A common question asked is, ‘How does someone reach the point where they have no desire to live?’
I believe that the answer to that is quite simply, ‘They don’t.’
Human’s will take crazy, extreme measures to survive, to escape a threat to their physical safety. We’ve probably all seen the pictures of people trying to escape the building on 9/11 or more recently in Afghanistan.
In a moment of danger the rational part of our brain will shut down and we instinctively respond in one of four ways: flight, fight, freeze or appease.
Flight: get as far from the situation as possible.
Fight: take out the source of danger.
Freeze: shut down physically, lack of action.
Appease: pacify whoever or whatever in hopes of calming the storm.
In each of those, again, survival is the goal even when the rational part of our brain shuts down.
So, why does suicide exist?
John 10:10 says: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
The thief (devil) comes to KILL.
I believe that the devil has a hit list. If you’re a christian, you’re on it, if you’re an influential christian your name moves up on that list. The greater your influence the higher on that list your name will be.
Now, before you freak out, you might want to remember that the devil is also powerless. He accomplishes nothing that God doesn’t allow.
However, God gave us all the freedom to make our own choices. So, just because God allowed it does not mean he approved it.
A tormented mind.
I believe that suicide is the result of torment rather then depression.
I believe that suicide is 100% demonic. A demon whose only job is to convince a person, not that life isn’t worth living but that they aren’t worthy of life.
It will point out a person’s every failure and mistake. It will remind us of all the times we hurt someone, it will point out all our weaknesses and all the things we struggle to overcome.
It will not point a single thing that you’ve accomplished or done right.
This demon called suicide has no power over a person’s life as long as they don’t agree with it, but once they agree with one thought it will push the next thought until it has woven a person so tightly in it’s web that the voice of condemnation is the only voice the person hears anymore.
Over time a person’s resistance is worn down because we aren’t strong enough to stand against demonic forces on our own. Eventually, the lies win and a person can be fully convinced that their family, friends and even the world in general would better off without them.
How does this demon gain access to our life?
Demons cannot enter your life without an open door. They cannot access your life unless you agree to let them, more or less.
An open door, so to speak, can be unrepentant sin, wrong beliefs, trauma or dabbling with the occult. Maybe there’s more but those are the big ones that come to mind.
Living in unrepentant sin, is an open door for demonic torment. This is pretty easy to understand as sin is from the devil and separates us from the father.
Wrong beliefs are an open door to demonic torment because if our beliefs don’t line up with the truths found in the Bible, then it isn’t from God, which means are, more or less, we are entertaining thoughts the devil planted there.
Dabbling in the occult is an open door to demonic torment because the occult is the devil’s playground. This one’s pretty self-explanatory.
Trauma actually covers a host of things such as physical, sexual, psychological or spiritual abuse, or it can be any traumatizing life event: car accident, sudden death, prolonged illness, deep betrayal by someone we love, to name a few. Trauma covers a broad spectrum.
Matthew 4: 1-3 says: Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by the Devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when the time was up he was hungry.
The Devil, playing on his hunger, gave the first test: “Since you’re God’s Son, command this stone to turn into a loaf of bread.” (Message translation)
The devil ‘played on his hunger.’ My personal interpretation of this is simply that the devil chose to attack when Jesus was in a weakened state. Trauma momentarily puts us in a weakened state, therefore it becomes an open door.
However, the devil can’t just walk in and make himself at home even if the door is open. You’ve got to invite him in. We do this by believing (or coming into agreement) with the lies he’s telling us.
Once we agree with him we’ve given him the right to enter.
Once he’s in, the mental torment begins and he won’t leave till you kick him out.
How to get free.
Renounce the lie. Whatever it is that you’re telling yourself, replace it with the truth.
Next, tell the demon to get out of your life, literally. Tell it to go, you’ve renounced the lie, therefore you’ve rescinded it’s invitation and it no longer has a right to stay.
James 5:16 says: Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.
Find someone to talk to, someone you trust enough to share your story with, invite them into the darkest parts of your battle. This can be a professional counselor, a mentor (this is what I recommend most) or a friend.
When you invite this person in, when they process and pray with you, I can’t quite explain it but this is where healing can begin.
Through this process you also need to identify and close that open door. Repent of any sin and pursue healing of any deep heart wounds.
Jake Kail, Pastor of Threshold church, has some great resources: podcast, books, and social media pages on this subject if you’re interested in more in depth information on this topic. A good starting place is his book, ‘Keys For Deliverance.’
How to stay free.
Getting free is simple but the devil doesn’t like to lose, so his next step is to try to convince you that nothing actually changed and you will be stuck in this hopeless situation forever.
Let’s go back to Matthew 4 verse 3-4 say: The tempter(E) came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God,(F) tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
When the devil tempted Jesus, Jesus’ response was to quote scripture.
The Bible, I believe, is our most powerful weapon against spiritual warfare.
Find a verse that fits your situation and when the devil brings his lies, quote your scripture back at him.
Worship is also a powerful resource because it turns your focus from the devil to God, and also the devil isn’t going to stick around to watch you worship his worst enemy.
Persistence is key here because eventually the devil will realize that he has lost and he will leave you alone in this area.
God already won.
I believe we need to be aware of the devil’s strategies to a certain point because when we understand it we then have the power to bring change and freedom.
I also feel like sometimes we get hung up on the devil’s capabilities and forget that when Jesus died on the cross he declared, ‘It is finished.’ He won the battle for once and for all. The devil might attack but God is always bigger, stronger and more capable. We are fully and completely protected as long as we are abiding in him.
2 looking unto Jesus, the [a]author and [b]finisher of our faith, (A)who for the joy that was set before Him (B)endured the cross, despising the shame, and (C)has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2