Media Helping People, Ministries Glorifying Christ
Don't let a passing, sinful world steal your joy in Jesus or stop you from spiritual fulfillment.
Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Wash-ington telling Dillard University graduates to put the Lord first in all they do. The born-again thespian says God's grace is responsible for all his success.
Demons cannot possess a believer, but they can oppress a Christian through planting evil thoughts in the mind, discouraging faith, and attempting to isolate their prey. Remember, "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world," 1 John 4:4.
Praying biblical passages regarding our situation is one of the best ways to ensure our request is godly, proper and will be granted. God says, "So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please and prosper in that for which I sent it," Isaiah 55:11.
Israel was cursed because it would not enter God's rest (Psalm 95:7-11), and Christians are to be "diligent to enter that" relaxation (Hebrews 4:11). How? By seeking God's Kingdom and righteousness in Christ, trusting all personal needs will be provided by the Lord (Matthew 6:33).
A CIGNA survey discovered Generation Z (born 1996 or earlier) had the highest loneliness score, and each generation was more lonely than the one immediately preceding it.
Many Christians get discouraged over sins committed after salvation. We fall because our minds still must be renewed after our spirit changes (Romans 12:1-2). First John 1:9 says that if we confess our misdeeds, God is "faithful and just" to forgive them.
People increasingly feel they have few with whom they can discuss personal issues, and many adults are desperate for some measure of positive one-on-one contact. A CIGNA survey of 20,000 adults found 54 percent think no one knows them well. Fifty-six percent said the people they surround themselves around “are not necessarily with them.” However, the Bible has answers to life’s problems; “a word spoken in due season, how good it is!” says Proverbs 15:23.
Individuals’ growing alienation is a product of several factors, I believe. An increasing share of interaction today is by mediated communication – for example, texts, email and other digital means – meaning less is face-to-face or even telephone call. Isolation often leads to overthinking situations, looking at other people as suspicious or untrustworthy, “awfulizing” personal circumstances, and/or inordinately focusing on oneself. These are “imaginations exalting themselves against the knowledge of God” to which Paul refers in 2 Corinthians 10:5.
Jesus told us to seek God’s Kingdom and righteousness – pursue relationship with the Lord and count on his overcoming power – and trust that food, clothing, shelter and all else we need in our earthly lives will be “added unto” us (Matthew 6:33). I had a revolution in my thinking when the Holy Spirit helped me realize that we Christians usually pray for what will be given to us in this addition.
Putting it simply, we put God first, and he puts us first. That keeps us from absorption with self, fearfulness of others, assuming falsehoods, prolonged solitariness and so forth. If we look at ourselves constantly, then we will never be at peace, for we are fallen and yet works in progress in Christ. But should we focus on the Lord, we will see his love, grace, mercy and perfection, allowing us to rise above the world.
I am not a licensed professional counselor (very few pastors are), and I tell that to all. If I encounter someone with serious mental health difficulties, then I do not hesitate to refer the person to an LPC, a Christian one if at all possible. Many believers are so licensed, and their advice differs significantly from secular professionals. One man I knew was in a mediocre marriage but committed to fulfilling his vows. After 39 years together, his wife went to an unsaved LPC, who counseled her to divorce. She did, and he and their kids and grandchildren still hurt years later.
Many people are crying out for help over social media. When I encounter them, I give them God’s Word as well as pray for them. My posts generally garner positive feedback and help anyone reading, not solely the one posing a query. Of course, I privately message those who seem to have troubles needing intervention or licensed professionals.
Here are some of my recent exchanges on social media regarding such problems. All are from public messages; I never break a confidence from private discussions of any kind, be they electronic or in person. To pose a question of me, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. “Q” is the poster’s question or statement, while “A” is my response. Discussions are separated by three hyphens.
Q: I think according to the Bible, our old self died with Jesus. Then why do we still have to struggle with sin? This still confuses me.
A: Salvation makes our spirit come alive, "born again" (John 3:16). However, the mind must be renewed (Romans 12:1-2). This is the personal relationship with God: We saved are predestined to be conformed to Christ (Romans 8:28-30), so he & each work out Jesus' image in the believer.
Q: It is amazing that I could live my life without a specific sin for a few days again, but the temptation is there. I so don’t want to fall back again. Jesus help me.
A: That's why it's important to pray God changes your heart & mind instead of just stopping the sin. He'll do it!
Q: Some of the thoughts and feelings we experience are not our own.
A: This is true. Christians may have thoughts from God, the devil, or self. This is why 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to take every one of them captive to Christ: Would Jesus say or think this?
Q: I had weird unconscious movements and someone spoke inside of me. He said that he is the spirit of lust, hate and death, and he entered me through porn and YouTubers who are ruled by Satan. This is scary.
A: That's a demon, not inside you, but he can address you. I am hearing of more cases of Christians having these evil spirits speak to them. Demons cannot possess you, but they can oppress you. Tell the spirit you belong to God, and greater is he in you than that demon (1 John 4:4).
Q: I will be OK. Interestingly, the fact that I struggle so much with evil thoughts made my faith stronger. I know that the spiritual world is real. I know for a fact that Jesus is the only answer because the evil spirits hate him.
A: Great! How to stop this is get close to God; pray for cleansing of mind, changing of heart, and your mind to stay on the Lord in perfect peace. As you strengthen in Christ, you can "possess the land": To accusations, say, "There's no condemnation for those in Christ," Romans 8:1.
Getting into a church will help, too. Remember that one I recommended to you. You'll be surprised how greatly fellowship and prayer will help your walk, and you have gifts that will bless others, too!
Q: You not necessarily will get rid of all the bad spiritual things (demonic powers) or something else in a minute. But you need to keep fighting, God is way more powerful than Satan.
A: If the enemy distracts, pray Isaiah 26:3, "Lord, keep my mind stayed on you, in perfect peace. In Jesus' name, amen." After praying you can use Philippians 4:6-8, "Father, let me have peace surpassing all understanding guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. In his name, amen."
Q: I struggle with depression, anxiety, sexual impurity and internet addiction at the same time. Please pray for me if you can!
A: The root is failing to enter God's rest. This is in Psalm 95 and Hebrews 4. We must center upon the Lord and that we're going to heaven, never to be denied. He promised to provide for us as we seek his Kingdom (Matt. 6:33). This puts us at ease so we don't have to feed our flesh.
Q: Would you read Romans 7 and tell the Apostle Paul that he "failed to enter God's rest"?
A: If referring to his saying he can want to do right but can do wrong, no. Read Romans 8:1-2, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death."
Paul likely wrote Hebrews 4. Verses 8-10: "If Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his."
Q: I am interested in your opinions: have you ever felt that you can't control yourself and your life is just going down and you can't control it? I feel like this. What to do in this situation?
A: Cry out to the Lord for help. Pour out your heart until you know he's heard you. After that, talk and pray with a Christian friend. Go to church and ask for prayer. Keep strengthening yourself in God's promises in the Bible that he will do what he has said.
Q: My main mission now is just simply to stay close to the Lord, and everything else will be in their right place after that. I start to believe in that. Praise Jesus!!!
A: Amen! Know that even if you don't "feel" God at times, he still is there. Continuing with the Lord is based on the Bible's promises and knowing what he's done in your life already. Don't believe the devil when he accuses you – he's the father of lies (John 8:44).
The spiritual world is very much real. Fallen angels – now demons – don’t line up with the anti-supernatural, supposedly scientific mindset of the Western world, but not believing in something real does not make it go away. On Judgment Day, the unsaved will wish there were no God, yet he will render a decision on their soul because he is reality defined.
The way to enjoy life is to know Christ and be at peace with and in him. As we read Scripture and interact with fellow believers, we need to pray to become more like Jesus (Romans 8:29-30) and repent of our sins (Acts 3:19). I have seen and experienced miraculous answers to petitions regarding character, integrity, holiness, love for others, and infinitely more. I also have seen God provide money, jobs and other tangible blessings, but these are not as important or difficult as works in the human heart and mind.
Don’t let the devil and this evil globe rob you of your joy or stand in the way of your salvation or sanctification. Remember what Jesus said just before his arrest: “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
About the author: The Rev. Kyle Huckins, Ph.D., has an earned doctorate and taught both journalism and religious studies in universities, winning three honors for scholarly research on the intersection of faith and media.
He's won 25 awards for professional media writing and production in a career stretching back to the 1980s and covering every mass medium. For 20 years, he's worked in public relations and marketing with outstanding results in placing articles, generating click-throughs, growing social-platform accounts, and more.
Ordained in 2003, he's clergy and has served congregations and denominations in numerous positions of pastoral, administrative and educational leadership. He has a master's degree in theological studies from Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. See below on this page andclick here for more on Huckins.
This website also has a three-times-weekly blog on faith, regularly updated Facebook and Twitter feeds and more. You may email the author at email@example.com. He enjoys hearing from readers!