Spiritual warfare can take a terrible toll on our emotional and our physical health. There are a lot of people who don’t think spiritual warfare is real, but I happen to know that it is.
When I was living in Hollywood, the home I was in felt filled with darkness. The owner of the house worked on horror movies and the home’s walls were a visual reflection of all that evil some see as entertainment. Spiritual warfare can wear you down so completely that you are unable to pray for yourself. Depression started to set in with me, and I felt complete emptiness and regret when I tried to place my identity in Hollywood success. I started reading books that I thought might help me, but no matter how much I read, nothing seemed to work or lift me out of that dark place. Then, my beloved grandfather Roy died and I felt lost and alone.
Here are some lessons I learned from that difficult time.
- Don’t ignore your emotions. Ask God to help you with what you’re going through. Even if it’s a simple prayer, like “God, help,” He hears you. You don’t have to hide your pain and feeling oppressed from God.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted: and He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalm 34.18)
- Listen to your gut. When I was living in that house, I knew something was wrong, but my mind told me I was imagining things. My rational mind told me that I needed to stay there because it was the only place I could afford to rent. In the end, I had to be rescued from the home and it did cost me financially, but nothing is worth your soul. If you feel that something is eating away at your soul, or there is something demonic in your midst, get away from it no matter what the cost.
- Keep a journal. When I was in that dark place, my mind wasn’t working correctly. Under spiritual warfare, Satan will lie to us and it is so hard to know the truth. Write down the lies, but next to that, write down what the Bible says is the Truth. The Bible tells us to put on the full armor of God.
Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:13-17)
Notice this verse tells us WHEN evil comes. It doesn’t say “IF.” If we are Christians, we are to expect spiritual warfare in our lives.
- Stay away from anything that glorifies evil. Evil is real. Do not mess with it for entertainment’s sake. Do not ever play with a Ouija or spirit board. You can be offering Satan a foothold in your life by inviting unclean spirits into your life. Take the dark realm seriously; God does. Choose your entertainment carefully, because Satan is waiting for a reason to enter your life. Don’t give him permission.
- Focus on the Truth. If your mind is telling you things that you know logically are not true, but they feel true—such as “I need to feel something…cutting myself doesn’t hurt anyone else” or “The world would be better off without me”—that is Satan speaking. God created you. He wants nothing more than the best for you. He came to earth so that you might have life more abundantly. If you ever hear these lies, please understand that you are weakening to spiritual warfare. God NEVER wants that, so immerse yourself in the Word and imagine God speaking to you. What would He say?