Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Mental llness

If we dwell on bad thoughts they will exercise control over us and oppress us.  That is because the forces of evil can and do attack our minds.

We CAN'T keep the birds (thoughts) from flying over our heads, but we CAN keep them from making nests in our hair....

My friend was 47 years old when he was struck by depression. He had entered a time in his life where he had made unwise choices and did not find the promised happiness and self-fulfilment he sought. His bridges were burnt and he was at rock bottom. He began harbouring self destructive thoughts and eventually landed on the merry-go-round of pills and appointments.

My friend was a happy natured fellow who enjoyed his occupation as a mechanic, he accepted people for who they were and generally loved life. In 30 years I never knew him to have a mood swing. He had a great personality and lots of friends. He was a nice bloke.

He found himself waking at 4am every morning with the muscles in his face twitching uncontrollably. He was alone and awake in the dark with very, very, dark and evil thoughts of self-harm. It was impossible to get back to sleep. The bad thoughts would dissipate as the day wore on.

He said a very strange thing. With his natural acceptance of life he said, "It's in me now, I think I will always have it".

..IT ?..

A fun loving happy natured man who never suffered mood fluctuations coming out of a rough period in his life with something dark inside him called "IT"! The hair on my neck rose. I immediately sensed that there was more at work than meets the eye.

I decided to look at holistic and religious reasons for depression.

Is there such a thing as becoming spiritually infected?
Yes. Just as there are physical viruses that plague mankind, spiritual viruses seek to plague the minds and lives of all true Christians.

Light and Darkness
Believers assume that light cannot dwell with darkness. That is the same as asking if demons and God going to work together in a person's life. The answer is No. Can the two coexist? Yes!

We are composed of three parts; a body, a mind (soul) and a spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). The spirit of a man belongs to God, and their spirit is united with the Holy Spirit, but their bodies and minds (souls) can still be afflicted by evil spirits. Just like you can turn a light on in one room, and the next room in the house can be dark, the same is true in the spirit realm.

The soul versus the spirit: 
The spirit of a man is where the Holy Ghost dwells, but the soul or mind of a man is where dirt can still remain long after he or she accepts Christ. We are told to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (souls) through the Word of God. Our spirits are instantly made new the moment we are saved, but our souls can take time to renew and 'clean up'.
Do demons cause depression in certain people?
Yes. Demons CAN contribute to depression in certain people, but not all depression is caused by demons.

Not all depression is demonic in origin. Some may be caused by chemical factors that will respond to medical treatment. Other depression may be due to a variety of behavioural patterns or interpersonal relationships that are not being conducted according to biblical standards. But we should not rule out demonic influence as a possible factor.

What is Depression?
Depression is a state of being, an attitude, an emotion or a mood. “Depression is a persistent mood that is characterized by intense feelings of inadequacy, sadness, hopelessness, pessimism, irritability, apprehension, and a decreased interest in or ability to enjoy normal activity". 
The sin in depression is dwelling on:
  • Guilt - not forgiveness. (1 Peter 2:24; Colossians 2:13-15)
  • Despair - not hope. (Ephesians 3:14-21)
  • Pain - not comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)
  • Sadness - not joy. (Nehemiah 8:10; James 1:2-4)
  • Self - not others. (Philippians 2:3)
  • Self-pity - not self-worth. (Romans 8:35-39)
  • Fear - not love. (1 John 4:18; 1 Corinthians 13:1-8a)
  • Anxiety - not trust. (Philippians 4:6-7)
  • Defeat - not victory. (Romans 8:35-39)
  • Depravity - not self-control (1 Peter 5:8)
Where demons do their work:
Where demons do their work is in the soul or mind. Demons of depression and despair will destroy emotional health and then will work on killing the body. Demons can invade the soul and body but not the spirit (the real you), because the spirit belongs to the Lord. The soul is where your thoughts, emotions and thinking is done. Demons can cause fear, depression, lust, uncontrollable anger, and other iniquities in the soul, and sickness and diseases in the body.
What do demons do to people
Many people believe that only the extreme cases of mental problems are caused by demons, or that you have to be heavily involved in the occult or Satanism in order to have demons, but the Bible is clear that this is not true. It is perfectly normal to have absolutely no demons affecting your mind in any way, and still have a demon (Luke13:11, Mark 9:5, Mathew 12:22)

Another misconception is that a person who is demon possessed is owned and fully operated by a demon. This is not true either.

This is like being under the power or influence of alcohol, the more you drink, the more you come under its power. Same is true with demonic bondage, the more bondage you are in; the more you will come under that demon's influence or power. The Bible makes it clear that there are different kinds of demons that cause different problems the person to whom they dwell. Some demons cause blindness, others cause deafness, others cause madness (mental illness), others cause fear and depression (King Saul), others cause epilepsy (Matthew 17:15-21), and so forth. Therefore, if a person is under the power of a spirit of blindness, they won't see (Matthew 12:22), if they are under the power of a spirit of infirmity, they will have some sort of physical infirmity (Luke 13:11), if they are under the power of a spirit of fear, they will be fearful, or if they are under the power of a spirit of anger, they will have uncontrollable anger.
How do you get spiritually infected?
Either the demon(s) was there before the person came to Christ (past lifestyle, generational curse, bondages they previously came under, vows they made with the enemy, etc.), or it entered since they became a Christian. If the demon came into the person's life before they accepted Christ, then the demon is likely trespassing because he has no real legal right to be there, and simply needs to be cast out.

The way demons gain access into a believer's life, is through open doors. There are certain sins and things we can do that will defile us (make us unclean). Guilt, anger, lies, adultery…the list goes on.

Oppression by demons can cause adverse circumstances. These circumstances usually involve confusion and negative thoughts and can be identified as demon because God is not a God of disorder and turmoil, but of harmony and peace (1Co 14:33 GNB)
What does it mean to be defiled? 
It means to become unclean, to become polluted or dirty. To become unclean means that the object must first be clean, or you couldn't make it dirty. You could make it more dirty, but you could not make it dirty because it was already dirty. To be defiled means to take something that was clean, and make it dirty. This is why Christians need to heed the warnings that Jesus gave, not to do those things which can defile a man. It can take a clean Christian and make him unclean, therefore vulnerable to spiritual infections.

Either way, the open door needs to be shut, and the demons cast out. Just because the enemy may not have legal rights, doesn't mean he always leaves immediately. Even though Jesus paid the price for our sins doesn't mean the demons won't want to hang around until they are actually kicked out. If demons left automatically when their rights were removed, then there would be no need to cast them out. Sometimes though, they do leave without being told, but that's not always the case.

The dangers of casting a demon out of a non-believer.
Casting a demon out of an unbeliever is not a wise idea. It is wise to first lead the person to Jesus, so that there is a protection upon them to keep the demon(s) from coming back. Jesus said that when a demon leaves a person, it likes to come back with 7 more even worse demons, and it is permitted if that person is part of the wicked generation (sinners/unbelievers).

Matthew 12:43-45, "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation."

It is a good idea to cut off the demon's legal grounds in the person before attempting to cast a demon out. Trying to cast a demon out when he has 'legal rights' in that person's life can be very dangerous. Once in a while, it's possible to come across a non-believer who was healed, but it was out of God's mercy that He healed them.

Some demons CANNOT get shed (or cast out) without prayer and fasting
  • Mark 9:17-29 “Jesus cast it out, but also told us that this kind of demon ONLY comes out through prayer and fasting!”
  • Mark 9:29, "And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by NOTHING, but by prayer and fasting."
"If Jesus said that prayer and fasting is required, believe me, that demon ain't coming out with a quick nudge, much less when a person simply accepts Jesus!"
Jesus was saying that it requires a lot of faith to cast these demons out... how you get such faith is through prayer and fasting... if His disciples didn't have enough faith to cast it out, what makes us think the average believer has enough faith (without prayer and fasting) to cast it out??

Deliverance is not for unbelievers, but for believers.

How to cast out demons
What is needed to cast out demons? One word... AUTHORITY! Who has such Authority? God's children... the believers! How do we exercise our Authority? Through a spoken command in faith directed at the unclean spirits. The more faith we have, the more Authority we can exercise.

A solid understanding of spiritual Authority is vital to build your faith when casting out demons, healing the sick, and exercising your Authority over the powers of darkness.

When we have been given Authority to cast out demons, but instead we pray that God brings the demon out instead, we are basically asking God to do something that He gave US the tools to do ourselves! Jesus told US to cast out demons! Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us to ask God to cast out demons!

Authority doesn't beg; Authority doesn't ask; Authority commands! We are not told to ask God to cast out demons, we are told to do it ourselves! We are not told to beg demons to come out, we are told to CAST them out!

Authority is exercised through our spoken word. The Authority Jesus gives His people is not to be used in their name, but Jesus' name. He also gave ALL believers Authority to heal the sick and cast out devils as well! (Mark 16:17-18)
  • Authority to cast out demons: Mark 16:17, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils... 
Our spiritual Authority is accessed by faith. There is a lot to be learned from the story told in Mark 9:17-29 about how faith allows us to access our Authority. When the disciples came across an unusually strong demon that wouldn't budge (verse 18), Jesus made it clear that they lacked faith by calling them faithless (verse 19). He also made it clear that some demons are so strong that a higher than usual level of faith is required to cast them out (verses 28 and 29), and that we can gain that higher level of faith through prayer and fasting (verse 29).

There are a lot of misunderstandings concerning faith. True Biblical faith is simple, it makes sense, and it WORKS! Faith is not mere words or actions, but it is knowing the Will of God (found in His Word), then taking God at His Word. True faith is simply believing what God says to be true!

You receive divine healing, not by begging, crying, feeling sorry for yourself, or all of the above; you receive the promises of God by believing and receiving what His Word has said to be true. Faith doesn't thank God for the problem, it doesn't beg Him for something He's promised you; faith praises God for the provision that is already made on your behalf! Thank God healing is in the atonement and part of the work that Christ did for us on the Cross; it is part of the covenant that is signed with blood, which is ours in Christ!

Why does prayer and fasting work
Fasting is the most powerful spiritual discipline of all the Christian disciplines. Through fasting and prayer, the Holy Spirit can transform your life.

How to become immune to spiritual infection
  • Study “the word of truth”. Regularly look at yourself in God’s spiritual mirror and study to seek His will. Allow His Word to correct (straighten) your path. 
  • Make it a point to get on your knees and talk to God about your attitudes, your shortcomings. Ask Him for more wisdom, understanding and mercy. Ask Him to help you think the way He does, and to seek His will, and not your own. Pray for the needs and concerns of others (this will help you to stop focusing so much on yourself). And ask for more of God’s Spirit.
  • Meditate. Take—make—the time to think about the big picture. Strive to see life from God’s perspective.
  • Fast. Deny yourself in order to seek God’s will first in your life. Humble yourself through regular fasting.
  • Exercise God’s Holy Spirit by putting God’s truth into action. 
  • Take all wrong thoughts, attitudes and feelings, and bring them into submission to Christ.