I’ve heard it said before … we have to face our inner demons to really have victory over them in Christ. But what does that mean? Can we really be possessed by a demon in today’s and age?
The Bible has specific definitions of what demons are. They are considered spirit beings of fallen angels and are enemies of God, yet they are defeated enemies. They do have the ability to take possession of a physical body, in biblical times and even today. But this is impossible to happen to a child of God, because the Holy Spirit lives in the heart of a believer in Christ, as promised in 1 John 4:4 which says, “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”
But the common dictionary defines demons a little differently. It still defines them as evil spirits or the devil, but it also defines them as “a person, habit, obsession, etc. thought of as evil, cruel or persistently tormenting.” That last part grabbed my attention, because sometimes the ‘demon’ that persistently torments us most is our own thoughts and memories. Not an actual demon possessing us, since that’s not possible for believers, but an inner demon that can still cause much havoc on our life and our faith walk.
The truth is, regardless of what “demon” we struggle with, it persistently torment our hearts and minds and convince us that God could never really use our past for something good, much less something to glorify Him, and that we could never be valuable and loved by a Sovereign God.
But the greatest and real truth is – Jesus has already claimed victory over every single demon that exists – every enemy has already been defeated – yet we have to choose to let that truth be a reality in our hearts and choose to live life believing that we are victorious in Him.
During His ministry, Jesus encountered a lot of demons, but NONE of them were a match for His power. For example, let’s consider the man who was healed from demon possession in Luke 8:28-39. Here we see a demented man who had lived in the tombs for many years, naked and alone, cast out of society and the demons would often take control of him. But when he saw Jesus, he, and the demons within him, fell to his knees and shouted at the top of his voice, begging for mercy from God. Jesus commanded the demons to leave him and then cast them into a herd of pigs who all rushed down the steep bank into a lake and drowned. The man was healed physically, but more importantly, spiritually.
This healed man was so overwhelmed with gratitude for what Jesus had done, he wanted to spend all his time from that moment forward just praising Jesus and sit at His feet and bask in His glory, as we see in the below passage:
Luke 8:36-39 says, “Then those who had seen what happened told the others how the demon-possessed man had been healed. And all the people in the region of the Gerasenes begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone, for a great wave of fear swept over them. So Jesus returned to the boat and left, crossing back to the other side of the lake. The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him home, saying, “No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.”
An encounter with Jesus had changed his life entirely, and the man begged to travel with Jesus and stay by His side. I can relate to that feeling, can’t you? Think back to one of those times, or the only time, when you felt touched and changed by the power of Jesus in your life, and you were so passionate and on fire for Him that you just wanted to praise and worship Him all the day long? He loves our gratitude, yet He wants us to take that gratitude to the next level.
Jesus wants us to do more with His gift of transformation and redemption, which is exactly what he told the formerly possessed man. Jesus told him to home, go and share his story, with everyone he knew. And he did.
What had once been a burden to bear became a powerful story of holy transformation and life change. This man’s past, and the healing he had experienced became the foundation of a purpose in life that he would have never imagined – living out his life as proof of the life changing power of Jesus. He most likely spent the rest of his days telling everyone He knew that Jesus truly is all powerful – even over demons of all kinds.
His story became a testimony when he was willing to share it with others. I can’t help but wonder how many people might have begun believing in Jesus Christ and are now spending eternity with Him in the beauty of heaven right now simply because this former demon-possessed man was willing to allow His terrible past to become a story of redemption and purpose which could help others see and discover Christ for themselves. He didn’t let the shame of his experience keep him from spreading the word about what Jesus is capable of.
I know talking about demons is kind of deep and serious, and not a fun topic. But if our inner demons are what is keeping us from believing we are valuable to God, and from letting Him use our past for a purpose, then it’s a discussion we need to tackle head on.
People can deny Christ, dispute scripture and ignore prophecy, but they cannot deny, dispute or ignore what God has done in your life. (click to tweet this).
Our stories of pain, adversity and overcoming in Christ are meant to serve as a testimony of God’s faithfulness and power and shining evidence that God really can take what the devil meant for evil and use it for good.
God never wastes our pain – only we do that. He has a plan for great purpose to blossom out of every big and little struggle we’ve overcome, and He has a beautiful future for all who believe this is true.
God has great plans and purposes for every single one of us —not despite our past, but because of it.
Romans 8:28 is not something Jesus meant for “everyone else”. He meant it for every one – including YOU. (click to tweet this)
When you have some time alone, pray for God to help you be fully aware of what ‘demons’ have been inhabiting your heart and mind. Those thoughts, hurts, memories or harsh words that are keeping you from embracing how much He adores you and from accepting His truth that He has a special divine purpose for your life. Write in your journal or study guide whatever God brings to mind, even if it’s hard.
Then look at your list. These are the experiences/memories/feelings/emotions/false truths that you need to surrender to God. These are the things persistently tormenting you and possibly keeping you from a deeper relationship with God and possibly from seeing the plans God has destined you for. Lay these heavy burdens (a.k.a, demons) at the feet of Jesus and let Him make you whole and free from what has been holding you captive.
Lastly, after doing both of the things above, write down how you are feeling and what you are thinking, so that later, you can revisit how your heart felt when you opened the door for Jesus to cast out your inner demons. In time, you can look back and see how He brought victory to your life in more ways than one. And that victory will feel amazing.
I can’t stress enough the importance of journaling throughout this journey of discovering how and why each of us and our life still counts to God. So today, I’m giving away another journal! The beautiful words on the front are so perfect, from Matthew 15:26, reminding us that “With God All Things Are Possible”.
To enter to win, share something you once thought was impossible, but God helped you find victory over. Let’s all inspire each other with our God-moments when we saw proof that all things really ARE possible with God!
DON’T FORGET ABOUT TONIGHT’S FACEBOOK PARTY!!!
IF YOU HAVEN’T SIGNED UP YET, CLICK HERE!!
To participate in the Facebook party, just hop over to the Facebook party page , click to join, and be online on that page at 8:00pm EST. I’ll pose some questions for us to answer and talk about, and you’ll answer in the comments. Easy peasy! Plus lots of freebies will be given away!
Hope you can come! 🙂