The Hinge Factor in My Life
I’d like you to imagine something. Try to imagine that this is happening to you. Imagine that you are at work one day, and a co-worker comes up to you and says “Watch this.” Then he starts to play air guitar, and singing part of a particular song. Then that song comes on the radio. Then he does it again with a different song, and then that song comes on the radio. Then he does it again and then the third song is played over the air.
Now you know how I felt when it happened to me.
He said “See? I’m trying to show you what I can do.”
But this alone wasn’t what got my attention about this person. Something much more dramatic had happened, a few days previously. That was something that became a hinge factor. That is, it changed the direction of my life.
The following is a true story
but you‘ll need to pay attention, because the story I’m about to tell you involves the use of drugs, and so you may be tempted to dismiss the whole thing as just a hallucination. However if you think carefully as you read, you’ll be able to find three key elements that cannot be explained by just a hallucination. So read carefully and try to pick out these three key elements.
It was Friday night. Three friends came to my house; we took some drugs and watched some videos. At about 2.00am one of them left. Brad and Pete stayed. We were watching television. Brad was next to me and Pete was at our feet. After some time of quietly watching television, I began to get a strange feeling about Brad. Even with my eyes closed I felt aware of Pete’s presence at my feet, and in some heightened sense I was aware of my own ‘presence’ in the room, but where Brad was lying, the ‘presence’ felt distinctly like an absence or even like a negative presence. I didn’t realise it then, but what was happening was that with my spirit I was seeing into the spiritual realm.
“Strange” I thought, but concluded “It’s just the drug, don’t worry about it.”
I resumed watching television. The disturbing feeling grew. Whereas earlier I was aware of a person, Brad, on my right I was now keenly aware of something that I can only describe as a living ‘black hole’. I turned to look at Brad, but he was just where he should be, casually watching television and oblivious to me.
“It’s just the drug.” I decided “Don’t worry about it”. I looked back at the television. I tried to concentrate on the film, but was too keenly aware of this continuing phenomenon beside me. There was now a very strong feeling emanating from it. It was a terrible feeling of lust. Not sexual lust though.
You know, I remember just a few years ago, I was in my car, parked in the street outside my house. It was 11 O’clock at night. I heard a bit of noise coming from the neighbour’s house. Then a few minutes later two men came bursting out of the house, and they were having a big argument. They came and stood right next to my car, and the argument got really ugly. When he was less than three metres away from me I saw one guy pull out a knife, and as he menacingly approached the other guy, who was bigger than him, I could see his face clearly in the streetlight. I was shocked to recognize the spirit in his eyes at this moment. It wasn’t fear. It wasn’t anger. It was lust. Lust to stab this man with his knife.
Well, all those years earlier, as I lay there in my house, on drugs and watching television with my two friends, that was what was coming from the black pit within this fellow Brad. There was a feeling of tremendous lust emanating from him.
It felt absolutely EVIL. I looked at Brad. He was oblivious to me, watching television. I could still sense Pete and in the spirit he “felt” like Pete, with my eyes open or closed. Brad, however, looked like Brad if looked at him, but if I looked away or closed my eyes his “presence” was that of a black pit with something looking out of it…. and it was looking at me. Looking at me with a truly frightening, voracious, powerful, hungry, lust. And it was yearning towards me. I thought to myself “Look, it’s just the drug – ignore it”.
I tried again. I watched television.
Something in the black pit watched me. I felt, irrationally, that I mustn’t tell either of these guys what I was experiencing, because, for a reason I couldn’t explain I knew that if I tried to confront them with my fear, they would take my carving knife from the kitchen and kill me. I kept telling myself that I was just getting psychotic, and that none of this was real, and yet……
Now thank God I didn’t say anything right then, because I was right. At the time I used to work with Pete, and when I went to work on Monday morning he immediately approached me, looking really troubled. He knew nothing about what I had been thinking and the first thing he said was, “Hey man….. I spent twenty minutes in your bathroom the other night……. and I had your carving knife……… and I was hearing voices. They were telling me to come and kill you, and then kill Brad and then kill myself.” – My carving knife is a big knife with a long, broad blade!
So, although half of me thought I was going crazy, I said nothing – thank God. We continued watching television. For at least half an hour no words had been spoken. I simply thought to myself, “I’ve just got to hold out till dawn, and then everything will be alright”. At that moment Pete slowly turned to face me and in a voice that wasn’t Pete’s, said “But it’s NOW….”
This really shocked me. He had read my mind!! How!? And it wasn’t him speaking. It sounded like a voice that is electronically distorted to disguise it. Almost as if it was a growl. I stood up, turned on the lights, turned off the video, and tried to change the ‘vibe’. We made a cup of tea, but they told me I was “just a bit freaked out” and they calmed me down and convinced me to turn the television back on, and the lights off again.
Almost immediately I felt that we picked up where we’ d left off, and this entity was once again staring at me, desiring me, lusting for me. What’s more it seemed to have come further out of the pit. As we sprawled watching television I began to feel that this thing was coming closer to me, maybe even touching me (although I felt no touch). It was reaching towards the back of my neck.
After another hour or so of this I began to think I could stand it no longer. I couldn’t talk about it, or they would kill me, and I couldn’t stop this thing, whatever it was. I was really frightened. Again, no words had been spoken for twenty minutes or so at this stage, as Brad and Pete watched television and I tried to watch but was more concerned with what was happening beside me. Finally I decided to myself, “I don’t care if it’s still dark outside, I don’t care if this is my house, I’m going to leave now.”
I only decided this. I said nothing, and I hadn’t moved.
At the instant I decided this. Pete turned to me and spoke. Again, the voice was distorted, like it wasn’t him speaking. He said
“Just give in…”
and Brad said, “Don’t know how he’s held out so long………”
And then he growled in this distorted voice a command
This voice had real power. As soon as he said this I was instantly incredibly tired and all I wanted to do was to roll over, go to sleep and just give in to this thing….Just let it wash over me, and into me. I also felt incredibly SCARED. It took tremendous effort to fight my way to my feet. Now bear in mind, I still didn’t really understand what was happening. So in some sort of attempt to fight what I thought was a negative power I tried to reach out for some kind of positive energy, some sort of positive cosmic force. (I didn’t know what or how, just something ‘good’).
They must have known what I was doing, because one of them snickered. That’s fair enough. I had no idea how to fight this thing. And they knew it. I did manage to step into my slippers though and stumble to the front door, and outside. It was daylight.
I found myself walking down the street in the morning light. The fear was still with me, and so was the overwhelming tiredness. I kept looking over my shoulder expecting to see two crazies running after me with my carving knife. I thought,
“Well what am I going to do out here? Where can I go?”
Then I remembered a friend of mine who’d had an experience a bit like this and I thought “If I just go to his place I can be safe and go to sleep there”. So I got into my car. I set off for his place. I felt that this creature that had been after me was in the car with me. I was still really scared. I drove nearly all the way to my friend’s house. I knew the way there like the back of my hand.
All of a sudden I looked around and thought,
“Where am I?” I was on a road I had never seen before. Now I was getting frantic.
I stopped. I reached for my street directory. I could feel this being in the car; it was behind my right shoulder and was commanding me to sleep. I looked at the two cross streets in front of me, and I looked them up in the index. As I turned to the correct map the overwhelming exhaustion increased. As I found my position on the map my eyelids felt as if they were made of lead. My whole body began to sag, and as I tried to find my friend’s house on the map I began to black out…..
This thing on my shoulder was commanding me to sleep, and the sheer effort that I expended in forcing myself awake and sitting up took all of my concentration, so that I forgot what I was trying to look up.
So I went back to the index, looked up the two cross streets, turned to the right map, and as I did so my body again felt leaden. I began to sink in my seat: as I found my position on the map my vision blurred and as I tried to find my friend’s house on the map, I began to black out. I fought with all my strength to regain consciousness, and it took such effort that once again I forgot what reference I was looking up. So I went back to the beginning.
This happened at least ten times, but each time I was getting weaker and weaker, and at last I knew that I was never going to see my friend’s place. I was so weakened that I couldn’t even concentrate on the index any more and I could feel this creature exert power on me as my consciousness was slipping away.
But there was a word being spoken into my heart. It was a quiet, kind voice. It felt like “Ian, you know what’s happening here don’t you? All you have to do is call on Jesus”. My reaction was “Oh, no way !!!”
I mean, be a Christian. Are you kidding?
You see, somehow and I don’t know how I knew, but somehow I knew that you don’t call on the name of Jesus lightly. I knew that it meant surrendering my own way of living, my sins. I didn’t want to have to do this. It would mean changing everything. So I tried once more to resist this creature, but of course I was powerless.
Again the voice said “Call on Jesus”. I thought about it. I didn’t want to, because I thought it would just be too hard being a Christian. I began to fade, and in my vision the map began to spin and tumble away as if down into a tunnel.
“Call on Jesus”……….. I began to slip into unconsciousness, and the spirit began to invade me. I could feel it.
I called out:
“GOD!!!” ……….. No, I knew that wasn’t accurate enough. I had to name Him.
“Save me!!!!” I really meant it, with all of my being.
At that moment a bright, clear blue/white light pierced my chest from the inside (in the centre, above my heart). I gasped, and as I watched, more of the same light poured out of this hole and filled up my chest as if it was a chalice. I felt more totally at peace at that moment than I ever had in my thirty years of life. I felt that I was floating in an ocean of love, and peace, and acceptance. The demon had simply vanished.
I felt so clean , and I revelled in that peace and love for a few minutes.
Then it faded back down to a small point, but it didn’t disappear. It never did.
This was in 1991 and yet to this day that peace is still in my heart, in the very centre of my being.
Eventually I reached for my street directory again, looked up my position, (no problem now) and found my friend’s place. It was only one block away. I drove around there, only to find that he was still out at a party from the night before. I wandered around for five or ten minutes looking for a shop where I could buy some orange juice, but finally settled for some water from the spare bottle in the boot of my car. Then I sat in the driver’s seat and thought,
“Who can I go to now? I need to talk to someone, but who?”
I was still afraid to go back home. I sat there thinking about it and suddenly a soundless voice spoke to my mind, into my heart, actually, and said “Go home, face Brad, and tell him you have become a Christian”.
Somehow I knew that this was God speaking to me. Suddenly I was no longer afraid. I knew that I needn’t worry any more, even if they were to kill me, now that Jesus was within me. It was just an inner ‘knowing’. So I turned around, and drove back home. I went inside. The television was on. The two guys turned around and said,
“Hey man, where you been? We were going to come after you”.
I turned to Brad and said,
“I’ve become a Christian”. He looked shocked. He said,
“Aww man!…..Aww man! There’s no need to do that”. He started to shake. He said, “Aw man…. You’ve just had a bad trip man!…..There’s no need to sell your soul to God or anything!” He was completely shaken. His “cool countenance” fell away. He looked scared. They left not long after that.
It was later that same day that I went to smoke some weed (marijuana). I didn’t think about whether I should or not, it was just a reflex action. But then I paused as I noticed a very strange thing. “Something’s different… What is it?” Then I realised. For the first time in ten years, I didn’t want it. Jesus Christ set me free from that as well. I never touched it again.
Yet as dramatic as these things were, I would have probably lapsed back into unbelief if it wasn’t for the aftermath…