Hey, everyone! Today, my assistant Hailey is taking over my blog. She has a new book (releasing TOMORROW!), and it dives into a side of life that most Christians do not like to talk about, much less think about. And it all has roots in her own life experiences. Welcome, Hailey!
Hi, my name is Hailey, and I was once almost crazy.
Unfortunately, that’s not click bait to get you to read. It’s not something I enjoy looking back on nor did I even realize the severity of what had happened until just a few years ago.
I remember coming across an article about a young woman who suffered from schizophrenia. In order to cope, she drew out some of the hallucinations she saw and explained some of the things they would whisper to her. As I looked at the pictures, I felt sick. I knew the sensation was the Holy Spirit stirring something within me. I had seen things similar to what she had experienced. But they weren’t hallucinations.
Yet the world told her that her symptoms were normal, that she had an unfortunate illness that could be helped with the assistance of a pill. In that moment, I realized I could have been her. I realized I too could have been trapped in the blind world of science.
One Nation, Under Science
The Devil’s cleverest wile is to make men believe that he does not exist. ~Charles Baudelaire
This quote may seem cliche, but it’s absolutely true. In prominent nations like the United States, science has become a god, even among people who claim another religion—including Christians! Satan uses the distraction of science to blind us to his dealings.
Don’t get me wrong. Science is a great tool. But we often look to it to have all the answers, and when it doesn’t, experts deem it impossible or unnatural. Evolution claims that we are evolving, becoming smarter and stronger. But according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 people in the U.S. suffer from mental illnesses, diagnosable things like depression, schizophrenia, and eating disorders. 1 in 5! That might not seem like a big number, but remember that’s just in U.S.
And we’re getting better?
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Removing the Blindfold
I don’t mean to be insensitive. I realize that some people suffer from natural chemical imbalances. But twenty percent of our population? And it’s natural? I have a problem with that. I’m certain it can’t be as natural as we think.
I was a young preteen when I witnessed my first terrifying “hallucination.”I screamed, ran out of the room, and with tears running down my face, told my mom what I saw. My mom began to pray over the house. She wasn’t a very devoted Christian at the time, but she knew it wasn’t normal.
Over the years, I experienced more frequent but less frightening hallucinations and I heard voices. I began to accept them as natural. Although my parents had rededicated their lives to the Lord, I was not a Christian. I spiraled further and further into depression, intensified by my choice of music, movies, and friends.
Finally, I experienced a hallucination that felt different, the most horrifying experience I’ve ever had. While my previous hallucinations are now blurs in my memory, this one remains vivid. I knew it wasn’t natural. In fact, I realized in that moment that everything I had seen and heard wasn’t just my imagination. It was demonic. I remember being so scared and unsure of what to do. I didn’t want to be terrorized by demons anymore. I knew that this Jesus character my parents followed was supposed to be able to protect me. So, at the age of 15, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. And guess what?
All the hallucinations and voices went away.
It’s Not Always Obvious…
Many people don’t think about demons. When they do, they think of crazy, bold encounters such as the one in Mark 5 when Jesus met the demon-possessed man. This poor guy had been living naked in a cemetery, screaming and cutting himself all the time. He had such inhuman strength that he would break the chains that people tried to restrain him with. When Jesus addressed the demons, they even gave a name: Legion. There was no question as to what was going on. It was a clear illustration of demon possession.
Most people expect crazy when they think of demonic problems. A cross flying off the wall, a growl from the dark, a person suddenly becoming an expert contortionist. But can demons disrupt our lives in subtle ways?
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1. Mental Issues
I already gave the account of Legion. I would definitely consider the story a “mental issue” since it altered his mind. But let’s look at another, less obvious account.
Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the impure spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. ~Luke 9:42
This boy in Luke suffered from seizures. Now, seizures are not labeled as “mental issues,” but Harvard University acknowledges that most forms of seizures are a result of a brain malfunction, similar to mental illnesses such as major depression, anxiety, and psychoses.
If this account isn’t a well-painted picture, just remember my testimony that includes major depression and hallucinations. Yet those problems are gone from me.
Don’t be fooled: just because physical evidence of a mental issue exists (such as chemical imbalances), that doesn’t mean the problem is irreversible or cannot be demonic. God created the chemicals in your brain, and He can allow them to go off kilter. Just like prolonged exposure to radiation, demonic activity can cause physical evidence—maybe just not the kind visible to the human eye.
2. Physical Issues
Take a look at this popular verse:
Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. ~Matthew 12:22 (emphasis added)
See that? Demon possession. Let’s look at a similar one:
While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. ~Matthew 9:32-33 (emphasis added)
Oh, look! More demon possession. But why didn’t these men fall into a back-bend and start crawling down some stairs while making creepy noises? Now, that’s not to say they didn’t do creepy stuff, but that’s not what Matthew cared about. He focused on the fact that when the demons left, their ailments were healed.
For some reason, people more readily accept that God can heal a physical issue easier than He can a mental issue. I don’t blame them; I’ve heard testimonies from people I know who have had physical healing. I’ve heard of spines straightening, ears opening, and even down syndrome vanishing.
Yet I’ve also seen physical evidence of demonic oppression in the lives of Christians. Usually, it indicates something they haven’t given to the Lord, like unforgiveness, bitterness, or anxiety. I’ve seen acne problems, weight gain, and even a faster aging process (that’s right, wrinkles).
Don’t believe me? Look at Job.
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. ~Job 2:7
Job had some real bad acne, to put it lighter terms. Now, Job didn’t do anything wrong, but this is an example to show that demons can make physical alterations to your skin.
However, this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting. ~Matthew 17:21
Before you go praying against demons, you need to know that nothing will work if they have a legal right to cause problems. Legal ground can be formed by a generational curse, or something your ancestors did that carried down to you (Exodus 20:5; 34:7; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:9). It can be caused by something you’re holding onto, like unforgiveness (Matthew 18:21-35). It could be a word curse someone spoke over you or that you’ve spoken over yourself, like “You’re stupid” or “You’re not good enough.” If you believe it, then it has power (James says a lot about the power of the tongue; see also Proverbs 26:2).
Before you can deal with demonic activity directly, you must be sure to break ties with these areas. Otherwise, the demons have a right to come back. You must repent for the past, break ties with and forgive people who caused harm, and even forgive yourself. If you’re attentive to it, God won’t reveal all of these to you at once. Instead, He’ll reveal them over time, giving you only what you can handle in the moment.
Now, I know that’s a lot of potentially new information. Don’t throw it aside and negate the fact that demons have power. The difference is, as a child of God, you have the authority. If you’ve tried all sorts of prayers and pleading with God and nothing seems to work, I encourage you the next time an issue arises, whether spiritual, physical, or emotional, ask God to reveal if it’s demonic. Don’t be afraid to stand against the darkness and tell it to leave you alone. Because, guess what?
In the name of Jesus, it has to.
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My book Blind World mixes old-fashioned characters like Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, Frankenstein, and Dorian Gray to lighten the severity of a very dark and serious issue in our world today. Poor Dr. Henry Jekyll thinks he’s made a scientific breakthrough, but when it blows up in his face, he’s going to have a hard time accepting that there’s probably a little more to his discovery than science…
The chemical ruined her life.
Suzette Valentine’s life is changed forever when she accidentally comes into contact with an experimental chemical. Chaos ensues when a series of deaths prove a little too close to home. Pressured to be a vigilante, she tosses off the comfortable in favor of a new, more dangerous life.
Now as the Onyx Fox, she steps blindly into a strange world of genetic engineering, murder, and something far more nefarious. Old friends become powerful enemies, tainted by the chemical and an ancient evil that’s walked the earth since the beginning of mankind. Mysterious strangers with sinister pasts become her closest allies. All the while, a secret organization known as the Order of the Dragon seeks the chemical for their own wicked desires.
Will Suzette’s innocence make her easy prey?