Dear God, make me a bird so I can fly far, far, far away from here.
Dear God, make me a bird so I can fly far, far, far away from here.
Dear God, make me a bird so I can fly far, far, far away from here, (Jenny’s prayer from Forrest Gump).
As small children sometimes the only escape from an unpleasant or painful situation is to run away. And running away is not only a physical escape. Sometimes life is so pervasively horrific that the only means of escape is to leave their body altogether. This is called dissociation, in which they detach themselves from their body. It might not seem possible, but it is a very real phenomenon. People describe hovering in a corner of the ceiling and watching the abuse of their body. In this detached state, they cease to feel pain. Dissociation can be a valuable tool for coping with things too terrible to endure.
The problem with leaving the body is that it makes room for demons to enter the empty shell of their body. And this is a very real possibility when they leave their body while it is being abused by someone who is demonically possessed. Being spirits, demons notice the things that are going on in the spirit realm. And being opportunistic, if they notice an opening, they will enter. Psychiatry calls this Dissociative Identity Disorder or what they used to call Multiple Personality Disorder. Psychiatry noticed the link between child victims of abuse, dissociation, and “other personalities” that were vastly different from the patient’s own personality.
I once knew a woman with DID. Matilda had grown up on a farm, far from other people. There she was physically abused by her mother (who had been diagnosed as schizophrenic) and sexually abused by both father and grandfather.
Matilda told me about her mother speaking to her own “imaginary friends,” and of hearing hooves on the wooden stairs of the farm house whenever her mother lit candles. Her mother’s abuse wasn’t limited to beatings, which Matilda had suffered daily. Sometimes she would tie Matilda down on the kitchen table and do “surgeries” on her genitals. Later, the doctors told her that it was a wonder that she had been able to get pregnant with so much scar tissue in her vagina.
Matilda had become such an expert at dissociation that at the slightest physical discomfort, she would detach from her body. I saw her do it several times, and the emptiness in her eyes was instantly evident. That detachment was quickly followed by the manifestation of one of her “other personalities.” I didn’t know that they were demons at the time, but looking back, it has become obvious. Matilda told me that “Cindy” was one of her many child personalities, and was very playful and mischievous. Having been around it, I wouldn’t call Cindy playful and mischievous. Cindy never manifested without causing me some kind of physical pain. Matilda laughed it off, explaining that Cindy was hyperactive and didn’t know how to handle the strength of a full-grown woman’s body, since she is only five years old.
Cindy was the only demon that I had learned to recognize, but Matilda told me that almost all of her “others” had at one time or another had an encounter with me, and that they all liked me. I do remember her voice changing, her face changing, even her body changing sometimes.
Now that I know what I was dealing with, I am horrified at the thought of those encounters. And I am especially horrified that my children had met Matilda, and that I had invited her into my house.
I am not a person who easily abandons friendships. Matilda very suddenly turned on me one day, telling me that I was no longer welcome to contact her. This happened soon after moving to Italy the first time, with my family. Now I see the breaking-off of our friendship as a good thing. I do pray for her, and especially for her deliverance. Matilda did accept Jesus one day when I visited her house. But I didn’t know that she needed deliverance, nor how to help her in that. In my innocence, I still believed that hers was a psychiatric problem.
One of the problems that we have in the church today is the very one that caused me to fail to fully understand what it was that I was dealing with: that is that we are so afraid of people becoming fascinated by the defeated enemy that we fail to teach anything at all about him or his tactics. If you notice, I emphasized the word that reveals the problem with that approach: fear. Will some people become fascinated? Probably. But that shouldn’t stop us from teaching the average Christian about these things. Will some people call it a negative message? Probably. But who cares? The only one with anything to lose by teaching these truths is the defeated enemy.
We need to be wisely discerning, teaching all the truth of God’s Word. Had I been equipped with the knowledge, I could have helped Matilda get deliverance. I also would never have allowed a demonized person into my house or near my children.
Is it any wonder that most American Christians don’t believe in hell, eternal punishment, or the devil? They don’t want to preach a “negative” message. So often people like Matilda only find help from psychiatrists and medications, when they should be enjoying permanent deliverance. The church needs to be teaching believers these things in accordance with the Word of God:
Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people. But everyone knows that you are obedient to the Lord. This makes me very happy. I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet, (Romans 16:17-20, emphasis mine).
Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature in understanding matters of this kind, (1 Corinthians 14:20).
Armed with the full knowledge of the Word of God, believers can help the demonized, and find deliverance themselves. Plus, knowing the reality of the defeated enemy’s existence and eternal punishment, believers will shut off their televisions, computers, and other distractions, and get out there and share the love of Jesus with greater urgency. Because if you really understand that the nice barista at your favorite coffee shop is in danger of spending eternity in hell, you’ll tell him about Jesus. Again, the only one who stands to lose from this so-called negative message is the defeated enemy, himself.
God is our Fortress. He will protect you from the rage of people or the defeated enemy. He will also protect you better than dissociation ever could. If Matilda had known, she could have hidden herself in God, rather than dissociating and opening herself up to demonic possession.
You are my safe refuge, a Fortress where my enemies cannot reach me, (Psalm 61:3).
God is good!
 The context is the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which includes discernment of spirits (1 Corinthians 12:10).