Showing posts with label devil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label devil. Show all posts

Sunday, July 19, 2020

24. Identifying & Defeating Demonic Attacks - "Living in Light" Series

Some of us think demonic attacks are like a scene from The Exorcist. But let me tell you, the majority of demons that live among us, are far more sophisticated and subtle. If you're not fully aware and understand how these extremely intelligent demons work, you could be getting attacked a lot more than you think. I'm not saying that full-bore demon possessions don't exist, they do, and I've seen plenty of real exorcisms to prove that fact. But what I hope to make you aware of, is that demonic attacks can happen to all of us. We just need to learn how to identify them and use the power of God through Jesus Christ to defeat them. 
The devil and his cohorts love to take advantage of us when you're most vulnerable. Whether you're tired, sick, stressed, in pain, or desperate, you name the vulnerability, they will take advantage of it. Sometimes it seems like 3 a.m. is their favorite time of night. They do this on purpose to catch us at our most weak. It's when we're not aware and alert, that they can pounce upon us. And passionate Christians, the children of God, are some of their favorite prey.

Identifying demonic attacks are key in defeating them. If we don't know when they're happening, it's impossible for us to rebuke them. 

Here are 3 main examples of demonic attacks from these extremely clever demons...

1. Negative Thought Bombardment.

Has your mind ever raced with negative thoughts? Has your train of thoughts pulled in one negative thing after another until the train went off a cliff? Were there times when no matter what you tried to do, you couldn't steer your mind back to a positive mindset? Well, if you're human, you probably answered yes to one of these. 

This is a subtle and sophisticated way we can be attacked. These demons get inside our heads where it seems impossible to get them out. When a rampant battle of negative thoughts bombards us, it's extremely difficult to get them to stop. These demons like to remind us of our painful pasts, every mistake we've ever made, and fill us with negative thoughts about ourselves, and even other people, in any way they can. 

They want to plague us with worry, doubt, and fear. So we will dread the unknown, doubt God's presence over our lives, and fear the future with a "terrified" mindset. They want to tell us lies, whispering bad things to us, and using those lies against us. If you haven't read my blog What I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me (Sooner) I recommend it to learn how to differentiate the devil's lies from God's Truth.
How to defeat this attack: Our best defense against these demonic attacks is the Word of God. Citing simple scriptures like, "I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ, (Romans 3:22)" and "In Jesus' name, I rebuke you, Satan, (Zechariah 3:2)" are two of the most powerful things we can say to get them to run fast. If you don't know these two scriptures yet, memorize them. So that when these attacks come forth, you'll be ready for them. If you have to, write them down and keep them near you or on your phone. You'll be amazed at the results! 

2. Overwhelming Negative Feelings.

Depression and anxiety are two of the devil's favorite poisons. I'm not saying that physical-chemical imbalances don't exist, they absolutely do. And making sure we're as healthy as can be is crucial in spiritual warfare. However, I do believe that when an overwhelming presence of depression and anxiety befall us, especially when they come out of nowhere, can very much be the presence of the demonic. 

This is why we need to be extremely careful about what we expose ourselves to. If you haven't read my blog Cut Out the Darkness yet, I highly recommend it. Sometimes what we watch. listen and pay attention can lead us on a downward trajectory that the devil can take advantage of. Anything that makes you feel sad, afraid, worried, jealous, or dispairing, can be used by the devil to attack you. Be very careful about what you expose yourself to. 

Like I love to say, "Pay attention to what you pay attention to!"

Some of us think we can't control how we feel, but that's simply not true. We can. If we make the right decisions that align with God's Word, our feelings will catch up with our correct decisions and thinking. If we live like the rest of the world, exposing ourselves to the sin that controls the news and social media, we only become a bigger target for demons to creep in and take us over. 

How to defeat this attack: Repeat, "My God is on the throne. He is bigger than anything I'm feeling at the moment and anything that is happening right now. He is in complete control. In Jesus' name, I rebuke you Satan, for it is written, I know you are already defeated." (John 16:33). 

God is greater than our hearts and our feelings, He knows everything, and is above everything. (1 John 3:19-20). 

3. Close & Personal Attacks.

The devil and his minions love to attack our close and personal relationships. Anything to divide us and cause strife in our relationships with the people we love most. He loves it when we fight with each other, especially over right and wrong, sometimes even using scripture to divide us even more. The devil knows the Bible, and he knows it well. That's why we need to make sure that we know the Bible just as well to fight back against him and put him in his place. 

When Jesus was tempted for 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness, the devil threw everything he had at the Messiah. And what did Jesus do? He constantly fought back using scripture as His best defense, saying, "It is written..." over and over again to counter the devil's attacks. This is very important for us as believers to understand. This is how Jesus taught us how to defeat the devil. 
The devil would have especially loved it if the Son would have separated Himself from the Father. He would have loved to create the biggest division of all time. But nothing could separate Jesus from God. The love they have for each other is the greatest love of all. This may seem like an extreme example, especially when referring to us in our human relationships. But understand this, the devil would love to divide and take away the people who you most love. 

Spoiler alert: HE HATES YOU. He will use anything and everything to defeat you. Don't fall into his trap.
How to defeat this attack: Tell your loved one, "Even though we may disagree on this issue, I love you and I forgive us for our fighting, disagreements, and quarreling. No disagreement will ever separate my love for you. Just as God loves us unconditionally, I will love you." (1 Peter 4:8).

Side note, I'm not saying that staying in an abusive relationship is what God wants. Of course not. However, the majority of the time when we're dealing with our regular close family and friends, love and forgiveness are paramount. Forgiveness is the ultimate act of love. And it gives the devil a black eye. Nothing defeats him like love and forgiveness do. The next time you fight with someone, remember how much you love them and ask yourself, is this disagreement worth it? Chances are, it isn't. 
Now that you know 3 ways you can be demonically attacked, I hope they will be easier to identify and defeat. Above all, let's love and forgive each other so the devil and his demons can't take root. Beware of strong, oppressive feelings that drag you down so the devil can take advantage. Be conscious of your thoughts, investigate every thought to make sure it's not coming from the Prince of Lies. Then, replace the devil's lies with God's truth. When you know who you are in Christ and remind him of it, the devil will flee from you. 
Our best defense is the Word of God. If all else fails... pray, and pray hard. Pray: God, please take these demons out of me, known and unknown. Make the devil shut up and leave me alone. In Jesus' name, Amen. When my own demons were too strong for me to defeat, God was the only One who could take them out. Believe that God can do anything with your whole heart. First, you believe, and then second, you see. This is the pinnacle of our faith

And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for free notifications on each new post! You can follow on Instagram & Facebook too!

Feel free to share with your friends & family! Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!

Special thanks to YouVersion for scriptures and links!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

22. Living Free from Judgment, Part II - "Living in Light" Series

Part II. Freedom from Self-Judgment

Are you too hard on yourself? Have you ever been accused of being a perfectionist? When you make mistakes, do you beat yourself up? Well, if you're anything like me, the above questions ring too true. Sometimes, I am way too hard on myself. I can nitpick every tiny flaw. And when I do make mistakes, I think, what was I thinking?

But here's some good news, when we know the Word of God, we can stop beating ourselves up, raking ourselves over the coals, and constantly feeling like a disappointment - like nothing we ever do is good enough. This bad way of thinking is called condemnation...  

Condemnation is what the devil uses against ourselves, to persecute and judge our every mistake. He constantly finds and points out our faults. He loves to remind us of everything we've done wrong. He wants to keep us trapped in our guilt. He wants us to feel bad all of the time. 

But God wants just the opposite...
When Jesus died on the cross for us, He set us free from condemnation. He took the punishment we deserved and gave us freedom, forgiveness, and His righteousness by believing in Him as our Lord and Savior - we are saved by grace through faith. 

So STOP punishing yourself for all your mistakes, sins, and trespasses. There's a big difference between condemnation that comes from the devil, versus conviction that comes from the Holy Spirit.

Condemnation is what the devil uses to keep us trapped in our sins, but conviction is what God uses to stop sin. When we do make mistakes, and we will, we are to simply confess our sins to God, ask Him for forgiveness, and then ask for God's help to change, to repent. 

Don't get trapped in the devil's cage of condemnation! 

Here are 3 Things We Can Do to Help Us Live Free of Condemnation. 

1. Self-Forgiveness. 
The Bible says God forgives our sins, so why can't we forgive ourselves? Self-forgiveness is essential when it comes to living in freedom. We can forgive ourselves for our past mistakes. This does not mean that we don't learn from our past mistakes and change our ways. But constantly thinking about everything we've ever done wrong, will only pull us down, keeping us trapped in negativity, self-pity, and condemnation.

Joyce Meyer says, "We're not built for guilt." Guilt only puts us into a vicious cycle. When we feel guilty, we're doomed to repeat bad behavior. Because when we constantly punish ourselves, punishment can beat us up over and over again for the same mistake, only adding weight to the first offense. And when we're under the weight of all our mistakes, we can turn to any vice or comforter, which only compounds onto the initial sin. Suddenly we're in a downward spiral, adding sin upon sin.

Unforgiveness only comes from Satan, which leads to constant condemnation, judgment, and punishment. Forgiveness is a gift from God, a gift that we should freely give to anyone and to ourselves.
Remember, the devil wants to punish us and make us feel horrible for all we've done wrong so we will continue to do wrong.

But God wants us to accept His forgiveness through Christ, learn from our mistakes, and with His help, repent. When we forgive ourselves, we can cut loose our bondage to sin and truly change who we are. And with God's help, He will continue to cleanse us from our mistakes and renew us again and again. (1 John 1:9). 

2. Who We Are in Christ. 

When we realize who we are in Christ, we can begin to look at ourselves differently. For believers, since we have accepted Christ, we are clothed in His righteousness. This means when God sees us, He sees us as His loving, faithful children. He looks upon us with love, joy, and acceptance. He knows we will continue to make mistakes, but this in no way makes us horrible, broken, or not good enough. In fact, it's just the opposite. God sees us as good, healed, and more than good enough because of our right standing with Christ.
Okay, ladies... (and some guys too)... this means we really need to stop nit-picking our appearances. When we criticize our outward appearance, it only gives "the world" or the devil the right to do it too. When you constantly ridicule every little "flaw" or "imperfection" you think you might have, you're only listening to the devil. You are not listening to God. God thinks you are beautiful and wonderfully made. Why? Because He made you. Do not give into comparison and jealousy - this too is just another form of condemnation. (This might just have to become its own blog post!) 
Thirdly, the opposite of condemnation leads us to...

3. Self-Love through God.

I used to have a hard time with the entire concept of loving one's self. Thinking, isn't that narcissistic, self-indulgent, pride feeding ego? But when we truly know how much God loves us, it gives us permission to love ourselves in return. We hear John 3:16 all the time, but do we really understand what it means in-depth? It means that God loves us so much, in all our entirety, given all our faults, that He gave His only Son, to rescue us from our imperfection, sin, and death

I emphasize, HIS ONLY SON! God DID NOT have to do this. He could have just called it quits, scorched the earth, wiped us clean off the face of existence, but He gave the MOST PRECIOUS BEING IN ALL EXISTENCE just because He loves us! God gave us His favorite human ever. He made the ultimate sacrifice, putting Jesus through hell and back, because of His profound, deep, and never-ending love for us. 
So the next time you think about insulting yourself, think about how much God loves you and what He did for you. Think about what Jesus went through. When we ridicule, criticize, demean, and condemn ourselves, we are ridiculing and criticizing God's love for us. God doesn't think we're no good. He loves us fully and completely so we should love ourselves fully and completely too. Self-hate, ridicule, and self-punishment, are not what Jesus dies to give us. Learn how to think the way God thinks. Learn how to see yourself as God sees you. 

When we know that God forgives us for our sins, we can forgive ourselves for our mistakes. Even though we're not perfect, but that when we know that we're the righteousness of God in Christ, all that we should really concern ourselves with, is how we appear to God. Loving ourselves is not wrong, for God loves us, so learning how to love ourselves is simply doing what God already does for us. And if God can do this for us given His high standards, we can surely do it for ourselves. 

And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for free notifications on each new post!

Feel free to share with your friends & family! Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

12. What I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me (Sooner) - "Living in Light" Series

Oh man! If only I had known years ago about what I'm about to share with you. Life would have been so much easier. I would have had more help in times of trouble. I would have had more direction in times of utter confusion. I almost can't believe I didn't know this. 

You know how we all have that little negative voice in our heads? That voice that tells us we're not good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough? That it constantly points out every little flaw, negativity, annoyance or past mistake that we've made? 

Have you ever wondered where this voice comes from? 

Well, my friends, I'm here to tell you. That negative voice you hear is the devil. Satan himself trying to fill your head with constant lies. He loves to poison your thoughts, anything to make you feel less of yourself and other people. He is the prince of lies. And if you let him, he can have constant control of your thoughts, actions, and beliefs. 

"He's been a murderer right from the start! He never stood with the truth, for he's full of nothing by lies - lying is his native tongue. He is the master of deception and the father of lies!" - John 8:44 (TPT)

For a long time, I thought that little negative voice in my head was mine. And sometimes when we hear a lie for long enough, we can believe it is the truth. That's what's so dangerous about the devil. He actually tries to convince us in our minds that we are good for nothing, low down people that can never change, never get better, never be happy. And once we start believing that, it draws us further and further away from God. That is the devil's m.o. So he can have more and more power over us so we stop believing in God completely.

"Be well balanced and always alert, because your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour." - 1 Peter 5:8 (TPT) 

One of the biggest lies I started to believe in was that my chronic conditions would never get better. The devil would constantly remind me about what every doctor has told me, every diagnosis, every time I tried to get better and failed. "You'll never get better. There's a reason why they use the word chronic with you all the time. It's never going to happen. Just give up."

But that's when a miracle stepped in. Last spring when I was born again, a Voice came to me that told me to stop listening to that voice. To not believe a word that he tells me. That He can heal me. That He will heal me. This was God speaking to me.

"Is anything too difficult or too wonderful for the Lord?" - Genesis 18:14 (AMP)

People are cured every single day from what I have. Chronic conditions can actually go away

And so I urge you, question every little thought that comes into your head. Especially when it's a negative one. For if it is, that is the devil speaking to you. 

One vision tactic that I used early on, was to picture myself as a Queen sitting on a throne, and every time a person came into the court with bad news, I would simply say, "Guards take him away!" The person with the bad news represents the devil and the guards are God. And now that I have more knowledge of the Bible, I can quote, "The Lord rebuke you Satan" - Zechariah 3:2, and the bad thoughts will magically disappear. You too can use God's help to get rid of the devil in your mind. 

Every time you hear something bad about yourself in your head, tell the devil to take a hike. 

Begin listening to what God says about you and start believing it... 

"I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it well." - Psalms 139:14

This process takes work. If you're used to your mind and thoughts running rampant on you, you may have the Lord rebuking for you all day long and that's okay! Be on guard always. The mind is a battlefield. Do not let the devil win over you. 

God has a wonderful plan for your life and He wants you to be happy. With His help, you can change. You can even change your thoughts, which will change your beliefs about yourself, which will, in turn, change your actions. You can Live in Light every single day.

And as for me wishing someone had told me this earlier, it's better late than never! It's not too late for you either. God told me Himself! And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for notifications on each new post!

Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!