Discerning roots of physical illness

The Question

Is there a way to tell if physical problems are demonic or just life? Some natural doctors say I have fungus in my gut while all regular doctors and all their tests say I am fine. I have had every test done and nothing shows up. But I suffer from many symptoms that are not pretty.

JS from San Tan Valley, Arizona


The Answer
Part 1: Discerning roots
Part 2: Two-track perspective

Discerning roots (Part 1)

The regular doctors say you are fine? How frustrating. We know that’s not right—the symptoms are coming from somewhere! And the natural doctors say it is a fungus but do they have a cure for that if it is the case? In the meanwhile you are suffering and wondering if this is a demonic attack, which is another possibility.

How can you tell the roots of an illness defying medical diagnosis? It’s a big question. I happen to know quite a few people in the same situation right now and to be honest it is often extremely hard to tell. As far as demonic roots, I can simply give you some questions to consider.

Before starting, be sure you have spent some heavy-duty time in prayer and maybe some fasting to accompany it. Often fasting will break through a stubborn issue or clear the spiritual air. (See Fasting – Clearing the Fog) If it is possible to pray and fast with another person take advantage of that. It often gives prayer a power boost needed for obstinate cases like yours.

Now, as far as the level of demonic activity that may be involved, you need to consider if there has been any open door in your life that could have allowed it. Have you ever been involved in any aspect of the occult? Any sexual sin, particularly pornography or any perversion? Have you been a victim of sexual sin? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything that has not been brought under the blood of Jesus.

If all of that comes up clean, ask yourself what draws you to consider if this illness is demonic. I say that because most people know deep in their hearts when the demonic is operational. They just know and many times they intuitively know why. However if you are simply grasping for straws because you are at wits end, perhaps the demonic is no more at play than any other part of life lived after original sin.

Two-track perspective (Part 2)

I believe fully in what Isaiah 53:5 says, “And by His scourging we are healed.” When Jesus said at the cross, “’It is finished!’” (John 19:30) he broke the curse mankind had been under since the Garden. He willingly healed all who came to him on earth and he passed the power and authority to heal down to his church. So we should always pursue healing. Don’t stop asking for healing prayer, being anointed with oil and taking every opportunity to claim what Christ secured for you.

Yet we also need to consider that when Paul sought relief from his thorn in the flesh, the Lord told him that he was going to leave it there—for a purpose. Satan was behind it but God was choosing to allow it. (See 2 Corinthians 12:7-10) It is in Paul’s response to God’s refusal that we have a strategy for what remains mysterious and immovable in our lives.

Paul said, “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” (Verse 9) Note Paul’s perspective that goes beyond the thorn itself. In other words, how we respond to affliction is more important than the source of the affliction. I’ve said this often enough: God is more concerned with our character than our comfort.

As you persist tracking down the cause of your physical problem, have another track going too. In addition to asking God to reveal roots, ask him to reveal those places in your character where your current affliction can work for your good. If you do that your ultimate healing will be a double win: your body AND your soul.

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