I am convinced that intimidation is Satan’s weapon of choice. Like any abuser he likes to isolate us with his lies that even say his abuse is our fault. He loves to keep us blind to the fact that he is abusing us, making us think we are just beating ourselves up, but make no mistake…the abuse is real and serves to cause us great emotional pain and separation from God. I used to go to bed at night with my mind racing with thoughts of all of my failures and shortcomings. This was clearly not of God and the thoughts came unbidden. I would lay there feeling weak and defeated and honestly flat out tormented.

I can see now that Satan was bombarding my mind with his abuse, yet when I was walking through the torment I never could see that the voice in my mind that I thought was simply my own thoughts was the abusive voice of an outside tormentor, Satan.

As I was researching mental abuse, it became glaringly obvious to me that an abuser uses fear as a powerful tool for his manipulation and control.  The fear of rejection is a powerful force in the lives of us all.  Most of us have no idea that we have been subjected to abuse….many of us for our entire lives, because we are only thinking about abuse in terms of a physical nature inflicted by a person.  Satan’s abuse lies more hidden.

What follows are some common tatics of abusers.  I hope that as you are reading this you can spot any mental abuse of the enemy in your own life or the life of someone you love.

Common Tactics of Abusers

Verbal Assaults:

Do you find your mind bombarded with accusations against yourself that are hitting your mind so loud that they drown out all other positive thoughts?  Do you feel like you are calling yourself names and tearing yourself down?

Threats or Blackmail:

“One can threaten to disclose private or sensitive information about you.”  The threats of an abuser can make you feel hopelessly and helplessly trapped.  Satan loves to make us feel great fear over the possibility of all of the faults and failures he is bombarding our minds with being exposed to the world around us and to God.  His goal is to keep us hiding in shame and therefore trapped in his prison of torment.  While I was lying in bed at night trying to go to sleep, suddenly all the failures of my day would start playing through my mind.  Sometimes this would spiral into failure after failure hitting my mind, but I would have no relief because I would feel so ashamed that I wouldn’t take the failures to my Heavenly Father.

While Satan desires for us to view God as cold, aloof and distant – even harsh and uncaring – that is not the true nature of God. Just as I, a parent, want my children to love me for who I am, so our Heavenly Father longs for that kind of relationship with us. Yes, He is mighty but His voice is a still small voice that requires our drawing close to Him to hear it. He is strong but He is loving and gentle and oh so patient and forgiving.   

We need not fear Satan’s threats or blackmail because God knows the good, the bad and the ugly and loves us unconditionally!

Control: 

The abuser takes over aspects of your life that you would normally have the freedom to control yourself.  One that stood out to me was diet.  With so many struggling with eating disorders, compulsive behavior, anxiety etc., it is clear how Satan loves to use control as a tactic for abusing us.  I’ve seen many fall prey to his tactics in this area.  When he is using control on us we may find that we feel a compulsive desire to control as well because we feel so out of control.  The more we attempt to hold onto control, the more we step out of the rest and peace that God offers us and become puppets to Satan’s controlling us. 

Humiliation:

Do you find “yourself” ridiculing yourself in your mind?  Do you have humiliating thoughts bombarding you?   If so realize that Satan is trying to use this abusive tactic to torment you.

Unfair Demands:

Satan loves to try to make us feel that we need to fulfill needs that aren’t ours to fulfill.  Do you feel a sense that everything that goes wrong around you is your fault?  When things go wrong in the lives of your family and friends do you feel a sense of responsibility for that?  Do you feel that if you would have somehow done something differently that there would have been a different outcome?  When you read these questions you can see how unreasonable it is to feel this way, yet how many of us have struggled with these thoughts and feelings?

Isolation: 

In order to be successful in the abuse an abuser must keep us isolated from those who could help us.  Satan loves to insert emotional wedges between us and God as well as us and other believers who are equipped to walk us into freedom.

Here is a very revealing statement from an abuse survivor.

“The isolation and domestic abuse crept up on me silently. I did not make choices knowing my husband abused me. I thought I was making up my own mind. I see my controller’s manipulations only in hindsight.”

Abusers seek out who they can dominate and control.  Here are some observations from an abuse victim.

  • Abusers seek out the weakness of the victim.  Satan preyed on my fears and insecurities as well as the past pain and suffering I had endured as a child.  The fear of rejection was huge for me so he tormented me with pointing out all my failures and perceived flaws.
  • Abusers dictate who we can trust. Satan’s goal is to convey the message that you cannot trust God. Even the things I did in obedience to God got twisted because of the pervading sense that I was not enough for God…I must try to earn His approval. I was worn out and exhausted because no matter what I was doing that was “for the kingdom” never felt like enough.
  • Abusers Feign Dislike. Satan is more subtle. He likes to cause us to think we are disliking ourselves.  He likes to cause us to think that God dislikes us.
  • Abusers Physically Intimidate Others. Satan loves us to fear him and loves to try to make us live in fear of what he can do to those we love. We must be mindful of when he is making us feel this way and tell him to back off. Our help comes from the Lord and we need not fear Satan when we can cry out to God for our deliverance and the deliverance of those we love.
  • Abusers Achieve a Type of Physical Isolation. Are you struggling with anxiety, perhaps not wanting to leave your house? Are you missing out on things you enjoy doing because you are crippled by fear? Do you find yourselves not wanting to come around other believers or staying away from church?  Do you feel tired and unmotivated and just don’t feel like making the effort to get around those who could help you?

Is it self-harm or abuse from Satan?  In my mind it doesn’t matter.  It needs to stop and we need God’s help to make it happen.

No one likes to be humiliated, ridiculed, intimidated and rejected.  As we find ourselves “doing these things to ourselves”, we must recognize that this is abuse and we need to be set free from it.  We must recognize that we are in bondage to the enemy in these areas and cry out to God for our deliverance.  An abuser loves to keep a victim isolated from those who could help themHe loves to use shame and fear to keep them under his control.  He loves to make the victim think that they are the one to blame for their abuse.  

Below are a couple of secular articles on abuse that I have used as sources for this blog.  Please look past the colorful language in the second article.  It’s only one or two sentences but the information is really beneficial for helping you understand the relationship between the abused and the abuser.  Read these.  Look up some of your own.  I know Holy Spirit will speak to you as you read.

http://www.fortrefuge.com/emotional-abuse-tactics.php

https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2011/11/isolation-is-key-for-the-ability-to-abuse/

Step Out of the Isolation

What can we do about isolation and Satan’s abuse?  We can refuse to be isolated!  Now that we know his tactics we can choose to seek help and escape his abuse.

We can choose to be free!

Just as abuse victims often need the help of those around them to escape the abuse and heal from the trauma of the abuse, so do we as we escape Satan’s abuse.  It is so important that we not forsake the fellowship with other believers and we must confess what we are struggling with. Once we expose to the light what Satan has attempted to manipulate us into keeping hidden, our rescue can and will come!  If we cry out to God to be saved, He is faithful to hear our cry.

Don’t remain isolated in your torment. My turning point was when I cried out to God and then reached out for help to those in my church who could walk me forward in healing from the abuse of the enemy of our souls!  Repentance in area after area of my life has been a powerful weapon against my adversary. As I have repented in areas where I was bound by fear – areas I was not trusting God to be stronger than myself and other forces in my life – what Satan tried to use to control me has become powerless!  Cry out for God to deliver you from the torment of his abuse and reach out to strong believers who can walk with you through inner healing! Jesus died to heal the sick and to set the captives free!  No longer do we have to be held captive to the fear and abuse of a tormentor!

Please take the time to pray and ask Holy Spirit to reveal any areas of torment in your life.  Also, please study the scriptures below and the Word of God as much as possible. God is there. He sees our suffering, He cares and is faithful to hear our cries.

Our Prayer

Father God, thank you that you sent your son Jesus to heal us of all sickness – physical, emotional and spiritual.  Thank you that Jesus came to set us free from everything that holds us captive. Lord, we pray that you would expose the lies of the abuser of our souls, Satan and that you would break all chains of shame, fear, intimidation and pride that would hold us captive.  Show us the roots where the accuser gained access into our lives. We repent of our pride and fear and cry out to you to pull us up out of the pits that have us imprisoned.

Bring us out of darkness into your glorious light and let everything that the enemy would say we must keep hidden in shame be confidently brought before you in repentance and healing. Thank you for exposing the lies we have believed and shining your light of truth into our lives so that we can walk forward in your freedom. We love you God. Forgive us for thinking that there would be anything you would not forgive. Forgive us for doubting the magnitude of your love and healing power.  Renew our minds Lord.  Amen.

Verses for Meditation

Revelation 12:10-11

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

“Now have come the salvation and the power
    and the kingdom of our God,
    and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
    who accuses them before our God day and night,
    has been hurled down.
11 They triumphed over him
    by the blood of the Lamb
    and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
    as to shrink from death.

Romans 8:1

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

2 Corinthians 10:5

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:2

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Galatians 5:1

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Matthew 25:14-30

14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’