the house washing clothes by hand. Most of the clothes were white uniforms that the children of my employers wear to college. All of them went to medical schools. Their dad is a doctor and the lady employer stayed at home and supervised the workers. So I would be washing clothes by hand usually starting around seven in the morning until two o’clock in the afternoon. I would take a break for lunch. After washing, I would hang the clothes up on the lines to dry. Then I would be doing some work out in the yard pulling weeds and garden work, and then picking up the youngest child from school.

    After dinner, I would start ironing clothes until eleven at night and sometimes until midnight. By that time I would be so tired that I would just want to collapse on the floor and sleep. Tiredness and having to think of the financial matters and in addition thinking about my family’s health did put a lot of pressure on me. There were times when I would ask God why such a hard situation and if I could even keep going on and provide for my family. And honestly there were times when I just really wanted to give up and asked God to go ahead and take me away so that I would not have to face my problem anymore.

    During this time two of my aunts became Protestant Christians. They were both working as a maid, also in the city just a distance away from each other. One of my aunts invited me to go to church with her one Sunday. But I refused because I was still doubtful about the new faith they had found. During this time I was still a Roman Catholic and no other religion mattered to me then except the Roman Catholic. I was so sure I would never change religion and belief. But my aunt was persistent, she would never give up on me and kept inviting me to go to church with her and was also praying hard for me.

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    I used to lead a rosary prayer up on the mountains where my grandparents lived. The neighbors and I would gather and pray, and would take the statue of Mary and go from one house to another. Occasionally we would change the clothes of the statue and as a leader I would be the one doing it. But there was always something missing though. I could feel the emptiness of it all. I was very sincere about what I was doing, but for some reason something inside me was nagging and making me feel empty and was seeking the truth about God. I had never even read the Bible since I was small. So the only knowledge I had about God was through what was told by the older folks and very seldom got to hear a priest preach.

    So when I was working as a maid in the city, I really started thinking more about God and of course my situation. And at the same time God was working in my heart and sending people my way so I could find out the truth that I was searching for. Not only that my aunts were praying and one kept inviting me to go to church with her, but my lady employer’s niece became a Christian and was also sent and helped me to start reading the Bible. I did not have a Bible, but later managed to borrow it from a co-worker. So I started reading the Bible and God led me to open the Bible to Exodus chapter 20, which mentions the Ten Commandments. At first I was confused as to what it was talking about, but the more I read about graven images made by man, it kept haunting me. Finally one day I realized what it was talking about.

    While discovering the Word of God in the Bible, the more I read, the more I was convicted of my old beliefs. I was wrong, and all along there was that something missing that I was searching for, and reading the Word of God was filling those longings in my heart. I learned more about God’s love and His compassion, mercy and His grace through the Lord Jesus. And I also learned that He is a jealous God and that He doesn’t want me to worship any other gods but Him. Meaning that all those statues I was praying to and bowing down to are idols that God hates.

    I had mixed feelings about the whole thing. I was confused and was not sure which one to believe. I was really bothered by what I had read, yet I did not want to give up my old religion. My initial reaction to being born again Christianity was not good, I thought of it as a false religion. I really said to myself that it was crazy. My lady employer had asked me if I would become a born again Christian too. And I emphatically told her that there was no way that I would switch.

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    One night I was sleeping in the bedroom of my male employer’s mother. She lost her husband years prior and was afraid to sleep in her bedroom alone. So she asked me if I would accompany her and sleep on the folding bed next to her bed, and I agreed. While sleeping a few hours passed, around two o’clock in the morning, I was awakened by a burning sensation all over my body. I rushed to get up as I thought that the house was on fire. But there was no fire and it was dark.

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How to overcome spiritual warfare

    My whole body felt like it was on fire. I ran downstairs and was hoping to take a cold shower to get relief. But once I arrived at the maid’s bedroom it was locked. My co-worker had locked the door so I knocked on the door, but she did not hear me. The burning sensation was getting worse, I felt like I was going to die if I could not get any relief right away. I could not understand what was happening to me. I did not eat anything out of the ordinary before going to bed. I was having a hell moment feeling like I was on fire all over my body. 

I ran to the kitchen and the first thing I saw were the knives. I headed toward the knives and this time something was telling me in my mind to go ahead and pick up a knife and kill myself so that all of that problem would be all over with. As I was getting ready to pick up the knife, something else told me in my mind to not do it, because as soon as I would kill myself I would surely go to hell. Then I thought if I would kill myself I sure would not want to end up in hell and continue to suffer the hellish feeling I was going through. I’ve heard so much about hell not being a good place to be, so why would I go there?

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    I was really feeling so bad I started crying and ran outside the house. While outside the house I was crying to God for help and asking Him to give me relief from that burning sensation. I told Him that I had been resisting His Word in the Bible and kept refusing to believe it. That night I asked God to forgive me and I surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus. I accepted Him into my heart and committed everything to Him. After a while my co-worker came out and was checking on me. She asked what was wrong with me. I could not explain to her what was going on then. Then she continued to ask me if I had called her name or if someone was calling her which led her to check and see who was calling her and instead found me outside the house. I told her that I was knocking on the door earlier, but she did not hear me. This time I realized it was God who called her to open that door, so I could go in and use the shower room and take a cold shower.

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    As I was taking a cold shower, I started to feel better. I was still crying because by then I realized God is real. He heard me when I called out for help. This time I was very sure that I needed to change my belief and how I worship God. I realized that I do not have to go through someone or anything to worship God. I can go straight to Him. I then understood that I could talk to Him anytime and all the time and He would be there to listen to my plea and would answer me when I asked Him. I really started to feel loved and special and important. My life has changed! I was not the same person anymore. I had put my faith and trust in God. The Papa Jesus I once called as a child is now a more personal Father and Savior. Wow what a great thought to be one of God’s girls! Just think of that for a moment.

    Another Sunday came and my aunt invited me again to go to church with her. This time I went and publicly announced to the people my newly found faith and gave my testimony. There was rejoicing in heaven and on earth over my best decision in life! I praise God for His saving grace and for being patient with me all along. The best part of it was that I was always in God’s mind and heart and He never gave up on me. I am so grateful to God for showing me those paths towards Him. And even though it was a tough experience, it was all worth it just to know God and His pure love for me. 

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    Friends, however God is dealing with you and your situation right now, just know that He is with you every step of the way and will never leave you alone. Just hang in there and surrender yourself to His Lordship and you will get through it. And if you are a Christian already reading my stories and testimonies, praise God! And I am looking forward to meeting you someday in heaven.

Arlene Allison

I am an ordained minister who is doing missionary work for over 15 years now. I was born in one of the island in the Philippines called Cebu. Growing up in a poor condition, I managed to overcome the hurdles of life with a positive attitude, grateful for everything and most of all by the grace of God. I have always challenge myself to do better with my life at a young age and pursue my dreams and ambitions in life by working hard and never complains about the hardships I went through. I have become successful in so many ways that I want to share my life's journey and how I can help you improve your life and reach your goals to a height of success. You can't imagine now how much you can really do if you just have a positive outlook of life and have the attitude of being grateful in every circumstance.

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