Spiritual Darkness Prospers in Silence
When the forces of darkness attack us, our natural response is to feel shame and guilt for having had such an evil thought or dirty feeling. But this is misplaced shame, which tends to isolate us. It isn’t a sin to simply have an evil thought flit through our minds, or have an ungodly feeling arise. This is what a temptation looks like! Spirits of darkness put their thoughts and feelings into us. The instant they flit through the mind, these thoughts and feelings are not sin on our part. Jesus Christ was perfect—sinless—yet, He was tempted, just like we are tempted (Hebrews 4:14-15).
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the Heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin, Hebrews 4:14-15.
When we “own” the thought or feeling, thinking it came from within us rather than recognizing it as a temptation of the enemy, we tend to hide and shut ourselves off from others. The last thing we want to do is speak of our spiritual needs with others. We’re afraid of being judged or becoming too vulnerable. But actually, the opposite is true. We become spiritually vulnerable by secretly carrying these weights. Evil prospers in the dark, and sin is strengthened in the silence.
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy, Proverbs 28:13.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much, James 5:16.
(Escaping From the Dragon's Jaws, p 46)