When I first learned about spiritual warfare and casting out demons, I discovered something that I wish I’d known all my life. When Alan (if you’ve read the last chapter of my book, Possessed Believers, you’ll know who I’m talking about) would manifest violent demons during his process of deliverance, they would argue in full-blown anger, then in mockingly sarcastic tones, then switch to being quietly patronizing in an attempt to outwit whoever was praying for him.
They knew that they were no match for the authority of Jesus Christ, so they’d tried to pull us into their twisted logic and tempt us to feel overwhelmed and give up the fight. Fighting demons means fighting on God’s terms, not on theirs. It also means that God’s terms have to be your terms with no ifs ands or buts about them. Early on I saw how quickly demons would cave in when I refused to fall for their tricks and kept my focus on God’s power.
One trick they would pull on Alan was to tempt him into sin with self-loathing mixed with anger against the unfairness of his life, mixed with lust and violence. It was a potent cocktail of emotions that would erupt whenever he’d give into these demons, which we later discovered had been in his family for generations going back into the American Civil War in the 1800s. They were foul and depraved, and when Alan would act on these temptations he became extremely dangerous. But that was just the beginning. Once the rage would subside, those demons quickly switched gears into “holiness” mode.
“How could you have done that? Did you see the look on that poor person’s face when you behaved that way? You’re evil. And you call yourself a Christian? God won’t have anything to do with you now, don’t even think of praying. You’re disgusting. You should be ashamed of yourself ...” The guilt he felt was unbearable, dragging him into dark suicidal depression for weeks. It felt like the voice of reason speaking, the voice of God, but it was purely demonic. For Alan to overcome the horrible guilt, repentance was necessary. God wanted him to run into His arms and find help and freedom, but those demons wanted none of that, so they played a convincing imposter of God. It became a predictable cycle of ramped up, intense temptation followed by devastating condemnation for years and years.
Satan is such a con-artist, he’ll do whatever it takes to keep us as far from God as he can. Switching tactics works especially well on people who still desire God despite being entangled in sin. Meanwhile the devil is feasting on the cycle of misery and confusion he’s created.
This is where knowing the word of God is so crucial. It’s not enough that your pastor knows the promises of God, you need to know them to fight off the arguments and illusions the devil throws at you from every angle. One truth that you can never forget is that God is ready to accept you at any given moment – no matter what you’ve done. He is your safe haven. He is the home base you have to run to. Another truth is that though God hates sin, He loves you. He convicts us of sin to turn us away from it and to teach us how to fight it, but He never condemns just for the sake of making us feel worthless. That kind of voice is only from Satan and his demons. And another truth is that the moment you repent and surrender yourself to God, He is ready to empower you with the ability to fight and win. He would never withhold his blessings for someone who is ready to live by faith. You can stand up to those demonic temptations, fears, or whatever is plaguing you and command them to get out of your life by the authority of Jesus name, the Name above all names.
Take the time to stop and listen to the voices that speak to you throughout your day, the ones that condemn, the subtle sense that praying is no use to a loser such as you, the overall feeling of the blahs that says to wait until you’re in the right mood before you reach out to God. They feel like you, they feel like logic, but they are demonic suggestions that you have to immediately rise up against, rebuke and act against. Try it today and see just how much better your day goes when you choose God over an imposter.
“And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14 HCSB)