Understanding Mental illness and Spiritual Warfare...
I was raised in a very good baptist church, and was taught the biblical fundamentals of that denomination. All the good and right and decent scriptures were taught to me through the years. I was 18 in 1982 when I experienced a truly awesome spiritual conversion. I was saved from harassing and tormenting thoughts that plagued me in my teenage years. When I finally broke down crying out for Jesus to save me, He gave me a clean heart and clear mind. I was not ready for the mental battle that was on down the road.. I remember feeling a great peace in my mind from torment. I did not know how to keep that and maintain that peace in my heart and soul. For many years I struggled with falling flat on my face only to get up and get sucker punched once again to the floor.
Then I got into another denomination that told me I needed to get delivered from demons. I went from one extreme to another. That was all fine and good at the time, but I was not aware of the intensity of the spiritual attack that I was about to experience in the next several years. During this time of learning about deliverance I had some people that prayed over me and I gained some ground, but there was always something missing that I just was not comprehending, I was told it was my authority as a believer in Christ. Unless you really are in sync with the Holy Spirit, you are not going to accomplish one bit of casting out the devil or demons. If satan and his cohorts are not leaving you alone... then something is very wrong.
When I was 22 in 1985, I had my first mental breakdown. I went to several pastors that attempted to rebuke and bind the demons that were tormenting me. It was if the demons would not leave. I didn't even think back in that time to go to the mental health clinic to get help. As a last resort, the people that I lived with at the time, found out about a deliverance ministry. There was one pastor there, that stayed with me all weekend that was able to help me to regain that peace...
Do you know what the greatest tool that that delivered me and gave me a peace in my mind was? It was not getting delivered from every demon known to man. but getting on medicine and getting therapy. I am able now to stand firm in my thoughts, and resist the devil when I need to. Everything changed for me spiritually and I finally found that peace I had back in 1982., when I got on the right meds for me, I was able to control my thoughts and rebuke the devil when and if needed.
You got to know that when you are tormented by the devil with a thousand racing thoughts, you are going to need someone to help you to combat those seemingly unstoppable attacks. You will need someone to stand in the gap for you, to see that you regain that territory in your mind that the enemy has held captive.
I don't know where that pastor was in 2001; if I was able to remember his name I would have got in contact with him. Instead, I chose to go the Mental Health Center, and I don't regret it. I have fought hard to get my life back with a few set backs since 2001, Now I am doing amazing only by the grace of God, and being proactive about my maintaining my recovery. What I do know is that the medicine makes the voices stop and the paranoia livable for me.
I am not saying there is no such things as a spiritual world or demons or angels from God, because from what I have been through there definitely is...
I have found out that there is a balance you have to find in the struggle to find in knowing what part is the illness and which part is the spiritual conflict. Only someone who has been there will understand. People who haven't struggled with a mental illness have no clue.
I don't have all the answers. This is just the way I can maintain the life that I live. If I am wrong, then God will be my judge...in that day all will be made clear. Without my medicine and seeing a doctor on a regular basis, I probably would not be sitting here pouring my time and energy posting on the computer writing in this blog.