Spiritual Influences

We have an overlooked, invisible enemy who leaves visible damage in our lives by influencing our thoughts and behaviours.

 

“The connection of the visible with the invisible world, the ministration of angels of God, and the agency of evil spirits, are plainly revealed in the Scriptures, and inseparably interwoven with human history. There is a growing tendency to disbelief in the existence of evil spirits, while the holy angels that “minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1:14) are regarded by many as spirits of the dead. But the Scriptures not only teach the existence of angels, both good and evil, but present unquestionable proof that these are not disembodied spirits of dead men.  
 
We are informed in Scripture as to the number, and the power and glory, of the heavenly beings, of their connection with the government of God, and also of their relation to the work of redemption… Angels are sent on missions of mercy to the children of God… A guardian angel is appointed to every follower of Christ. These heavenly watchers shield the righteous from the power of the wicked one. This Satan himself recognized when he said: “Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not Thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?” Job 1:9, 10. The agency by which God protects His people is presented in the words of the psalmist: “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.” Psalm 34:7. 

 

Thus God’s people, exposed to the deceptive power and unsleeping malice of the prince of darkness, and in conflict with all the forces of evil, are assured of the unceasing guardianship of heavenly angels. Nor is such assurance given without need. If God has granted to His children promise of grace and protection, it is because there are mighty agencies of evil to be met—agencies numerous, determined, and untiring, of whose malignity and power none can safely be ignorant or unheeding. 

 

Evil spirits, in the beginning created sinless, were equal in nature, power, and glory with the holy beings that are now God’s messengers. But fallen through sin, they are leagued together for the dishonor of God and the destruction of men. United with Satan in his rebellion, and with him cast out from heaven, they have, through all succeeding ages, co-operated with him in his warfare against the divine authority. We are told in Scripture of their confederacy and government, of their various orders, of their intelligence and subtlety, and of their malicious designs against the peace and happiness of men. 

 

Old Testament history presents occasional mention of their existence and agency; but it was during the time when Christ was upon the earth that evil spirits manifested their power in the most striking manner. Christ had come to enter upon the plan devised for man’s redemption, and Satan determined to assert his right to control the world. He had succeeded in establishing idolatry in every part of the earth except the land of Palestine. To the only land that had not fully yielded to the tempter’s sway, Christ came to shed upon the people the light of heaven. Here two rival powers claimed supremacy.

 

Jesus was stretching out His arms of love, inviting all who would to find pardon and peace in Him. The hosts of darkness saw that they did not possess unlimited control, and they understood that if Christ’s mission should be successful, their rule was soon to end. Satan raged like a chained lion and defiantly exhibited his power over the bodies as well as the souls of men. 

 

The fact that men have been possessed with demons, is clearly stated in the New Testament. The persons thus afflicted were not merely suffering with disease from natural causes. Christ had perfect understanding of that with which He was dealing, and He recognized the direct presence and agency of evil spirits.” Those possessed with devils are usually represented as being in a condition of great suffering; yet there were exceptions to this rule. For the sake of obtaining supernatural power, some welcomed the satanic influence. These of course had no conflict with the demons.

 

None are in greater danger from the influence of evil spirits than those who, notwithstanding the direct and ample testimony of the Scriptures, deny the existence and agency of the devil and his angels. So long as we are ignorant of their wiles, they have almost inconceivable advantage; many give heed to their suggestions while they suppose themselves to be following the dictates of their own wisdom. This is why, as we approach the close of time, when Satan is to work with greatest power to deceive and destroy, he spreads everywhere the belief that he does not exist. It is his policy to conceal himself and his manner of working. 

 

There is nothing that the great deceiver fears so much as that we shall become acquainted with his devices. The better to disguise his real character and purposes, he has caused himself to be so represented as to excite no stronger emotion than ridicule or contempt. He is well pleased to be painted as a ludicrous or loathsome object, misshapen, half animal and half human. He is pleased to hear his name used in sport and mockery by those who think themselves intelligent and well informed.

 

It is because he has masked himself with consummate skill that the question is so widely asked: “Does such a being really exist?” It is an evidence of his success that theories giving the lie to the plainest testimony of the Scriptures are so generally received in the religious world. And it is because Satan can most readily control the minds of those who are unconscious of his influence, that the word of God gives us so many examples of his malignant work, unveiling before us his secret forces, and thus placing us on our guard against his assaults. 

 

The power and malice of Satan and his host might justly alarm us were it not that we may find shelter and deliverance in the superior power of our Redeemer. We carefully secure our houses with bolts and locks to protect our property and our lives from evil men; but we seldom think of the evil angels who are constantly seeking access to us, and against whose attacks we have, in our own strength, no method of defense. If permitted, they can distract our minds, disorder and torment our bodies, destroy our possessions and our lives. Their only delight is in misery and destruction. Fearful is the condition of those who resist the divine claims and yield to Satan’s temptations, until God gives them up to the control of evil spirits. But those who follow Christ are ever safe under His watchcare. Angels that excel in strength are sent from heaven to protect them. The wicked one cannot break through the guard which God has stationed about His people.” The Great Controversy, Chapter 31, 32 (pg 511-517)

 

We may think that mental illness can be explained entirely by Science, but this ignores the fact that we are also spiritual beings. Satan’s goal is to destroy what God made and loves, therefore, our minds are his greatest target. Not only mentally, but also through the physical elements, by poisoning our bodies with suggested foods, beverages, habits and lifestyles, in order to cloud our minds. 
 
“For thousands of years Satan has been experimenting upon the properties of the human mind, and he has learned to know it well. By his subtle workings in these last days he is linking the human mind with his own, imbuing it with his thoughts; and he is doing this work in so deceptive a manner that those who accept his guidance know not that they are being led by him at his will. The great deceiver hopes so to confuse the minds of men and women that none but his voice will be heard.” Letter 244, 1907 

 

There is hope for a life controlled and darkened by Satan. We can unplug ourselves from the deception he has pulled over our eyes and see the truth. We can claim our minds back, and our health. Our relationships can be fulfilling, and our homes a happy place. 

 

“Satan has come right in and placed himself between God and man. It is his work to divert the human mind, and he throws his darkened shadow right athwart our pathways so that we cannot discern between God and the moral darkness and corruption and the mass of iniquity that is in our world. Then what are we going to do about the matter? Shall we let that darkness remain? No. There is a power here for us that will bring in the light of heaven to our dark world. Christ has been in heaven, and He will bring the light of heaven, drive back the darkness, and let the sunlight of His glory in. Then we shall see, amid the corruption and pollution and defilement, the light of heaven.”Ms 7, 1888

Closing the Doors

Satan has created many doors for himself and his fallen angels, giving them easy access to our minds. If we want a soul free from heartache and unrest, we need to know how they got in so that we can kick them out with God’s help, and close the doors.  

Hypnotic Devices

🌺 Television puts the viewer in an alpha state, allowing suggestions to be poured into the mind without critical thinking. Even subtle influences can have an impact on our mental health and behaviour. One of the reasons why the world has become desensitized is because of the constant mental and emotional abuse from television. Many don’t realize that the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between emotional disturbance as a result of watching a movie, or experiences in real life. Television also shapes our characters by influencing our thinking and morals. Not to mention the walls it has created in relationships and families due to lack of true communication, interest and bonding, leaving people lonely, sad and unable to figure out why. Furthermore, studies have revealed that television weakens the prefrontal cortex, necessary for the management of thoughts, moods, impulses and behaviour. The online video, “Little Light Studios: Media on the Brain”, listed on the Links page, explains how television affects the brain.
 
🌺 Video / computer games also have a weakening effect on the prefrontal cortex. Furthermore, studies have revealed that these games affect human emotions and relationships negatively, such as numbing empathy. (Also discussed in “Media on the Brain”).

 

🌺 Music was created by God but Satan has corrupted it, enabling him to alter our minds. Voodoo rhythms and other forms of brain entrainment have been incorporated into modern genres, opening the mind for influences. Even Christian music containing certain rhythms invites the wrong spirit. Manic episodes can also be triggered by unhealthy, overstimulating music. “Christian Berdahl: Distraction Dilemma”, listed on the Links page, contains more in-depth information on this topic.

🌺 Screen chatting (texting, online chats, forums, etc.) depersonalizes communication, causing people to become desensitized to one another’s feelings. People think they are connected through technology but in reality they are driven apart. We have seen how easy it is for people to say extremely rude things to one another on forums these days, since screens erase the consequences. Before the internet existed this kind of behaviour would definitely have raised eyebrows, but today it means nothing. It has become normal. 

🌺 Books that lead us away from God create an open door.

 

🌺 Therapeutic hypnosis puts us at risk of opening the door to Satan and his suggestions, as well as healing methods that involve communication with spirits. 

Mind-Altering Substances

Alcohol and drugs hand us over to the control of Satan. This includes natural drugs. Even mild stimulants such as cocoa, caffeine and sugar create an imbalance in the brain as they deplete neurotransmitters, creating a weakness where Satan can target us.

Sin

Sin separates us from God, giving Satan access.
 
🌺 Definition of sin: “Sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4
🌺 Definition of the Law:

  1. “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. 
  2. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:38-40.
 
Above, Jesus categorized the Ten Commandments into two Commandments.
 
The first four Commandments involve loving God:

 

1. If you love God you will worship Him instead of false gods.
2. If you love God you will have no idols.
3. If you love God you won’t use His name in vain.
4. If you love God you will keep the Sabbath holy.
 
The last six commandments involve loving others:

 

5. If you love others, you will honour your father and mother.
6. If you love others you won’t murder.
7. If you love others you won’t commit adultery.
8. If you love others you won’t steal.
9. If you love others you won’t lie about them.
10. If you love others you won’t covet what they have.
 
Loving God and loving others is the Law. Sin is the breaking of this Law. Before sin, the world was governed by love. Through His Commandments and Holy Spirit, God wants to bring us back into harmony with His Law. The Ten Commandments are the outlines. The fun part is colouring the picture in with unique features within the guidelines given. Love is meant to be creative and exciting. 
 
“Love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:10

 

“If you love me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15

 

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” Deuteronomy 6:6-8 
 
Love should be the focus of every home, in everything we do. That is what God desires for us because love brings true happiness and peace, the kind of happiness we all desire. He wants His Law of love to be as “frontlets between our eyes”, meaning in our forehead in the prefrontal cortex so that it can govern us. “A sign on our hand” means our actions should be done within the Law of love. 
Impurity also opens the wrong doors. There are many common practices today, promoted as “normal” on television, that are impure and have a negative impact on our inner well-being and relationships without us even knowing it. Some of these practices are suggested to destroy intimacy in marriage by taking the focus off a soul-to-soul connection and making love physical. Satan has devised endless plans to destroy what God made and to bring unhappiness and separation between us, ruining our experience of love. This is the reason why, together with the Ten Commandments, God also provided the Law of Moses, outlining the laws of purity.
 
WHY WAS SIN PERMITTED BY GOD?  
 
Lucifer, who became Satan, was a perfectly created angel. He was “most honored of God and was highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven.” PP, Ch 1. His heart was lifted up because of his exquisite beauty and high position in heaven. He was the leader of the angels, while the Son of God was the Creator, giving Him the supreme position which Lucifer began to covet.  
 
The tenth Commandment, “though shalt not covet”, was the first act against love that ever existed which led to lies, theft and murder. Lucifer coveted the Son of God’s position, so he lied to the angels about the Law and motives of God, and because he was so loved and honoured by them, he was able to steal a third of God’s angels. War broke out in Heaven and Satan and his angels were cast down to the earth, where Satan tempted Eve and brought sin into our world. Eve had freedom of choice, just like we do, and she was warned about Satan but she was deceived because she believed his words above God’s words, like the angels. He made them believe they would gain something by choosing him, and they fell for it because they were too innocent to know the consequences. By the time Satan had the earth under his influence, his covetousness had become hatred, motivating him to murder Jesus, the Son of God, on the cross hoping to take His place but Jesus rose again, sinless as He was, in perfect love to give those who choose love eternal life.

 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 
 
God could have destroyed Lucifer at any point when he started rebelling against the Law of love, but since the heavenly angels had never seen or known sin or the results of it, destroying Lucifer in order to protect Heaven and Earth from the pain would have created questions in their minds about God’s character. They loved Lucifer. The only way his true character and motives would have been clear to all created beings was to let his actions speak for themselves, which is why the world is the way it is.

 

Now, after witnessing the results of turning away from love, no one who chooses God’s side will ever want to repeat it again. No one will want to covet, because they know where it leads. No one will want to steal, because they have seen the results. No one will turn against a Law that creates perfect harmony if they know what disharmony feels like. By permitting sin, God created the possibility of a sinless universe forever once this earth has reached its close at the return of Jesus. After being in Heaven for a thousand years with Him, He will recreate the earth and no one will ever experience pain again. All we are waiting for now is for souls to find Him, so that they can be saved, and for the prophecies in the Bible to be fulfilled to complete the story of the Great Controversy.

 

“God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

 

“What do ye imagine against the LORD? He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.” Nahum 1:9

Lack of Forgiveness

🌺 Forgiveness from God
 
Since sin is lack of love, forgiveness from God is needed to restore the love between Him and us. God has feelings, just like we do. We were made in His image. He also hurts when we treat Him without love, the same way we do when we are treated without love.

 

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your sins have separated you from your God.” Isaiah 59:1-2.
 
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 
 
🌺 Forgiveness from others
 
When we have wronged someone, apologizing for our actions frees us from the guilt and separation from God, even if they refuse to forgive us, because if they refuse they are acting against love. Forgiveness is a part of love. 

 

🌺 Forgiving ourselves 
 
When the woman, in John 8, was caught in adultery and brought to Jesus, He had compassion on her condition and defended her by writing the sins of her accusers in the sand, to show them that no one was without sin. When her accusers walked away in shame, unable to condemn her, He said to her, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more”. John 8:11. Jesus knew why she got caught up in her sins, and had pity on her. He knows who is behind our sins and sees the bigger picture.
 
It can be difficult to forgive ourselves but when we analyze our sins it helps us to understand how we ended up in a particular situation by looking at all the facts. Our understanding of a situation may have been different before we committed an act. Only once the guilt kicked in were we able to see the situation in its true light. We can’t judge our past sins from this view because we are not blinded as we were. We have to look at the view we had and use empathy to forgive ourselves.
 
When Satan tempted Eve he chose an attractive creature as his medium to catch her attention and to make his suggestions look desirable. He spoke directly through the serpent claiming that she would enter a higher plane of existence, like the serpent who apparently gained speaking powers, if she ate the fruit. With her attention on the beauty and rewards her mind was mesmerized and in an alpha state, distracting her from the warnings that God gave her, which shifted to the back of her mind. Satan controlled her focus with lies, doubts and false rewards, placing her under hypnosis, giving him the upper hand. If we understand how Satan hypnotized and persuaded Eve, it gives us insight into how he lured us into our sins, facilitating empathy for ourselves and others.

 

🌺 Forgiving others
 
Having compassion on a soul who is blinded by Satan encourages love, understanding and forgiveness. On the Cross Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” He knew that those who mistreated and betrayed Him to have Him killed were in a hypnotic state under the control of Satan. There are many people in our time in a similar position, taken over by Satan, and used as tools to deliberately hurt us (e.g. abusers). People like this may not have remorse, or appreciate our empathy and compassion, but it frees us from our anger and pain. With that in mind, sometimes people hurt us, not because they intend to but because they simply lack people skills. They don’t know how to communicate sensitively or tactfully, and unknowingly cause harm. 

Lack of Bible Reading & Prayer

Jesus is our example:

 

“God Himself by His Holy Spirit instructed Mary how to bring up His Son. Mary taught Jesus from the Holy Scriptures, and He learned to read and study them for Himself. ” SJ 20.5
 
Jesus said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

 

“It was in hours of solitary prayer that Jesus in His earth life received wisdom and power.” (Ed, 259.) Pr 167.1

 

“But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.” Luke 5:16 

Lack of Resistance

“He who once yields to temptation becomes spiritually weak, and yields more readily the second time. Every repetition of sin blinds his eyes, stifles conviction, and weakens his power of resistance. Thus while the power of the human race to resist temptation is continually decreasing, Satan’s skill and power to tempt are continually increasing.” ST, Sept 29, 1887
 
“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

 

When Satan came to tempt Jesus, He resisted the thoughts that he planted into His mind by quoting the Bible.​ Satan is responsible for many thoughts that come into our mind, and we can resist his suggestions the same way Jesus did.

 

🌺 Lack of will power ~ “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13  

🌺 Anxiety ~ “He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8  

🌺 Temptation ~ “God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 

🌺 Depression ~ “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 

🌺 Anger ~ “In your anger do not sin.” Ephesians 4:26 

🌺 Loneliness ~ “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14 

🌺 Lack of self-control ~ “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23
 
Satan tempted the first Adam in Eden, and Adam reasoned with the enemy, thus giving him the advantage. Satan exercised his power of hypnotism over Adam and Eve, and this power he strove to exercise over Christ. But after the word of Scripture was quoted, Satan knew that he had no chance of triumphing.” (Letter 159, 1903). 

Unhealthy Distractions

Unhealthy distractions can open the door to things that are harmful to us. 
 
“Satan well knows that all whom he can lead to neglect prayer and the searching of the Scriptures, will be overcome by his attacks. Therefore he invents every possible device to engross the mind.” GC 519
 
“Satan’s influence is constantly exerted upon men to distract the senses, control the mind for evil, and incite to violence and crime. He weakens the body, darkens the intellect, and debases the soul. Whenever men reject the Saviour’s invitation, they are yielding themselves to Satan. Multitudes in every department of life, in the home, in business, and even in the church, are doing this today. It is because of this that violence and crime have overspread the earth, and moral darkness, like the pall of death, enshrouds the habitations of men. Through his specious temptations Satan leads men to worse and worse evils, till utter depravity and ruin are the result. The only safeguard against his power is found in the presence of Jesus.” DA 341

Believing Lies

The same way Satan lied to Eve, so he lies to us. He tells us we are worthless and uses people who have open doors for him to gather “evidence” for his lies, giving us a false mirror of ourselves. Jesus gives us the true mirror of how “fearfully and wonderfully” we are made, Psalm 139:14, and that He loves us. He died to have us with Him eternally. Heaven without us was not an option in His eyes.
 
Not only does Satan lie about us, he also lies about the character of God. He uses many avenues, such as television, to instill lies into peoples minds about God, insinuating that He is manipulative, controlling, harsh and cruel, but this is the character of Satan. Believing lies not only affects our mental health, but can also affect our spiritual destiny. God wants to give us eternal life, and lies obstruct the way. Fortunately God gave us the Bible to know the truth and to be freed from all of Satan’s deceptions.

 

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

Lack of Hope

Thoughts of hopelessness lead to depression and despair. Although our world is in the state that it is, it does not mean that there is no hope. The Bible tells us that “the love of many will grow cold,” Matthew 24:12, and that “the earth will wear out like a garment”, Isaiah 51:6. Rather than losing hope over it, though, we can gain encouragement from the fact that the worse the world gets, the closer we are to the creation of the new world where there will be no more pain and suffering.

 

“For behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.” Isaiah 65:17

Lack of Purpose

Some may feel they have no purpose on this earth, leading to a feeling of despondency, especially if their idea of a purpose is linked to temporal things. It doesn’t matter what we look like, how much money we have, how successful we are, how smart we are or how popular we are. God has the key to unlock our purpose and to enable us to see the reasons why we were born and placed on this earth, which is far deeper than a worldly purpose. Our purpose is not dependent on what we have according to worldly standards. 

Lack of Love

The same way an ant cannot understand how humans create functioning objects with their minds and hands, so we don’t understand how God creates living beings with His hands and breath, or voice, but there is a story of love in Creation that cannot be denied. When Adam and Eve sat together in their home, a Garden without sin or human interference, what went through their minds? Their feelings for each other must have been innocent and child-like, filled with deep-felt love and awe, fascinated, I imagine, by the miracle of existence and having each other, another living being to speak to and explore and experience life together. Constantly inquisitive about what the other was thinking, they must have valued each other’s minds more than anything on the earth, besides God, whose breath and face were the first things they knew. There was nothing that blocked or numbed their hearts. They were open for love.   
 
Taking a look at the world today, we can see what Satan has done. Instead of being together to experience life and explore each other’s souls, growing in unity, the world faces a screen in their homes, barely saying a word. The feelings of awe, inquisitiveness and love are gone. Right next to us is a living human being who came into existence, also through a miracle, but we have forgotten that awe. Love is not only difficult to give but also to receive for many, as if it has become something too strange. We are lacking love. God is love, but He cannot unify with a world who does not love Him, so it left Him no choice but to withdraw. “The time is at hand when there will be sorrow in the world that no human balm can heal. The Spirit of God is being withdrawn.” PK 277. No pill can cure the pain of lack of love. The only way to restore our relationships back to an Eden-like state, is to remove what caused love to die.

 

  1. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3
  2. “You shall not make for yourself an idol of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens above, on the earth beneath, or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.” Exodus 20:4-6
 
To “worship” means to “love, admire and exalt something”. The very first Commandment of God tells us that He wants us to place Him above false gods, including earthly possessions (idols), not because He is selfish, but because He knows that without Him our love will die, since He is love. “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8. We have lost love because we don’t spend time with God or one another the way Adam and Eve did, showing real, deep-felt interest in each other. Love is about sharing our inner worlds, and knowing each other. Conversations often only involve the outer world, which can easily lead to loneliness since there is no interest in each other’s inner worlds, and the heart and soul are not being fed. Co-existence is not connection. Being in sync with a soul that we love is an exciting experience, but our world has lost this mindset.
 
Television and other forms of entertainment are not the only idols in families. Although careers are a priority, when placed above God and family, they create distance and prevent the formation of real connections between one another. This includes ministry-based careers. Just because someone does the work of God does not mean that the work itself should replace God, or one another. Jesus said, “love God and one another”, not “love the work of God above God and one another”. We should be interested in God as a person and in each other, and the only way to achieve this is to spend time with each other without distractions. We are meant to value each other’s presence and admire each other’s qualities, personalities, humour, spiritual gifts, talents, thoughts and ideas. 

 

WHEN JESUS VISITED MARTHA

 

Jesus “entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:3842

 

Mary sat at the feet of Jesus because she experienced closeness, love, interest and unity, while Martha was distracted and didn’t see the need for connection because she was more focused on the work itself than the love that the work was meant to create.
 
“We know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commands.” 1 John 2:3

Spirits and Episodes

Many of our traumas and triggers are spiritual attacks. Satan not only has the ability to target our minds directly, affecting our thoughts, feelings, moods and atmosphere. With help from his angels, he also uses people who are under his control to hurt and trigger us, hoping to destabilize us so that he can drive us into self-destructive behaviours, or behaviours that hurt others. Only when we are aware of the spiritual influences behind the scenes are we able to find the best processing skills to deal with these attacks.  
 
“The true Christian will understand what it means to pass through severe conflicts and trying experiences; but he will steadily increase in the grace of Christ to meet successfully the enemy of his soul, who works through human agency to cause the ruin of the servants of Christ. By passing through severe ordeals of trial, the follower of Christ will better understand the ways of God and the plan of redemption, and will not be ignorant of the devices of the enemy. The darkness will press upon his soul at times; but the true light will shine, the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness will dispel the gloom.” The Review and Herald, June 16, 1896.
 
Episodes of depression, anxiety, psychosis, mania, rage, impulsiveness, addiction, self-harm, etc., are not only caused by neurotransmitters and our own thoughts, but also by fallen angels who influence our mind. When we are in an uncomfortable state we must ask ourselves, “Does this have a mental, physical or spiritual root?” Must something be resolved emotionally? Did I eat, drink or do something that caused an imbalance? Or are there spiritual forces creating this feeling? Praying daily and closing the doors by living within the Laws of love and purity protects us from their influences. They may try again and again, as Satan did with Jesus, but we must stand firm every time and protect ourselves the way Jesus did, by quoting the truth and praying for protection. 
 
“Satan will, if he is unsuspected, give feelings and impressions.” RH AUG.03,1886

 

“Be sober, be watchful; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

 

God is there to help us, but we also need to fight from our side to get out of Satan’s claws. He will especially attack if he sees that a person is trying to move over to God’s side and give up their habits. He knows that our self-destructive habits separate us from God, so he attacks our mental state, directly or through others, to keep us trapped in sin. If you are experiencing this don’t give in, fight it:

 

“If Satan sees that he is in danger of losing one soul, he will exert himself to the utmost to keep that one. And when the individual is aroused to his danger, and, with distress and fervor, looks to Jesus for strength, Satan fears that he will lose a captive, and he calls a reinforcement of his angels to hedge in the poor soul, and form a wall of darkness around him, that heaven’s light may not reach him. But if the one in danger perseveres, and in his helplessness casts himself upon the merits of the blood of Christ, our Saviour listens to the earnest prayer of faith, and sends a reinforcement of those angels that excel in strength to deliver him. Satan cannot endure to have his powerful rival appealed to, for he fears and trembles before His strength and majesty. At the sound of fervent prayer, Satan’s whole host trembles. He continues to call legions of evil angels to accomplish his object. And when angels, all-powerful, clothed with the armory of heaven, come to the help of the fainting, pursued soul, Satan and his host fall back, well knowing that their battle is lost.” 1T 345.3
 
When we are oppressed by evil spirits, we may feel weak and unable to pray or read the Bible, making it difficult to ask God for help. Other times we may feel over-energized and taken off track. Not only is our energy affected, but we may also lose interest in spiritual topics, or detest them, because they project their thoughts and emotions onto us. To help you during your episodes, I have uploaded prayers, quotes and songs that you can listen to on my Inspiration page. Fallen angels flee when we surround ourselves with God.
~ Calm the storms. ~ 
“He said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” Matthew 8:25-27