In the gospels, especially Mark, we are told about the number of people who were demon possessed. We may wonder what percent of people are demon possessed today. We hear of murders, torture and extreme abuse and wonder if these evil abusers could be demon possessed. You may have seen the movie Poltergeist where objects flew around. We hear of homes and buildings being haunted. Some go to séances and hear voices. Many may not believe in inanimate objects being possessed but we believe they can be.

Ephesians 6:12 and 16 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Verse 16 “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

Many Christians will read these two verses and never understand their meaning. A lot of believers do not believe in evil spirits or at least they have never dealt with them. There always seems to be paranormal activity going on throughout the world. Steven Spielberg said: “I don’t believe in demons or ghosts, but…” • Mysterious giant ice balls discovered on Swedish coastline • Your cable TV can be haunted • “Websites” detail paranormal investigations • Haunted hotels to keep you awake • Is your home haunted, some are? • The Hole in Red Rock’s lounge’s roof is still a mystery.” Consider the verses that say there will be evil rulers and against the authorities of this dark world.

Many Christians do not realize that many of life’s temptations come from Demonic influence that have made us compromised by the world trying to convince us there is no hell or Satan. More than likely many of us have done things we thought were charitable only to later find out that what we had done was wrong and had to pay the consequences. Have you ever done something and then later find that it was wrong? I suppose if you drive a car, J-walked, etc. you have broken a law. What about telling a white-lie, spreading a rumor, took more from a cashier’s mistake than you should have or something minor yet, wasn’t it a sin?

I suppose many Christians are rarely tempted and never yield to breaking the Ten Commandments but what about the little things? Have you ever unintentionally said something or did something that was hurtful. Every day I suppose we make decisions that had we been more conscious of what we were doing or saying we wouldn’t have. How much are people influenced by evil spirits? The great deceiver is always there to take us down. However, just because we make a bad decision we can’t blame it on the devil or ask God why He allowed us to do so. We have been given free moral agency, meaning that we have the right to make good or bad decisions. In many situations we have no one to blame but ourselves, but in other we are constantly being attacked.

What about Christians who have to deal with the temptations of self-righteousness, pridefulness, being envious, greedy, lustfulness, immorality, porn or untruthfulness? I believe we are bombarded by evil thoughts continually. But how do we know when we are yielding to temptation and when we have just made the wrong decision? I have addressed the financial problems many find themselves in. You cannot drive anywhere in Las Vegas that that we haven’t seen homes foreclosed, strip malls shuttered or businesses closed. If this has happened to you it can be devastating and can physically impair one’s health. The thing you cannot do is to blame it on someone else, whether it is the devil, God or the banker. How foolish it is to hear that because a daughter was injured, her dad gets mad at God. Doesn’t he realize we live in a sin filled world? We must be careful not to blame it on the “not me monster” who is to blame when it was really our fault.

We are going through a very political time in the history of America. What is one thing you hear most everyone say: “It is the fault of that other guy”. We would rather lay blame on someone else than fix the problem or admit our failure.

There is nothing wrong in trying to determine if we were deceived or the problem was self-inflicted. Regardless what caused the mistake, it is wrong to allow self-pity to keep us from correcting the situation and move on.

It didn’t take me long to learn that God does not create failures. God has a plan for us and wants us to be successful. That doesn’t mean we won’t experience failures in life, because failing sometimes provides the experiences necessary to go on to greater things. I have read of many Christian businesspeople who failed, went into bankruptcy, and came out as some of our country’s most successful citizens. But, they have what it seems so few have: a positive mind-set and a can-do attitude.

Too many fail to live according to Christ’s principles and as a result give up. It is hard for many to overcome defeat. Defeat or failure can be long lasting or temporary. Satan’s goal is to help us become defeated and then keep us down. But failure can be a blessing, a teaching experience. Think of the hundreds of times Edison tried to invent the light bulb? How easily it would have been for him to listen to the great deceiver and given up. But Christians have a Spirit within that is there to put positive thoughts into our thinking. So we must be careful who we are listening to. And realize life can be a struggle. When those trials and struggles come we must be careful not to place the blame on the “not me monster” who caused it.

Regardless of whether we yield to temptation or our sins are self-inflicted, we must always keep in mind; God does not necessarily judge us by what we do as much as He judges the condition of our heart and our spirit. Thank the Lord for forgiveness and grace! Don’t ever let evil thoughts and evil temptations keep you down by yielding. Everyone has them!

Most people do not believe what they see in movies or on TV in regard to paranormal activity as factual. They think much of what they see is made up with actors performing to scare viewers. The apostle Paul warned us in Ephesians to be aware of powers of the dark world and spiritual forces of evil. Do we ignore them?

In my childhood they rarely built new houses. Some homes were many years old. When a person would move into a home they would have the pastor and other church members come and pray over the home to remove any spirits and asked God to protect the home. With our cities becoming modernized and new homes being built continually, you rarely hear of paranormal situations occurring in newer homes; and rarely do church people come and pray over homes today.

There are two things that caused me to write this blog. We need to realize that there are evil spirits that we must deal with whether we see them, hear them or not. They are not around to make life easy for us. It is possible to pick up an item at a yard sale and odd things could happen. Second, God has given us the power of the Holy Spirit to help us deal with spirits of darkness. It takes faith and belief that God can overcome. If unusual things are happening in your life the best advice I can give is to pray and ask God to intervene.

Lastly, evil spirits are not always attached to inanimate objects. They are everywhere and most Christians do not realize when they are being tempted or tested. But if we are allowing our self-centered natures rather than our spiritual natures to influence our actions, temptations may be difficult to overcome. May I suggest we take Ephesian 6:12 seriously?

Many people are skeptics. Scripture is very specific about angels, spiritual and evil spirits. Many paranormal occurrences can only be handled with prayer. If problems seem to unexpectedly occur, don’t hesitate to ask believers with faith to pray that the Holy Spirit will intervene.

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