Can a Lawnmower Have a Demon

mower

You know how it goes… You roll out the trusty old machine and push it purposefully toward the jungle that was once your yard. You prime it and pump it, pat it and position it. Then you pull the cord, full of hope and expectation.

You prime the thing again, shake it, move it a few inches, and pull again. And again. And again!

Expectation yields to frustration. You prime again, filling the air with vapour.

Your wife, who has never pulled the cord in her life breezes past and advises, “You’ve flooded it!” This invigorates your fervour and you pitch yourself against the infernal beast yet again, pulling with a vengeance not seen since your high-school athletics class.

Images dance in your mind. You recall that smooth-talking chap with the lisp, at the Diabolical Machine Company. His smooth and hypnotic tone promised your transcendence. You were meant for better things. Just one push would open your eyes to new landscaping possibilities. “Great snakes! You’ll mow like the gods, turning forest into lawn.”

You saw it was pleasant to the eyes and a machine to be desired. So you took it home.

But it cost you your paradise. In the sweat of your brow you pull the damnable cord to no avail. Occasional sputters have you leaping to the throttle, coughing in a cloud of smoke.

Heart thumping in your chest, you sense that two “stroke” has a deeper meaning.

You eye your neighbour’s shiny grass-chomping champion, purring over his billiard-table lawn. But you dare not ask again, since he guards it with a flaming tongue that turns in every direction.

Surely there’s a demon in your mower!

So, how does this kind come out? You’ve tried swear and cursing. You’ve laid on hands. You’ve uttered tongues over it.

…… So, my theological friends, what wisdom doth proceed from thee?

Canst thou enlighten those that do huff and puff?

We await your pontifications with hand on the pull-cord.

Rejection 22 – The User

Another type of person who can emerge from the experience of rejection is the “user”. This is a person who is very good at “looking after Number One”. They have set their life direction to the compass of taking advantage of anyone and any situation to suit their own ends.

Rejection is not the only reason a person takes on this lifestyle, but I am linking it to this study of rejection because I have met people whose response to rejection is to become a user of others.

Dead on the Inside

A user is someone who has put aside natural affection and expectations of happy relationships with others. Instead of enjoying normal friendships and bonds of affection, they devalue such things in place of personal advantage.

Rather than warmth and affection, trust, respect, mutual cooperation and other positive social concepts, the user, prefers simple opportunism.

Reject 22 User

To be able to do this they have become “dead” on the inside. Things that they should be alive to, such as warm affection with family and friends, mean next to nothing to them.

Rejection sufferers can easily enter this lifestyle, since their own experience of rejection and pain has hardened or deadened them to expectations of loving friendships and positive relationships.

Bright and Bubbly

A “user” can present as a very friendly, bubbly and bright person to have around. They can become good at “selling” their apparent friendship to others. However, they do not enter into true relationships of trust and mutual respect, but simply into relationships of convenience.

Life is evaluated by a user in terms of “What’s in it for me?” They don’t know how to be selfless, sacrificial, caring or thoughtful toward others, except to win their favour and openness.

Most people have self-interest as a high value in their lives, avoiding what they don’t like and attracted to what they think will be good for them. Western culture, with its diminishing stock of Judeo-Christian values in the hearts and minds of the populace, is becoming increasingly self-serving.

You Owe Me

Part of the user value system, for a rejected person, can be the feeling that society owes them a debt. They have been robbed, cheated and denied the affection they long for, so they see that as justification for taking advantage of others.

Their morality is based on a “Me” perspective. If something is good for them, then it is a good thing to do. Using people is good for them, so it is morally acceptable. Being able to further justify their attitudes and actions by feeling that others “owe” them something makes their lifestyle all the more legitimate in their thinking.

My Mission is Me

One young mum who had this problem explained that she took up a user, “Me” focused lifestyle when she was very young. After her parents separated she became a pawn in the parents’ tensions with each other and she realised that neither her mum nor her dad was committed to loving her and looking after her. So she decided, “I will look after myself!”

That decision, practical and simple as it may seem, became a curse in her life. As an adult she made friends easily with her bright personality. But the friendships became strained as others realised that she was always taking advantage of people.

A ‘user’ sees that their mission in life is to look after their own interests. Everything else comes second to that.

Give and Take

Normal relationships involve plenty of give and take. But they also involve commitment and self-sacrifice. When we care about others we will let our own comfort and priorities be displaced in our efforts to bless those others.

But for the user, life becomes much more of a balance sheet. And they must come out in front all the time. Any imposition must have a good payout, or they won’t suffer it.

Relationships are reduced to cold, calculated “cost/benefit” analysis. They will choose friends based on people’s ability to help them fulfil their personal ambitions. Once someone has past their usefulness the friendship can be easily tossed aside.

The user does not like give and take, preferring “take and more take”!

No Investment

The Bible warns us that we reap what we sow. If we are a giving person, we will receive much in return. If we are a user, we have no investment from which to gain a return.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows is what he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7

Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, will men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you measure out it will be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38

Users set themselves up for an empty life. They are not sowing genuine friendship. They are not sowing love. They are not giving of themselves. So there will be no harvest of the very things their heart most craves. They will receive no affection in return for their investment of care and love into others.

Self as God

When a person sets their own “self” us as god in their life, they think they can invest their skills in making themself happy. But they limit their potential happiness to only that which they can give to themself.

Having self as “god” is a most miserable place. I have desperately needed the super-abundance, awesome love and grace of God. I would be most miserable if I had set my horizon to the scope of what I could give myself.

The user, having their own “self” as the principal idol in their life, ends up empty at every turn. They have no investment from which to reap a harvest, and the best they will ever know in life is what their miserable self can give to their miserable self. How pitiful!

The God Connection

Our only hope as humans is in God. God’s love and blessing far surpass everything your family, culture, friends and nation can give you. You can lose all of them and be richer than them all.

You need a powerful connection with God. The eternal, Almighty God, creator of the universe and all that it contains, is the most important ally you can ever know.

Stop being a user. Give in and fall at God’s feet. Humble yourself and repent. Let God be GOD in your life. Let Him heal and direct you. You will be so much richer in every way when you do.

Rejection 21 – Rejection Addicts

Strange as it sounds, some rejection sufferers become rejection addicts. They live their whole life as if they need more rejection.

Now, that sounds totally absurd and you would think that no-one would be silly enough to want to be rejected. Yet I have observed this in people through the years and I declare that it is so.

Familiar Ground

People who have only known rejection all their life find that they only truly feel comfortable in a context of rejection. When they receive affection and affirmation they feel insecure. While they long to be loved, they find that love is foreign to them, while rejection is the familiar ground on which they feel safe.

Reject 21 Rejection Addict

Rejected people have been known to offend those who show love to them, and otherwise do things to prompt the affirmation giver to reject them. At times rejected people can be downright obnoxious and offensive, biting the hand that feeds them. They can be arrogant, surly, distrustful, abusive, cruel and violent, to those who reach out to them in love.

Testing the Love

One explanation for this bizarre behaviour is that the rejected person does not trust expressions of love. They expect the person reaching out to them to let them down, hurt them or even abuse them. So they test the character of the love offered them, by rejecting it.

If a person persists in offering love, the reject can increase their negative reaction, looking for the point where the carer walks away. When people give up on them they feel morbidly satisfied that they have proven to themselves that those people did not really care about them.

The Abused as Abuser

In this process the abused becomes an abuser. I have been verbally attacked, falsely accused and actively rejected by those I have reached out to. At times the rejection has had quite a sting to it, revealing how toxic the poison in the rejected person has become.

The Bible warns that when we take up a “root of bitterness” we defile many others. And that is what these rejected people seem to be doing.

“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” Hebrews 12:15

Abusing Their Family

Another tragic way in which a deeply rejected person rejects others is in the way they treat their spouse and children. I have seen cases where the rejected person has set up their own family members for rejection, especially their spouse and children.

I think of a deeply rejected man I met years ago who showed no grace to his children. He insisted on cutting their hair by putting a pan over their heads and cutting around the edges. The result made the children look stupid and made others taunt them. But the father was resolute. This is how he had been treated and so he would treat his own children that way.

This is the process of denying others a chance for the things the rejected person missed out on. It is as if they are saying, “If I had to suffer rejection, then you will have to too!”

Insecurity at Play

Part of the explanation for a rejected person rejecting others is the issue of insecurity. Rejection sufferers feel insecure. Being presented with the new experience of affection and care awakens those insecurities. They will then reject those overtures, as much for their own comfort and stability, as for any other reason.

“Better the devil you know, than the one you don’t know” seems to be the unconscious rationale for staying on the familiar ground of rejection, even though it is toxic ground.

Rejection as a Lifestyle

Many of the things I have identified so far as reactions and responses to rejection are expressions of rejection toward others. Distrust, isolation, cutting people out of their life, putting up barriers, keeping people at a distance, being false with others, being rebellious and escaping into self-pity are all actions which offend or put a demand on others.

Thus the rejected person can spend their whole life orbiting around their rejection, being rejected and offending and rejecting others.

Captives

The Bible has much to say about setting the captives free. People are described as being in prison and being bound by the enemy. Evil spirits are shown to dog people’s lives and bring about adverse things in their lives.

All of these expressions can be related to the rejection sufferer. They are caught in a trap which they cannot escape from. Their rejection is a prison, and a prison in which they are happy to remain enslaved.

The spirits of rejection, fear, distrust and insecurity become their familiar ‘friends’ to which they remain chained through their life.

But, Praise God! Jesus came to set the captives Free! Jesus came with an anointing that opens prison doors and lets the prisoners go free.

Pray for the Addicts

If you have loved ones and family members who are addicted and enslaved to rejection, please pray for them. Jesus sets the captives free. Jesus opens prison doors. Pray that God completely release them from that which holds them in the muck and keeps them from their precious divine destiny in the “glorious liberty of the children of God”!

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3

Rejection 20 – Rebellion

My focus so far in this series has drawn attention to the impact of rejection and the tendency of rejection to promote such responses as self-pity and extroversion, to buy love.

In contrast to those tendencies is the response of Rebellion. This is the response from those who choose to “go on the offensive”, since, to them, a good offence is the best defence.

Rebel With A Cause

Many people who are rebellious, in personal life or in the broader cultural setting, are carrying inner hurts. People who are offended readily take up an offence against those who hurt them. That offence can stir retaliatory, vengeful and hateful attitudes. And so, a rebel can be born.

Reject 20 Rebellion

While not all rebels are the product of personal hurts there are many families stung by the pain of a rebellious child who feels they are fighting for a “cause”. The cause is their sense of offence. Thus rejection can be the seedbed for rebellion.

Other Rebels

Not all rebels are the product of rejection. We know that the devil rebelled against God when God, who is perfect and holy, gave him no occasion for feeling “rejected”.

Some rebels are inspired by their selfishness. Others are caught in lust and greed for gain. Some have other forms of evil in their heart, such as violence, thirst for power, hatred toward good, and so on.

Yet, while there are various prompts for a person to become rebellious, it is possible that they have been moved in that direction, or pushed along a path they were already inclined to go along, by their feelings of being rejected and hurt.

Equal Reaction

Newton’s third law of motion gave science the maxim that “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. And this reflects what happens with some people who are rejected. They experience the offence of being rejected, falsely accused, neglected or abused by those who should love them, and so they respond by issuing an offence back toward them.

Reject 20a Rebellion

The “equal and opposite reaction” is their rebellion. They respond as if they are saying, “You think you can hurt me, well I can hurt you too!”

Sin is Sin

I need to point out here that “pain does not justify sin”. There is a popular notion promoted in western culture today that people do wrong things because they were virtually forced to do so by the bad treatment they received.

It is as if offenders are not to be seen as “guilty” any more, but as victims of circumstances.

But please be aware that “sin is Sin!” If someone experiences rejection, that is never a justification for sin. Rebellion is “as the sin of witchcraft” to God.

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” 1Samuel 15:23a

No matter what any of us go through we have no alternative but to live in the fear of God and to be holy, as our God is holy. Our experiences are never an excuse for sin.

Rebellion Road

Some rebels develop into that course by first feeling hurt by parents or those who should love them. This breaks their relationship with their parents and promotes their desire to hurt others and to rebel against authority. Their initial rebellion may be passive, simply being tardy in doing what they are told to do. They may sit down on the outside, but be standing up on the inside, so to speak.

This passive rebellion will develop into stubbornness and ultimately into open rebellion. The rebel will also be attracted to others with a similar spirit and they will associate with others who lead them into greater rebellion.

A child rarely becomes a rebel because they fell in with the wrong crowd. It is more likely that the attitudes of their heart predisposed them to associate with “birds of a feather” whch flock together.

When a parent says, “My child fell in with the wrong crowd and they are leading him into rebellion”, it is most likely that the child has been carrying a chip on his shoulder and was attracted to that crowd by his own heart.

Break the Foundation

If a child is rebellious because of their feelings of hurt and rejection, then a powerful strategy can be to neutralise or break the foundation of the child’s attitudes and actions.

Craig Hill tells in his Family Foundations course the account of parents of an openly rebellious teenager who got on their knees before him and begged him to forgive them for their rejection and their failure to be the parents he needed them to be. The boy was wonderfully transformed.

In the case of such repentance on the part of the parents, the child’s justification for their wrong behaviour is removed. If the child continues to be rebellious then you can be sure that they are simply choosing to do wrong.

The Heart Cry

You will recall from the earliest lessons in this series that God designed each of us to be loved. We are love receptors and our heart cry is to be loved. We want to be loved unconditionally.

This is just as true for the rebel. Each rebel seeks to be loved, just as much as you do. Whatever has prompted them to rebel against authority or to embrace a lifestyle that offends and confronts others they are just as much in need of God’s love as anyone else.

They need the love of God poured into their heart, just as much as anyone else. However, they may have become hardened against it and be very hard to reach.

If you have a loved one who is trapped in rebellion, prayerfully seek to find ways to bring the love of God into their heart.

No Reward for Rebellion

Tragically for the rebel their rebellion brings them no relief from their inner pain. Hurting someone else does not remove our own wound. Retaliation does not pour oil into our wounds or soothe our soul.

And revenge and retaliation are God’s property. When a rebel takes up the cause of repaying or hurting those they believe have wronged them, they steal from God. God says that vengeance belongs to Him. When people take up that right they invoke God’s wrath against themselves.

“Dearly beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19

Break the Witchcraft

We saw earlier, from 1Samuel 15:23, that “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft”. That has several significant applications.

The rebel is unprotected from God’s grace. They have stepped into the devil’s domain and are outside of the grace which God has for their life.

They are also practicing witchcraft against those they are rebelling against. It is as if there is a witch practicing witchcraft in their parents’ home.

So, parents and those confronting the rebellious, take time to break the power of the witchcraft being exercised against you.

Sex Before Marriage

People who engage in sexual activity before marriage set themselves up for serious moral compromise. I have met various couples over the years to discuss their coming wedding and addressed this issue with them. I found most are blind to the significance of their sexual decisions.

The Obvious Statement

When individuals decide to engage in sexual activity before they are married they make some clear declarations about who and what they are. I have had some couples protest what I tell them, but see for yourself.

A person who engages in sex before marriage clearly asserts that sex does not belong exclusively in marriage. If they believed that sex was meant only for marriage they would testify to that by reserving their sexual activities to marriage.

When people engage in sexual activity outside of marriage they declare that they accept the idea that sex is not exclusively reserved for marriage. (I know that’s not rocket science, but you’d be surprised how many people refuse to admit that. The “Moral” implications of this confront them and they switch into denial).

Before and Outside

Let’s clear up some English Vocabulary here. If a person accepts the idea of Sex Before Marriage, they also accept the idea of Sex Outside Marriage! Before marriage is “outside” of marriage!

Don’t look at me like that! This isn’t rocket science!

When a young couple become emotionally entangled and fall into lustful intimacy before marriage they are revealing that they would have no moral reason not to do the same thing with someone “outside” of marriage. Their regard for the place of sex has clearly been demonstrated. It has no special place at all!

Now and Then

If a couple will engage in sex outside marriage ‘before’ they are married, what should stop them engaging in sex ‘outside’ marriage, ‘after’ they are married? What is so different between the “now” and “then”?

Couples believe they are totally committed to each other and would never hurt the other by being “unfaithful”. But those same couples have no problem offending God, being “unfaithful” to His holy standards for their life. So, if they can abuse God, how much more readily can they abuse a human?

Your Signals

Think about what you signal about yourself if you accept the idea of Sex Before Marriage. You signal that you have no Fear of God. So, there is now no moral basis for your existence. You will not make choices based on God’s holy standards.

You are a law to yourself. You make the rules about your life and actions. Whatever you choose at any time in the future is what you will do. When it suits you to be faithful, you will be. If you become bitterly disappointed with your spouse and sorely tempted by an alternative, what is there to stop you choosing to be unfaithful to your spouse?

You also signal that you are lord of your own universe. Therefore you are not tapped in to God. You are not able to access all the provisions He has for you, which you will need during your life. You are the fountainhead of your own existence and the moral reference point for your life. This cuts you off from the vitally important resources that only God can give. You and your spouse will be denied so much that you need to successfully navigate and encounter life in the years ahead.

But We’re In Love

Now, how pathetic is this? I have had couples say to me, as they clasp each other’s hands, “But we’re in love!” You’d think the orchestra is supposed to strike up on the spot!

Emotions and decisions are two separate things. The rationale people use for their decisions is irrelevant. The decisions themselves have powerful moral consequences. Killing a man in a moment of anger, a moment of thoughtlessness, or after a lifetime of hatred, makes no real different to the dead man. He is dead which ever way you came to it.

Choosing to mock God is a decision with profound moral consequences. Whether you are “in love” or “in lust”, stupid, irresponsible, selfish, opportunistic or deceived by your culture, you have chosen to mock God and reject His holy standard for your life! Don’t give me that, “We’re in love!” stuff.

What am I supposed to expect from you when you discover one day that you are in love with someone other than your spouse? You are clearly signalling that if you “fall in love” with someone after you are married, you will have sex with them!

Protection

God does not restrict sex to marriage because He wants you frustrated. He is protecting you from moral harm. Sexual sin is a sin against your own body. It creates a huge gap in the moral fence around your life. It brings you under the power of demons of lust, immorality, uncleanness, adultery, perversion, shame and the like.

Sex outside of marriage, including sex before marriage, seriously damages your ability to enjoy the intimacy which God created for you. It is proverbial that couples who engage in sex before marriage find their sexual activity after their wedding to be less than they hoped. Something has been damaged by their foolish and selfish choices.

Sexualised Society

Western culture is highly sexualised. People are sexually damaged while they are still virgins. We are violated by what is shown to us and by the immoral sexual attitudes in our culture.

Despite all of that, you are a fool to go with the flow of today’s sexual tide. Your only viable option for joy, satisfaction, peace, fulfilment and blessing is to live in the fear of God and to find His power to do so.

I call you out, from among our sexualised society, to live in the holiness for which you were created. If you have been so foolish as to become sexually compromised and damaged, then follow my Steps to Release, which you will find on the ChrisFieldBlog.com website.

A Holy Nation

You are a chosen generation and a “holy” nation. It is time to live your destiny. It is time to walk out of the morass of sexual pollution and lust, and to breathe the rarefied air of freedom and God’s presence.

I call you forth, out of the muck and into the glorious liberty of the children of God. That glorious liberty includes being set free from all immorality and uncleanness, and all the damage you have done to yourself or others have done to you.

Rise and be healed. Step forward into freedom. Rejoice in the Lord who delivers you from this evil generation!