Does the Devil Exist? Not the stereotypical Devil in the movies.
My life has never really been around the church or too caught up in religion. Never really understood what it meant to have a spiritual experience. I made fun of bible thumpers and religion. That comes from ignorance. It’s easy to make fun of something you’re ignorant too.
Fast forward fifty odd years to today. For a time, I studied metaphysics, enjoyed Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and other spiritual teachers, just putting my toe in the water. I attended a few classes, did some fun work. I learned meditation, yoga, and visualization. Never really got the deeper side of spiritual life.
Few more year’s pass and life took a giant dump straight on my head. Oh, indeed this is my doing you understand. You can’t blame your life on anyone but yourself. Take ownership of that. “Own that shit”—Harley Quinn.
In debt up to my neck, separated from my wife, past due with the IRS, and the list goes on. This time in my life, at times, got very dark and hopeless. Hopelessness brings about dark thoughts about does your life even matter. Who would give two shits’ if you were gone? Scary times.
When you’ve hit rock bottom, it does lend itself to the revaluation that maybe you might need help beyond earthly help. Don’t have the money for therapy or any mental health care. Going to have to bootstrap help if I wanted it. So, begins my journey back to finding some spiritual peace.
This time I chose to seek the church. Didn’t want so-called organized religion but wanted to the Bible-based teaching of God’s word. What promises did the Bible hold out that I could have? Was I even deserving of any peace? With nowhere to turn, I got on Joel Osteen’s website and looked for a Church close to me. I do like Joel Osteen and read all his books.
As I began to search out God, my depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts went out of control. Man, I could not believe how hard I was crashing. It was worse now than it had ever been. I would cry, wondering, “oh my God, what did I do to piss you off this bad?” What I came to learn from wonderful folks in my Church this was then enemy attacking my thoughts, not God.
No, my head does not spin, and I don’t spit green vomit at the priest (for those of you that have seen the Exorcist). It took me a few weeks to grasp this. The attack in my head was not God punishing me at all. The Devil is keeping me right where he has had me most of my life. In a depressed state, with no hope.
The question for me became what is causing my life to for a time rock along all is well to falling off a cliff? Why do I continue to fall short in my life? For me, this took falling to rock bottom. To losing what I loved the most to finally saying to God, there has to be a better way. What do I do God?
So begins my journey to find spiritual awakening. How do I find peace? How do I find the life that the Bible promises? You’ve heard part of my answer finding the right church family. The second part of this is research into the why of my life. Why do I fail at just about everything? Not a pity party this is a real question I believe for all of us.
When I would share my feelings with people in my Church that have what I am seeking, true faith in God. I would say, why is God punishing me so hard? To the point of dark thoughts against myself. The pain is beyond what at the time I thought I could endure. One person in my Church explained to me this was an attack by the enemy. What did I say? The enemy who is that?
Okay, so you’re telling me the Devil lives in me. Oh, great, I’m possessed. The reply is NO; you’re are suffering from an attack in your mind. The enemy wants you to be depressed, he wants you to lose everything, and he would even love for you to do something stupid. Wow, this was a lot to swallow, but it made sense.
We have a choice to believe the enemy who is a liar above all. Or, we can choose to find the word of God and have the life Jesus bought and paid for with his. The attack on me continued to get worse.
Times I would be sitting in my truck and scream at God “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?” Where are you get in the game? Again, the enemy is filling my head with doubt. When you calm your mind (I do in meditation), then you can begin to feel God.
What helped me to understand this is Napoleon Hills book Outwitting the Devil. All of us love and have most likely read Think and Grow Rich. This new book did not get published in his lifetime. His family waited some thirty years to publish it. I will not spoil it for you, but it’s an eye opener from a beloved author. It helped save my life in many ways.
Another person who has opened my understanding of how a spiritual life works are TD Jakes. One of his sermons had me crying in thanks because it made sense to me ultimately. Let me paraphrase what I heard. “The enemy’s attack is not punishment, the enemy’s fierce attack is because he is afraid of you, he is afraid of your power.” The enemy is about to lose you from his bond in your life. Anytime, you speak the truth, God’s word or praise over your life. Expect, him to put garbage in your head to change you into his thinking.
Take time to do some preparation in your life for a change. Don’t do it alone! Find a Church that you feel comfortable with attending. It may take visiting a few, but you will find one. Get involved with folks you see that genuinely walk-the-walk pardon the cliché. Read and study all that you can. Always have in your mind that at every corner and turn your head will be telling you, oh this is stupid. All this faith and Church stuff is bologna. That is the enemy!
Here is where you have to get out of your head. We have to learn to live from your hearts, our soul vs. our head. Learning to receive God in our hearts, this is where you will find peace. Don’t scream, I can’t do that, yes you can. It is the hardest thing for me, as well.
Find a place where you feel at peace. A lake, pond, Mountain View, fountain, anywhere that makes you feel at peace. Where you can find God to speak to your heart, this is where you will find peace. The enemy has you in your head with you trying to figure everything out. Faith is giving all your cares to God and letting it be. The enemy will tell you, “you better take control, life is about to get WAY worse if you don’t do something about it.” That’s all horse manure. Go to God in prayer, don’t BEG! Thank him for already blessing you with that which you desire.
Always pray as though you already have that which you need. You will come to learn that all God asks is for your faith. Show him you are faithful even when it looks like disaster is imminent. Don’t lose hope no matter what!
The enemy lives in your head; God lives in your heart. Learn to decern the difference and life will truly change for you. It’s not hard, but it’s a battle. The enemy will not give up easily, but I know in my heart that if you stay strong in faith, God will pull you through. Have an open heart!