[This post may disturb some readers. Christians may continue to read on. Don't worry, it has a happy ending, just like Harry Potter, or so I heard :)]
I had a very engaging conversation with my younger cousins over dinner - boys I seldom talk to for more than a couple of minutes. They have become Christians on their own choice - their parents, like mine, are not Christian. I thanked God inwardly for giving us the chance to share our experiences with each other.
One of them, B, told me of a recent dream where two strangers tapped him from behind and one of them asked him to go somewhere to buy something. The other drew out an ugly, evil face on a piece of paper, and B woke up feeling very uneasy. B has a bible study mate who sees a tall dark shroud staring at her from a corner in her room, during the 7th month. I suggested his group pray in her room together, and that she should play worship music, which seemed to work in driving away the creatures which used to disturb me in the house before it was renovated. But I warned that they should never take things upon themselves - the power isn't from us but from God.
I told him of how another cousin S woke up in the middle of the night. An invisible creature had put its paws on his chest and he couldn't move. He could feel it breathing on his face! However, he did manage to say Psalm 23 in his head, and as he got to the phrase "I shall fear no evil..." the creature leapt off his chest. A similar thing happened to my sister - a creature was whispering beside her bed and she was paralysed. She cried out, "Lord Jesus!" and it went away.
However, I told my cousins that we shouldn't be afraid and transfixed on evil spirits as we should really be fearing God who made all things in heaven and earth. As long as we believe in Him and call on His name, we shall not be harmed. B agreed - he has a friend who can see and hear things, and overheard that the evil spirits would not touch those who believed.
Then B told me that 7 years ago, while playing competitive basketball in the inter-school semifinals, his team was losing by 10 points. He said a prayer to God to help his team. Suddenly, a local man appeared and advised him to change tactics. B noticed that this man looked 'brighter' than other people, in the visual, glowing sense. B spoke to his coach, who did change tactics. B's team won on the last second - by one point. They made it to the semifinals.
I wasn't too surprised at how the angel appeared. A friend of mine in Bristol had also asked God repeatedly for a sign, many years ago. From what I was told, one day he came out of a London tube and a Chinese man approached him with flyers, asking if he could tell him about Jesus. My friend turned him down and started to walk off. The man called out behind him, "Didn't you ask for a sign?" My friend froze, spun round and the man was gone.
When I first heard the story relayed to me by another Christian friend, I didn't believe it. I asked, what if the station was crowded and the guy ducked? But apparently my friend had spun round really quickly and searched but couldn't find the man. So B's personal account kind of confirmed how God works through angels sometimes. Very specific, meaningful and usually in response to a fervent prayer. Then they disappear as quickly as they came, their purpose served.
God has also played my protector for physical things, not just spiritual. I recalled how I heard metallic clanging, shrieking sounds (coming to think of it, like the recent Transformers movie) when I was about to reverse my car unknowingly into a dark hole one evening. I was warned a few times by the sound, and finally realised there was a large hole drilled in the ground behind my car.
Maybe there are times in your life where you wonder, where is God? Maybe He's speaking but we aren't listening. Or we're interpreting things our way. Sometimes He may remain silent so we learn to handle things on our own. But as long as we believe in Him, He is with us.
I should know, because He told me that directly. Several years ago, shortly after sounds were heard around my bedroom and a chill crept up my legs and I heard a woman gasp in my toilet when there wasn't anyone there, I played worship music fervently, fearful that if I stopped playing it, things would come back again.
I did this fearfully for several days, until His voice came out to me, sound a bit perplexed. He told me not to worry and it wasn't just about having music. "I am already here," He emphasised. My pounding heart immediately went back to normal. I felt such great peace that it lasted for days. Now I even sleep without feeling nervous about not having Christian music, because I say my prayers every night and know not to idolise any form of worship. That would be quite an insiduous trick! However, I do play music sometimes for enjoyment, sometimes when I feel like singing praises. It's never out of fear of evil, or a feeling of obligation. It's because I want to worship Him. And that's the most powerful reason.