Suicide is a sensitive subject. And whether we admit it or not, the best of us have been confronted with suicidal thoughts. This subject is extremely important and dear to me because I am a suicide survivor. This is not something that I speak about often, but something that occurred recently prompted me to speak on this.
As pastors we all have good days and not so good days. We all have times where we are pleasantly surprised and there are times where we are violently reminded of our humanity. My family has a history of depression and bipolar disorder. One thing that I have learned about generational curses, weakness and familiar spirits is that they are very patient. They will wait 30 years for you to be weak enough for them to take advantage of your vulnerability. They will wait you out until the perfect moment.
At my lowest point, in a place where it seemed as if I was in over my head with responsibility and need, the enemy spoke so clearly to me. He said “I can fix that, give me your soul.” I have been close to dying several times, but I have never felt death this close. These words were in my soul, and they were dark, cold.. evil. I immediately rebuked the voice. But heaviness seemed to gain a grudge against me. That night was the hardest night of my life. And for the first time since I was a kid.. I actually contemplated suicide.
I am not the only leader or pastor that has had suicidal thoughts run through my mind. There are those reading this, that would hate to admit it, but you have suicidal thoughts frequently. There are those reading this that have kids, relatives and friends that also have these thoughts. Are they normal? How do you deal with them? Does suicidal thoughts mean you are possessed or demonized? These are questions that fill our minds. I want to be clear and state that I will not deal with the question, “do victims of suicide go to Heaven or Hell?” I believe personally that it is complex. If someone is overcome with a devil, they are a victim, and I believe the Lord shows compassion, and so should we.
There are many people in the Bible that have suffered with suicidal thoughts and have even become victims of suicide.
People who committed Suicide:
Saul’s Armbearer (1 Samuel 31:5)
Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23)
Zimri (1 Kings 16:18)
Judas (Matthew 27;3-5)
Samson (Judges 16:30)
People who Attempted Suicide:
King Saul ( 1 Samuel 31:4)
Asked to be Killed:
Abimelech ( Judges 9:54)
Elijah (1 Kings 19:4)
Elijah is interesting to me because as anointed as he was, he wanted to die. There are times where we all feel like giving up, throwing in the towel and leaving our assignment prematurely. I want to offer a few guidelines on dealing with the spirit of suicide.
I want to be clear that suicide is a spirit. It is an influencing agent that troubles the mind with depression, paranoia and deception to the point of self destruction.
Depression is a soulish weight that enters in by a distorted view of ones own self worth. Low self esteem and not understanding ones assignment is the catalyst and beginning of depression. Depression is NOT curable by drugs. While it can be treated by psychologist and helped by counseling and support groups, we can not dismiss the technology of intercession and deliverance. Here are a few things that you can implement to begin and start the process of deliverance:
1. Master the art of filtering your thoughts– We must understand that the mind is an open battlefield, but you must treat it as private property. The enemy trespasses by giving thoughts that are against the will and purpose of God. Every thought that comes to your mind is not yours.
2 Cor. 10: 5– Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
It is our duty and responsibility to CAST DOWN (warfare) every imagination. The imagination is a realm in the soul which is responsible for our creative power. It is the platform for dreams, vision and special thoughts (another message). Imaginations are literally images from another nation. They can come from the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Darkness or from our own will. We must filter these thoughts, ideas and concepts through the word of God. How does this happen? We must have a regular intake of the word of God.
Psalm 119:130– The entrance of thy word giveth light..
The more word you have in you, the more light there is to reveal. When the light of the word resides in you, the enemy can not slip anything past customs. Every thought is clearly seen and visible.
Psalm 19:7– The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul..
The Word of God squeezes the soul into the image and likeness of God. Over time the word of God converts the soulish realm of man, making subject the will, the mind and the emotions. The word of God is central to protecting our mind against ungodly thoughts and emotions.
2. Make it a Habit to submit your thoughts– This is very hard to do. We are accountable with our actions, finances, and ministries, but seldom are we accountable with our thoughts. One of the reasons why we allow our mind to get away with so many things is because we have bought into the idea that just because we think it, doesn’t mean we are guilty. Jesus taught the exact opposite.
Matthew 5:28 KJV– But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
The mind is so powerful that to think a thing is the same as doing it, because the potential.. the seed it there. When you have a constant influx of demonic thoughts, submit them to your coverings, ministry fathers, and pillars of support for the purpose of accountability.
3. Develop a Prayer Life that is Autonomous– This can be hard, but with practice and consistency, it is the most powerful tool I have found to combat depression and suicidal thoughts. Prayer is a pillar of our faith. Sadly it is scarcely practiced, and elementary at best. Prayer is a weapon in the hands of the saint.
Jude 1:20 KJV– But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost
There is much debate as to what this scripture is referring to. I believe it refers to praying in tongues, but regardless the connotation here is to pray with intensity, focus and accuracy. When we develop a consistent prayer life, one that is not dependent upon our emotions, but driven by a divine routine that has been developed within the womb of intercession. NEVER STOP PRAYING!!! Pray until it becomes subconscious. It becomes like breathing, it becomes powerfully autonomous.
4. Live Life on Purpose– We speak a lot about purpose, and to some degree it has become a mundane subject that we overlook. Some have even criticized people for teaching and preaching on the subject of purpose. I believe that the gospel can not be preached in its totality without including the purpose of people. We must teach people that everyone is here for a reason, and that no one is insignificant.
Ephesians 1:11 KJV– In whom also we have obtained an inheritance , being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
We were predestinated.. in other words our destination or destiny was predetermined according to God’s purpose. Without understanding this our life loses vitality, meaning and direction. We must offer this to the world that is void of identity and authenticity. We must offer this to a world that is paranoid with suicide and death.
You can overcome suicide. You do not have to become a victim of self destruction. Your life is worth living. I know, like you, that I am here for a reason. My life has purpose and destiny, and so does yours. Dealing with the spirit of suicide insures that generations down the line will benefit from our ministries, anointings, giftings and legacy.
Psalm 118:17 KJV– I shall not die , but live , and declare the works of the LORD.