Many of our incoming counseling clients have self-obsessed on this question and if they are in our office, it’s because they are not winning on the battlefield of the mind. Many are indeed tormented and are frustrated because they cannot suppress or eliminate these thoughts. Some are waging warfare but are getting worn out.
What is the problem?
A born-again believer has three minds resident:
- The soul mind, our flesh that is not born again but is being renewed. Our soul mind comprises a conscious and unconscious element; the latter is primarily focused on maintaining our body functions. It is in the conscious mind where the spiritual battles are fought.
- The born-again spirit mind, which is the mind of Christ (which is always in alignment with Holy Spirit)
- The mind of Holy Spirit who lives within.
Each of these is a source of thoughts that we have. The outside world, through people, sights, and sounds, can trigger the soul mind and stir up thoughts also.
God is a Spirit and can speak to all flesh, believers and non-believers alike, through implanting thoughts and impressions. Similarly, demon spirits outside of a person’s body and are able to put thoughts in a person’s mind.
The scriptural directive is clear. We are commanded to:
- take thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) so that they do not escalate into vain imaginations, which are to be cast down)
- think about whatever is pure, noble, right, excellent or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).
In other words, we handle waging the warfare in our mind (our renewed soul mind) and proactively administering that process.
Sounds simple enough, right? So what are the issues that hinder people from victory in this venture. There are at least two:
- People do not know or do not believe, what the word of God says about them, their life or about situations that they face. It’s difficult to capture ungodly thoughts and replace them with the truth if one does not know the Truth.
- The source of the tormenting thoughts is internal, which means routine prescriptions to resist ideas from the demons outside are ineffective. We hear this lament often from those who read books and listen to teachings about winning the mind battles. They try the techniques and becomes frustrated (and worn out) from losing skirmish after skirmish. They experience minimal freedom from the thoughts and become more and more discouraged.
Why are people not getting the victory? The answer is quite straightforward: the source of the torment is demon spirits that are indwelling the person, in their soul. It’s one thing to bail water out of a boat; it’s quite another to pursue that exercise when there is a hole in the vessel. You will never be able to stay ahead of the problem.
Some number of our clients, even before they understand the nature of demons and deliverance ministry, verbalize that they know it’s not them, rather “something” in them that is the problem. Some have been beaten up in the church for their so-called lack of faith and a few break down in tearful relief when they find out that its demon spirits at work inside.
All Bad Thoughts Are Not From Demons
There are not demons behind every problem and all are commanded to resist the devils so they will flee (James 4:7). However, if the root of the problem is unwelcome and indwelling spirits, then they need to be kicked out so that the torment is gone. Demons in the soul are almost hardwired into a person’s mind and so the mental pain can be powerful and seemingly relentless.
How can one know if indwelling demonic spirits is the root cause of an issue? Here are 3 basic questions to ask yourself:
- Is there an area of your life, in your walk with Jesus, where you cannot get the victory? Depression? Anger? Fear? Pornography? Addictions?
- Have you been able to secure only limited or temporary relief at best
- Have you tried repeated prayer, counseling, fasting, seminars, books and videos without success?
Any one or more of these can be indicators (not proof) of a demonic resident stronghold. Traditional thought management and mental techniques do not yield lasting fruit and the first hope for victory resides in driving out the demon(s) behind it. If you are able to wrestle down the flesh and take the thoughts captive quickly, and move on with your day, then your problem is probably just the result of an unrenewed soul mind. The soul mind is being renewed into Christ’s likeness as you persevere in your journey down the narrow road to life (Matt 7:14).
A competent Christian counselor who is also skilled and knowledgeable about the demonic realm can help you sort out the issues and be part of the solution for you. The bulk of our interpersonal struggles are not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12) and we need to use spiritual weapons to come against the enemy of our soul.
It’s time to figure out where you are and get to the root of the problem. Get help if you need it but don’t continue to settle for halfway victories in your life. Jesus came to set you free, not teach you how to cope. There is hope and there are answers; are you ready to seek them out?