False self-concepts are very common in people under demonic attack. Many will state that they are different, that the Christian life won't work for them as it does for others, and that they are not entitled to claim God's promises. Many of those in spiritual conflict fear a mental breakdown and are filled with anxiety. Almost all feel unloved, worthless and rejected. They have tried everything they can think of to improve their self-image, but nothing works. Most of these suspect that their problem is spiritual in nature, but they have no one to turn to. The subject of demonic influence is not taught in their churches, and there is a terrible stigma attached to those who are afflicted by anything demonic. Even when they are helped, few people will stand up and testify of their newfound freedom.
Stephanie, one of our undergraduates at Biola University, had been deceived into such a bad self-concept that she developed anorexia. She was admitted to an eating-disorder clinic and underwent extensive counseling, but with little progress. One of my students suspected a spiritual problem and brought Stephanie to see me. After two counseling sessions, she was free of the oppression. Stephanie returned to the clinic to tell her counselor about her freedom in Christ. The counselor told her she was only on a temporary high. If so, Stephanie is still on it, because today she enjoys her freedom in Christ while serving the Lord on the mission field!
Mental health is usually defined as being in touch with reality and living relatively free of anxiety. Anyone under spiritual oppression would fail on both counts and may consider themselves mentally ill. I have encountered hundreds who have feared mental illness only to discover that a spiritual battle was going on for their mind. The way to win this battle is to submit to God and resist the devil.
Prayer: Lord, I'm thankful that I can overcome Satan in my life today by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony. Thank You for these powerful instruments of freedom.
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