I Want You To Grow Spiritually 6: Fight A Spiritual Battle & Win
|Fight spiritual warfare. Get spiritual help.|
Sometimes counseling, medication and spiritual disciplines are not the answer. We need to fight a spiritual battle. Here's at least a few examples of people I've encountered that had a spiritual problem.
Over the years I have met people who feel they just can't read the Bible, or pray, or go to church without experiencing some sort of interference or even nausea.
I've met numerous people who believe they have or hear voices telling them they have committed the unpardonable sin, "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit." Related to that are people who believe they have committed a sin so grave it cannot be forgiven or that they cannot have a close relationship with God because it. Some have had their sin uncovered and become an outcast in their church and community and they feel like an outcast from God.
Hearing voices in your head can have an organic cause, but when those voices are relentlessly mocking and degrading you, claiming you are worthless, unforgiven, hopeless -- they are very likely from the father of lies.
Some folks I've known have been plagued or terrorized with dark, sinister, evil dreams literally every night. They fear going to bed and aren't fully functional every because they don't get enough sleep. God does communicate in dreams but these kind of dreams aren't from God. Sometimes God's people experience horrific dreams that are prophetic or given as a warning. I'm talking about dreams that chronically sinister in nature and have no redemptive place in one's life.
I've met many people plagued with their inability to forgive or hold grudges. How we treat people who have wronged us is an important matter in one's spiritual life. Unforgiveness is an extremely vital matter to deal with in relation to one's soul care.
In all the cases above, God wants to set you free from what plagues you. There is freedom in Christ. The evil one, who even at this very moment says, "That might work for someone else but not you." or "Yeah, but he doesn't know what you've done." is a liar, has always been a liar and will always lie to you. His voice needs to be silenced.
Let me offer two suggestions for dealing with these spiritual matters. As a forewarning, you can Google both of these subjects and you'll find all sorts of criticisms and attacks of their methods and read how unbiblical they are. Of course you'll also find those same people attacking Billy Graham, John Piper, Willowcreek, Rick Warren, John Wimber, Luis Palau and a host of other good Christian people. [heavy sigh]
Prayerfully consider these two ministries:
Freedom in Christ.
Their mission statement from their web site:
I have used their materials extensively in the past and observed very significant results. To summarize their process: They believe that people get stuck in bondage through the lies they believe, sinful practices they participate in and places where they give Satan a stronghold. Exposing these dark places to the light of Christ and renouncing Satan's ways gives people freedom in Christ. They have a several step process that leads people to an examination of their life and gives them tools to help them walk free from bondage.
Freedom in Christ Ministries was founded by Dr. Neil Anderson. His two introductory books would be a good place for you to start:
It is recommended that you go through their seven step process with someone who is trained. Contact the Freedom in Christ Ministry (with offices all over the world) or talk with your pastor.
Theophostic Prayer Ministry.
What is theophostic? A definition from their web site:
"Intentional and focused prayer with the desired outcome of an authentic encounter with the presence of Christ, resulting in mind renewal and subsequent transformed life.This isn't really counseling. It's a prayer ministry where we call on Jesus to expose the lies we have believed and set us free of the bondage that has resulted. That's really a simplistic overview, but they have functional processes where many people have found the help they have needed.
There are clergy, laity, social workers, counselors and others in the helping profession all across the theological spectrum that have found Theophostic ministry helpful. Some use it as their sole form of helping ministry, while others use it as one of many tools in traditional counseling practice.
Theophostic isn't something that you just read about and do it on your own at home. This site has a list of trained practitioners available to help you. Some do it for free.
I personally have never experienced Theophostic ministry but have heard of very positive experiences from people in my life who I consider very credible.
Here's a third option if you feel you need to address a spiritual warfare issue in your life: visit your local Vineyard Church and ask if they have a prayer ministry. You'll likely find some folks there trained in prayer ministry that can help you.
This is part 6 in a 20 part series on spiritual growth. If you feel like you are not growing deeper in your faith or relationship to God, if you are not loving and serving others more, if you have a sense of 'stuckness' in your spiritual journey, and you really want to grow ——— the answer might not be to try harder. All too often I have heard the same solutions offered over and over — 'All you have to do is have daily devotions, pray more, read more of the Bible, be in worship every week and get more involved in the church.' In other words try harder.
Sometimes that doesn't work and I'm going to offer some suggestions that might help you move forward.
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 1: Give Up Daily Devotions
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 2: See A Counselor
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 3: Spiritual Direction
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 4: Get A New Church
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 5: Go On Retreat