I don’t like posting this. It’s too personal for my own comfort, but you know, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while. So for the past month especially, I’ve been doing uncomfortable things. I’ve been telling people about my struggles. Struggles I’ve had for long times that I never talked about before, because I knew no one would understand.
But, I was understood more than I thought I’d be. When the light met the dark, there was grace. Every time I opened up and was honest about things, I was met with grace and Truth. With hope and love. So, anyway, here’s some things I’ve learned recently. (If you wanna know where I’m coming from, try reading that post called “Hey, Tenth Avenue North!” It’s the story of my life.)
Thing is, I found out a lot about demons. Yeah, the things we don’t like to talk about. The invisible beings that we like to pretend don’t exist. Those. As it turns out, demons play a bigger part than I gave them credit for. They tell you things, scare you, latch on to you, give you hell. It’s true. The Bible (particularly Ephesians) has been very clear about it. Something I learned was that when you have sin in your life, it’s an open door to demonic activity. As a Christian, “possessed” by God, you cannot be possessed by a demon. But, you can be oppressed and tormented by demons. Hear me out; habitual sin such as fear, lust, drunkenness, or hatred creates strongholds in your life. They create a pattern of thinking and living. And demons, when they see that in your life, rush to it. They use that as a reason to torment you and bring you down. And once they’re there, safe in your stronghold, they’ll tear you up.
It’s not enough to try to ignore things like this. We truly are struggling against the world forces of this darkness, the principalities, the demons, the spiritual forces of wickedness. (Eph. 6) And ignoring just makes it worse. I’ve learned that you can’t just sit by and watch all of this happen. It’s necessary (and possible!) to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. When Jesus died, He took the authority from Satan over us, and He gave the authority to us. And when we stand on the ground where Jesus defeated Satan and overwhelmed the grave, the battle is won. Our whole life, we will struggle, but who are we to throw away what Jesus’ blood did for us? Because of Him, we can have victory. We can overcome. So why do we live under Satan’s feet? Read Ephesians if you ever don’t know what to read. We are seated in the heavenly places. Satan is under our feet because of what Jesus has done!
Little bit of a demon rant there, but hey. I get excited when it comes to overcoming demons by the blood of my King.
In other news, I’ve been speaking to my pastor every week for a month, which is something I never thought I would do. Talk about insight. So many things have been revealed, including all the lies I’ve been believing. I was kinda forced to say all the things I never wanted to say; to verbalize the fear. And it was so much better once it was in the light. Once that was out, we talked about truth. Truth about God’s love that I had once doubted. Truth about my eternal identity in Him. One thing he said was that I needed an avenue- a way to get out all of the truth inside. So, hello blogging! You know, you can never really have something if you don’t let it go. So, out of faith I’m sharing these things, praying I’m using good stewardship and judgment. Also, my pastor and an elder in my church suggested that I have a friend who could build me up; one who I could be honest with. In James 5, it says to confess your sins to one another so we may be healed. When you’re open like that, it invites healing. Even with that encouragement, and after seeing the results being honest with my pastor has had, I still doubted the advice of having someone to be completely honest with. Is there really someone out there- flesh and blood- who I’d be able to be honest like that with?
Jeff Owen, the back-up vocalist from Tenth Avenue North, thinks so.
After a talk with my pastor involving finding someone to left me up, I came home to see that Jeff had answered a question I asked him on formspring. I was randomly creeping on his answers and I suddenly realized that the question I was reading was written by me. I was like “HEY!!! I wrote that!!” It was grand, considering I didn’t even know that the message went through. So, this is what Jeff Owen said when I said, “Hey Jeff 🙂 I can’t tell you how much I love y’alls music and how much it helps me day by day. But I’ve been struggling with crippling fear caused by lies I can’t seem to conquer for years. Any advice? Bible verses?”
“Hey thanks, appreciate that. In my opinion you should talk to someone. Not in a “hey, you’re insane and you should talk to a shrink,” but you should find a set of tonsils. What I mean by that is that the body has this amazing way of fighting infection. If there is sickness in the body, the body sends the sickness to the tonsils to fight it out so that the rest of the body doesn’t get sick. So I find that a good reason to have people in your life that can be your tonsils. Someone you love and trust, or a counselor that just simply…listens.
I’m sure you know a lot of scripture about fear. But what do you WITH the fear? Pretend it will go away?
Confront the fear by talking about it with someone. God will lead you through your confession and admitting that you cant do it alone. My wife and I have a counselor that we see from time to time. I never regret going. He helps me just talk through things and offers help. It’s so good. Fear is just a lie, and a lie that forces us into solitude believing that we just have to “deal” with it. It can be overcome.”
And that was exactly what I needed to hear. Talk about a Holy Spirit moment. It confirmed all the things I’d been needing confirmed. He even used my favorite quote of all time: “Fear is Just a Lie”. So, now I’m looking for that set of tonsils. By the way, this was after I sent TAN the four page letter, haha.
(Also, an update if you‘ve read my testimony: I’ve found that others agree about my ‘sinus’ theory and have experienced similar symptoms. So, even though I’m not gonna find peace in a pill like sudafed, maybe God could use a sinus drug to help me. I sure hope so… If you didn’t read my testimony, you have no idea what this is talking about, but that’s okay. ;D)
Also, I’d like to make a quick little speech about the power of fasting. I decided, with prayer, that it would be a good idea to fast for three days about two months ago. No food for three days. It was amazing. I craved God! And during those three days, I felt God like I hadn’t felt Him in over a year. And He brought me to 2 Chronicles 20 for the third time in four days. It was crazy! Try reading 2 Chronicles 20 if you ever feel down; you will not regret it! In 2 Chronicles 20, the Israelites are about to be attacked by a vast army, and they fast and cry out to their God, “We do not have the power to face this vast army. We do not know what to do, O Lord, but our eyes are on You.”
Ever been there?
So God tells them, “Do not fear! This battle is not yours, but the Lord’s. Go face them! Stand firm, and the Lord will be with you.” (This is a paraphrase, if you haven’t gathered that.)
Sure enough, they trusted God and He fought for them. They won. After worshipping Him, they spent three days just going through the plunder! The abundance was incredible, and all they did was let God take control. That’s it. They stood firm (like we are told to do in Ephesians 6), and faced their enemy. Just think about it.
This is truth from the Word of God. Not just wishful thinking; not just what someone wisheswould happen. It’s the truth of God’s grace.
I realize this post has been very ramble-y, but it’s sort of a bunch of things thrown together. I won’t do it again, probably. Trust me, I DO like organization. Sometimes.
Last thought before I go off to contemplate why I would post such a thrown-together thing: this verse kept coming up. And it was wonderful.
1 Peter 5:7-11
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.
10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 11 All power to him forever! Amen.