Fighting demons with God’s love

Dear friends,

It’s been a long time since I made a post online but today’s article was too important not to share. There are many followers of Jesus who are engaged in spiritual struggle with the enemies of their souls, Satan and his evil hordes. Whether this struggle is unconscious or rather more blatant (and it’s the latter that really concerns me), I wanted to share some beautiful insights from God that have helped me.

I am a sincere follower of Jesus of Nazareth yet I suffer from demonic attacks. I wrote about these first on the “About” page of this blog, yet recently the intensity of the attacks has increased as I’ve come to faith in Jesus again, rather than decreased. I now not only feel invisible hands attacking my body, but hear evil male voices telling my mind negative things such as that I am not saved and God has finished with me. Last night they said that they could take my soul if I didn’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God and had saved me. They then induced a spirit of unbelief over my mind and heart such that – after I fell under it due to weakness and sin – I could no longer feel the conviction of my saving faith in Christ. The results were very frightening: I kept clinging to my belief in Jesus as “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6), and the only way for sinful humanity to be reconciled to God the Father. Yet the demons insisted that God the Father, the Holy Ghost, and Jesus of Nazareth in particular do not exist, that sin is a myth, and that practically everyone I knew was headed to a heaven different from mine because they had learned to love better than I had.

I fought for hours praying to Jesus of Nazareth, clinging to Him tenaciously as much as I could (which the demons interpreted, correctly I believe, as Him refusing to let me go), until my faith returned and I felt in my heart that Jesus was once again my Lord. I felt in my heart that I knew Him once more as the Son of God and my Saviour. At this point I was lying in bed trying to sleep when the demons told me I was “blessed” because most times people who were in unbelief such as I had been were not allowed to continue having faith. The demons then told me that they were sick of me and my faith and had petitioned God to send me to heaven early, within the next few weeks, by tormenting me so grievously that my husband and family would call the CAT team and get rid of me.

From the above we can learn that demons are merciless persecutors and they can quite literally cause a person to fear so much for their soul (and the souls of their loved ones) that it drives out love for God and others. As it is written, demons do not come to sincere Christians to entertain them or befriend them, they come to destroy them spiritually and must be resisted with everything we’ve got:

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

I thought this morning that what my demons are trying to do is to make me lose hope in God, to stop me praying in faith to Him. And our faith in God is strengthened by our love and trust in Him. Again, as it is written:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)

The demons really fear faithful prayer from believers because it brings God’s power to earth, where they reside. So we must do all we can to shore up our love and trust for God, which then overflows to others, when we feel that we are under attack from evil spirits.

Today I prayed for God to send me love in my heart and uplifting scripture passages or encouragements from the Spirit of Truth to ensure that I know I am a child of God. He mercifully sent the following three passages that I wanted to share with you today:

  1. God is true
  2. God is love
  3. God is faith

So we see that once our first step of faith is taken (a supernatural knowing that God is true), we can then ponder the fact that God is perfect love, the most perfect kind of sacrificial love we can imagine. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, who left His glory and came to earth as an ordinary man to die on a cross and save us, exemplifies the latter. Thankfully, because Jesus was also God, as well as an ordinary man, we can move to the third step, that of putting our complete trust and faith in Him. So the truth about God leads to loving Him and putting our faith in Him to catch us when we fall spiritually, and save to the uttermost those who come unto God by Him. As it is written:

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)

It is also encouraging to remember that the reason we know all of the three points above (God being true, God being love and God bringing us to faith) is because He is always the initiator in our relationship with Him. He never waits for us to “get it right” and approach Him first, He makes sure we are safe with Him by doing this for us. Again, scripture bears out this truth:

We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

I hope this helps others who may be suffering from demonic attacks and are unsure how to combat them. We know also that demons can be cast out in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, as per the below:

And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. (Acts 16:18)

Yet sometimes faith alone in Jesus of Nazareth needs to be strengthened for demonic deliverance to be successful. Prayer and fasting are the keys, as per the below:

But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom. (Psalm 35:13)

And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: (Daniel 9:3)

And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. (Mark 9:29)

If your church does not genuinely deliver people from demons, if they do not regularly fast and pray to combat evil spirits with strong faith in the Lord, you must do all in your power to move them to do so. Zeal is catching: be the kind of spiritual change you want to see in your church and in the world. Start with yourself first and reach out to other believers. Love your church, pray for them, and pray especially for those in the church who have the rule over you, they need your assistance in every way spiritually. And we know that most every Christian church will have at least “two or three” true believers in Jesus (oftentimes more – as per Matthew 18:20) meaning that it is part of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12, Colossians 1:24).

I wait to stand corrected on this but I have not seen one scriptural example of a person doing self-deliverance. So I have come to the conclusion that other believers must deliver, in Jesus’ name, those who are vexed or possessed with devils. I continue to pray that someone will be sent into my life who can do this for me. A true believer in Christ who is strong in faith and power, as Stephen was. Or that God will bless a follower of Jesus who maybe isn’t that strong in faith but wants to help the demon-afflicted from their heart.

Never feel that you are alone if you are reading this and suffering from evil entities. You can always talk here, in the comments below, and we can pray for each other to be upheld by God’s great mercy, love and grace until we are delivered.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Love your friend in Christ,
Naomi

Peter Kassig, beheaded by ISIS, pursued call to help others: Leonard Pitts

I came across a beautifully written article today about Peter Kassig, an American aid worker who was recently executed by ISIS. Reproduced it here, with full accreditation. May it be a blessing to you.

By Leonard Pitts Jr.

What, in the name of God?

It is a question that demands asking, that haunts this most recent atrocity.

Ordinarily, it is only rhetorical, something you might say if you came home to find police cars parked in front of your house. But it takes on a painful literalness following the latest video from the Islamic State, or ISIS, the barbarian army of extremists that has swept through Syria and Iraq.

What, in the name of God?

The answer is bitterly simple. They killed Peter Kassig, that’s what. They lopped off his head and displayed the results on a new video. This, supposedly, on God’s behalf.

No, neither the decapitation nor the video is a first. We still grieve Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter beheaded in Pakistan 12 years ago. More recently, ISIS has made this sort of murder porn ubiquitous.

Other known victims include James Foley and Steven Sotloff, both American journalists, David Haines and Alan Henning, both British aid workers, Herve Gourdel, a French hiker, and many others, including soldiers from Syria and Lebanon. Each was someone’s child and each, presumably, left a hole in someone’s life.

But the story of Peter Kassig, the sad courage with which his parents spoke to the world this week upon the death of their only child, suggests something that seems to need saying in the face of all this grisly cruelty, something about the things we do in God’s name.

Kassig, who was 26, first went to the Middle East as an Army Ranger. He returned as a volunteer after his discharge to use his skills as a medical technician to treat victims of Syria’s civil war. Why would he do this? Because he felt a call. Because it needed doing.

As he told CNN in 2012, “We each get one life, and that’s it. You get one shot at this. You don’t get any do-overs. For me, it was time to put up or shut up. The way I saw it, I didn’t have a choice. This is what I was put here to do. I guess I’m just a hopeless romantic and I’m an idealist, and I believe in hopeless causes.” Or, just a man who believed in something larger than his own life.

Monday, in the wake of his death, his parents, Paula and Ed, met the media at their longtime church in Indianapolis and you could see where he got it from.

They called him Abdul-Rahman, the name he took upon his conversion to Islam. His father quoted Jesus’ admonition from the book of John: “Greater love hath no man than this: to lay down his life for another.” His mother said with an assurance that lifted you as tides lift boats, “Our hearts are battered, but they will mend. The world is broken, but it will be healed in the end and good will prevail as the one God of many names will prevail.” His father asked for prayer. He said the family would “mourn, cry, and yes, forgive.”

“Forgive,” he said. It is arguably the most difficult dictate of faith. No one would blame them if they didn’t even try. But they say they will.

What, in the name of God?

In 1862, mired in America’s most ruinous war, Abraham Lincoln mused on God’s role in the tragedy. “In great contests,” he wrote, “each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be and one must be wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time.”

The observation feels freshly relevant as you juxtapose the bloody charnel house of the Middle East with the quiet faith of one family from the Upper Midwest.

What in the name of God?

Well, ISIS commits murder.

But the Kassig family is driven to serve strangers halfway around the world, to whisper hope in the midst of nightmare, forgiveness in the unendurable moment. And to seek prayer.

“Both may be and one must be wrong,” said Lincoln. He was right. And one is.

Leonard Pitts Jr., winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a columnist for the Miami Herald, 3511 N.W. 91 Avenue, Doral, Fla. 33172. Readers may write to him via email at lpitts@miamiherald.com.