Are you low-spirited? Is your mind and heart bogged down by a multitude of issues? Failures, regretful words spoken, deeds you wish you could scrap from your history, wrong decisions you wish you could rethink over again?
Life is hard. Does anyone wish to argue about that? In good times itís easy to talk about faith. Itís easy to see why we believe and encourage others to ďkeep the faith” when theyíre feeling down. But what about periods of prolonged suffering and attacks? How on earth do we keep the faith in tough times?
For the Child of God, sensing or perceiving God may not be instinctive nor constant. Surely, there are days (and there will be days!) when you donít feel close to the Father. At times, it may seem that He is so far away. Where is He? Why donít I feel Him? Is God there? Is He here?
God is Omnipresent
If itís your first time to come across this word, it simply means that God is present everywhere and at all times. There can be no place in the whole universe right now where God is NOT. He is simply here, there, and everywhere; all at the same time. In Jeremiah 23:24, God Himself says that there canít be a place where man can hide for: “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?”, declares the LORD. Job 34:21 says that ďGodís eyes are on the ways of a man, and He sees ALL his steps.” (NASB)
Psalm 139 is a song David composed during one of his mediations. This passage explains much about the omnipresence of God. In verses 7-10, he sings,
ďWhere can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.” (NIV)
To the believer who longs for intimacy with God, this passage brings great comfort and assurance. We know that God is here, with us, guiding us, sustaining us. To the wayward Christian however, that may be a different story. What might come are feelings of guilt, then resentment, then bitterness, then resistance, and then finally- denial; all these may step in.
Sin will always bring separation. Isaiah 59:2 says,
ďBut your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” (NIV)
When man fell, sin separated him from God. Adam and Eve could no longer have free access and view of God because of the sinful nature they both possessed. Years later, by faith and acceptance in Christís finished work on the cross, the repentant sinner was gifted with salvation and reconciliation. Yet, as a child of God, saved by grace through faith, walking in the light and power of Godís transforming Word through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, man can still be separated from God. There can be spiritual estrangement for the man who harbors sin in his life. This is why a child of God must be careful to maintain a heart of surrender, cleansing himself of willful sins that hinder him from experiencing a vibrant relationship with the Father.
Ignorance is a Problem
The only way to feel close to someone is to know the person. You can never nourish intimacy without regularly staying in discovery of and communication with each other. The other person must be in your life and you must be in His. Acts 17:27-28 says,
ďThis was so that they would seek God if perhaps they might grasp for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. 28 For in Him we live and move and exist [that is, in Him, we actually have our being]. AMP
II Peter 3: 18 shares that we grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. One great blessing we have at this time and age is that we have ready access to the Holy Bible at all times. With advancements in technology, the prospects for growth in the reading and study of Godís Word are even more promising. The Christian will mature if he wants to. He will know God and be intimate with Him and His dealings if the Christian wants to.
Trials May Breed Doubt
Job was a man who loved God. He wouldnít have been perfect but He sought God and longed to learn of Him through life experiences. He lived righteously and was careful to surrender to God any uncleanness he may have in his life and even in the life of his children. He experienced Godís presence. He knew from experience that God was always there. However, in a great time of difficulty and tragedy, His spiritual steadiness was shaken. He no longer felt God. He doubted Godís love and presence. Job 23 shares those moments of doubt and confusion.
In this broken world, there will be hardships, pains, failures, and all sorts of struggles. Jesus Himself prepared us for this truth when He said that we would face tribulation in this world. Humans as we are with our limited minds, we may begin to doubt Godís care and even His companionship. Yet, Christ assures us that there is no need to fear those times because He has overcome the world. From Philippians chapter 4 and verse 13 we know that, in Him and in His power, we will have the strength to face all things. He is always here.
So, yes, God is there, and even better, God is here. When you reach a point in your life like Job, remember these:
ďAnd we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:28,37-39 NIV
ďWhen an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’
ďAnd when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order.
ďThen he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” Luke 11:24-26
Demonic spirits are constant – their existence does not change just because the times we live in have changed. While many Christians may believe that demonic possession is not possible for them and may not even be a reality for others anymore, the forces of darkness still continue with their rampage through the earth to take as many souls as they can before Jesus comes again. Instead of burying our heads in the sand, we should arm ourselves with GOD’S Word and remain vigilant because our LORD is fast approaching.
In warfare, it is advisable that each side learns as much as they can about each other. Many a time a spy will be sent to learn secrets that could have one gain advantage over their enemy. With the gleaned information, they can launch an attack that will either defeat their opponent or at least temporarily put them out of action. Based on Scripture, we know that, as Believers, we are in open warfare against “… principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12). Some Christians may say that this Scripture is not as relevant today as back then, but they would be in error. In Matthew 24:3-28, Jesus speaks of the Last Days. He tells us that wickedness will increase upon the earth in various ways, whether it will be a lack of love, false prophets etc. 2 Timothy 3:1-7 also describes these Last Days, how the condition of man will be and what to watch out for. What is behind this wickedness? Do you think that it is just man taking greater liberties in deciding what is right and wrong and even blurring those lines? Perhaps this Scripture will give you an idea: “We know that we are of GOD, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). Did you catch that last part of the sentence? The world is under the influence of the wicked one, the wicked one is Satan.
Seeing as how the world is being influenced by Satan, how is he doing it? Fallen angels, beloved, demon spirits. Their handiwork is open to your viewing pleasure, just check out the latest movies, the decrease in morals, the increase of hatred (especially towards Christians), popular music and their artists… they are everywhere! Still in doubt? Just go to Youtube and check out what is going on- people are constantly posting about the influence of these fallen angels. Some may not be credible, but I assure you that there are many truthful videos available. Make sure to pray about what you are watching, you wouldn’t want to be deceived into believing the wrong things now would you?
These demons are affecting the world through people. Demonic possession does not always mean that you’re going to levitate in the air, change your voice, become supernaturally strong etc. It just depends on the situation really. These demons are intelligent- they have been around far longer than you have (obviously), and they have been studying mankind all of this time. They have been essentially monitoring you-possessed or not. Being possessed is different with all people because each person is different. It still all boils down to the same thing really, but the circumstances are always individually influenced. Some people do not realize that they are possessed, they may feel something odd about themselves, but other than that they just don’t know.
There are demons for everything! Lust, hate, addiction, covetous, idolatry, adultery, murder, destruction, witchcraft, unbelief, death- you come up with the rest. Not only are there demons for everything (of an evil nature), but through these demons, you can receive counterfeit gifts. You know about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, right? Prophecy, healing, wisdom… read 1 Corinthians 12 to find out what the others are (by the way, each Believer has a gift/s, it’s a matter of prayerfully finding out what they are). The dark kingdom also has their version of these gifts, thus counterfeit gifts. Remember when Paul and the other disciples had that one girl following them around and proclaiming them as servants of God (Acts 16:17)? The Scriptures tell us that she had a spirit of divination and earned her masters a living by fortune telling. This would be a counterfeit gift of prophecy. Well, Paul became quite annoyed with her and eventually commanded the spirit to come out. Boy, were her masters mad!
The counterfeit gift of tongues is often mistaken for the true one in many churches. Instead of communing with GOD, they are uttering curses down on the church. It’s sad really, this kind of atrocity can be prevented if only people adhered to John’s words in 1 John 4:1-3 and Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 14:27.
Let’s tackle a more taboo subject among Christians: demon possession of a Believer. You might say: Oh come on now, Steph, that’s not possible! When we accepted Jesus, those evil spirits had to go! Okay then, perhaps they did, but did you close your doorways? Doorways are the openings that you give the demons to dwell within you in the first place. Some doorways are through your own sin, some come about through dreams, others through traumatic events (eg rape, molestation etc) and others are hereditary.
Okay, you’re born again now. You have been freed from bondage to sin and the works of the devil. Perhaps for a few weeks, everything is okay, but suddenly all hell breaks loose. What could have happened? Read Luke 11:24-26 again. That demon/ s that were cast out of you, they roamed about, looking for somewhere to dwell. Well, they couldn’t find anything and decided to come back to you, just to see if they could try their luck. It turns out that you’re available and there is ample room for them to bring in seven more demons, † more wicked than the first lot. Now your situation is worst off than when you began. They came into your house (your body), through the door (your doorway). This doesn’t mean that you’re no longer Christian- salvation doesn’t work that way. It is by grace that you have been saved, not through what is going on with you. But guess what? According to Luke 10:19, you’ve got power and authority over these spirits and you can rebuke them and cast them out of you. If you’re not certain about doing it yourself, rather find true Believers to help you. Repent of the sin, ask for forgiveness from GOD, and finally, close that doorway in Jesus’ name, praying the blood of Jesus to seal up that door.
Some Believers are probably up in arms because of this, but I’ll explain this demonic possession a bit further- with Scripture of course. Look to Ezekiel 8:1-18. There were abominations in the temple of GOD, while the glory of GOD was there! So how does this fit in with us? We are the temple of GOD (1 Cor 3:16 & 1 Cor 6:19), the Holy Spirit dwells within us. So, if the abominations could dwell in the sanctuary of GOD while He was there, why wouldn’t a demon dwell within us if we commit a sin that opens a doorway for them or, through lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6), we neglect to close the doorways already present? Instead of shying away, examine yourself. Were you involved in the occult? Did you dabble in occultic games? Were you raped, whether as a child or adult (please, I am not seeking to lay blame on rape victims, but this doorway is a major one), had an abortion? There are others, but I would advise you to please pray about this and get others to be in agreement with you. You are a child of GOD, you do not have to suffer alone. You can walk around, pretending that everything is okay, or assume that whatever problems are befalling you are trials sent by GOD. Often times certain sicknesses have demonic origins, some traumatic events happening (losing a loved one) have been caused by demons- there are just so many things caused by them because of their possession of you. And they have the right to- you didn’t close the door. Throughout the Scriptures, examples of spiritual laws are given- how the spiritual world operates, etc. That is why GOD has commandments in place, they are to protect you! When He says do not do something, He is keeping you from harm.
I’m not saying that all sins lead to demonic possession, of course not! But there are sins that do and you need to be aware of them. Please, study the Scriptures- the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. It is mighty indeed. There is life in the Word of GOD, and you need it amidst all this evil.
Ending Thoughts: ďIf anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death, I do not say that he should pray about that. All unrighteousness is a sin, and there is a sin not leading to death” (1 John 5:16-17).
You’ll be much more effective when you put your time and energy into the things you can control.