II Kings 17:39: But the Lord your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies. A Christian’s soul cannot be devil-possessed. We have a seal on us by the blood of Jesus that the enemy cannot penetrate. But the devil can still get into the mind, which is the gateway to the soul. That’s why so many scriptures sprinkled throughout the Word of God teach us how to guard and protect our minds. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:16-17).
Thoughts are not sins. We can give them over to the Lord, and He will flush out any of the garbage the devil tries to put in. But if we fail to surrender to Him, those thoughts will take root and eventually will drop down into the soul and become sin. Psalm 119:11: Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
The Lord has given an unusual illustration to demonstrate this principal.
Sin has a way of breeding more sin; likewise, sinful thoughts will attach themselves, then reproduce and grow. James 1:15: Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
When that black blob of a demon has its grasp inside the mind, it has a tentacle reaching out, with suckers on the bottom. Once it grabs hold, it is impossible to be removed by anything other than divine means. Before long, another tentacle has sprouted out, and grabbed ahold. And then another.
Eventually, this slimy demon resembles on octopus, with tentacles reaching out in every direction. It has spread and infected every corner of the brain. If we could take spiritual X-Rays and looks inside the minds of many Christians, we would see hideous octopuses of various shapes and sizes. Some would be small with only one or two tentacles, but others would be frighteningly large with networks of horrible appendages webbed all inside the Christians' heads.
And this is why so many of God’s people struggle. They repent of their sins and renew their covenants, but before long, are falling right back into sin. They may have gotten saved, but those octopus demons still remain in their minds. And as a result, sin is inevitably going to wash back down into their spirits, and they will fall again.
The octopus can come in many forms. Some people struggle with lust. Others with alcohol or drugs. Some with gambling, or envy, or any of the 17 works of the flesh listed in Galatians 5:19-21: Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
For example, a child of God in their past life may have struggled with pornography. The Lord has forgiven them and they’ve been delivered. But the devil can easily bring a memory back to them of an image they’d once seen. This in itself is not a sin, but that Christian immediately has to turn over to the Holy Spirit so He can get rid of that memory. 2 Corinthians 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. The Holy Spirit will cast down those evil thoughts, like anti-aircraft shooting down enemy planes.
But if that person doesn’t turn their mind over to God, the memory implants itself, and before long, another image they once saw will be brought back. And another. And before long, that pornography octopus has a powerful grip in all the deep crevices of the mind. The more it grows, the harder it is to get rid of. And faster than expected, that child of God will inevitably fall back into pornography, and lose his or her salvation.
This same illustration can be used for any sin, and demonstrates why we must be so diligent in not allowing demonic thoughts to take root. If we allow an octopus to grow in us, we are eventually going to fall.
But while we can stand and easily rebuke lust, fornication, and alcohol, Christians need to take hard looks at themselves. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves (2 Corinthians 13:5). Anger and hatred towards your brothers and sisters in Christ are just as sinful as homosexuality and adultery, and God hates them equally. God will not tolerate grudges, attitudes, bitterness, or resentment in the kingdom of God. Matthew 5:44: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. These words are straight from the mouth of Jesus, and if you have a single grudge towards anyone when you take that final breath, you will spend eternity in Hell.
I would suspect that the most prevalent octopuses growing within Christians’ minds today are devils of hatred and resentment. We worry so much about persecution being brought to the church, but seem to be forgetting that gossip will destroy the body of Christ from within. Our own tongues are the most powerful weapons the devil has in his arsenal. But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison (James 3:8).
I was once bound by an octopus in my mind, but didn’t know it until after I was delivered. I had never comprehended such an idea, until the Lord revealed this vividly to me afterwards. I didn’t understand why I kept struggling and was in and out with God. I would give my heart to the Lord, then go right back into sin. Sometimes it would be months later, sometimes only days. Each and every time I asked God to forgive me, I pledged that this was the last time, and that I would serve Him for the rest of my life. And then I would fall again.
I was turning all my sins over to God, but not my sinful thoughts. I didn’t realize that an octopus-shaped demon had many powerful tentacles gripping throughout. No matter how many times I got saved, that demon would stay in my mind and eventually wash sin back down into my soul, causing me to fail God.
I came to an altar, not just to seek salvation for my soul, but for my mind. Philippians 4:8: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
That octopus’s powerful and strong tentacles were no match for the blood. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death (Revelation 12:11). The demon is dripping with disgusting black slime and leaves a trail on whatever it touches like a hideous slug from Hell. But the blood cleanses it all thoroughly, until not even a trace is left.
The anointing flowed into my brain like a river, ripping that demon and all its tentacles out and wiping out all the slime left behind. I saw myself lifted up into the clouds of His glory. That octopus was below me, falling down further and getting smaller until it disappeared completely, cast into the flames of Hell forever. Micah 7:19: He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
Jesus warned that if a man were delivered from a demon and was not diligent in keeping himself clean, that demon would return with seven more. Luke 11:24-26: When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. We must be ever diligent to give everything over to the Lord, so He can deliver us with His powerful anointing. And we must be careful, because if that octopus demon ever tries to come back, it will be more powerful than ever. We could imagine it having seven times as many tentacles as it did before.
But we don’t have to be afraid, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).