Overcoming Satan and his forces
Jesus Christ does not intend for us to live shackled by depression and anxiety (or other strong negative emotions). Jesus offers us freedom. Therefore, our first step to facing these strong emotions is to accept Jesus as our King, choose to live for Him, and align ourselves with His standard of living. But Satan desires to dominate God’s creation. The demons who follow him work tirelessly to keep us controlled by our negative emotions. But James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” With the help of the Holy Spirit, we thwart Satan’s schemes.
Any good tactician realizes the importance of knowing your enemy. John 8:44 summarizes Satan’s character, ““…He was a murderer form the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” See, Lucifer was once a top angel, but a proud heart was found in him. Instead of serving God, he sought the position and power for himself. He gathered a third of the angels to his heinous cause in a desperate rebellion. Effortlessly, God cast Lucifer and the treasonous angelic forces to earth. Lucifer lost his name and became Satan, and the fallen angels earned the title demons. They now roam the earth unseen until the end of days where they will be cast into Hell which was created for them.**
Therefore we must heed Peter’s advice, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) Since our enemy is unseen, we watch for him like we watch for the wind. In Scripture, we can see how Satan worked in the past. Then deduce how he wages war currently. Demons ordained child sacrifice (Psalm 106:37), oppressed and made people sick (Matthew 8:16), preformed signs (Revelation 16:14), deceived (2 Corinthians 11:14), blinded minds (2 Corinthians 4:4), instigated violent acts (Matthew 8:28), tormented people (1 Sam 16:14), and caused muteness (Matthew 9:32). Most of these have touched my life at some point. Sometimes these are only small in small ways. For example, I don’t like to physically speak when I’m struggling with depression or anxiety–muteness. Other times these were more extreme. I lost my ability to walk when I was thirteen from demonic oppression which caused depression. Then in violence, I would hurt those who tried to help me by digging my nails into them.
Thankfully, I had a team of people praying for me. (Y’all are the best!) Through their efforts, I found Christ and was gradually delivered. In a few months, I learned how to walk again. Still, I struggled with depression and anxiety, until I decided to become victorious over them. I stopped clinging to them as part of my identity. Sure, I struggled with depression and anxiety, but it’s not something that I had. I trained myself to stop saying, “I’m depressed” and “I have anxiety”.
See, demons try to shove these emotions on us like gifts. “Take on depression. That’s why it’s difficult for you to get motivated.” “Have some anxiety; you don’t need to deal with the unknown hearts of others.” Perhaps that’s not what it sounds like when they offer it to you. “Why try to enjoy a walk? Nothing good will come of it.” “All those people creating a raucous? You can’t keep yourself safe there.” I’m not saying these emotions aren’t real. They definitely are, but they run deeper than a chemical imbalance.
We must stop accepting these deceitful gifts. We can struggle with strong negative emotions without having them; without owning them. We cannot overcome something we’re holding onto. Once we make a point to refuse these strong emotions, we need to work against them. If it is a struggle to make words leave my lips, I push through and do so. These thoughts are put there by the enemy! Don’t do what he says– do the opposite–, and trust the indwelling Holy Spirit to give us strength.
Revelation 12:10-11 states, “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” Because Christ overthrew Satan, so can we by speaking of what He’s done for us. Say this prayer, aloud, and command the demons to flee.
Mighty Jesus. Have Your way with and in me. I come before You knowing that You have given me freedom, and that freedom is under assault. My identity as Your friend is under assault. With Your blood, you purchased me and brought me out of the dominion of darkness into the Kingdom of Your Light. You have work for me to accomplish here, but I need help. By the authority of the name of Jesus Christ, I command you demons to flee. I am a child of the One True King. I do not accept depression. I do not accept anxiety. I have been made new. I am enough, and when I am not, You, Holy Spirit, that lives within me, are. Thank you, my King and my Friend. All glory and honor and praise to Jesus. Forever and ever. Amen.
**Lucifer’s story is found in these various Scripture references: such as Revelation 12, Luke 10:17-20, Isaiah 14:12-15, Matthew 25:41-46, Ezekiel 28:1-26.
“Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”