A Biblical, Balanced “Name & Claim, Decree & Declare”

hem-of-his-garment-wayne-pascallI had my time periods of being extremely anti-name-&-claim and anti-word of faith movement.

I have learned that heresy comes from being extreme on either side. There is an importance in balance and in being biblical. The bible does not condemn people asking God for what they want. It just doesn’t want people to ask for things God doesn’t want them to have.
There are bible verses that support the view of “just-gracefully-take-whatever-cards-God-deals-you” and there are verses and bible stories that support taking faith-filled, hopeful initiative. There are plenty of examples in the bible where God gave people the liberty to claim things that He did not tell them to claim; there are stories of people who just earnestly desired something and went for it on their own accord.
#1 Matthew 9:20/Mark 5:25-29 – The woman with the 12-year blood issue was not told by God or Jesus to claim for herself that touching just the tip of Jesus’ clothes would heal a condition that all the money and doctors in the region could not heal. Jesus told her that HER faith made her whole. He wasn’t even aware of who had touched him so we can’t say he had anything to do with initiating her faith move.
#2 Matthew 15:27/Mark 7:28 – The Canaanite/Greek/Syrophenician woman who  — before the time that Gentiles were supposed to receive the initial blessings of God meant for Jews — convinced Jesus to heal her demonized daughter by saying, “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table.” At first he said He wasn’t sent to her (a Gentile) but just to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, but after her reasoning in using that statement, he said she had great faith and allowed her daughter to receive healing. (Side Note: I had to look up how she could be all three of these without the bible contradicting and I found this very helpful article: https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/468-canaanite-woman-a-conflict-between-matthew-and-mark-the)
#3 – 1 Kings 17:1/James 5:17 – Elijah called for a lengthy drought (3 whole years) over a region. The New Testament proves it was Elijah-initiated because it accredited the drought happening because of Elijah’s fervent prayer, not as just a prophecy from God
#4 – Matthew 9:27-30 – Back to the New Testament, 2 blind men, totally without any indication that God told them to, took the personal initiative to INTERRUPT JESUS. They decided to cry out, “Son of David have mercy on us!” And according to THEIR faith, Jesus allowed them to receive the ability to see.
#5 – Mark 2:3-5 – Also, the four men who decided on their own to tear the roof off to get a peek at Jesus were the reason their paralyzed friend was healed. The bible said that when Jesus saw THEIR faith, he told the sick man that his sins were forgiven (knowing that once the sins were forgiven that he would be healed from palsy). Again, this was their own idea that God did not tell them to do.
#6 Matthew 8:10/Luke 7:9 – A centurion actually AMAZED/MARVELLED JESUS by verbally claiming something totally initiated within himself based on his love and desperation for his servant. Jesus OFFERED to come meet the man at the house to heal him, but the CENTURION TOLD JESUS INSTEAD JUST TO SAY THE WORD AND IT WOULD STILL RESULT IN A HEALING. (Imagine telling Jesus a BETTER, more efficient idea based on your faith!) Jesus even went as far as to turn around to the crowd following him to tell them that this man had unprecedented faith that had not been observed by Him in all of Israel!
So we see that people taking initiative (aka “name & claim”, “decree-and-declare”) is biblical. It is not to be confused with being God-initiated (for example, when Naaman the leprous commander was told by a prophet who was told by God to wash 7 times in the Jordan River in 2 Kings 5:10).
Face it. God gives us freedom to do that sometimes. I won’t say ALL the time. I won’t say it’s something I think unbelievers should have rights too. I definitely don’t think it’s something that should be a priority subject to be preached on every Sunday to the neglect of preaching what Jesus taught. However, since it is well-documented in the bible and since it is seen as impressive and commendable by Jesus, I personally will do it more often. But I will always say, “nonetheless, not my will but yours be done”.
Also, notice that all of the NT examples were for healing and deliverance. However, I know that God gives us the desires of hearts (WANTS and not just NEEDS) because of:
–>Psalms 37:3-5 – “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.”
–>Psalm 20:4-5 – “May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans….May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!”
James 4:1-3 – “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
More related scriptures:
John 14:13-14 – WHATEVER you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
1 John 5:14-15 – And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in WHATEVER we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
John 15:16 – … so that WHATEVER you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
John 16:23-24 – In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Mark 11:21-24 – And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Matthew 22:21-22 – And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
Luke 18:2-6 – He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says.

Two Reasons You Can’t Seem to Stop Sinning

Does something have a hold on you in the spiritual realm that keeps you sinning?

What is it that REALLY keeps you sinning?

If you’re like me, you’ve tried your hardest to stop some sins. You’ve begged God to help you to stop. Some of you have great difficulty with resisting promiscuity, lying, gossiping, fighting, and a host of other sins. It really sucks when you engage in behaviors that you are 100% against and yet seem 100% incapable of stopping it. You would think that with the power of the Holy Ghost, every believer would be able to immediately and easily stop every sin, but there are two things I learned that can keep us in sin bondage.

I learned from a book called “Breaking the Power” written by Liberty Savard. It taught me that almost all people have unmet needs, unhealed hurts, and unresolved issues, and that some people will do the craziest things to have those needs met, those hurts healed, and those issues resolved.

While watching Sid Roth’s “It’s Supernatural” TV show, the guest on there was telling of an account of when he was praying for a particular college campus. He said that while he was praying against certain things like rage, perversion, etc. that he knew was rampant on the campus, he felt a block in his spirit. He said he just couldn’t seem to get a breakthrough in prayer. Then God gave him a revelation of what was going on on the college campus in the invisible, spiritual realm. I’ll try to describe what he said as best I can. He said that what was revealed to him was a spiritual, evil beast that was plaguing the campus. It had two tentacles on either end of it that touched together at the tip. Each of the two tentacle had different appendages on them. And every appendage had a name on it that represented different evils like rage, perversion, and others. The man said that when he prayed, the little appendages on the two tentacles would lean backwards like a leaf blowing backwards on a tree limb in the wind. But when he stopped praying, the appendages would straighten back up on the tentacle. The little appendages of vices would not come off! And it showed the man that his prayers were being blocked because the little appendages were not coming off and thus they were still drawing their power from the beast.

God brought this man’s attention to two twig-like things that kept each evil attached to the tentacles. Every appendage had two little twigs that kept it latched onto the beast’s tentacles. They were kind of like two little legs that were connecting the evil appendages to the two tentacles. And it was the the two little legs that kept the man unable from breaking the evil power from plaguing the university. God let the man know that the names of each legs were actually two spirits that caused all the evils in the world to continue to be powerful in people’s lives even after serious prayer.

Those two spirits were INSECURITY and INFERIORITY.

In a Christian counseling book I had bought, low self-worth and rejection seemed to cause most of the reasons why people were coming in for counseling. Low self-esteem and rejection are two MAJOR issues in the world. No wonder because so many kids are abused by parents. And so many wives and husbands get divorced by their spouses. And if you notice what the media keeps pumping into us, they’re messages of LOSE WEIGHT, WEAR THIS TO MAKE YOU LOOK MORE BEAUTIFUL, GET THIS CREAM TO STOP YOUR WRINKLES FROM AGING YOU, GET THIS MAKE-UP TO MAKE YOUR SKIN BEAUTIFUL, DRIVE THIS CAR TO MAKE YOU POPULAR! We are literally bombarded with MILLIONS of images and messages in advertisements that have the purpose of doing TWO THINGS. To make you purchase their product or service BASED ON THE WHETHER OR NOT they can cause you to feel INSECURE and INFERIOR.

Let’s go to Genesis – the very first book of the Holy Bible. Genesis contains the FIRST account of how inferiority and insecurity led a human being to sin. You see, in the Garden of Eden, the truth of who Eve was in God was SECURE. She also was NOT INFERIOR because she had no competition, of course, and she had never heard that she was lacking anything as far as looks or intelligence was concerned. Eve only had one source of truth. That was God. God’s Word. Whatever God’s word said was truth to Adam and Eve. What God said was all there was to know! So if God said, “Don’t do this or you will die,” Eve believed it 100% because was the only thing she knew.

Let’s use our imagination for a minute. Suppose that ever since you were born, you never left the house, never watched TV, and never read anything ever since you were born. And let’s suppose your mom told you, “Sherry, your body is not made to survive outside. You will die the second you step foot outside. The only air your lungs can tolerate is the air in this house. If you step past this threshold, you will die immediately.” I assure you that you would NEVER leave the house! You’d only leave if you were suicidal. You would have no reason to second guess your mom because she would be your only source of truth. BUT you might leave your house if a visitor stopped by and asked, “Hey, Sherry, why don’t you ever leave the house? It’s not like you’ll die or anything. Come on out! The air is fine!” Only then would you leave the house IF this visitor said that AND IF you were NOT SECURE in what your mom said AND if you didn’t TRUST your mom. That visitor gave you doubts about the validity of what your mom said. That visitor gave you reason to second guess the only truth you knew concerning outside air. That visitor made you unsure of your mom and her motives. And that visitor would spark your curiosity and may cause you to ask yourself, “I wonder what’s out there that my mom didn’t want me to experience. It must be something good.” Remember that Eve too thought God was withholding something good from her because Satan told her that the fruit would make her wise and open up her eyes like a god.

Genesis 3:4-6 – And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Nothing good comes of insecurity! Get rid of it!

So that passage effectively covers the insecure part. Humans are designed to want to feel secure. That’s why babies lose it if Mommy is gone for too long. That’s why husbands get homicidally paranoid if their wives are out too late. That’s why employees freak out if their boss calls them into their office. That’s why people get nervous when their doctor has a puzzled expression on his/her face when looking at their x-rays. HUMANS NEED SECURITY. Humans HATE to be insecure or unsure about anything. Fears are caused when we’re not sure of what’s going to happen to us next.

So when Satan causes you to feel unsure, you will reach out for anything to stabilize you. That can be drugs, sex, stealing, or even murder. If I told someone that their child was going to die unless they paid me $3,000.00 by Sunday, many would do ANYTHING to get me those funds. That’s what kidnappers make their money off of with ransoms – parents’ insecurities. They know that a good parent’s worst fear and hardest thing to recover from is the death of their child. So they play on these fears/insecurities to get the parents to do things they probably never thought they could or would do. I’ve heard of drug addicts having sex with dogs to get another fix from their drug supplier. I’ve heard of mothers letting their drug dealer rape their small child for another fix. I just heard today that a man actually cut off the tips of two of his fingers just to make sure he would keep getting his prescription painkillers! People will do ANYTHING if they get desperate and insecure enough. Some people depend on drugs or money to make them feel secure in themselves. If drugs make you feel confident if you have an anxiety disorder (the most common mental illness in America), that drug is your security. And you will do anything to get it. Some people rob their own family and sell their bodies to get money for drugs to calm their nerves. Also, if money makes you feel superior to others, money is your security and you will do anything to get that too.

This is the same thing that Satan did with Eve. He promised her that she would be like a god. He made her feel inferior in her original God-given position. So out of INSECURITY, she ate the fruit. It wasn’t as if it wasn’t tempting or anything, so the choice was easy. So is fame and fortune. Much more tempting than some fruit. Remember how Satan tempted Jesus after he had fasted for 40 days in the wilderness? Unlike Eve, Jesus was 100% secure in his position with God. And he also knew 100% that he was loved and accepted in God’s eyes. He trusted God 100%. So when Satan tempted Jesus with His (Jesus’) ability to turn a stone into food, Jesus refused it. When he offered Jesus ALL the kingdoms in the world, Jesus refused it. Also, keep in mind that Jesus, unlike Eve and Adam, only had ONE source of truth. And that was God’s word. Jesus only obeyed one voice. That’s why he kept quoting scriptures to have Satan back up off him! Had Eve believed ONLY WHAT GOD SAID 100% AND TRUSTED GOD 100%, then she wouldn’t have doubted God to believe a snake. And being insecure in what God said caused the world’s FIRST SIN! All because Eve trusted Satan 100% while trusting God probably 0%.

John 2:23-25 – Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

Matthew 4:8-10 – Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

That’s how some of us are. We believe what the media and people say about us. If they tell us we’re worthless, we try to find some worth. If they tell you that you’re ugly because you’re fat, you try to get beautiful by buying all their diets and exercise machines or starve yourselves. If they tell us we’re unlovable, we’ll settle for abusive relationships and cruel friendships. If they tell us we’re stupid, we settle for less in life because we think we’re not smart enough to attain better. If they tell us that we have to be freaky in bed to keep a man or woman, we try to read magazine articles to teach us how to be freaky or we buy their penis enhancement pills. If they tell us we’re inferior, we try to overcompensate by selling drugs or our bodies to make money to buy nice clothes, nice shoes, nice jewelry, nice homes, and nice cars. The media is a mess! The bible says that money answereth all things. So since you know that much, you think, “Once I get the money, THEN I GET THE LOVE AND WORTH AND ACCEPTANCE THAT I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR ALL MY LIFE!”

Ecclesiastes 10:19 – “A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.”

Don’t let society make you feel inferior. There is no one on this earth better than you, and there is no one on this earth that is lesser in value than you. We are all created equal! You’re created in God’s very image. Male and female! Don’t let society make you think that an overweight, elderly person who is handicapped and who is poor is any less in value than a perfectly fit, young person who is rich. One will burn in hell just as easily as the other. And the afterlife is all that really matters. So draw your identity and security from God alone. Listen to God’s voice alone. No one else’s voice should matter that much in your life. Don’t be like Adam and Eve. Be content with who you are and with what you have. The Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil. You’ll never be any happier if you were different than you are right now. If you’re miserable overweight, you’ll be miserable slim. I have yet to meet a satisfied anorexic. Don’t let the devil fool you. He’ll have you thinking you’ll be happier disobeying God and obeying Him. But Adam and Eve had a bad life after disobeying God. And just as God said, they died. Satan said that they wouldn’t surely die, but he lied!

In short, if God says something about you, and another person says something contradictory, then THAT person is a liar. God is the only 100% truthful one. The world’s facts don’t compare with God’s truth. If God says you’re beautiful, then there is not a single soul in hell or earth or heaven that can say otherwise. Their opinions don’t matter. Don’t be like Eve who trusts a voice more than God’s. If you are hanging around people who say things about you that God doesn’t agree with, then you need to find a new group!

If you believe the truths of the world when they don’t line up with God’s truth about you, insecurity and inferiority will ensue!

You Can’t Be Delivered From Something You Secretly Condone…

The bible says "who the Son sets free is free indeed", so why do YOU choose to stay bound?

During my usual talk with God, the topic of demonic oppression came up. And I was just thinking to myself about why I kept thinking I was being delivered from stuff that seemed to reappear weeks, months, or years later. And I feel the Holy Spirit blessed me with the answer to it. Actually there were two reasons. A tweet I read months prior almost hit one reason right it on the nail. The tweet read: “You can’t be delivered from stuff you secretly condone.” I realized that you don’t typically live with people you disagree with. A Black Panther for example would never live with a Klansmen. A Satanic high priestess would never take up residence with a Holy Ghost-filled Christian pastor. So I had realized that I was secretly condoning whatever the unclean spirit I was “living” with was condoning.

The second reason I was not achieving long-term deliverance was because I was being “benefited” my being bound. Sounds strange, I know. You might ask yourself, “How does being demonically oppressed benefit anyone?” And the answer was, “In the same way heroin addiction and Munchausen by proxy benefits someone. I’m sure you’ve watched shows on addicts and asked yourself, “Now, why on earth would this man keep injecting this poison in his veins when it has tore his family apart, cost him his health, and caused him to lose his job?” Well for the addict, the answer is clear. They get a euphoric high that they would never be able to achieve through any other means on this side of heaven. And also, it helps them to temporarily forget painful memories and truths. If it wasn’t for those two reasons, most people would never be addicted to drugs and alcohol. If heroin had no high and no amnesiac effects, no one would use it.

So when it comes to harmful things that we do not let go of, we have to understand that we are in fact getting SOME benefit from it. There is not one behavior that people continue to do that does not benefit them in some way. So when you ask me why I hadn’t yet been delivered from my demons, it was because they were benefiting me.

I was in church with my notepad and I began to write down and think of the ways my demons kept me safe – or feeling safe rather. How can one think that ruthless, merciless, hateful demons are keeping them safe? How can spirits of unforgiveness, bitterness, hate, timidity, depression, rejection, grief, control, and pride provide me with any benefits? You’d be surprised.

While in that church service, I was thinking to myself how I had been shy most of my life. I would hide from people. I would avoid men. I would shy away from public view sometimes. Even when there was clearly no threat to me, I would keep this shy attitude/mindset. So in that church service, the word “safe” came to mind. I realized that by holding onto this spirit of fear and nervousness, I was able to be safe from people’s opinions and potential hurt. People who are extroverted have many more chances of being hurt and rejected than shy people. Outgoing people befriend people – some of which will turn down their offer. But shy people NEVER get rejection. Extroverts do things that draw attention to themselves – some of which is negative attention. Introverts don’t draw half as much attention – including that negative attention. Being shy kept me safe. Safety and security is definitely a benefit.

How about the spirits of unforgiveness, bitterness, and resentment? How do they provide one with benefits? How about they erect a huge, steel wall between you and persons that you perceive as dangerous? If you never forgive your rapist, or negligent father, or estranged husband, you don’t have to worry about them ever hurting you again. If you forgive your dead-beat dad, that means you lowered or removed the wall for him to potentially hurt you again. But if you keep the wall up high with bitterness, future hurt is totally removed from the equation. Protection from future hurt is safety and security.

I’ve also gotten benefits from the spirit of pain and infirmity. I’ve gotten pity and attention. I wanted attention from my mother, and holding on to my diseases certainly got me attention with her taking me to different doctor appointments and treating my ailments. And the pity! People feeling sorry for the poor girl who was diagnosed with junior rheumatoid arthritis from the tender age of 12! People also admired me for having the pain and stiffness and yet still praising God as if nothing was wrong. So I got three benefits from holding onto arthritis even when I had many anointed men and women of God pray for my healing. I would feel no pain for a while, but as soon as I subconsciously saw an opportunity to get pity, attention, and admiration, the symptoms would come back.

Back to the first reason I could not stay delivered, another reason the arthritis seemed to keep reappearing was because of negative agreements I was making with the Enemy. For example, I would open the door for pain, inflammation, swelling, and stiffness in my joints during stormy days, wintry weather, and when I drank and ate certain foods. It was like I would shut the door on arthritic pain on good warm days when I was fasting or eating healthy. I would make no allowance for it whatsoever. But as soon as I drank a Coca-Cola, I would literally brace myself for pain to arise in my joints. Now some of you might be saying, “Well, Mistye, if you have an allergy to something, that’s not the same thing as you opening the door to demonic pain.” But I feel that in my case it was. Maybe not for a 89 year old woman, but for a pre-teen through 20 year-old, it is very abnormal to have joint pain. I truly believe it was spiritual in nature.

With regards to the making negative agreements with wrong spirits, I was thinking to myself also that you cannot live with someone you disagree with. You can think of this way. Would you marry a man with whom he only agreed with the first half of the traditional marriage vows and you only agreed with the second half of the traditional marriage vows? If you all don’t agree on the same contract, you wouldn’t marry. If you agree to pay $700 a month in rent and your roommate wants to pay half of the rent but only agrees to pay no more than $50, you and her will not at all share a lease. The same applies to spiritual covenants and agreements with demons. If you are being tempted by a spirit of unforgiveness to hold a bitter, unforgiving resentment against your molester, if you agree with him that unforgiveness is a great idea, he will enter in or oppress you. But if you say to the spirit, “Yeah, I could never forgive that man, but the bible says if I hold a grudge against him God will not forgive me and I can’t go to heaven. Besides, unforgiveness will not at all change what happened. So I choose to forgive him,” then you already know it will flee. Resist the devil, and he will flee. Agree with him, and he will come in and live (and wreak havoc) in your life. If you agree that you can date an unbeliever when you are a Christian, then you will keep dating your unbelieving boyfriend. But if you agree with Apostle Paul who said, “Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers,” then you will dump him. You cannot live with someone you disagree with on certain issues. And the same goes for evil spirits. They go about like Satan going to and fro seeking who they can devour. I was a revival/conference some weeks ago where the prophetess said she heard something a man taught about how evil spirits come in. He used the acronym “H.A.L.T.” The “A” stood for “anger”. One thing evil spirits look for in people they can easily possess is anger. Anger can be tied to unforgiveness. That’s why the bible says not to let the sun go down on your wrath. In other words, don’t go to bed angry. You shouldn’t let that kind of fire rest in your soul. You don’t want to wake up angry and bitter. Demons will be drawn to you like magnets. They know that they can possess or oppress an angry man quicker and easier than an easy-going and forgiving man.

When they see you angry for a long time, they begin to plot and scheme against you. They begin devising strategies in how to bring you down. Like if an adulteress woman sees that you have marital problems, she will see you as an easy target and if she likes you enough, she will go for you eventually. If you show any interest in her, she will pounce. Spirits of unforgiveness work much the same way. They don’t have enough time to wait on forgiving folk to agree with them; they have plenty of unforgiving people who will quickly and easily agree with them therefore letting them in. A Klansmen will agree with spirit of hatred quicker than a philanthropist, so who do you think has a spirit of hatred? Every klansmen has this spirit until he disagrees with racism and discrimination. And then the spirit flees to another fool. Now I won’t say all spirits leave that easily. It’s not just about agreements, it’s also about authority in Jesus’ name. Spirits aren’t scared of mere mortals, but they hate and fear Jesus and acknowledge His authority. But in this note, I’m just focusing on not letting the spirit in in the first place – I’m not trying to tell you how to cast it out. But later I will share my testimony in how I was delivered from spirits. I won’t say for sure that I was possessed with all of them, but I was surely oppressed.

And some people have a spirit of immaturity. I say immaturity because I can’t find the right word for what I mean. But people with that type of spirit rarely accomplish things in life. They always need help. They always play the victim. Who would dare hold on to this spirit? How does being a failure at life benefit anyone? How about it gets people constant help, lets them continue being lazy, continue making excuses, and never have to grow up. I remember when I moved out of my mom’s house after I had graduated from college. And within me, I heard a small voice say, “But who’s going to take care of me?” And it was kind of creepy. This was about 2 years ago, so I was about 24 years old. And this random voice asked this. And I began to get teary-eyed. And I realized that for those two years or so that I was living with my mom and stepdad, they fed me and my mom would somewhat baby me if I got sick. And I loved the attention because I’m a middle child with a sister a year older than me and a sister a year younger than me. So I had to constantly compete for my mom’s attention. And so when I got out of college (both my sisters were still in college), I got all their attention. And it was as if the unclean spirit that was oppressing me tried to scare me out of branching out and living alone. I had had many roommates in college, but had never lived alone. And I was the first female in my immediate family who ever had. In addition to that spirit of passivity, I had realized something related to it. I never wanted to cook when I was in Memphis where my mom lives. I didn’t mind it so much in college in Knoxville, but in Memphis when living with my mom, I lost probably ALL desire to cook and learn how to cook. And I feel as if they Holy Spirit revealed to me that it was because I didn’t want to grow up. In my mind, as long as my mom was cooking for me, I was still a child. I was still being babied. And babies and children never cook. And so cooking for me represented adulthood which I did NOT want to do yet. Adults don’t get as much attention or pity as children. I remember telling my mother and stepfather how much weight I had lost from not cooking once I had moved out. And they would pity me and cook for me or buy me groceries. So those were my benefits of this unclean spirit.

I used to just feel sorry for people who were being afflicted by spirits, and of course I still do. But I said I used to JUST feel sorry. I thought they were just 100% innocent people walking around minding their own business when a spirit just JUMPED down their throat possessing them. But now I see that we are somewhat responsible for the spirits we get. Truth is, if it was up to Satan, wouldn’t parent have a spirit of hatred? Wouldn’t every child have a spirit of rebellion? Wouldn’t every banker have a spirit of greed? Wouldn’t every politician have a spirit of control? Absolutely. But unclean spirits can’t just get whoever they want. They have to get unsuspecting victims who are willing to agree with them. For example, most homosexuals agree that they were born gay. They all likely have the same spirits of perversion that tempted them to agree with them that they were born gay. If a spirit tempted you to engage in homosexual acts, you only have two options – agree or disagree. If you told the spirit “no”, then you aren’t a homosexual. If you AGREED with the spirit, then it enters into this negative agreement, this lie, and binds you AS LONG AS you agree with it that you are gay. But as soon as you disagree and stop obeying its voice, you will loose its hold. You do know that you don’t have to obey everything unclean spirits tell you to do. And when you let it in, it takes control. So whereas in the beginning, you ha a choice, once you let it in, you do not have control.

Your words – usually spoken aloud – are what draws evil spirits to you. Trauma, tiredness, hunger, anger, being out of fellowship with others, and agreeing with lies. Lies are basically ideas and concepts that God disagrees with. If God doesn’t agree with it, it is a lie. So if Satan finds out that you are agreeing with his lies (and they’re all his lies because He is the father – the originator – of all lies), he will come to you to tempt you. Be careful what you say! Be careful what you do! Be careful where you go! Be careful who you hang out with. The bible says to be careful. Be vigilant against your adversary the devil because he goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. He’s looking around for an unwary, unsuspecting prey to agree with him. If you’ve ever watched shows on the Animal Planet channel where the camera man was observing the dynamic between a predator and his prey, this will help you understand more of how Satan works. If we are in a group of wary people, at least one of us will spot the lion and will run to safety. But if you are on the fringes of the group and not a very fast runner, you will be the prey that day. And lions are vicious and ravenous when it comes to eating. They show no mercy to their food. How much mercy do you show a cheeseburger on your plate? You devour it as ruthlessly as a lion devours a deer. Satan’s no vegetarian! So like a lion, he has his eyes on the weak, slow-running deer that can’t keep up with the others. Make sure you are strong in God. Make sure you are prepared for escape. The bible says there is no temptation so great that God has not provided an escape from it. But if you are so clueless, you will not see the exit sign and will fall right in the trap.

And another extended metaphor that will help drive this point home is this. The Christian walk is a battlefield. We’re in it to win it. This is not a game. We’re soldiers on the battlefield, and we’re fighting for the Lord. Satan is not playing with you and neither are his minions. They’re serious about their jobs and positions. Their job is to destroy you. You are on the other side and you are their enemy because your commander is their enemy. They hate God and so they hate you. Now imagine being a soldier who’s taking a nap IN THE MIDDLE OF COMBAT! A soldier texting on his phone with his “boo-junt” on the enemy’s side. Another soldier is cleaning his gun while the enemy is aiming at him. You have to come armed and prepared and focused. The spirit of anger is not texting. The spirit of perversion is never resting. The spirit of rebellion is not rolling his eyes at his commander. The spirit of infirmity is not arguing with the spirit of death. They work together because a kingdom divided itself cannot stand.

And because we are not focused on fighting or winning this battle, we keep letting the enemy in our camp. We even sometimes let them give us our marching orders. Our commander-in-chief tells us to shoot this enemy down in our lives, and we second guess it. And we second guess our deliverance because of the benefits we get from NOT shooting it down. God says, “By Jesus’ stripes, be healed from arthritis,” and I receive the healing by faith. And the symptoms all go away. No more pain, swelling, inflammation, and stiffness in my joints. But then I begin thinking to myself, “Man, before I got healed, I got to skip work. My unemployment check was more than my paychecks! My husband’s not babying me anymore by helping me down the stairs in the morning. My mom doesn’t check up on me nearly as much to see how I’m doing. And I had the best excuses for not going exercising with my best friend. Man, sometimes I think I was better off with that disease.” And next thing you know, the spirit of pain is back with all its “benefits”.

You can’t be delivered from something you secretly condone…