"Nominal": named as a mere matter of form, being trifling in comparison with the actual value, minimal . . . being such in name only; so-called . . . minimal in comparison with real worth or what is expected; token . . . .
These are they who, for instance, just happened to be born into a certain type of Christian family--it was the family religion, and it was more of a social thing, a cultural habit. Perhaps neither the father nor the mother were actually sold out, born again, convicted Believers, but instead . . . followed their religion as a kind of insurance, "just in case" . . . but with no will spiritual fire . . . . So, the child grows up calling themselves a "Christian" . . . but not from any personal search or conviction and there is really no power in it--no transformative power of active Holy Spirit inspiration . . . no real relationship with the Lord . . . no awe or deep holy fear of the Father . . . .
People are brought up this way in many diverse sects . . . Presbyterian, Baptist . . . L.D.S. . . . Catholic etc.
And even a step further from that are those whose families don't even bother with a church or religion at all, nonetheless, mostly because of the surrounding culture--living in a mostly "Christian" country . . . if asked, they will shrug and say, "I guess I'm Christian . . . yeah, I believe in Jesus" but they have no idea what that really means and know nothing of the Gospel . . . . Nominal Christians . . . by name only but without the Spirit and Its drawing, changing power . . . . And such a person is not likely to die for their "faith". They have no faith--no deep belief wrought of seeking and prayer . . . .
At some point in the seeker's walk . . . if earnest, there will be a "born again" experience. Here is when the Holy Spirit arrives with the sword of truth and the Lord awakens you to your awful, fallen, sinful condition. "The great dressing down" I have described it as . . . . Here you finally recognize your utter need and dependency on the intercession of Jesus to save you from your self. Sometimes this can happen in one illuminating experience . . . or it may be drawn out over a series of experiences and realizations . . . . So, do not fret if you have not had that one "big moment" . . . . It may be a scattering of "moments" which cumulatively add up to an ongoing change.
Finally, though, there will be a tipping point, one way or the other, and you stand at the brink of "crossing the river Jordan", so-to-speak . . . the final leg of your journey to spiritual freedom. You cannot go back to what you once were . . . yet you have not quite entered the Promised Land. But you've made up your mind now to go there. You don't want to go back to bondage, to that self which was dead (to the Spirit) . . . and which was lost in the world, blind, deaf . . . ignorant. You have seen and learned enough to know that the world and its ways will never satisfy you, but many of its demons still haunt and harass you. You want FREEDOM from them and it!
This phase of the journey . . . where you are neither quite of the world, nor of God . . . can and usually will test you to exasperation. If there are parts of you that still are attached to, and allured by, as to the old ways of how you use to live . . . then, you will be kept in this state . . . until dis-ease of that lingering fallen condition finally becomes so onerous and putrid to you . . . that you are at last willing to leave it behind and never turn back.
Here is the "desert walk" . . . the "valley of tears" . . . the "dark night of the soul" . . . and where you will be most tormented. For, the devils need not have bothered much with you when you were well ensconced within their kingdom, safely bound by habits and thoughts and desires almost wholly iniquitous!
But now that you are seriously looking upon GETTING OUT . . . and leaving their wicked world behind . . . to cross over into the realm of the Holy King . . . . Well . . . here is when the dust gets stirred up. When you're over the target . . . is when you start receiving flak!
A Spirit led disciple . . . will look at the situation . . . and rather than lamenting and complaining and feeling hopeless at being so beset by the troubles (flak) pummeling at that brink, they will draw the two-edged sword of the Word of God and begin to slay the harrying foes, praying to "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
Rather than lose heart or fall in fear, TAKE heart . . . and know that it is because you are so close to the Promised Land . . . to freedom in Christ . . . that the enemy is attacking you so!
And he does! I remember when I was going through this . . . I could barely just drive down the freeway and get to my job . . . because of the psychological and spiritual attacks . . . fears . . . doubts . . . angst . . . and a kind of weird supernatural paranoia . . . dreadful feelings of being surrounded by evil . . . evil people, wicked intents . . . and there were strange synchronicities occurring constantly . . . letting me know that, indeed, what I was going through WAS supernaturally involved . . . . Things that only I witnessed . . . signs . . . "omens" . . . . which I couldn't really even tell anyone about because they were so specific and personal, it wouldn't make sense to another or would just sound silly . . . but there was no doubt they were real . . . which then had the effect of making me feel a little crazy . . . and beginning to wonder was I just "losing it" . . . . And then there were the overt and obvious demonic attacks . . . bizarre occurrences . . . again with uncanny synchronicities and too obvious "coincidences" . . . and, the hardest I think of all . . . the "demonic flashing" that would manifest via loved ones . . . family . . . sometimes friends . . . or even strangers . . . but most troubling through family . . . where those who were NOT in the Spirit . . . would react with almost violent antipathy . . . opposition . . . to my coming into the Lord . . . even though I didn't talk about it much . . . and situations where it would be (supernaturally) orchestrated . . . to always put me in the worst possible light, though I would be innocent . . . so that others could "talk" and conspire . . . . and so on and so on . . . .
Quite treacherous, that phase of the journey . . . .
The devil wants you to give up, throw in the towel, quit, hate God for being so "difficult to reach" . . . and turn back . . . .
But you should praise God and give thanks . . . for these are signs that you are almost there! And they are also part of your spiritual education. Here is where you really get a lesson in recognizing the Liar's many tricks. You will notice how just when you are starting to "get a hold" . . . here comes some diversion, some temptation, some distraction, some seeming tragedy . . . to throw you off course.
You can also observe him (the Foul One) manipulating and working through people around you who are available channels for his hatred of the Lord and hatred for you seeking and getting the Lord. When seen and reacted to in the right light, this only works to further strengthen your testimony and determination to prevail.
Sometimes, the inner and outer attacks would be so heavy . . . all I could do was just receive a vision of Jesus . . . sitting on a rock by the ocean . . . and I couldn't really even express anything particular, but would just sit by Him, touch His robe . . . and we would sit silent and He would simply comfort me . . . .
A lot of prayer through that time . . . .
And patience . . . . Just pressing on . . . waiting on the Lord, however, whenever He decided to draw me in closer and to greater protection . . . I was willing to wait for . . . . Too many times in the past, I had bailed out at this point . . . and always with dire results which took years sometimes to recover from . . . .
Now . . . to complicate matters, I am relatively certain that . . . the forces of darkness--the beings of darkness, both in human form and dis-embodied . . . are waging a full spectrum attack on this front of the spiritual battle--this place where the seeker hovers at the brink of "crossing the River Jordan" . . . .
And this indeed only makes this phase of the journey all the more confusing, difficult and treacherous.
Next, I intend to address some of the issues related to that added element . . . and some practical spiritual techniques and spiritual "weaponry" . . . which I think help defeat these temporary torments--"guards" at the border . . . so as to cross more quickly and surely, God willing . . . .