OVERCOMING EVIL & DEMONS
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Ephesians 6:11-12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places
2 Corinthians 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
One of the most important lessons I've had to learn since becoming a Christian, especially when it comes to ministering to people - is never, never trust your eyes. In fact, I've learned to have little confidence in my ears, or other natural senses as well because when it comes to discerning what is "really" going on in a person's heart and mind, can rarely be observed with our five senses. All around us, the Bible teaches us is a "spiritual world" that is far more real than the physical world in which we spend most of our time living in. We can't see it, but by "faith", we know that it exists. I'm talking of course about the world of angels and demons, that are all around us - doing both good and evil for their respective Kings. Jesus is our King, the King of the kingdom of light, and Satan is a king, the king of the kingdom of darkness. Unfortunately, many Christians today - are in fact, ignorant of the Devil's devices, of how to discern good from evil, the profane from the holy, and what is and what isn't of God.
Both kingdoms have order, and a hierarchy of authority and spheres of dominion that are not unlike what we find in an army or government here in the earth. Similar, but of course not the same. This short message is not meant to explain in detail the inner workings or structure of Satan's kingdom, or the Kingdom of Jesus Christ; but just a reminder that the war against good and evil is real, and is very structured on both fronts. We know who ultimately wins(Just flip to the back of your Bible and read the final pages), but for us who have to live today, in this fallen world - ours is a daily battle and to be honest - completely candid: WE DON'T ALWAYS WIN THE BATTLES WE FIGHT!
When we stumble, we get back up. When we fall, we get back up. When we miss the mark, we ask God to forgive us and get back up! This short message is about fighting evil, demons and the devil - not with our hands, or our human strength or with any earthly weapons - NO, we have spiritual weapons that the weakest Christian can employ to overcome and destroy all the demons in hell - the devil himself! My prayer is that this message encourages you, and builds you up in your faith in God, and His word, and His many promises to us...
OPENING THE DOOR TO DEMONS
There is a great debate among Christians about whether a Christian can be "possessed" or not? Please know that what I'm sharing with you now, is not my case for or against either side of that argument. I have my own views, but this testimony is about "how a Christian can open the door to demons" - whether you call that "oppression" or "possession" is for you to ponder and ask God to show you. What I do know is this: Christians can be deceived, deluded, seduced by demonic spirits after coming to Christ, and they can open the door to demons and be tormented and afflicted in both their body,soul, and mind. The story I share here is real, and involved a close friend of mine who is a sincere Christian, and who became entangled with demons that had him in need of deliverance. *(I've changed his name to protect his identity)
Tom worked with me at General Motors, and we became close enough for him to trust me with some very personal things he was experiencing. One day he disclosed how he was unable to stop looking at pornography, he said he just couldn't break away from it. He shared how he had xxx-rated magazines and movies in his house, and that he was spending a lot of time looking at them. He was hooked on pornography, and it was destroying him inside - you could hear the desperation in his voice and see the shame and torment in his eyes. Let me add, that Tom had a very attractive wife, and two children that he loved dearly. Tom, to my knowledge was a God fearing Christian, that went to church, loved his family; and was a very intelligent man in every way. His problem: HE HAD OPENED THE DOOR TO THE DEVIL. Tom had tried to meet with his pastor for prayer that Sunday, but was told to make an appointment with the church secretary to arrange for a meeting later that week. Tom left church that Sunday morning deeply distressed, and feeling he couldn't wait any longer - he needed to talk to someone immediately! Tom was now in a state of extreme duress and feeling hopeless and in desperate need of help. This sense of panic is very common with someone being harassed and terrorized by demons.
There are many doors that we can open to invite evil and sin and demons into our life, our home, and even our church; but make no mistake - pornography is one of the most deadly and lethal doors to allow demons to attack you and your family/home/church! That pornography is epidemic in the world is not surprising, but that it is in many of today's churches and Christian homes is - more than most could imagine. I told Tom, you know God hates pornography, that you have to get it out of your home. You have to destroy it, you have to repent of this iniquity, and these sins; and ask God to forgive you and cleanse you. Tom readily agreed with me, but he admitted to me that he simply was not able to break completely away from his addiction and desire to look at pornographic materials. We both agreed, he needed deliverance - so we set up a time for him to come to a prayer meeting where a group of Christians would pray for him to be delivered and set free from this bondage and addiction to pornography.
TEARING DOWN STRONGHOLDS
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;...
We all gathered for this "deliverance prayer meeting" at my house. I remember there being about ten of us there that afternoon, and we all knew that something good was going to happen - we could sense the presence of God with us very strong. All of us knew that this was not going to be an ordinary prayer meeting, and that we were dealing with demons of lust, and evil spirits that had a friend of ours tormented and in need of a breakthrough. We anticipated a spiritual battle and within a few minutes the battle would begin. When Tom arrived, we opened the meeting with much prayer, and asked God to be with us and to lead and guide us in this prayer meeting.
We had Tom sit in the center of the room, and then we openly discussed his addiction to pornography - there was nothing left in the dark. We told Tom, that he needed to openly confess and repent of these sins he had allowed into his life, and that he had been engaging in for many months. Tom cried out to God, and asked God to forgive him for all of the sins he had been involved with, and he was praying to God as we to prayed with him and for him at the same time. You could sense an intense evil presence in the room at the same time, there was a battle going on in Tom, and it was evident by the body language he was exhibiting and by the facial expressions he was making as we laid our hands on him. Some of us were praying in tongues, and others were simply praying in English as they felt led. This entire prayer time so far lasted probably around 30 to 45 minutes; I'm not sure because we were all so focused on praying intently for Tom.
Suddenly, Tom began to cough repeatedly over and over again, and then began to choke. He coughed again, and then bolted from the room and ran to the hall bathroom where we could here him vomiting violently for several minutes. He was literally puking up foul spirits - he was being cleansed and set free by the power of prayer. Rebuking the spirits of lust in Jesus name, commanding them to leave Tom and to go in Jesus name had found it's mark! I don't remember every word, or everything that we did that afternoon; but I do distinctly remember when he came back out of that bathroom and looked at all of us: HE WAS AGLOW! Tom's face and countenance was radiant, and he was smiling and looked completely relaxed - like a different person than the one we had been praying for just minutes earlier. Whether Tom had demons in his mind, or in his body, was not important to him or us; but one thing was for sure: TOM WAS GOING HOME SET FREE FROM THE DEMONS OF LUST AND PERVERSION, that had him bound and in chains...
ATTACKED BY DEMONS IN MY CAR
1 Peter 1:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Why demons attack people, especially Christians is not really difficult to understand. He loves to cause pain - both mental, physical, and emotional; and he loves killing, destroying, and stealing whenever and whatever he can, and as often as he can. I get that. The thing that is not so easy to figure out, or discern is: when he will attack, or when he won't attack? I've been a Christian for over 40 years, and involved with fighting demons on many fronts, but this one thing I've learned: THE DEVIL WILL ATTACK YOU WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT, AND WITHOUT MERCY!!
I remember driving in my car, listening to a Christian music station, and was in a very upbeat mood. I was praising and singing to God as I recall, and really just in the presence of God when something very strange happened. I had the strongest urge to start cursing, to just begin to utter a bunch of profanity. It was so strong, so urgent and compelling that I found it hard to resist. I began to reason within myself, in my thoughts; I don't want to say these bad words - I don't want to utter these nasty, foul words... As I fought this battle within my mind, it was as if a voice was talking in my ear - GO AHEAD, SAY IT - CURSE, RELEASE THESE NASTY WORDS FROM YOUR MOUTH.
I began to swear, to curse, and let a bunch of filthy language spew from my mouth. I remember being so upset with myself, feeling so dirty and guilty for having such terrible words come out of me - I WAS SICK IN MY SPIRIT. I began to ask God immediately to forgive me, to cleanse me and to help me. I was tempted to curse, and I yielded to the temptation and sinned greatly before God. After driving along and praying to God, and finally sensing that God had forgiven me and cleansed me according to His promise in: 1 John 1:9(KJV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I asked God why He allowed me to be attacked like that, why demons could come against me in my own car, while I was praising Him and not doing anything sinful - while I was listening to Christian music and thinking godly thoughts?
TO SHOW US HOW TO ENGAGE IN SPIRITUAL COMBAT
Ephesians 6:10-11 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
That episode in my car with demons, not only shook me up that afternoon; it opened my eyes once again to the evil antics and attacks that demons are capable of. God was allowing me to see how demons operate, and how they can attack us with a hellish fury and without mercy. I learned that demons are heartless, ruthless, and will show you, me, no one any mercy when they attack. They hate us. I lost a battle that day in my car, but I learned some valuable lessons that have served me well in my walk here on earth, and in my ministry to others as one who knows the terror and horror of being under assault from demons. Compassion borne out of one's own experience battling demons, is a good thing when confronting evil and persons who are bound or tormented by demons or the devil himself.
Some Final Thoughts...
If some of this seems strange to you, that's because it is. If nothing like this has ever happened to you, or anyone you know, that's okay; to be honest it isn't what most of us experience in a typical day - we'd go off the deep if it was. God only allows us to experience what He knows is for our good, and for a good reason. If I didn't believe that - I would be on edge and looking for a demon behind every bush. No, I've learned that as Christians we are in a spiritual battle everyday whether we know it or not, or whether we participate or not. Believe me, if you don't fight the devil and the demons that are determined to kill, destroy, and rob you of everything God has given you including your very breath - you are in for a serious whipping! If you're a lazy Christian, someone who doesn't study or read the scriptures, doesn't pray or fellowship regularly; and doesn't witness or share your faith with others - you probably won't be in many spiritual battles; at least not when it's for the benefit of others.
The devil may beat up on you and your family(he hates and attacks all human beings), but please know that the devil is not going to waste any more resources than necessary on anyone who poses little or no threat to him and his kingdom of darkness. Go out and proclaim the gospel, heal and cast out demons in Jesus name, or go out and share your personal testimony with others - AND WATCH OUT! Now you are a troublemaker, you're a threat to all Satan stands for, for all he represents... The more you are engaged in promoting God's interests in the earth, the more you can expect to be attacked by demons.
That is really not hard to understand, it's very logical if you think about it. We have two choices as I see it: Be warriors of faith for Jesus Christ in His glorious army of salvation and truth, with all that comes with that including the many battles with demons that we will surely face. Or, we can try to coast by, limp to the finish line - doing little for God or our fellow man, and hope and pray that we have few spiritual battles to endure before we cross over and enjoy all the glories and wonders of heaven that await us. Now, I ask you - are you a warrior, or a worrier?
Blessings to all/michael/fool4CHRIST
You may read all four parts to CASTING OUT DEMONS, by going to my blog:http://www.lightinthedarkmin.com/blogfool4christ.html
Write me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I love God, people, and all of God's creation. For me there is always something or someone to write about...