That afternoon I was alone at home, sleeping because I wasn't feeling well. All of a sudden I was jolted into half-wakefulness, and I experienced the strange feeling that someone didn't want me to wake up. I opened my eyes and saw every detail of our room, but no matter what I did I could not move or get up. Above my head was a window that opened to our backyard, and from that direction I heard the sound of someone cackling, but I couldn't tell if it was male or female.

I tried to speak, but I couldn't open my mouth. I tried to take a deep breath, but something heavy sat on my chest. By this time my heart was starting to beat loudly in fear, so in my mind I started to say:

"I cast you away, in Jesus' name! I cast you away, in Jesus' name!..."

The cackling from the window became louder, and suddenly its sound entered the room and hovered above my head.

"Mwa-hahahahahaha! Mmmwaaha-hahahaha!"

I closed my eyes because I didn't want to see what it was, and in my mind I began shouting my prayer:

"I cast you away, in Jesus name! In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, I cast you away! I cast you awaaay in Jesus' naaame...!"

The cackling became louder, trying to drown my prayer. My heart beat faster, my breath came harder.

"I cast you away! In the name of Jesus Christ!"

Then all of a sudden, everything was quiet. I opened my eyes, and our room was the same. But now I was able to move, and get up from the bed. Now I was able to open my mouth, and say a prayer out loud. Now I was able to walk out of our room, punch my husband's number at his office, and tell him -- shakily -- about what just happened.

Until this day a part of me tends to believe it was just a nightmare. But another part of me could not deny the knowledge that I gained that day: The knowledge that every day, in a very real sense, there is an ongoing spiritual battle around us that we may not be ready to see. If we truly believe in the reality of our God, then we must also believe in the reality of Satan. If we are aware of our mission to spread God's Word, then we must also be aware that demons are daily stealing the Word from people's hearts.

The spiritual battle is real, and we are in it. The good news is that Jesus has already assured victory for His people. But the question is: How many casualties will we have to lose?

Do we Christian soldiers charge bravely to help another soul, not allowing Satan to lay his claim? Or do we often just stand and watch, waiting for something catastrophic to happen, before realizing how badly someone needs us to just tell them they'd already been forgiven?

You might wonder where I got the title for this article: $16.95. You see, Jesus was betrayed for $16.95. According to present day currency, the 30 pieces of silver that Judas Iscariot received for Jesus' life is equal to $16.95. A pitiful sum, for the life of the Son of God.

And yet today we still betray Him... sometimes for even less than that. Just 5 minutes to pray for someone's healing. 3 minutes to type a Bible verse, and send it out via email. 30 seconds to forgive someone who's telling us "I'm sorry." All these things are worth pennies, and yet we don't bother to sacrifice even that much.

We just stand there doing nothing, unaware of the cackling around us that grows stronger as we give up soul after soul after soul. The same souls that Jesus died for, for the grand total sum of of $16.95.

Forgive us, Father, for not caring enough about the souls You love so much. Forgive me, Lord, for betraying them. The only thing needed for evil to succeed is for enough good men to do nothing.

Action Resolution:

Let us do something to spread God's word today.

Thanks to Aileen Suquila-Santos http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/christian_writing/31386

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