We see them everywhere, people whose very countenance has the appearance of being troubled or bothered by…something. Some we try to avoid making eye contact with, others we watch as they have imaginary conversations with, ‘who-knows-who’. From my observation there are varying degrees of mental illness or being “troubled.” Some appear to function and respond in a rational and normal way until you get to know them, while others are seemingly so far out there, ‘in left field’ that they have difficulty functioning at all in a culture. In many cases a psychiatrist would use the term “schizophrenia” to describe what they are suffering from. In medical terms a psychologist would describe it as being “a predictable pattern of behavior which a mental health professional can detect, diagnose and help through medication.” This description excludes any possibility that we live in a spiritual world and that there are those who are being tormented and suffering because of demonic spirits. We prefer to choose the term ‘being troubled by spirits’ rather than use a term that invokes such graphic scenes as depicted in movies like the ‘Exorcist’. Does the person consistently look troubled or bothered? Is there something about them that makes you feel uneasy?
As Christians we may look at three possible reasons for the person’s condition. In every case/situation the most important aspect of helping those troubled and tormented is to become God’s vessel of love and ask for the Holy Spirit to bring discernment and guide us in all aspects of ministering to the person. Our Father loves and desires healing and wholeness for the person more than we do and He will show us what is needed to bring healing and freedom when we ask Him! First, we need to examine the possibility of this being a physical problem caused by a chemical or hormonal imbalance or medical disease or condition. Second, we need to explore the possibility of it being a spiritual problem having a root cause brought on by the person’s open disobedience to God and His choice to sin. We would include choices that bring moral defilement, substance abuse that progresses to addictions and choices that invite the occult and darkness to have a spiritual effect on one’s life. Third, we need to recognize that we are spiritual beings and that events that brought trauma and generational afflictions can/do bring torment and sickness to people through no choice or fault of their own.
In this Newsletter we want to address the second root cause, that being a spiritual problem being manifested in one’s life by our choice to rebel against God. We believe it is important to recognize how the deceiver works through his subtle introduction to mind altering substances and behaviors that are brought to entice and ultimately steal and destroy that which God loves most. John 10:10 says it this way, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
How To Recognize A Person’s Degree of Bondage to the Demonic
In God’s word there are many things that are mentioned as being harmful to the individual. Each of them can and will be used by the enemy to lead you into even darker regions of demonic control. Drugs, excessive alcohol and pornography have caused many a person to spiral downward into harder drugs, alcoholism and sexual behavior that is vile and disgusting, all in an attempt to mask the pain of guilt and shame. The following six steps outlines the progression that addictive behavior, occult activity, and our continual choice to sin will take us if we allow a demonic spirit a place of influence over us when we consistently and deliberately fail to follow God in holiness and truth.
- We call the first stage, experimentation which often is done without the person understanding what they were getting into. An example of this would be the Ouija Board. Many people can remember their first exposure to this board game. For most it was not thought of as being demonic, though it certainly is, but many can remember how they felt as they watched it effortlessly glide across the board going from letter to letter supernaturally spelling out the answers to the questions asked. Many people, like me, were so freaked out by it that we never touched it again. We may have experimented with the game but fortunately for us when it came time for making a conscious decision to do it a second time we adamantly declined the offer.
- What began as experimentation can, if we choose, become a conscious choice to continue. Remember the first day you experimented with smoking your first cigarette? You may even remember when you said yes to the second one and then the decision to purchase your first pack of cigarettes. Left unchecked experimentation leads to the next stage, choice. Now your will has made a conscious decision to continue in this behavior.
- Over time you will find it has the power to become a habit. A habit is an act that has become nearly or completely involuntary and left unchecked it will become a bondage. Not many people remember when the choice they made became a habit or when it became a bondage.
- In a bondage stage stopping is very difficult, a person at this stage will say “I can stop at any time I just don’t want to do it now.” Progressing to the place of being in bond age puts the person in servitude or under the control of a demonic entity.
- A bondage can easily progress allowing a demonic spirit of oppression to have access to the individual. This for Christians is the legal limit to the harassment of a demonic spirit. You can tell when someone is oppressed because often their personalities will change when under the influence of whatever it is they are under bondage to.
- For a non-Christian this is not the final stage, for them the final stage is possession, where demonic spirits have total influence and control over every aspect of the person as in the case of the Gadarenes demoniac described in the gospels.
A person in the stages of bondage and oppression will find they go through periods where they seem to be in control, however as soon as they succumb to the temptation and make the decision to sin or indulge in the drug, alcohol or other vice, the bondage progresses to further lack of control and demonic influence and it has been given rights to oppress, with the ultimate goal of the enemy to destroy their life.
Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…”