Imagine you have laid the foundation for a new skyscraper. After you finish smoothing out the cement, a team of builders arrives and quickly begins constructing the tower on your foundation. After they have built twenty stories, you decided that you no longer want the building and desire to tear it down (you clearly have gobs of cash to burn). Since the foundation that you placed is now weighed down by hundreds of tons of steel and concrete, you can’t simply remove it. You must start at the top of the tower and work your way down.
Armed with a hammer, you toil all day, prying apart beams and knocking out walls and floors. When you head home for the evening, you have successfully removed ten stories of the tower. Only ten left to go! A good days work!
However, when you arrive back at the work site the next morning with hammer in hand, much to your horror, you discover that the tower now stands at thirty stories high.
How can this be?
Simple. You never fired the construction team! While you slept last night feeling good about all the progress you were making, the builders were hard at work not only undoing your progress, but adding to the monstrous tower.
You could spend today once again tearing down walls and floors, but you would just wake up to the same results until you hand out pink slips to that overly efficient construction team.
This drawn out metaphor is an example of how demons weasel their way into our lives. The building represents your depression or anxiety. The concrete foundation of that building must be poured by you.
Once you have let negative emotions fester long enough, they may develop into a more serious and reoccurring condition such as depression or anxiety. By doing this you have laid your foundation.
That’s all a demon needs! It shows up to the construction site with a full crew and they are all eager to get to work! Each brick that they lay is a negative or destructive thought. As the walls of the tower rise around you, your condition worsens. And the higher the tower gets, the harder it becomes to tear down.
The secular world will hand you a hammer and wish you luck. That’s all they can do.
This series will offer an alternative solution. A wrecking ball that will decimate the tower, foundation, and will scare off those persistent builders.
Before we can call in the demolition crew, we will need to first understand where we are currently and what it is that’s holding us back from recovery. Today we will discuss the importance of recognizing and acknowledging spiritual influences in our life.
I’m certain you’ve heard the cliche phrase: “The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem.”
Unfortunately, in our case ,that proves true. And it can also be difficult to do.
If you have read my first series “My Story” then you will recall how, at in the beginning, I absolutely refused to admit that the terrors that were plaguing Jane were supernatural.
I understand completely if you’re immediately skeptical of the idea of demons running wild in your brain. I certainly was! If your suffering with depression or anxiety, I encourage you to hear me out. You have nothing to loose by considering this theory. If I’m wrong, then you are exactly in the same place where you currently find yourself.
But what if I’m right? Try me!
The first step in defeating demons is that you must acknowledge their presence and influence in your life. Call it what it is.
The secular world often writes off demonic influence as mental disorders. This misdiagnosis is easily(sometimes people still deny it) debunked in situations of physical attacks (such and being choked, scratched or burned) but it proves harder in more subtle cases.
Take Jane’s first attack in September for an example. She has a seizure, she passes out, then she sits up and introduces herself as the “black thing that appears in her dreams”.
A secular diagnosis of this would likely claim that Jane suffers from anxiety attacks (which would explain the seizure) and chemical imbalances in her brain that causes confusion of speech.
That’s only partially correct. While Jane did suffer from anxiety, she definitely wasn’t confused or imbalanced when she spoke that night. Jane wasn’t there. Something else had taken over. Something that no science in the world can explain.
Since the secular world does not believe in the presence of evil spirits, they can only assist you with half the problem.
They diagnose the mental disorders, but not the demon that’s throwing gasoline into the fire.
The problem with this approach is that the mental disorders will likely not go away until the demon is sent packing (remember those pesky tower builders?). Demons do not/cannot cause a mental disorder such as anxiety or depression, but they can enhance it and make certain that your condition only worsens.
You may be thinking “If anxiety or depression is a spiritual problem then how come that medications for these disorders relieve symptoms and make the user feel better?”
Because its not totally a spiritual problem. We as human beings are body, mind, and soul. The soul however, is the dominant player in this human trinity. The health of the body and mind revolve around the health of the soul.
Medications assist the body and mind aspect of depression and anxiety. I’m no doctor, but here’s the lame mans version of it:
When you take medication for mental disorders, the chemistry of your brain comes into play. Depression relieving medications flood your brain with feel good chemicals to combat the negative blend that is currently swirling about. Essentially its a chemical high.
A good analogy of this would be to compare it to smoking a cigarette (which I do not condone :)). You feel stressed so you make your way out doors and light up. The first couple puffs fill your body with a cooling numbing sensation that sends a calming feeling through your veins. It feels good. Problem is, it only lasts a few minutes and then your right back to feeling stressed. The cigarette didn’t cure your stress, it only made you forget about it temporarily.
Same thing with anti depressants or anxiety medications. I was prescribed anti-depressants during my senior year of high school. While I would get a small amount of relief from the medicine, it only lasted as long as the pills did. Then I would be right back to feeling depressed.
If defeating anxiety and depression was as easy as swallowing a pill, very few people would suffer from it.
A secular psychiatrist would probably accept my analogy from earlier about the foundation and the tower that rises from it, but they would argue that it is you yourself that constructs the building, not a third party demon.
Their strategy in overcoming this matter would be to identify the trauma that built the foundation of your tower and overcome it. Then they would suspect that the whole tower will come crumbling down.
I would say that approach is ineffective nine times out of ten. Not to mention extremely difficult.
Why? Remember that every brick placed in the tower is a lie, negative, destructive, or evil thought. These walls are built to imprison you and distract you from the root causes of your anxiety or depression. The bricks of lies are like a black cloud around your brain. The higher your tower gets, the harder it becomes to pin point what got you there in the first place.
I struggled with depression for ten years. If you had waltzed up to me last year at this time and said “Hey man, why are you so down all the time?” I wouldn’t have know how to answer that. Sure I would have told you that I struggle with depression, but my tower was sticking out into outer space and I couldn’t see its foundation anymore. I truly had no idea why I was sad or where it all began. I just knew that’s how I was and I accepted it as such.
I understand that this may not be the case with you. You may be able to tell me exactly what pored your foundation of anxiety or depression. That’s good! Your tower may only be a few stories high.
Nevertheless, whether your tower is five feet or 1,000 miles high, it can be demolished in the same exact way.
Remember that wrecking ball? Your going to need the help of the one who operates it. You alone with your hammer can only make small dents in the ever growing building.
So first thing is first. We must acknowledge that there is in fact a negative third party force at work in our life. Then we will meet with the wrecking ball operator about a full removal of that ever resilient tower.
I’m going to end with this- This is a list I compiled a while back of things that commonly suggest the presence of evil spirits in your life. Read through it and see if anything hits home.
- You struggle with a crippling chronic mental illness such as anxiety or depression
- You entertain thoughts of self harm
- You spend large amounts of time wondering what the world would be like without you
- You wonder if anyone would miss you if you were to die
- You actually harm yourself in an attempt to relive pain
- You feel that death may be the only relief from your pain
- Feeling sick or faint for no reason and all of a sudden
- Feeling sick or faint if you pray
- When you think about God or Jesus you feel suddenly angry or dreadful or fearful
- Hearing someone talk about God or Jesus makes you flair up with anger
- Hearing someone pray makes you angry or upset
- You find yourself disgusted even at the thought of God or Jesus
- You are bombarded with thoughts telling you that you are worthless
- Paranoia-Your mind is filled with erroneous thoughts about how everyone (including God sometimes) is out to get you
- Feeling that you are wasting your time praying because God can’t help you.
- Actually having thoughts go through your head that tell you God cannot help.
- Headaches come and go instantly.
- Your chest tightens and you have difficulty breathing for no reason
- If you pray you find it very hard to concentrate. Your mind spins with random thoughts.
- You feel a weight on you body (most commonly at night in your bed) that presses you down. It is difficult to move.
- Passing out for no reason
- People say that you have said strange things to them and you don’t remember doing this.
- You have blackout periods where you do things you don’t remember
- You have night terrors (very detailed dreams often involving you in a great deal of pain)
- You find unexplained marks on your body such as bruises, scratches, burns, or bite marks.
- You have a sense of fear flood you out of nowhere
- You feel you are not alone in your room at night
- You often feel that you hate yourself or you hate your life
The list goes on and on, but theses are some of the most common signs of a demonic influence.
Let me be very clear, just because you have experienced some of the scenarios on this list does not necessarily mean your under a spiritual assault.
If your whole life revolves around some of the feelings described on this list then you may be under spiritual influence.
Read the list over and think about it. In our next discussion, we will cover the next step in knocking that tower down for good.
Some content excerpted from “Monsters Walk Among Us”
Copyright © 2018 by Jeremiah Ryan