Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
If you haven't read the first two parts to this series:
Demoniac (pt 1) - The Condition
Demoniac (pt 2) - The Salvation
In the story of the demoniac of Decapolis, it is quite evident that this man had indeed been possessed by demons. Jesus cast those demons out, sending them into pigs (who thus went and killed themselves by running off a cliff).
But what about me, or those like me? What about those with the chaotic mind and the voices and the cutting, screaming, scratching, self-destructive tendencies? Was I truly possessed? Is anyone ever truly possessed by something demonic?
First, let me say that I do believe completely in demonic possession. I believe it is rare in the sense that not everyone with a mental illness has a true demonic possession - but the extent of this rarity, I wouldn't even fathom a guess.
This said, I do believe that those like me - or, as I used to be - are not possessed, but they are definitely influenced. As I stated in Demoniac (pt 2) - The Salvation: We open ourselves up to chaos every time we sin. We're basically opening a door and saying - "Come on in, Satan! Make yourself at home!"
And the more we do this - the more comfortable we become with sin - the more influence Satan has over our life. We become addicted to the sin... to the influence... to the darkness. We may recognize that what we're doing and how we're living is wrong, or at the very least that it's unhealthy. But we get to the point where we no longer remember any other way. There is no more light - no more memory of such light. At this point, we are possessed to some degree. No - we don't have a demon living within us in a physical sense, but spiritually? Spiritually, Satan has taken root in our heart.
And Satan likes it there. So long as we allow Satan to have such a strong influence over our lives - over our thoughts and actions and emotions - we are, essentially, possessed; and there is, essentially, no room for God to live within us.
We must do as James 4:7 says - "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." We must learn to open the door to God rather than to Satan. By giving love to others, by praising and praying to our Lord, by accepting the never-ending gift of Grace and Love and Faith God bestows upon us - these open the door to the light and cause the darkness to flee. These open the door to our Lord - to true peace and love - and slam the door in the face of chaos and hate.