Slay Your Inner Demon (1 of 3)

"We all have inner demons to fight. We call these demons 'fear' and 'hatred' and 'anger'. If you don't conquer them, then a life of 100 years is a tragedy. But if you do a life of one day can be a triumph." - Bruce Lee (From the Movie: Dragon) 

One of the things we all deal with is, what many refer to as, our "inner demons." Whether these are born of insecurities, things we lack, irreversible past treatment, deep dark desires, unmet needs, unquenched thirsts, or simply fears, they are real. Many people are tortured daily by their demons and if we let them, they will drag us down to the pit of darkness, despair and eventually, if we give in, they will lead to our destruction. Even if you do not give in to them they often work as a distraction, keeping us from the life God desires for us.

So, what you and I want to know is what the freak to do about it? I mean, how can we not let our demons ruin our life?

Side note: I can hear in my head someone saying, "Just denounce them. Don't acknowledge them, then they won't get a foothold in your life." I'm sorry, but that's just so ignorant, in my humble opinion. That's like ignoring or not acknowledging when the doctor says you have cancer. Also, I am uncertain if we can ever completely rid ourselves of our demons. And when I say "demons" I am not talking about an actual demon, but rather our carnal selfish flesh, our sinful nature - the part of us that wants to do whatever the hell we want, when we want and with who we want. You understand? I am not talking about demon possession. That's a whole other teaching.

1) Know Your Demon - What I mean is that we should know what our struggle is; know your enemy. I think most of us do know what our demon is - whether Lust, Pride, Fear, Insecurities, etc. When you know your demon, you know not to give in, and you know it's not God speaking to you. Make sense? Know what voice belongs to who. Many times all this takes is a little commonsense. I find the Holy Spirit to be a HUGE help in knowing and identifying my demon.

For example: I know that when I feel like skipping church, its the Devil speaking to me. I know God wouldn't be asking me to skip church, and I know that the Devil isn't going to encourage faithful church attendance. I know when I feel like being selfish and not supporting my church financially, it's the Devil. I know God encourages generosity. (I am sure there is some one who would like to dispute this obvious point, but I am speaking generally here ... of course we all know there are always exceptions to most rules. But frankly a person who would want to dispute this is only attempting to justify why they are stingy and not obeying God. People who are generous would agree with this principle 100%)

Let me continue; I know it's not God telling me to run off with some other woman and leave my wife and kids. Duh! But how many of us know people who have done this and have actually claimed it was God? But even commonsense would tell you that is something you should not do, but it happens all the time. I could go on with example after example, but you get the point. Know your demon!

2) Don't Obey Your Demon - This seems so easy, doesn't it? But it's a lot harder than it sounds, huh? How many times have we considered doing what our demon is asking us to do. Even with the above examples? It's strange how the demon can make something that is so wrong seem so right. Our demon makes it seem like such a great idea, saying things like, "You deserve it" or "You don't want to miss out on that ..." or "It will make you so happy ..." and so many other tempting one liners. 

I have helped people through these very struggles and always thought, "how can they not see that this is so stupid" until I faced some of the very same demons speaking to me. Wow, it's real, and not always easy when you are the one wrestling the demon. Often the craziest thing can be so tempting.

What I have learned is so very helpful here, is to have good trustworthy friends, who are people of character who you can go to and they can confirm for you, "dude, that's crazy! Don't do it!" Then your response should be, "Okay, I won't!" I can't tell you how many people have come to me about something I have said, "Dude, that's crazy! Don't do it!" To only have them go ahead and do it, and later regret it.

1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

To Be Continued ...