The spirit of fear and the spirit of depression are two demonic forces that have brainwashed many people, pastor Jimmy Evans says.
In his new book, I Changed My Mind, Evans describes the process by which he learned to recognize the two entities for what they were: spirits, not emotions. By applying Romans 12:2 to his daily life, Evans says he was able to walk in freedom in every area of his life, not just fear.
"The devil is dangerous because we don't know it's him. We think it's us," the lead apostolic senior pastor of Gateway Church tells Charisma News.
Evans says he used to struggle with fear until one day, the Lord prompted him to change the way he approached it.
"Rather than treating it as my emotion, I began to treat as a demonic spirit that was there to be Satan's force in my life to keep me from doing what God wanted me to do," Evans says. "The thing is, it worked."
Though freedom didn't come instantly, Evans says he felt breakthrough in the weeks and months that followed. He says the same concept applies to depression.
To fight depression, Evans recommends Isaiah 61, which tells believers to put on a garment of praise for heaviness.
"But [the demon spirit of depression] attaches itself, and it's exactly like a demon spirit of fear," Evans says.
"We don't think it's a demon spirit; we think it's our emotions. When we put on the garment of praise, which means we are focused on God and positive things and not ourselves and negative things, it says the demon spirit of heaviness leaves. Again, think about the difference in what I just said. Think about the difference of people sitting around, thinking of fear and depression as their emotions, and they're overwhelmed and defeated, and think of a person who understands that they have authority in Christ over every demon spirit and that fear and depression are demon spirits that have taken over," he says.
His approach to fear and depression weren't the only ways he changed his mind, though. Evans, who is also the CEO of MarriageToday, says he changed his mind about gratitude, attitude and how he thought about marriage.
Much of American society has twisted what marriage and romance should be. People fall in love and live on chemistry rather than spiritual compatibility. When the emotions fade, they sever the intimacy because they don't understand what a godly relationship contains.
The No. 1 cause of divorce is disappointment, Evans says, but this can be remedied by understanding what the Bible actually says about marriage.
"The Bible is a covenant book. Marriage is a covenant relationship," Evans says. "And this is not something that we understand in our modern culture. God cut Adam—the word 'covenant' means to 'cut;' it means a sacrificial permanent relationship; it means is this is going to cost you everything. You better you get your mind on right, because this relationship is going to have to endure the hardest of times, and that's what covenant means. It means I'm in for keeps. See, God could've made Eve out of the dust the way he made Adam, but that wouldn't have been a marriage because it wouldn't have been a covenant cause someone wouldn't have got cut, but He cut Adam, and He made the covenant.
"Jesus said, 'This is the new covenant in my blood,' and so 'covenant relationship' means we're going to suffer," Evans says.
For gratitude, Evans says a lack of thanksgiving can actually keep you from experiencing God's fullness.
"Another way of saying that is you don't get into God's presence without being thankful," Evans says. "A grumbler never gets into God's presence. It doesn't mean you're not on your way to heaven. It doesn't mean that God doesn't love you. It just means that you're not going to experience the best of God with a bad attitude. I think that gratitude is huge in every area of our lives."
And a heart of Thanksgiving carries over into marriage and the way one ought to treat their spouse.
"Good manners make a good marriage," Evans says. "After my wife and I have been married 45 years next month, we still say thank you and please, and we're still mannerly to each other; but just being thankful for what is right, it's everything."
By reorienting his mind to a biblical worldview, Evans says he was able to change his life by changing his mind.
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