Archive for the ‘Mental illness’ Category

And why not this “sign?”

April 2, 2014

There is an ever-increasing need out there in the world today. In my years of ministering out and about with people, I see a huge need that is basically going unnoticed. In some cases it falls under not wanting to believe that it exists, or in other cases, it is not wanting to address it because of fear.

And what might this need be?

People from all walks of life are increasingly being possessed with demonic spirits, or as biblical and mildly put, unclean spirits. From a worldly perspective, most are considered as “mentally ill”. Precisely. That is what happens to one who is filled with unclean spirits. The physical manifestation shows up in their speech and actions. Most would say that when they have seen a person acting strangely or talking to themselves, that person would be mentally ill and needs medication and help. Certainly there are cases where a person has been affected physically that would alter their mind. But to put all under this classification is a grave mistake.

Certainly the world in most cases would not look at something through spiritual lenses. The physical is the much more readily acceptable way to deal with things, right?

But, in this post, I want to address a huge need for those of us who are believers. To be awaken to and hopefully come to a place where we will take action. For the time will soon come where this need will be so prevalent that many hearts will fail because of fear. It is pass time to look into what Jesus taught us believers, and what would “follow those who believe”.

Most of us have no problem with believing that Jesus taught that his followers would pray for the sick and they would be healed. In fact, many do this on a regular basis. Some are healed immediately, others are not, and some are healed later. We have understood and believe that “healing” is common and does occur. For most of us, our understanding and faith takes in physical healing. And at times, even takes in “mental” healing. But what about demonic spirits? What did Jesus have to say about this type of healing? Was it something that should be occasionally done? Was it separate from physical healing? Was it in a classification all by its self and only practiced by a few who were chosen to do so?

Let us take a look into what Jesus taught about this.

First off. When Jesus sent out the Twelve Apostles, “he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out,” (Mt.10:1)

“and to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils (Mk.3:15)

“and gave them power over unclean spirits;” (Mk.6:7)

“and gave them power and authority over all devils,” (Lk.9:1)

Not only were they sent to “preach” and “heal the sick”, but just as equally, they were equipped with the “power against, power to cast out, power over, and authority” over all unclean spirits/devils.

But you say, “that was the twelve, that was their calling”. One could stop here and rightfully say that. But…

Jesus made sure that one would not fall into this trap of thinking. And how did he do that?  He commissioned “the seventy”. He made sure that if you were (key) one of his disciples, you are sent and you are equipped.

This is also why he first said to them,

“The harvest truly is great, but the labourers  are few:” (Why? Because not many want to be his true followers, obey his commands and go out into the world). “pray to the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into the harvest.” (Lk.10:2)

Jesus says to the seventy labourers, and he says to those of us who are followers of him,…..

“Behold, I give to you the power to tread on serpents (Aramaic idiom for enemies) and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Lk.10:19)

Here he says that we will have the “power” and the “protection”.

Now to address those who still might have doubt as to whether this would still include all his followers.

In the book of Mark we have the very well-known “Great Commission”. If you are one of those who would say that this was only for the “eleven” that he appeared to after his resurrection, then all we would have to do is read all the books of the New Testament that follow the gospels and see if that is true. What about all his followers after him? History bears the fact that his true followers have always followed his commands, and are still doing so today.

Jesus said that after his followers go out into the world (this is key) and preach the gospel, these “signs shall follow them that believe” (Mk.16:17). This word “signs” means “an indication, a mark, to indicate-signify”. So we can safely say that those who are true followers will have these marks. Namely, “they will cast out devils, and lay hands on the sick, and they will recover”.  These signs will signify that they will either be believers and doing the works of God, or unbelievers. The dividing line between believers and unbelievers will be much clearer and profound in the coming days. This is not just for a select few that are gifted or called to the ministry of casting out devils as most would think.

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name (key) shall they cast out devils; they (those with whom had the devils cast out of them) shall speak with new tongues.”

If you have ever dealt with a demon possessed person, one of the first things that is noticed is their speech. Their language is not comprehensible. Here Jesus says that once they are set free, they will speak again with a new language.

In closing, the two main reasons that we are not seeing more unclean spirits cast out of people is because of fear and unbelief. However, the good news is that in the coming generations, God will be raising up many younger people who will be fearless and believing. They will not only be that, but because of the times at hand and the prevalence of demonic possession, they will either be in or out as a believer. In fact, the generations that He is raising up, will no doubt be showing and teaching the older believers who never had the wherewithal . When this begins to happen through us, we must remember what Jesus told them that came back rejoicing because the demons were subjected to them.

“Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Lk.10:20)

The times are a changing. Will we be ready and active? Will we believe by our actions all that Jesus taught? Or will we be only selective followers and thus not be a disciple at all?

(PS. The Lord laid this on my heart last week when a spotted a young man (maybe 20-25) on several occasions during the day. One look at him would tell the story. Each time i saw him walking, he was in a complete trance as if he had no control of where he was going or what he was doing. I had never seen him before. He was not a drug case. His eyes were pure darkness and piercing. He was talking quietly to himself as he walked all around the downtown area. He appeared to be completely robotic and controlled.

I have been in prayer since. My heart is heavy for this need. This man is someone’s son. Should we just sit back and say “oh well, that so sad?” Should we just go after the easy? Again, i say that unbelief and fear will keep us from being all we should be for the Lord. May God help us all.)

From rags to True Riches

February 9, 2012

“He would do things like, scream and yell at people. He would run as fast as he could down the sidewalk, screaming and yelling, pushing people out of his way. People who didn’t know him, or weren’t from this area, would freak out. Many would call the police. He was picked up and taken to jail so many times that Joe had lost track of the count. The police of course knew him all too well.”

I believe in the redemptive power of God to change a life. Testimonies prove it.

Today was a lot like a typical day going out on the streets, getting on the train after riding the bus to the train stop. As the train was getting ready to make its first stop into downtown, I looked out the window and noticed a corner, and a spot to stand hit my eye. I heard the Spirit say, “stand there”. So, as it stopped, I got off and walked back to that spot.

I stood there smiling and handing out the “Why do you need Jesus cards”. Had a couple of good contacts with a few people, and good reception in taking the cards. After about 20 minutes, I turned to my right and this guy almost knocked me over. It was Steve! (name changed to protect the redeemed).

Now, I will back up to approximately five years ago.

The Hawthorne area is an area that the Lord has led me to quite often over the years. Like a lot of towns, they have their part of town that cater to the younger generations and it’s “hippy” like culture. Such is this part of our city. Like a lot of cities, it has deep roots in the occult and witchcraft. But hey, the light shines brightest in the dark, right?

On many visits to this area, I would see this man who lived here and everybody knew him. Why did they know him? Well, it wasn’t exactly for his well dressed look or his very charming personally. He was known as the guy who everybody felt sorry for. He was a part of the town. He would bum food, money etc. from anybody at anytime of the day or night. You’re thinking right about now, that he was the “local town bum” right? Well, you could say that, but it ran a little deeper than that. Let me explain.

I have developed a friendship with one guy down there who has his corner where he hangs out everyday with his cardboard sign. His name is Joe (name changed to protect his popularity). Joe has known Steve ever since he came to this area. Many times when I landed here, I would go over to Joe’s corner and hang out for a while. We would always eventually bring up Steve and talk about how he was doing.

You see, Steve had some real mental things going on. And yes, a good deal of it was spiritual. He would do things like, scream and yell at people. He would run as fast as he could down the sidewalk, screaming and yelling, pushing people out of his way. People who didn’t know him, or weren’t from this area would freak out. Many would call the police. He was picked up and taken to jail so many times that Joe had lost track of the count. The police of course knew him all too well.

I remember on one occasion, I had just arrived there, and it was night-time. I looked down the street and saw the flashing lights. I walked by the police car, and there they were, putting Steve in the car again. After visiting with Joe, he shared with me as to what he was arrested for. It was “indecent exposure”. You see, Steve also had this problem where he would for no known reason, pull down his pants and began to take his clothes off. And yes, right in front of everybody as they passed by. And you can guess what would happen shortly afterwards. Yep, the flashing lights.

Two occasions stand out in my mind as a recall the times when I saw him there. One time, it was the middle of winter, and he had his usual dirty clothes, long matted hair, and dirty face. Because of his condition, you could not carry on an intelligent conversation with him. This always bothered me, however, I did not want to succumb to the thought of “oh well, that’s just the way he is”, and just let him be. I believed he was going to be delivered and healed. So, when ever I would see him, I would push through and try to speak with him. Well, this day he actually stopped long enough to hear me invite him to go with me to the Starbucks for coffee. He said he would! Wow! I was shocked, and quite frankly didn’t expect it. So, we walked down the sidewalk. I spoke to him about God’s love for him. I prayed for him and tried to get some feedback, but nothing.

We came to the coffee shop. I opened the door and he just stood there. I said, “let’s go in”. He just stood there. I closed the door, and we stood outside. After trying to find out why he didn’t want to go in, I finally figured it out. Here was a man who didn’t live inside of four walls. He had no house to stay in. All he knew was the outdoors. It was his home. I’m sure the enclosure frighten him, big time.

So, I asked him what kind of drink he wanted. Much to my surprise he said, “a latte”. I said, “what kind?” He said, “vanilla” Wow!, I thought. Praise God! I got an intelligent response out of him. I hugged him and said, “all right! that it will be”. So, he waited outside and I went in. I came out and smiled, gave him his drink and…….. off he went. What? He could not even stay for a minute? There went Steve, pushing aside people and hurrying down the sidewalk. Well, I was thankful that I had experienced a breakthrough with him anyways.

The other time was when I was standing on a corner in the area, passing out cards and noticed that he came by. I reached out and said “hey Steve, remember me? I bought you the latte? He looked at me as if he never met me or seen me before. I began to really pray for him. I didn’t like what the enemy was doing to this man. Frankly, I was getting real upset. Here was a wasted life that the enemy had no right to take and destroy. After about 20 minutes, I saw him coming back my way. I was not going to let this opportunity pass by. As he came by, I……..

immediately followed him rebuking the devil the whole way. It was a busy day and the sidewalks were full. We swerved in and out of the people passing by. I did not care what they thought of this “crazy man” following this guy and talking out loud, saying “I rebuke the unclean spirits in my brother! Come out of him, right now! In Jesus name! etc.etc.” Then……

He took off in a dead run. I followed a short distance, then stopped and gave him to the Lord. No doubt, many people have prayed for him over the years. I know many people have blessed him with untold blessings such as food, water, sleeping bags, money etc. Heaven will tell the story.

A year went by. No sight of him anywhere. I asked around and nobody knew. Of course, we hoped that he made his peace with God, if he had left us for good. Then one day……. I was downtown at a certain corner, and I looked to my left, and saw him. He was walking at a regular pace. He was dressed nicer. He was clean. I called out, “hey Steve!” He looked at me. I said, “do you remember me?” He shook his head up and down and said, “yes”. I smiled and said, “how are you doing?” He said, “really good”, I have my own place now”. I said, “really!” He said, “yeah!” Then he said, “hey I got to catch this bus”. We parted and I couldn’t believe what I had just heard and seen. I went home that night rejoicing in our Lord.

I couldn’t wait for the next time to go out to Hawthorne and tell Joe the good news. The next week came and I found myself led to go out there and tell him. He was so excited to hear that he was alive. I think he might have given up hope. It was an exciting time for sure.

Now fast forward six months, to today. As I turned to my right, this guy almost knocked me over. It was Steve!  I asked him how he was doing. He said great. He reminded me again that he had his own place, and that he had his own food. He looked really good. We reminisced a little about our times on Hawthorne. He remembered.

Now here is the best part………. I asked him, as I stood there holding one of my “why do you need Jesus” cards, “What about Jesus!” He looked at me and said, “Oh yeah! He’s my Lord and Savior!” Wow! To hear that come from his mouth, was like sweet dew coming from heaven! I hugged him and said, “God bless  you brother!” He smiled and said he needed to catch the bus. What a Redeeming God He is! Changed forever!

Was he mentally ill?

February 16, 2008

The young man that shot and killed students this week at the University of Illinois was labeled “mentally ill”. Of course we think that he was, who would do anything like this in his right mind, we say. But I believe it was much deeper than this.

My prayers go out to all the families that were hit by this terrible tragedy. May God comfort you during this difficult time.

When I saw this following comment, it made me think.
“His parents placed him in a treatment home after high school, because he had become “unruly” at home.”
What was his home life like? I don’t know. I believe if we where to know what went on in his home, this might provide many answers. But we don’t.

How many young people today are “unruly” and thus placed on drugs? Parents do not want to deal with their kids behaviors, so they drug them up. Hard to imagine, but true. They now have many behavior labels that they use and thus all kinds of drugs to deal with the problem.

This is real sad when we began to see the problem of overmedicating that is mounting at an incredible speed. Our society is severely drug induced. All ages, now have become the victims.

Now, I do think that there are real cases of mental illness out there, but I believe in most cases we are looking for the “quick fix” and not taking the time to look at the problem and what might be causing it.

What would happen if all the people that have been labeled “mentally ill” , depressed and ADD suddenly could not get their medication?

From what I hear in the following quote, this may have been the problem with this young man who did the recent killings.

“He never wanted to identify with being mentally ill” she said (the house mgr. for the home where he stayed) “that was part of the problem”. Part of the problem? I believe it may have been more than just “a part”.

Another quote was, “He had a history of resisting his medications”. Why? Was he forced to believe that he was mentally ill? Was it because no one wanted to deal with him? No one had the time?

The University police chief said, “He became erratic in the past two weeks after he stopped taking his medications”. Was he still crying out, I am not mentally ill? Someone listen to me? Someone help me?

Sorry, but it was too late.

This is once again, a wake up call for all of us.

May God help us to beware of the people that God has placed in our lives. Let us not be so consumed with our own agenda that we put blinders on and thus not notice those around us. May we run from the “quick fix”.