Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Monsters Inside and Outside of Me

The Monsters Inside and Outside of Me


Sometimes late at night I find myself scanning through channels on the Television looking for a something interesting to occupy my down time. If it is really late at night the selection dwindles to infomercials, crime dramas, (not so) reality TV, and the miscellaneous show that I would categorize as “informational TV you never knew you didn’t need to know until you knew it”. One such show is called the “Monsters Inside of Me”. This show is about people who contracted various parasites or viruses that take over, and the story behind it. It’s very disturbing to ponder all of the many things that can take hold of a person when they are least suspecting it. Usually it’s the symptoms that spiral so out of control that they are forced to face the parasitic demons.  It’s a struggle I can’t relate to in the physical but know all too well in a mental, emotional and spiritual way.

Recently I found myself at the very end of myself in a struggle I have faced for almost two decades. I struggle with food. Like so many other struggles that people face it has a power and a hold over thoughts, actions, and emotions for me. But what do you do with an addiction that is revolved around something that you cannot just abandon. The body needs food to function, so in order to conquer its hold you are forced to face it every day no matter how hard the struggle is. I would describe the struggle as having two extremes. The one extreme being over eating, emotional eating, and eating things that are unhealthy to eat. The other extreme is the denial of those habits that lead right into the opposite end of an equally unhealthy lifestyle of starvation, anorexia, self-punishment, bulimia, extreme dieting and or exercise. The struggle is real to find balance when any attempt at such balance just finds you on one side or the other of this toxic battle.

I have had times in my life where I have seen temporary relief, or freedom from the struggle by the grace of God but somehow I just kept finding myself facing the struggle again and again. I wanted to get free but so much shame and a mentality that I should be stronger kept me from asking for the freedom I needed. And finally it came, the moment of revelation that would bring the power of God into my life. It wasn’t lightning or thunder, rather it was that gentle way that God has with us that turns an ordinary day into an extraordinary one. I wasn’t consciously aware of my request for freedom but had just found myself opening my heart up to God. He came in, and in doing that His light shed right into that area of struggle.

I was sitting on my couch reading a book about prayer when all of a sudden my spirit agreed with God that I needed more of Him. In that moment I saw a picture in my mind of something that can only be described as outrageously disturbing.  I saw two demons. Two female twins. One was disgustingly obese, hungry, prideful, arrogant, and demanded her own way. The other was skinny beyond any help, her skin pressed against her bones so tightly she looked like a corpse, she was weak, frail and hated herself. She was shame, self-punishment and loathing. The very next thing I noticed was that they were playing a game. The game was like a puppet show of sorts and I was the toy. I was the object of their game as they vied for control over my thoughts, emotions and actions. For long periods of time the gluttonous prideful demon would be winning and then I the toy would rebel and cry out that I couldn’t bare the self-hatred that those games led to, so unknowingly I would hand myself off to the self-punishing demon for a round of extreme dieting and self-criticism, that would only lead to disappointment and shame.


The game went on and on, and the two demons grew stronger with each round. It was as though they feasted on the torment being inflicted upon me. Eating my very flesh with every failed attempt to get free. One of the things that alarmed me as I watched the two was how even though I had never seen their faces before, somehow I knew them all too familiarly. It was as if they were family, part of my history, the dreaded inappropriate relative that you don’t particularly like but what can you do?  That became my very next question. What can I do? I had been believing a lie for so long that I was a failure and that my struggle was stronger and bigger than me. My identity was so wrapped up in this façade they had created for me. I didn’t want to play the game anymore and after twenty years of playing it they had more than outstayed any welcome that I may have at one time offered to them.

We carry our struggles as though they are a part of us. Until they had faces I had no idea that I could be rid of them, until they had faces I had no way of knowing that I could turn them away. But it wasn’t so much the fact that my struggle no longer was faceless as the truth that we can only look into the face of one thing at a time. If I am constantly looking to them or at them as part of me, I won’t be able to also look into the face of Christ who gives me strength, I will forever be divided. The bible says we cannot serve two masters. Often we don’t understand why we are so doubleminded and weak in our walk with God. Often it is because we are slave to our struggles. Christ came to set the captives free. He came to bring abundant life. Our struggles have faces, those things that captivate our thoughts and get in the way of freedom no longer hold the power to bind us. But unless we stand in agreement with God over our freedom and let Him fill us with new life, they will stay like squatters in an abandoned building.


Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.

… So put to death the sinful, earthly things living within you.


Your struggles have a face and they don’t belong in the place of honor, and because of Christ we can put them to death.

That show about the parasites, so very much disgusted me. It was the terrifying idea that a monster could be living inside of me. Even the thought of it being near me, just waiting to make me the new home where they would feast upon my flesh. But isn’t that the very thing that happens inside of us as we battle against our unseen enemy. We try to treat the symptoms of a monster with no face. We grow weary and tired of the battle and start to believe that we are crazy, that we are weak, that we are completely helpless to the invaders. There are many spiritual parasites that go undetected in our lives. Many that fly below the radar of detection. To name a few that I have found: Pride, Selfishness, Fear, Addiction, Jealously, Comparison, Shame, Bitterness, Gossip, Slander, Depression,…and the list goes on.

So what do we do about these invaders? We ask the Great Physician to identify them, to remove them, and then we get some seriously good Antibiotics in our system. We reject the lies and get the truth inside of us not only to fill the space that is left bare but also as a preventative measure against future attacks. We strengthen our spiritual immune system by getting spiritual health inside of us.

Is it time to go to the doctor? Is it time to see what unwanted monsters are lurking inside of us? In the physical when we find out that we have been infected we don’t blame the host that infected us, nor do we blame the parasites, they aren’t worth our time once we realize we have the cure. We merely focus in on the one who can set us free and follow his directions to get healthy. So when dealing with your spiritual parasites do not dwell on the disease, the pain, or the past but set your sights on higher things.


Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.



Lord, we ask for your revelation every day to reveal the parasites at large within our hearts. We do not merely seek you, the great physician for a consultation but we come to you for deliverance. The parasites no longer will be allowed to feast because we will no longer be the host. Lord I pray for your direction and guidance as we get the good spiritual antibiotics into our system. Help us to pursue the fruit of the Spirit which is loaded with antibodies that we need to fight! We love you so much Lord and recognize that you are a good and loving God who longs for us to be free. Amen   

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