Healing from Trauma

Tags: Healing, Spiritual Warfare
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Healing from Trauma
Healing from Trauma will help you to understand how demons can gain access through trauma and how to get free from them.

Healing from Trauma

Traumatic experiences may range from being the victim of a car accident or any other type of accident, to being the victim of any type of assault, including sexual assault, or any other type of assault, which could include for example, violent persecution, or even being on the receiving end of someone who raised you who had a violent temper or was prone to outbursts of anger. These are only some examples and I’m sure you can think of many more. All of these things can lead to demonization (or “being affected by a demon”) if you are on the receiving end, and persons who are involved in abusing others are often demonized themselves (at worst) or misguided (at best). The actual demonization occurs when you, the victim, open your heart, and effectively “posture” your heart to actually receive the demon, without actually knowing it. Trauma provides the “perfect” (but not the only) opportunity for demons to come in, because it can “jolt” your heart into a state that can make it extremely easy for a demon to slip in. Effects of demonization may include physical, emotional, and spiritual problems. One effect may be nightmares that you cannot get over. The demon will relive or recreate that bad experience you had, over and over again, so that you will always be kept on edge. You may not realize it is a demon. You may think it is “just me” and associate it with the traumatic experience. However, when delivered of it, you will then realize it was more than “just me” all along.

You have to be careful not to elevate the experience and pain you suffered above God’s ability to heal you, otherwise, this will create the illusion in your own mind that it is “impossible” to get healed. This is a deception. It is indeed possible to get healed, but you must allow God to be your deliverer. Do not let the pain you experienced to dominate your thinking. The main way to overcome this is to learn to give God praise and thanksgiving in the midst of your circumstances and not to let anything else dominate your thinking. Even as we read: “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, and bless his name.” (Psalm 100:4)

Thus, your ticket to freedom in a very large way is focusing on God and giving him praise, rather than focusing on the problem. The other thing to consider is that by focusing on the pain, you create an idol in your mind (the pain becomes bigger than God). This idol becomes a false god which then means you are effectively breaking the first commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) This is hugely problematic because it then allows the curse mentioned in the second commandment to begin to take effect. Although the second commandment mentions making idols, and images, and bowing down to them, you effectively do the same thing when you elevate anything above God in your own mind. “You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me, and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:4-6)

In other words, if you allow the pain to dominate your thinking, and fail to elevate God and give him praise and thanksgiving in the midst of your trial, then you have effectively opened a door for a curse in your life. There is a way out, and that is to simply begin to elevate God higher than the problem. This is how to begin to “reverse the curse”. And although you likely (and often) will not see the result you may be seeking immediately, yet you are positioning yourself to receive deliverance from God. And yes, God may test your resolve to see if you are serious, before granting you the deliverance you are looking for. “I, Yahweh, search the mind. I try the heart, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:10)

Thus, in the midst of your desire for deliverance, you must view God as being good, who desires that you get delivered. For he desires good things for you. But we often do not persevere and receive those things that he has promised us due to a lack of faith. And so I want to let you know in advance that your attitude towards God is very important to seeing your deliverance. But it’s not only your attitude, but your willingness to persevere in following his leading every step of the way. Your faith is the victory (according to 1 John 5:4) but faith demands action (according to James 2:17). And so the question is, what practical and faith-filled steps are you taking in order to get delivered? You cannot simply wait for it. You must move in a direction that is towards Jesus, even as so many in the Bible went towards Jesus in order to experience their freedom.

By looking to God and precisely Jesus Christ as your healer and deliverer of the trauma that you suffered, what you are doing is posturing your heart to receive from him a deliverance like you have never seen before. And once delivered, you will be able to sleep soundly once again, because God himself will fulfill his promise to you: “When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24)

Being changed in your mind is key to being delivered. That is why in Romans 12 it says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2) You may have heard that the battleground of the enemy is the mind, and that is true. Satan may begin to work on us, or affect our thinking, even at a very young age. Elements such as fear or trauma can “train us” to believe that God does not care (which is a lie) or that God is not willing to help us (which is a lie). He actually does care and wants to help us, but our faith (or lack thereof) produces a barrier or wall that can come between us and our deliverance. It is not because God does not care that we are not delivered, but because of the operative principle that, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists, and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

On this note, let’s talk about a potential major hindrance to your healing. If you consider yourself to be a strong Christian, you may have some difficultly in accepting what I’m about to say. Internally (in your head), you may believe that “God is love” according to 1 John 4:8, but on an experiential level, it may be another story. If you were raised by an absentee father, or no father, or an angry father, or a doubting father, or a father prone to outbursts of anger, or any number of other attributes which do not perfectly line up with the true God, then many “seeds” were planted in you, which you yourself may not be entirely aware of. Or, if you were abused in any way, or abandoned, or even if you felt abandoned, but were not abandoned in the eyes of the other person (or persons), then this also can posture your heart to doubt God’s goodness. What is the net effect? Where faith in God’s goodness is lacking, Satan or a demon may easily fill the void thus, the value of praise and thanksgiving. Praise and thanksgiving postures our heart to believe God is good and not evil. It postures us to receive deliverance from God.

While growing up, we may learn certain things about authority and inadvertently project these onto God. If our father or mother was unstable or might easily “fly off the handle” then we can project that onto God and think that he can easily “fly off the handle,” as well. In reality, God is much more patient than that, but we easily project onto God what we learned as a young person. Furthermore, we may confuse God’s anger with our parent’s anger, when often there is a big difference. Man’s anger is often unrighteous. God’s anger is always righteous. God’s righteous anger, which is holy and for our good, is not equated with man’s unrighteous anger which is impure and based on selfishness. This is a huge difference!

In your brokenness, you may have “learned” certain things to help you “cope”. In some cases, for example, a person may lean on self-pity to help them cope, but the problem is that self-pity is a sin and can itself attract demons. Therefore, even as Romans 12:2 says, we need to be renewed in our mind and act righteously.

Letting go of pain means forgiving your abuser. Forgiveness does not mean trust because even Jesus was not entrusting himself to men. “But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” (John 2:24-25) Thus, part of your deliverance may mean learning to trust men less (like Jesus did) and learning to trust God more. In the midst of this, you still need to love people like Jesus did. This will help to align you to receive and walk in wholeness. And although this sounds daunting, this is not a “works” theology. In fact, it is a “rest” theology. Resting in God’s goodness and in his trustworthiness (and then acting appropriately upon that) is what positions you to receive and walk in wholeness. It is not how much work you can do for God that will solve your problems, but your ability to rest in him at all times. “Rest,” however, means following his leading. But we follow his leading out of rest, and this is key. “In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.” (See Isaiah 30:15, NASB)

This next section is going to provide the theological grounds by which a person, and even a Christian, can have a demon, but in the case of a Christian, not in their spirit. Also, I’m going to cover the technical definition of demonization, or “those which were possessed with devils,” as it is rendered in the King James Bible (see Matthew 4:24). But note, those entire six words (“those which were possessed with devils”) in the English are derived from simply one word in the Greek, and that is, δαιμονίζομαι, or daimonizomai, which actually is only a modification of the word, δαιμόνιον, or daimonion, that is, demon. The word δαιμονίζομαι (daimonizomai), being only a modification of the word δαιμόνιον (daimonion), means to “have” or “be affected” by a demon (or, simply, “demonized”). The word “possessed” is not there. It is true that demons are a type of squatter, and squatters “possess” land that is not theirs. Yet considering that “possessed” is not in the Greek text, a better translation would be to “have” or “be affected” by a demon. Even in Acts 8:7 and in Acts 16:16, where a Greek word does appear for the word “possessed”, it is actually the word, ἐχω, or echō, which simply means “have” (past tense, “had”). And in none of the other 707 instances where ἐχω is used in the entirety of the New Testament, is it ever rendered as “possessed.” Instead, it is typically rendered as “have” or “had”. Thus, much more accurately, you can say a person “has” a demon. But to say they are “possessed” sounds much more scary and it’s not biblically accurate.

I have spent time explaining this, not to criticize the King James version (which is rightfully held in high esteem by many and is an excellent translation), but to simply say that the word which was chosen by the King James translators can be misleading. It is not that demons do not “squat” or “possess” the territory that they occupy. It is simply that the word “possession” tends to conjure up notions of full possession, but what demons do is they possess or occupy a certain part of you. A profane spirit may lodge itself into your vocal chords, causing you to continually want to swear. This part of you is certainly not the entirety of you by a long shot. Yet it can adversely affect your entire life. (This actually happened to me once, and I’ve written about it in another book.)

Certainly, the man with the “legion” of demons seemed “possessed”, but remember, he had a legion of demons in him (thousands, see Mark 5:1-20). Many areas of his life had been taken over, but it certainly did not start out that way. He more than likely started out with a single demon. Then, more came in because he continued to resist the Lord. This theology is important to understand, because if you are demonized, for example, and do not get rid of your demons, there is the possibility that more may come in. And likely a person who has had demons any length of time, has more than one.

Many people have a wrong picture of what demonization is. The woman who was bent over double was demonized (see Luke 13:10-13), but she was otherwise in her right mind, and neither foaming at the mouth, nor out of control. A blue collar worker may be demonized. A white collar worker who kisses his wife in the morning and goes to work may be demonized. And children may also be demonized. Dr. Phil had a young girl on his show who was terrorizing her family with death threats after having been involved in a car accident. This young girl exhibited classic demonization where the demon was able to gain entrance through emotional trauma at the time of the accident. Thus, her heart was opened up to receiving this demon in a moment in time. Dr. Phil wanted to treat the symptoms using pharmaceutical drugs, which can never address the underlying problem.

It is also important to understand the theology behind why and how demons can come in so quickly. Luke 11:24-26 explains it. Demons seek for rest. And demons will assist other demons to find suitable locations. There is nothing a demon hates more than to be a “restless wanderer” like Cain was. After killing his brother, God said to him, “You will be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth” (see Genesis 4:12). Cain replied, “My punishment is greater than I can bear” (see Genesis 4:13). Demons, being wanderers, feel this way, too. Thus, there is a veritable line-up of demons waiting to inhabit people — and they can only do it under certain circumstances (when the heart is positioned to receive them, thus, especially in times of emotional trauma). Thus, if you were the victim of emotional trauma, you are “more likely” to receive a demon. But if you don’t have any symptoms, you should not worry about it. But if you do, then you should consider that there may indeed be a demon behind them.

Classic symptoms of demonization include recurring nightmares, many so-called “incurable” diseases including some forms of arthritis, deep seated insecurities, constant fears, bitterness, a propensity towards swearing, a propensity for drunkenness, suicidal thoughts, and many other symptoms which we can find in the Bible. Even muteness and deafness can be caused by the presence of a demon (see Mark 9:25). Christians cannot have demons in their spirit, because their spirit has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit (see Titus 3:5-7). But since the body is not regenerated until after the resurrection, and since the soul itself is also not regenerated until after the resurrection (and the soul gives direction to the mind, will, and emotions), then that means there are still many areas that demons can affect a Christian.

Paul says to Christians (not non-Christians), “do not give place to the devil” (see Ephesians 4:27). Thus, it is possible for Christians to give the devil, or a demon, a foothold. It is taught by some that only non-Christians can be affected by demons, but this passage teaches that Christians can be affected, too. Casting demons out of someone who is unrepentant is actually a bad idea, because Jesus warns that such a person will end up having more demons (see Luke 11:24-26). Who then should demons be cast out of? That would leave believers only. Unless a person is committed to Christ to begin with, they will never keep their deliverance. That is why Jesus warned the man whom he had healed, saying, “Sin no more, so that nothing worse happens to you.” (See John 5:14) This would also explain why Paul waited “many days” to cast the demon out of the girl who had a spirit of divination as she followed Paul and his companions along the road (see Acts 16:16-18). These “many days” would have given Paul time to convince her to obey Christ. Otherwise, he could not and would not have driven a demon out of a resistant person — because the demon would have simply come back (as per Luke 11:24-26). Even the man with the “legion” of demons came and worshipped at the feet of Jesus first (see Mark 5:6), indicating he was willing to obey Jesus. Then, Jesus cast the demons out of him (see Mark 5:8).

Demons are likened to “enemies in the land” and when you have become strong enough in your understanding and in your faith, then God will drive them out. Men are agents, but it is God’s power that delivers the person. So even though a deliverance minister may say to a demon, “Come out!” it is really the Holy Spirit operating through that person that causes the demons to come out. Thus, it is very similar to how God dealt with the Israelites, who had enemies in their physical land. God said to them, “Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and inherit the land.” (Exodus 23:30) And even though God said he would do it, yet he also commanded them to do it. “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those you let remain of them will be like pricks in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will harass you in the land in which you dwell.” (Numbers 33:55) Thus, we clearly see that God expected the Israelites to drive out the inhabitants, rather than God simply doing all of the work. And this is often how the ministry of deliverance works, as well. It should be noted that God does not require the agency of man to do his work. Sometimes, he will deliver sovereignly, even as you are worshipping. However, God chooses to use man to do his work. And the man or woman he chooses to do his work may even be yourself sometimes!

My Wife’s True Story

For as long as my wife can remember, since about the age of six, she suffered from severe nightmares. In the night, she would get seized, attacked, and paralyzed in her sleep. And it happened almost every night for upwards of 10 years. When she was 17 years old, she put her faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of her sins. But although she had received Christ as Lord and Savior, the nightmares continued.

About four months after my wife had come to put her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, she then went on an outreach mission to a remote part of the Philippines. She was walking with a friend, when suddenly they realized they were separated from the rest of group. They were outdoors in a tropical forest-like setting, and suddenly fear set in. They were lost from the rest of the group. There was a definite sense of foreboding fear and my wife then remebered a Scripture passage she had studied, “greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world” from 1 John 4:4, which my wife then spoke into the air, in order to provide reassurance to her and her friend. My wife and her friend were immediately strengthened and encouraged in their faith, and the fear left them. Thankfully, not long after that, she and her friend were able to find their way back to the group.

While being united with the rest of the group was a wonderful thing, another wonderful thing happened as well, at at that same time. That same week, my wife suddenly realized that she had been completely delivered of the nightmares which she had been suffering from for over 10 years, and there has never been a reocurrence completely gone! She traces her deliverance back to that very evening to that very instance when she declared, “greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world”. A miracle had transpired. The nightmares were now a thing of the past.

My wife was delivered when she made a proclamation of Scripture, which was a form of spiritual warfare which had the unexpected “side effect” of driving out the demon that had been harassing her for more than ten years. And although she had not been trained in casting demons out of others, much less out of herself, God honored what she did and delivered her anyway.

This is an amazing and true testimony of how God can deliver someone from trauma, which is the likely catalyst for how the demon took hold of her in the first place. Does anyone really know for certain how this demon came in? No one knows for certain, but what is known is that my wife came from a family background in which there was occult involvement, and there are many possible scenarios by which a demon may have come into her through her family background. “For we are not ignorant of his schemes,” the apostle Paul writes (see 2 Corinthians 2:11).

 

. And from this, it also becomes very easy to understand where the demon might have come from.

It was the sudden exercise of her faith by reciting a very relevant passage of Scripture that was honored by God to produce an amazing and unexpected deliverance in her. This also shows us that deliverance (the casting out of demons) does not always have to be planned or scheduled by a specially-trained minister. It can happen in the confines of your own walk with God. God delights to glorify himself when we are positioned properly. Having a heart open to receiving from God is important. Having faith is important. Quoting Scripture can also be very important.

Continued in Healing from Trauma, Part 2.

 

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