A while back, after a major spiritual breakthrough, I had incredible peace. I had just made contact with someone from back in grade school whom the Lord had led me to reconcile with. I’ve had major wounds in my heart from childhood, and bullying from school and elsewhere had played a major part. After battling in my mind for many days, I could not deny what the Lord was asking me to do—and I finally extended forgiveness.
As mentioned above, the result was a major breakthrough and peace. I communed with Jesus and celebrated what He did for me. The thought crossed my mind that more and more I am clothed and in my right mind, sitting at the feet of Jesus. My problems throughout life have obviously not been equal to the man in the tombs from whom Jesus cast out the legion of demons, but I’ve had some.
I don’t speak of them much since I’m not here to glorify them or make a victim of myself. But I also realize that through victory over them, I can demonstrate the power of God.
A Dark Mind
As an early teen, if I would have received a psychiatric evaluation, I would have probably been diagnosed with numerous mental illnesses and given heavy doses of medication. But I talked to no one about the terrible things going on in my mind. Rejection on so many fronts had wreaked havoc. I wouldn’t sleep in my room for a long time, but slept on a sofa in the living room since I considered my room haunted. Fear of sudden death, especially in my sleep, gripped me, along with many other irrational fears. I was also very compulsive and superstitious just to name a few of my problems. I was absolutely miserable.
By the time I was 16, though I had never received evaluations or medications in the past, I began at this point, to self-medicate. I swam in a sea of drugs and alcohol. I had finally found something to take away the pain. No drug was too dangerous. I wanted the most potent and effective product on the market—in high doses.
I burned myself out this way quickly, due to my zealous nature. Shortly after I turned 19, I spent a night and a day on a mixture of LSD (acid), MDMA (ecstasy), marijuana and alcohol. By the time I made it home I was in a very dark place mentally, and I resolved that I needed to quit my substance abuse. I knew it would never happen without God’s help, so I asked Jesus that night to help me quit. I made a blanket confession of sins and invited Him into my life, though looking back, I can tell it was a half-hearted commitment.
But God met me there and some things changed. I never touched any narcotics since that day, though I did drink sometimes. I had some peace, but for the first six months my mind was still very unstable. At a men’s retreat, I received some counsel from one of the minister’s there and I knew I needed to make a fuller surrender to God. When I came home, I prayed. I told God I want Him in every part of my life. I began to name different places I’d go to on a daily and weekly basis and told Him I want Him even in those places. Suddenly the power of God fell on me and I was baptized in His Holy Ghost Fire. I had no idea what it was at the time, but I welcomed it whole-heartedly.
For many days after that, without warning, the Spirit of God would rise up within me—hot in my belly. I had revelations that loosed many bonds. I eventually found out there is a name for the experience I had. Once God had put the deposit of the Holy Spirit in me, there was no turning back.
I went through many fiery trials and many dark and lonely valleys, but I also enjoyed many victories and sunny mountain tops. I struggled with various stubborn sins. Part of this was due to the fact that, though God had sovereignly set me free of many things, there were some things deeply rooted that I had never renounced or dealt with.
Over time, these things manifested in ugly ways. Demonic nightmares at night. Drunkenness. Sexual sin. Irrational fear. Depression. Loneliness. I finally came to grips with the fact that I had some serious demonic problems in my life that I had never dealt with properly. I also had wounds that God had not been able to touch yet. And I had not properly repented of some sins specifically. Remember how I had said I made a blanket confession of sins when I first came to Christ? I had not known the importance of specificity at the time. A general confession had seemed sufficient since I thought there was no way I could remember all my sins anyway.
It is a touchy subject concerning whether or not Christians can have demonic bondage. I am not here to have a theological debate on the matter. I’ll simply share what my experience has been.
I loathed my shortcomings. Finally, I began to repent of specific things and through this, gained victory over some sins. But the bondage to darkness persisted. I discovered through referral, a book by Derek Prince called ‘They Shall Expel Demons.’ Inspired by his writing, I gained earth-shattering victory over depression by expelling a demon that was behind it.
A couple of years ago, my family and I began to attend Oasis Tabernacle. I could immediately tell the power of God was at work in that church. I soaked up all the ministry I could there and found tremendous comfort. After some time, I scheduled an appointment with the head pastor there in hopes of dealing with more of my deeply rooted issues. After he counseled me and prayed for me, the flood gates opened.
Throughout the year of 2018 and into 2019, one thing after another surfaced and I was able to purge them. Things that were buried so deeply that only the Spirit of God could dredge them up. Some were generational. Others were things from childhood and adolescence. Some from the days of substance abuse. Demons fled, strong holds were broken, curses were lifted. Things I had never imagined I could attain victory over, toppled in the name of Jesus. Some things were so long-standing that I had forgotten to consider them a problem. As I alluded in the beginning, there were also relationships that have been restored through which the powers of darkness had at one time exercised dominion.
For The Glory Of God
I write these things for two reasons: number one, I want to pay tribute to my Savior, Jesus Christ for the mighty things He has done in my life. Number two, if there is anyone reading this who has experienced deep struggles and pain like I have, I want to set a precedent of victory that is available through the all-powerful name of Jesus.
My life is not without struggles as it stands today. But I approach the struggles with much more assurance and peace. It is from a standpoint of the assumption of victory that I walk. The powers of darkness that once had legal holds on me try to return sometimes, but their power and ability to stay is gone. Jesus really is the supreme King. At His name every knee must bow.
And it is entirely true that I find I am more and more clothed (with righteousness) and in my right mind, sitting at the feet of Jesus. May this continue in my life and yours as well!
Psalms 118:17 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord. –ESV
Psalms 50:15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” –ESV