Every day I deal with people whose demons are hiding. They may have a sin or shortcomings they can’t overcome. Pornography plagues them; blasphemous thoughts dart through their mind; feelings of despair so strong they momentarily consider suicide. These are a few examples, but you get the idea. Otherwise, they seem okay spiritually. They love God, go to church regularly, and read their Bibles, although with difficulty sometimes. Their lives aren’t overwhelmed with evil, but niggling feelings of temptation persist. In the beginning it is irritating. Over time the temptation or irritation gets worse. And nothing seems to help.
Could it be a demon that is hiding? To most Christians that idea is outrageous, even heretical. Their life seems okay in most areas, but over time the irritation turns to torment. By then their Christian life and relationships begin to suffer. It’s then they may sneak a peek on the internet by googling the word “exorcism.” They find me, or someone claiming to offer deliverance, and their journey starts. The process often leads to frustration until they discover someone who is competent and experienced with such matters. Even then they are confused as to how something so evil like a demon could have remained hidden so long. Here’s how demons hide.
1) PERSONAL PAIN: Unprocessed trauma, unresolved abuse issues, and damaged upbringings can hide demons. Evil spirits thrive on human misery and look for emotional damage that hasn’t healed. That’s why our ministry offers inner emotional ministry to wounded people.
2) DISSOCIATED STATES OF MIND: Multiple personalities, dissociated states of consciousness, alternate mental compartments disconnected from painful memories may hide demons. This is more common than most think. I deal with it often, but ministry in this area of the mind requires experience and careful attention to psychological issues.
3) UNFORGIVENESS OR BITTERNESS: Grudges long held and never dealt with, buried feelings of anger due to mistreatment, especially by a parent, give demons a hiding place. You can’t avoid the consequences of Mark 11:26: If you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.
4) UNSPOKEN THOUGHTS OF DESPAIR AND HOPELESSNESS: Not everyone vocalizes their feelings of desperation. Some bury it deep inside thinking it will recede. It usually doesn’t. Instead, it poisons the soul and is fertile emotional territory for demons to camouflage their presence.
5) HABITS THAT ARE INDULGED IN PRIVATELY: If you have a secret, persistent, hidden sin that has not been confronted with confession and repentance you have an open door to demons. That’s not to say that you can get a demon for every shortcoming in your life. But as numbers 32:23 warns, Be sure your sin will find you out. Being tempted isn’t the issue. Falling from grace isn’t the problem. Demons will enter if you keep the door open to them by hiding your sin and refusing to confront it as a malignancy in your life.
There are many other hiding places I might have mentioned, but this list will get you thinking about your own life. These are all places where demons might hide. Just because you struggle with one or more of these issues doesn’t mean your problem is demonic, but why not find out? Be careful who you consult. If you talk to a pastor who doesn’t believe that Christians can have demons, you may not find an answer. It’s like going to a doctor because of stomach pains and you get an appointment with an anesthesiologist instead of a gastrointestinal specialist. And make sure the person who helps you understands the full range of the deliverance process, which may include inner healing, dissociative identity disorder work, generational curse breaking, and the casting out of demons if necessary.
It’s been said that the devil’s primary strategy is to convince most people that he doesn’t exist. But he also uses stealth. If you’re struggling with ungodly intrusive thoughts, hindrances to prayer and scripture reading, persistent evil images in your mind such as sexual lust or self-harming behavior, you may need Christian counseling. But don’t dismiss the fact that you may also need an exorcism of demons that are hiding in plain sight!