Blindsided, flattened as if by a freight train, and covered in toxic slime.
Ever felt like that?
Chances are, each one of you has been mistreated so badly at some point in your life that you were left dumbfounded. Interactions with abusive (or just plain mean) people can leave you feeling as though you’re covered in a funky, debilitating slime.
When you have been treated badly, it is easy to respond with hatred toward the person who hurt you because of the trauma, abuse and manipulation you endured at their hand; however, at the end of the day, you must realize you’re not simply dealing with the person and their behavior. Anyone who abuses you, manipulates you or perpetuates fear in you is someone you need to remove from your life, no doubt. But if you look beyond the perpetrator, you will discover there are spiritual forces at work through that person — real evil spirits who want to destroy you.
It is true that all of us reproduce whatever we focus on. If you focus on the voice of God and stay in tune with His Spirit, then you will naturally reproduce the Kingdom of heaven in your interactions. The Kingdom of heaven brings life and light — it is obvious when someone is bringing heaven to earth. But, if you listen to the lies of the enemy and his minions, you will reproduce the kingdom of hell. That kingdom brings death, darkness and confusion.
So, if someone — even a Christian — is behaving in a way that creates darkness and confusion, they are perpetuating the kingdom of hell.
Listening to enough lies leads to entertaining those lies, and then believing and acting upon them — and the only result that can ever be: sliming people.
It shouldn’t happen, but it does. And I’m so very sorry for any of you who are reeling from a recent sliming. You’re not alone.
So, what can you do when this happens to you? How do you even begin to clean up the mess?
Here are four steps I follow to de-slime and get on with life:
1. Identify the source
Even though you want to hate the person who slimed you, just stop for a moment and take a deep breath. You don’t have to have warm, fuzzy feelings toward them. In fact, it might be best to remove them from your life — but try to recognize that person still matters to God. Release them to Him. (This is forgiveness. Not validating what they did to you, but letting them go and letting God take care of the justice part.) Differentiate the trauma from the person, and recognize the spiritual forces at work behind the scenes. Ask the Holy Spirit to identify what exactly has come against you and tried to attach to you.
2. Shut the door
Once you realize there are spiritual forces attacking you, stand against them in the name of Jesus. Command them to get away from you, to release their hold on you. Then shut the door of your soul behind them. Make it clearly known that evil spirits are not welcome in your thoughts, your emotions or anywhere in your being. Many times, I phrase it this way: “In the name of Jesus, I stand against every spirit attacking me right now. All evil spirits must leave now, in Jesus’ name! The only Spirit welcome here is the Holy Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit! Fill up my heart, my mind, my body and my home.”
Then, refuse to harbor hatred and stew your thoughts about the abuser — it only opens the door back up to those evil spirits!
Focus your mind wholly on God, letting His Word transform your soul. Host His presence so intently that everything else begins to fade away. As you focus on Him, He starts to wash all the junk off.
Anytime you have a bad memory or rise of emotion from a past trauma, use it as a “redirect” command in your brain to focus on Jesus. That way, you give praise and glory to God every time the enemy brings up the junk from your past (which is a surefire way to make him stop bringing it up!), and in the process, your mind is renewed, your heart is steadied, and there is no room left for evil spirits to hang out around you.
When you get slimed, you also get knocked off course a bit by the impact. You might feel disoriented, or even totally lost. The Holy Spirit is most definitely your Comforter in times of distress, but He is also the best Navigator for your life! He sees exactly where you are on the map, and he knows how to get you back on track and moving along the right path. It doesn’t matter how lost or low you feel — He sees you and can “recalculate” your route.
Just because someone mistreats you or abuses you does not mean you are stuck in that place of misery. Don’t fall for the lies of the enemy and stay covered in slime! Identify the source, shut the door, refocus and recalculate.
You can be free — you ARE free — because Jesus set you free!
**Special note: If you have been abused — physically, sexually, emotionally, or any other form — please seek the help of a professional counselor. The effects of abuse are multilayered, and while the spiritual element to it is very real, there are additional things that need to be sorted out in your soul for you to move forward in healing. Let a skilled counselor help you reclaim the broken pieces of your life and reorder your world in freedom.