It is so important that we strive to maintain a balance between attributing things to demonic activity and recognizing natural phenomena. A particular instance comes to mind when I think of this subject. It was a time many years ago when I was speaking at a church. After the meeting a lady came up to me and said, “Brother K.P., will you please lay your hand on me and pray for me?” Naturally, I asked what she wanted me to pray for.
She answered, “I have a demon of smoking.”
I replied, “Dear lady, you don’t have a demon. You can cast out demons, but you cannot cast out the flesh.”
For every flare of temper, every weakness, every time you sneeze, you may think, “Oh, there is a demon.” Your car just swerved into the next lane or some madman drove through the red light. “Oh, there’s a demon attacking me.” No. The Devil is bad enough. Don’t attribute every little bad thing that happens to him.
Please don’t look at the events in your life and think demons are after you all the time. There are demons and there are attacks. But we should be careful not to become paranoid of the things that happen in life. If there are demons, the Lord has given us the authority to pray and tell them to leave—and they must go.
The truth is, the Devil is defeated. Therefore, the child of God has no reason to be afraid of Satan and his hordes of demons. Someone who has truly repented of sin and trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ lives a life that has been washed in the blood of the Lamb. When Jesus died on the cross, He placed demons and Satan—the whole evil bunch—under His feet. And we are the Body of Christ, so the whole satanic force is under our feet. The Scripture specifically tells us, “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4, NASB).
One of the main tactics that Satan uses is causing us to forget who we are in Christ. This deception is very powerful. When we forget that Satan was defeated through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, we also forget the greatness of our God. In Ephesians 1:20–23, we read of the tremendous authority that the Lord Jesus Christ has given to His Body, that is, each one of us who belongs to the Lord:
. . . when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
For many of us, we constantly see the Enemy and his tactics all around, and we focus on what we see rather than on the power of our God. This is clearly illustrated in the story of the 12 spies who were sent out to evaluate the Promised Land (see Numbers 13). Except for Joshua and Caleb, 10 of them—the majority—came back talking about the giants they saw in the land and how they could never conquer them. It even says in Numbers 13:33, “There we saw the giants . . . and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” They made the confession that it was impossible to possess the land God had promised them. The problem was not the giants—it was that they saw only the giants. What they overlooked was the greatness of God in the situation and how God saw them—able to possess the land by His might!
This is so true in our lives today as well. When dealing with daily life struggles and issues, especially if they are influenced by satanic forces, we can easily forget that God is just that—God! Ephesians 6:16 (NASB) tells us we should take up “the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” That means no matter what we face, we are given the authority, and we can overcome and stand firm and victorious.
At the same time, we need to be very careful that we do not look at people with emotional problems or certain mental problems as being demon possessed. Just like there are large numbers of people living with physical illness, there are thousands and tens of thousands of people who are inflicted with some form of emotional or mental problem. What they need is counseling based on God’s Word and treatment by professional people.
Please understand. There are very real physical and mental illnesses. With some of these you can pray against demons all you want, but that is not going to work. These people need treatment, help and counseling. At the same time, some people are demonized, as seen in Mark 5:1–20. Nothing will help them except praying and casting out the demon.
There are natural phenomenas, calamities, problems and difficulties in life. But there is also demonic activity that needs to be recognized for what it is. Unless we are careful, we can get out of balance and forget there are two sides.
© 2003 by KP Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia. It was written with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.