Training Your Senses: The Gift of Discernment

As an American Baptist pastor, l was accustomed to being around hurting people. They wept in my office. They poured out stories of confusion, abandonment, and betrayal. As a pastor I longed to help, but often I could only refer them to therapists for counseling. Sometimes they got better. Sometimes, they didn’t.

In the late 1980s the Lord began to re-shape our ministry. His call on our work and lives was to minister deliverance. But in the process, God dismantled our expectations, revived and renewed understanding of spiritual gifts, and generally remodeled our theology and vision of the Body of Christ. As if the Lord had hit a heavenly switch, as we prayed for people, spiritual gifts lit up all over.

A group of earnest intercessors and prayer warriors came together. People reported strange, out-of-the-box experiences. Their theology was shaken in the presence of words of knowledge, visions, and prophetic words. The gift of discernment exploded, although we really had no understanding of the gift.

During ministry sessions I asked team members to write down impressions, words, or visual images they received. Perhaps, the Holy Spirit would confirm by giving the same revelation to more than one person.

All this time, I didn’t feel, hear, or see a thing spiritually. Nothing.” Then I began to feel a peculiar pressure on my head during some prayer sessions. I approached a trusted friend who often saw physical manifestations of angels and demons. I told her I was feeling this pressure and asked what she saw.

She replied that she was seeing some demons. With that information, a slow process began by which the prayer team members and I grasped what was happening in us and our ministry.

Team members reported unusual, unexpected, physical sensations like nausea, shaking, pressure, pain, or tingling. Not everyone had such experiences and, among those who did, the reports were as varied as the people reporting them. I stumbled upon the realization that when prophetic team members said, “There’s a demon here,” I experienced physical pressure on a particular place on my head.

A Gift by Any Other Name

Most Christians have been taught that the gift of discernment allows believers to examine natural or spiritual
actions, events, doctrines, or practices to determine whether they are good or evil. Most Christians have also been taught that discernment is the God-given ability to determine whether a spirit is godly or demonic.

Although these understandings are biblically accurate, failure to address the means by which discernment occurs has left many believers to rely on an intellectual process of analysis and application of scriptural truths and principles. Within this understanding, discernment becomes skilled decision-making or the ability to weigh evidence and deduce answers. In 1 Corinthians 12: 7-10 discernment is listed not as a human ability, but a spiritual gift:

Now to each one the manifestation of the spirit is given for the common good. To one is given…the message of wisdom…knowledge…to another faith….to another gifts of healing….miraculous powers… prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits. (NIV)

The New King James renders this phrase “discerning of spirits.” Elsewhere it is translated “discernment of spirits” (NRSV), and “distinguishing all spirits” (NASB). In the New Living Bible this text is paraphrased as “the ability to know whether it is really the Spirit of God or another spirit that is speaking.”

I sought understanding of this spiritual gift. I received a call from Dr. Tom Hawkins, a scholar and Dallas Theological Seminary PhD graduate involved in ministry to severely abused people. The Lord was about to explain to me a new understanding of His word.

Tom Hawkins told me that he had received a Word of Knowledge. He gave me the passage, Hebrews 5:11-14. He told me that he believe this was a chief passage for what was happening to me. I opened the Word and read these words:

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s Word all over again. You need milk, not solid food. Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature who, because of practice, have their senses trained to discern good and evil” (NASB, author’s emphasis).

The final words, “solid food is for the mature who, because of practice, have their senses trained to discern good and evil,” shone like a floodlight. For more than a year I and the prayer teams had struggled with questions about physical sensations we had experienced. Why did one member’s hands get numb when he prayed? Why did another feel pain in her chest? They’d experienced smells like rotting garbage, high-pitched shrieking sounds, heat, cold, physical discomfort, and even laughter. They’d asked the Lord more than once, What does this mean? They were on the verge of finding some answers.

The book of Hebrews says mature believers are ready for solid food of “teaching about righteousness.” Verse 14 then describes one route to maturity, saying, “the mature, who because of practice, have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”

Discernment is not child’s play. It is a mark of the mature Christian. According to 1 Corinthians 12:10, discernment is a spiritual gift. But as the writer of Hebrews clearly teaches, this gift must be developed by constant practice. Only then will discernment become a sharpened weapon of spiritual warfare. Only then will God’s people become acquainted with “teaching about righteousness” in this area of discipleship and training in godliness.

This made sense to me and the prayer teams. After all, teachers review notes and practice presentations. Everyone in every field gains maturity through practice. Why should we assume spiritual development is different?

I addressed the prayer teams, “In the spiritual areas of life, we immediately assume if we can’t do a spiritual activity correctly the first time, what we’re doing must not be of God. Hebrews 5:14 says practice is necessary. We’re to practice the use of our senses.” The goal of this practice is to train our five physical senses to distinguish between good and evil.

Evangelicals commonly teach discernment as an intellectual process of analysis and application of biblical principles leading to logical conclusions. The writer of Hebrews, it seems, flies directly in the face of that understanding. Discernment is described as a sensory rather than an intellectual process. How can this be?

Although some translations, including the NIV, render Hebrews 5:14 as train themselves, the Greek is most accurately translated as train (or exercise) their senses. The text refers specifically to the five physical senses of touch, hearing, smell, sight, and taste.

The writer of Hebrews is saying discernment operates through the physical senses. Discernment is tested with the mind by rightly applying Scripture. This insight completed the jigsaw puzzle of understanding for the prayer teams and me.

I catalogued their experiences, “Team members have had physical reactions to the presence of demons, angels, witchcraft, spiritual powers and authorities….They’ve smelled sulfur and rotting garbage…I have heard the Lord speak my name. I have worked with people who have heard the Lord speak audibly, angels sing, demons talk and laugh, and the sound of horses’ hooves thundering by.”

Is Sensory Discernment scriptural?

Throughout history many of God’s people have experienced both godly and demonic presence with their senses. Even a cursory reading of Scripture reveals a consistent pattern.

God’s voice was heard by Adam and Eve in the garden (Gen. 3:8), by Abraham (Gen. 12:1), Moses (Ex. 19:19), Joshua (Josh. 1:1), and Samuel (I Sam. 3:4). After Jesus was baptized by His cousin John, how many people heard the voice of God say, “This is my son in whom I am well pleased?” This event was of such importance it was recorded in the Gospels of Matthew; Mark; and Luke.

When Jesus commanded demons to identify themselves in Mark 5:9, they said, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” The text indicates the demons said. Therefore, it is logical to assume Jesus heard.

God’s people see into the spirit world. God appeared to Moses in the physically real though symbolic form of a burning bush (Ex 3:2). God used an angel to appear and speak to Abraham (Gen. 18:1-2). He showed himself to Joshua as an angel with a drawn sword (Josh. 5:13).

Scripture also records evil manifesting in physical, “seen” forms. In Exodus 7:12, wooden staffs were transformed into snakes both by God’s power and Pharaoh’s magicians’ occult magic. God’s power was good, and the magic of Pharaoh’s servants was evil, but the results of both were visible in the natural world.

Both good and evil appear in visions. The prophet Isaiah saw the Lord in a vision rather than with his natural eyes. He described in detail, “I saw the Lord seated on a throne…the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were seraphs, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces…” (Isa 6:1-2).

As recorded in Revelation 13, John saw satan (or a manifestation of the enemy’s evil) in a vision. He described “the beast” in vivid detail.

The following passages record experiences of taste from biblical records. Ezekiel, and John, writer of the book of Revelation, each received a vision in which they were given a scroll to eat. Ezekiel wrote, “So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth” (Ezek. 3:1-3). John received a scroll from an angel. He wrote, “It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour” (Rev. 10:8-10).

The Bible rarely refers to spiritual presence or realities being perceived through smell. Paul writes of the “aroma of Christ,” the “smell of death,” and the “fragrance of life” (2 Cor. 2: 15-16). Are these poetic metaphors or is Paul referring to actual smells with which mature–and discerning-believers were and should still be familiar? In addition, Chapters 5 and 8 of Revelation describe bowls of incense. The smell and visible smoke of incense appear to be a physical manifestation of the prayers of the saints.

Both good and evil are revealed by touch in Scripture. Peter saw, heard, and felt an angel. Acts 12:7 records that an angel bathed in light appeared to Peter. The angel “struck Peter on the side” to wake him and said, “Quick. Get up.”

In I Kings 19:7, the prophet Elijah fled from Queen Jezebel. Hungry and despairing, he lay in the desert and prayed for death. An angel of God prepared food and touched Elijah to wake him from his exhausted sleep.

In Mark 9:20, evil manifested physically. A young boy was possessed by what Jesus named a “deaf and mute spirit.” The moment the demon saw Jesus, it “threw the boy into a convulsion.” This passage should be carefully noted. Western reasoning would lead to the logical conclusion that this boy suffered from a biochemical/neurological imbalance resulting in epilepsy. However, Jesus operated in discernment as well as human logic. Although elsewhere He recognized physical illness, here He named and took authority over demonic spirits.

The teaching of Hebrews 5:14 coupled with confirming Scriptures established the foundation I and the prayer teams used to share, examine, and test their sensory experiences. Hebrews 5:14 became alive in our ministry. The “solid food” of discernment did produce fruit of greater maturity as the prayer teams grew in confidence, authority, and trust in the power of God’s living word. As they began to understand and use discernment, this gift emerged as an important weapon in the battle for deliverance, healing, and spiritual freedom.

Source and more information in the following link
http://aslansplace.com/language/en/training-your-senses-the-gift-of-discernment/

Prayers For Marriage Restoration – Men

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for leading _____ and I to acknowledge our offense and feel our guilt, and that we seek Your face in our affliction and distress, and that we seek and require You earnestly. Hosea 5:15
Thank You that the purpose for which You tore us apart was to make us return to You, so You could heal us and bind up our wounds, and that You are now reviving and restoring us so we may live in Your presence forever. Hosea 6:1-2
And thank You for saving us from distress when we call out in trouble. Thank You, Father, for sending Your Word, and for healing our marriage and rescuing us from destruction. Thank You for Your unfailing love and for Your wonderful deeds. Psalm 107:19-21
And thank You, Lord, for Your kindness, tolerance, and patience with us, and for the time You give us to turn from our sin. Romans 2:4
And that we listen to You and will live in security, with confident trust and without fear of harm or evil. Proverbs 1:33
I rejoice, Lord, and give You praise and honor that _____ and I love each other and will live together in harmony with sympathy, compassion and humility, and that we inherit blessings because we do not return evil for evil or insults for insults, but respond with blessings instead. 1 Peter 3:8
And that we live by the Spirit and do not gratify the desires of our sinful nature. Galatians 5:16

I thank you Lord, that I live with my wife in considerate understanding and respect for my role as her husband and that my prayers will not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7
And that she happily submits to me as her husband and the head of her as Christ is the head of the church. Ephesians 5:22-25
And I praise You that everything we have been through has not quenched her love for me, and neither have floods or rivers washed it away. Song of Solomon 8:7
And that she does not feel harsh, bitter or resentful toward me because I love her, as my own body and as Christ loves the Church. Ephesians 5:25-28
And I thank You that our life is blessed with the rewards of fidelity and that _____ rejoices in me as the husband of her youth. Proverbs 5:17-18
And that she longs to kiss me because my love delights her. Song of Solomon 1:2
And that I will always satisfy her, that she is forever captivated by my love.
Proverbs 5:19
I praise Your holy name that I belong to my lover and wife and that her desire is for me. Song of Solomon 7:10
And that You bless me, Lord, by surrounding me with favor, as with a shield, and give me favor in _____’s eyes above every other man on earth. Psalm 5:12
I praise You, Lord, that I am her husband forever by the marriage vows we made before You in righteousness, justice, unfailing love and compassion. Hosea 2:19
And that You have made us one in flesh and spirit, that You are a witness to our marriage covenant and that I am her companion and husband. I thank You that she will not break faith with me as her partner and the husband of her youth, and that You will receive her offerings with pleasure. May she also guard herself and her spirit by not breaking faith with you because You hate divorce and You hate it when a man or woman covers themselves with such violence. Malachi 2:13-16

Thank You, Lord, that _____ never forgets Your teachings and that she keeps Your commands in her heart, and that Your Word is working in our marriage, and she will not be deceived by the persuasive words of the adulterer who would lead her astray or be seduced by his smooth talk. Proverbs 7:21
And that wisdom enters her heart, and knowledge is pleasant to her soul. I thank You that discretion protects her and that understanding guards her. Proverbs 2:10-11
And I thank You, Lord, and give you all honor and glory, that the gates of hell will not prevail against us or our marriage because we are Your Church and Jesus said the powers of hell could not conquer us. Matthew 16:18
Therefore, we will inherit a double portion in our marriage as You repay and restore what the locusts were sent among us to destroy. Joel 2:25
And I praise You for giving us Your words and wisdom, and that our marriage will overcome all adversaries because the enemy cannot contradict or resist them.
Luke 21:15
And for giving us everlasting joy and a double portion instead of shame, and that instead of disgrace, we will rejoice in our inheritance. Isaiah 61:7

I praise You, Lord, that _____ will once again acknowledge You and that You won’t let anyone take her out of Your hands even if You take away her prosperity and expose her, and put an end to all of her celebrations because she forgot You. And I thank You, Lord, for alluring her back by leading her into the desert and speaking tenderly to her while she is there. I thank You for restoring what was lost and for transforming our valley of trouble into a gateway of hope. I give You all praise and honor that she will return to me and give herself to me as she once did, and she will call me her husband and be happy with me as before. And that she will forget all about other lovers and that their names will never again be spoken. Hosea 2:8-17
Thank You, Lord, that Jesus redeemed me from the curse of the law by being made a curse for me. Galatians 3:13
And I thank You that ____ and I are reconciled to You through Jesus, by His blood shed on the cross, and that we are reconciled back to each other despite anything we’ve done to each other in the past. We are now presented holy before You without blemish and free from accusation through His death. Colossians 1:20-22
I give You praise and honor, Lord, that no weapon formed against our marriage has prospered, and that You are proving every voice raised against our reconciliation wrong because this is my heritage as Your child and it is Your vindication for me. Isaiah 54:17

I praise You, Lord, that Your grace is sufficient for me as I stand for the restoration of my marriage, and that Your power is made perfect in my weakness and that the power of Christ is in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
And I am strong and courageous, not afraid or discouraged because Your power is greater than the power of Satan and all who do his work. 2 Chronicles 32:7
I am so thankful that You are watching to make certain that Your Word is fulfilled and that You are performing it in our marriage. Jeremiah 1:12
And I praise and thank You, Lord, for keeping forever the promise you have made concerning me and my home and for doing as you promised so that Your name will be great forever. O Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your words are trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to me. You have said that You will build a home for me and that it pleases You to bless my marriage so it will continue before You forever. You have spoken, and with Your blessing, my home and marriage will be established with blessings forever. AMEN. II Samuel 7:25-29

Prayer for unfaithful spouse

“Lord, I believe in Your mighty power. Lord, I trust You to heal my marriage. Lord, remove the spirit of adultery, unfaithfulness, unforgiveness, anger, lying and deceiving spirits, disobedience and rebellious spirits from my spouse’s heart. Lord, remove their heart of stone and show them the way of escape. You are the Way, the Truth and the Light to set them free showing them the pathway home. I thank You that You are moving in my spouse’s heart every day bringing them back to You and back to our marriage. I pray this all in the mighty Name of Jesus. Amen.”

Powerful prayer over her husband: Satisfaction in God alone

I praise You, the God of all wisdom for husbands. Thank You, God, for knowing the longings of my husband’s heart far better than I do. You know why he hungers for ______ and ______. You know how these yearnings affect his decisions and how those decisions affect our marriage.

You are the God who satisfies the longing soul. You fill the hungry soul with good things. Here is _____’s heart and soul, Lord. I lift him up to You and ask You to fill him with the good You know He needs Matthew 6:8

The world offers _____ so many things to temporarily satisfy his needs. Temptations abound, but You are his shield and his defender.  Please train him to resist the devil Psalm 28:7, Psalm 59:9, James 4:7

I celebrate that You triumph over every one of Satan’s schemes and the scars he has left on my husband’s heart. You are Jehovah Rapha, _____’s Healer. You are the restorer of his soul. Let the balm of Your perfect love and mercy touch the brokenness of his heart Genesis 50:20, Exodus 15:26, Psalm 23:3, Jeremiah 17:14

You joined Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, and when they came out unharmed, they didn’t even smell like smoke. Use their courage to inspire ____ to fear You only. I trust You to give him rest and satisfaction while protecting him from harm Proverbs 19:23

Prayer against the Jezebel Spirit from your life

Father, I acknowledge that I have yielded myself to the spirit of Jezebel. I come to you, humbling myself before you. I desire your standard of righteousness and holiness.

I ask you to forgive me for my tolerance of the Jezebel spirit and for being sympathetic to its ways. Please forgive me for every way I have opened myself up to this spirit. Help me to ruthlessly reject every type of this thinking and the desire to control and manipulate other people.

I renounce and bind this demon of Jezebel, and I pull down this stronghold in my life.

Through the Holy Spirit I will live by your standard of righteousness, holiness and conduct. Open my eyes and cause Your light to expose any darkness, and help me to walk in humility and truth.

In Jesus Name,

Amen!

Jezebel Spirit – how will manipulate you in a relationship

https://youtu.be/Q3zwmwv0z6I

Overcoming the Spirit of Narcissism

“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

II Timothy 3:1-7 (NASB)

*****

At this stage in history; for anyone to deny that we are in the Last Days, is to reveal a gross measure of ignorance and a corresponding lack of spiritual discernment.  We are in fact in the last days, and the above excerpt of scripture underscores but one of many excerpts of scripture which are unfolding before our eyes.

Here in the West, to be a “lover of self” in the context of the prophecy above, is to be a Narcissist, by way of contemporary and generalized definition. The essence or roots of narcissism is a spiritual dynamic however, versus that of a clinical, secular designation. The secular designation therefore, is that of an attempt to define what is in actuality a demonic stronghold–the more advanced stronghold of which we will discuss shortly (Covert Narcissism).

Demons only inhabit a person when they’ve received a figurative license or invitation to do so.  And in the instance of narcissism, I have observed the invitation and/or license to typically come through 3 primary avenues, as reflective of my protracted experience not only as a counselor, but also as a self-inflicted victim at one stage in my life.

These 3 avenues are as follows:

1) That of a deep and unhealed wound wrought of neglect, abandonment and/or rejection.

2) That of the deeply-seated and prolonged suppression of unresolved sin, and, correspondingly, unresolved guilt, which is exacerbated by demonic condemnation.

3) The very dangerous state of “lukewarmness” as a Believer, spoken of in Revelation 3:16. For it is as we steadily ignore the gentle prodding of the Holy Spirit to cultivate intimacy with the Lord ongoing, and we thereafter resist His subsequent chastening, that we are released to our own devices and subject to a specific form of judgement in the form of mental illness spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:11: “…for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence…”.  The initial context of this verse speaks to non-Believers who continue to believe what is false.  I tend to believe it speaks more pointedly of those who instinctively knowthat what they are embracing is false.  I have equally observed this dynamic played-out in the lives of thousands of Believers as well, over several decades.

In the case of the rejection and abandonment wound, narcissism serves initially as a form of self-preservation, which takes on the form of serving and affirming one’sself–in the absence of such from others.  Over time, self-absorption grows. As it does, the door to our soul that was initially only slightly ajar, is ultimately flung wide-open, following which the demon of narcissism (i.e., obsessive love of self, in its base form) waltzes-in, unpacks its bags, sets-up camp, stretches its legs, and cultivates a multifaceted stronghold.

In the case of the prolonged suppression of unresolved sin, and corresponding terminal guilt and associated condemnation; one is predisposed to fabricating a hyper-spiritual exterior, whereby a person perpetually sells the world on their divine attributes and their super-human qualities, thus disarming any potential question otherwise. One thereafter perpetually seeks to draw attention to themselves, affording a perpetual spotlight under which they may continue to sell their hyper-spiritual state to the world about them.  As long as they continue to successfully sell all others about them, they successfully defer any potential scrutiny or questioning as to what may lay beneath.  Over time, the person ultimately “closes the sale” on their very selves–whereas the fabricated superficial or hyper-self becomes their reality.  At this stage, gross self-absorption ensues, along with deeply entrenched deceit and delusion.

And lastly, in the case of those straddling the fence of their faith, and marinating lives of lukewarmness by attempting to allow wanton carnality and marginal faith in Christ to “sleep in the same bed” together; a blanket invitation is released for the tentacles of 2 Timothy 3:1-7 to envelope their lives.  For the present reality is that the spiritual war being waged about us is far more dangerous than the average Believer can fathom.  And until we resolve to perpetually cling the Lord in daily intimacy with Him; while also through corresponding necessity, “dying daily” to our carnal selves; we willfully wander out from under the protective “shadow of His wings” (Psalm 91), and stumble into enemy fire–not unlike that of willfully wandering into enemy machine gun fire on a contemporary military battlefield. The end result of which is that of being riddled with bullet-like seeds of demonic infestation.

Deliverance from the above variations of narcissistic strongholds typically occurs in one of two ways: Firstly, and following the acknowledgement of one’s condition and the resolve to repent; opting to team with someone in deliverance ministry, to cast-out the roots of this mangy critter, followed thereafter by a willful turning (teshuvah) in the opposite direction.  And secondly, through self-deliverance.  James 4:7 says that “…if we resist the devil he will flee.”  This is the essence of self-deliverance–resisting (starving) the demon until he gets tired and moves on to the next house.

Self-deliverance is quite simple.  Below I will outline some cursory steps for performing such:

1) Establish a schedule of concerted fasting and prayer, perhaps for a few days leading up to a pre-scheduled time for your self-deliverance.  During this brief time of fasting and prayer (ideally a period of 3 days or more), and which can be a partial-fast; pray that the Holy Spirit reveal the tentacles of this stronghold, that you will have a focused inventory of what to renounce as you perform self-deliverance.

2)  As you engage your self-deliverance session, begin by taking communion, and reading John 6:51-58 (from a physical bible–will explain why, in a moment).  As you ingest the elements, ask the Lord to further free you from the Tree of the Knowledge and Good and Evil, and to further attach you to the Tree of Life–Y’shua (Jesus).

After first reading the excerpt from John, follow such with the elements.  Leave your bible open to this passage, and press it against your heart.  Hereafter, close your eyes, and proceed to breathe-in deeply, in through the nose, and out through the mouth.

3)  As you maintain the above posture, and with your eyes closed, picture in your mind’s-eye the Cross of Christ, and thereafter focus upon that image.  As you do so, verbally renounce the Spirit of Narcissism, while continuing to breathe deeply, in through your nose, and out through your mouth. Declare to it the authority of the Blood of Y’shua, and His Cross.  You can use the name of Jesus if you wish; I simply prefer Y’shua for deeply personal reasons, but of course Y’shua and Jesus are the same Person, and the demons know Him by both names (smiling).

4)  As you repeatedly exhale, the many tentacles of the Spirit of Narcissism will loosen, and will be expelled.  This process generally does not take more than 15 minutes or so. They often exit by making a person repeatedly yawn, belch, sneeze, cough or even flatulate.

5)  Following this session of communion and renunciation, do business with the Lord, by asking the Holy Spirit to invade those places in your spirit and soul which were previously manipulated by the demonic; invite Him to take full-habitation of your heart, and to thereafter guard-against re-habitation.  Ask Him to water the seeds of the authentic  Fruit of the Spirit in your heart (Galatians 5:22-24), which will counter the counterfeit components that were previously at work. The key is that to replace, not to keep vacant (see Matthew 12:43-45).  Our goal is to welcome the full habitation of the Holy Spirit’s working in our hearts, not to “sweep” our hearts clean, leaving them empty, as thereafter the “critters” will waltz right back, and wreck the house worse than before.

*****

Wholly counter to the above approach to self-deliverance, secular psychology and psychiatry seeks to remedy narcissism with a Cognitive approach, which attempts to free a person from the outside-in, through a change in thinking and outward behavior, when in fact the issue resides in our heart(s), and to be more specific: our heart-wound(s).  The only true freedom from such a stronghold is that from the inside-out, by addressing thespiritual component–which governs our cognition.  It is because of the above “ships passing in the night,” that tens of millions of people in the West have submitted themselves to secular counseling and therapy, as well as psychotropic meds, for much of their adult lives perhaps, to thereafter discover that near the end of their lives they had never been set-free of the strongholds their therapists had artfully masked through secular-humanistic “therapy” and medication, all the while reaping the spoils of insurance billing revenues.  Hello?

One of the more advanced forms of narcissism is categorized by secular therapists as “Covert Narcissism.”  In general terms, the secular definition does a fair job of defining the characteristics of such.  However, and again, their approach to addressing such is wholly useless in weeding-up and casting-out the demonic tentacles of such, which are very crafty about hiding within the deep recesses of our hearts during secular therapy, only to reappear down the road.

I have pasted below, a brief video addressing Covert Narcissism, which, again, is but one way to describe what is simply an advanced form of narcissism.  As you view this brief video, and as you would experience pangs of conviction (defined by Holy Spirit nudging or tugging within your soul), you may very well have such the stronghold. If so, there’s no need to panic.  Simply commit to the above process of self-deliverance and kick this “critter” out of your life, and be done with it.  Once freed, do your best to repair the damage to those you’ve alienated and wounded, by more deeply embracing the Crucified Life; daily dying to sell

See more http://teshuvahtzion.com/overcoming-narcissism/