If that’s you, stop and ask yourself—is this a vicious circle or a demonic cycle? In other words, is one trouble in your life leading to another because of the classic law of cause and effect, a law that can easily snowball for better or worse? Or are you wrestling against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places? (Eph. 6:12)
Before we go on, let me state emphatically that every obstacle or setback we face in life is not rooted in demonic activity. Becoming super-skilled in spiritual warfare isn’t going to solve all of your problems because all of your problems aren’t originating demons. Getting hyper focused on identifying demons and tearing down strongholds can actually perpetuate the vicious cycle. What we magnify tends to manifest. Magnify the devil and he seems bigger in your eyes. Magnify Jesus and His glory inspires you to overcome by His grace.
With all that said, demonic cycles—a phrase I use to describe how demons create and manipulate strongholds in our minds to tempt us to walk around the same mountain over and over again—are real. Demonic cycles are more than just bad habits—and demonic cycles can be more difficult to break because you may not even recognize there’s a mental stronghold involved in your drama. And you can’t break the power of something you don’t know is there.
Demonic cycles could manifest as overeating, job instability, yearly sickness, relationship issues, problems with authority and many other undesirable woes. Demons can whisper in your ear and fortify ungodly thoughts in any area of your mind that isn’t renewed. In this way, the demonic cycle may actually empower the vicious circle.
With demonic cycles, spirits often work to perpetuate acts of self-sabotage of which you are unaware. You start a new job but you have the same personality that conflicts with the boss you encountered at the last job. You get a new boyfriend and soon enough end up having the same arguments as you had with the last boyfriend. You plan to get up an hour earlier to read your Bible and pray but you end up getting distracted by less-than-eternal purposes. So you find yourself looking for a new job and a new boyfriend even as you are dying on the vine because you aren’t feeding your spirit. The common denominator is you. Whether you know it or not, you are allowing the demonic cycle to continue. Are you beginning to see it?
Breaking the power of vicious circles is often a matter of making better choices, but when it’s a demonic cycle you need to identify the imaginations and wrong thought patterns that are allowing wicked spirits to wreak havoc on your life. Ultimately, you have to take responsibility for your choices. No demon in hell is stronger than a will aligned with the Word of God. God’s grace floods the soul that seeks first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
The apostle Paul offers some good advice: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Cor. 10:3-6).
In order to break demonic cycles rooted in soulish strongholds, you have to make a purposeful and diligent effort to cast down the imaginations that defy the Word of God. As believers, we have the privilege of using God’s Word to tear down barriers erected against His truth. We have the power to fit every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of a life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity (2 Cor. 10:3-6).
Beloved, that’s good news! If you want to break demonic cycles in your life, humble yourself and ask the Holy Spirit to help you find the Scriptures that will serve as your double-edged sword to slice into pieces the demonic strongholds in your mind. Even if it’s a generational curse or if you need full-blown deliverance, the blood of Jesus, the name of Christ and the Word of God are more powerful weapons than anything Satan has in his arsenal.
Dig down to the root of your thinking. Where did it start? Forgive anyone who hurt you. Forgive yourself. Receive forgiveness from the Lord for your wrong thinking and self-sabotage. Ask the Lord to fill you with His Holy Spirit, love the people around you, take on a new attitude, and call those things that be not as though they were. As you do, you’ll begin to see things as He does—through the eyes of faith—and your behavior will begin to change. You’ll break the demonic cycle and stop walking in vicious circles. I assure you, whom the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36).
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Heart of the Prophetic. You can e-mail Jennifer at