Real Church. Real Life. Real Celebration.

Bats in the Belfry

In 1921, F.W. Murnau directed a silent film called “Nosferatu” adapted from Bram Stoker’s 19th century novel, Dracula. It was a pioneering work in the infancy of the film industry. Since then, cinema lovers the world over have been captivated and held spellbound by several decades of different versions of the dark tale, tainted with Satan’s mixture of glamour and death. Nosferatu is a word that has its roots in the language of Romania. It is a synonym for “vampire.”  It appears the vampire bat was named for the centuries old folklore surrounding the blood sustained creature Hollywood has romanticized over the eighty-seven years since Murnau’s chilling images were filmed.

The bat has to live with the moniker of “vampire,” though it doesn’t speak with a thick Balkan accent! The Central and South American vampire bat feeds by approaching cattle in the dark of night when its instincts carry it away from its home. It lands on the ground near the animal and leaps upon the dozing livestock to seek a bare or tender place to feed from. It will bite its prey with razor sharp teeth in a location that will give it a good flow of blood. Dinner is served! The bat can then lap the blood from the wound. Its saliva serves to keep the blood from clotting. The animal that was bitten need not fear, necessarily. The bite is superficial and will heal. Infection and disease are more of a concern due to the open wound. Oh I know, you have already read more about bats here than you ever wanted to. “What’s this have to do with me?” you ask. “Vell,” says I, “I om zo glat you osked!”

[Last year] Apostle David shared a vision of bats hanging from the highest beam in the sanctuary. He saw the bats above us, hanging by their feet. From time to time, a bat would fly down and land on someone in the congregation and begin to “feed.” That person would become infected with the message the bat delivered to them, and they would eventually leave the church. Apostle realized the bats represented demons and, just as in nature, they don’t live alone. He commanded them to go in Jesus’ name, and away they flew in a black cloud. When they were gone, the Lord said, “Now tear down the structure.”

We have built structures for the enemies in our lives. These structures must be illuminated with the Word of God. We have to take the steps to destroy structures where the demons dwell. Remember the enemy, like the vampire bat, drains life away in small recurring moments. You didn’t even know that dinner was being served and you were it! The truth of God’s living Word provides the light we need to expose those hidden places and banish the bats hanging there.

If we don’t continue to guard our heart with the Word, those demons will return to the home they once nested and flourished in – and they’ll bring friends! Every crack and hole in your character where the demon may have entered before is susceptible to future infiltrations. Allow God to build a new dwelling place inside you where the dark, dank, and dusty place has been. Destroy those dark, bat-infested places by feeding, meditating, and speaking the Word of God!

(First published 01.20.08)

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