I wrestle with demons.
While driving, a stray thought sets off the battle. A spoken word to me or even a facial expression from another person and then sudden darkness in my soul. The ancients had a phrase for it: “dark night of the soul.” Many Christian books depict spiritual warfare.
I can experience a depression that I describe as a “blanket” that covers me. I hear of those struggling to get up in the morning or not being able to sleep or the infamous waking at 3 a.m. We try sleep aids, we call it stress, and perhaps we see a counselor.
You are wrestling with a demon too.
The Apostle Paul wrestled with demons:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 ESV
The Greek word for “wrestling” implies physical contact. The Passion Translation has it right in Ephesians 6:13:
Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings but with principalities…
In your current struggle, yes it might be a bad day (please continue with medications if prescribed), your discouragement can be the natural up and down emotional patterns of life. It could be more; maybe you are being attacked by a demon.
If so, a pill, complaining, and posting about a need for prayer won’t help.
I find the beginning of victory when I say, “I’m wrestling with a demon.” When I can define the true battle, then I can begin the real fight.
I still remember interviewing an author about wrestling with demons and he said, “If you are afflicted or held in bondage and the medical profession can’t help, it is probably a demon. If you are afflicted and deliverance doesn’t help, it is medical.”
A demon focused on you can be disconcerting.
The Apostle John reminds you that “greater is He who is in you than He who is in the world” (1 John 4:4), James says “submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7), and Peter describes “your adversary the devil prowls about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour, but resist him, standing firm in your faith” (1 Peter 5:9).
Paul, John, James, and Peter all wrestled with demons.
The sooner you realize what is happening to you, the better for your spiritual health and for victory.
I wrestle with demons. It starts with oppression and then onsets to waking up at 3 a.m. I sense it spiritually during the day. I pray in the Spirit during my wrestling matches. I don’t minimalize it with a simple, “I can’t sleep, or I’m discouraged.”
That’s not what is happening.
I find victory. The demon appears and then it is gone. Luke writes about the end of the temptation of Jesus:
That finished the devil’s harassment for the time being. So he stood off at a distance, retreating until the time came to return and tempt Jesus again. Luke 4:13 TPT
Jesus wrestled with Satan. The battle continued as an “on and off” struggle throughout the life of Jesus. If Paul, James, John, Peter, and Jesus all wrestled with demons, you will too.
Wrestling is a part of our calling. Realize the battle is already won and as Paul concludes:
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37 ESV
In the wrestling ring of spiritual warfare, don’t turn your back. It is best to face the demon.
Pastor Grant Interruptions Note:
I will be writing the next two Interruptions called Getting In Shape for Spiritual Warfare
and How to Use Weapons of War! to help you know what to do in the midst of the battle.