Evil Thoughts from the Devil? Why do I have them?

Do you ever get unwanted, evil thoughts from the devil?

Don’t worry! You’re in company with many other Christians — you just might not realize it.

John, for example, was a pastor who preached to thousands of listeners every week. He wrote a bestselling book. His personal life was spotless and characterized by a deep devotion to Christ. On the outside, it seemed like John was successful in his spiritual life.

But what others didn’t know was that John was plagued by thoughts urging him to blaspheme Christ or to pray to Satan.

He would argue back intensely against these thoughts. He would literally spend hours at a time beating his arms in the air and saying, “I will not, I will not, I will not!” 

Eventually, John, who is a real person, did find relief — but not through arguing. In this article, we’ll take a look at when Christians experience demonic thoughts or urges to engage with the devil.


What Kinds of Evil Thoughts from the Devil Are We Talking About?

John, the preacher with urges to pray to Satan, is actually none other than John Bunyan, author of the famous Pilgrim’s Progress.

He had a number of chronic, bad spiritual thoughts. He wrote an account of his experience in the book Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. It is through his own autobiographical account that later psychologists were able to diagnose John Bunyan with religious OCD, also known as scrupulosity.

> Check Out the Redemptive Guide to Blasphemous Thoughts Right Here! <

What we find is that John Bunyan was not unusual. Many people with scrupulosity get unwanted, horrible anti-religious thoughts.

Often these thoughts are about blaspheming God or committing some form of sacrilege, but fairly often these unwanted thoughts will be about the devil. 

Some people get this thought that they should worship Satan or pray to him, others will feel an urge to sell their soul to the devil, or might question if they already sold themselves to Satan unintentionally.

And some people who recognize that these intrusive thoughts are not normal wonder if they are demonically possessed. 

I recently shared an article about religious intrusive thoughts, and I would encourage you to check that out so that you understand what we’re talking about when we refer to intrusive thoughts.

Chronic fears about the devil can be a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

These chronic fears about the devil are a sign of obsessive compulsive disorder, and in this article I want to talk more directly about intrusive thoughts of a demonic nature.

Where Do These Evil Thoughts Really Come From?

Let me give you a crucial psychological insight.

Every thought and behavior that you have falls into one of two categories: ego-syntonic or ego-dystonic.

An ego-syntonic thought is something that aligns with the values of your ego, your true self. They are consistent with your self-image of who you really are.

An ego-dystonic thought, on the other hand, conflicts with your self-image and is viewed as something foreign or alien to the self.

Every thought you think is either ego-syntonic or ego-dystonic.

Ego-syntonic thoughts and behavior are viewed as good and wanted (whether or not it really is good, you think it’s good). Ego-dystonic thoughts and behavior, on the other hand, are viewed as unwanted.

Let me give an example.

A woman with severe paranoia disorder locks all her doors and windows and even locks her refrigerator out of fear that someone will steal her food. If confronted about her behavior, she will tell you that it is a good thing to protect herself. Her paranoid beliefs are ego-syntonic — she sees them as appropriate.

In the same way, an anorexic person might be at a dangerous BMI or even on the verge of dying but feel like it is completely appropriate for him to purge his last meal. He is unable to see anything wrong with his condition, so we would call his thoughts ego-syntonic.

A person with OCD, on the other hand, has intrusive thoughts that are perceived as abnormal, disgusting, unwanted, and alien.

They seem to come from outside of him.

They seem to be out of his control.

But he recognizes that they are very inappropriate, so we would call these thoughts ego-dystonic. 

Evil Thoughts from the Devil and Ego-Dystonic Thoughts

As long as a thought is in conflict with your ideal sense of self, it is ego-dystonic, and we would rightly say that it is not from the real you.

But if you have a demonic thought that is not from YOU, where is it from? There are only two options. It is either from a demon, or it is from your OCD.

Evil Thoughts from the Devil Are Simply Called “Temptations.” But There’s Another Option…

Now, this is great news, because if Satan is telling me to worship Satan, that is called a temptation. And the Bible says we will experience tribulation in this world and we will go through many trials. 

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial that is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (1 Peter 4:12). 

We know that the devil “walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Evil thoughts from the devil would definitely fit into the schemes that he has been throwing at humankind for thousands of years. If the devil is tempting you, rejoice that you may be counted worthy to suffer like Christ!

Evil Thoughts from the Devil May Be No More Than Sinister Temptations

But there’s another option to consider.

Maybe it’s not demonic harassment, maybe it really is your OCD.

Maybe you have a mental health condition that has hijacked your faith experience and is manifesting itself in these bad thoughts.

Whether these thoughts come as a temptation or as a manifestation of OCD, either way you are safe.

Try to breathe in that thought for a moment — you are safe. Because fundamentally, OCD is not an issue with thoughts, it’s a matter of feeling unsafe, of feeling like things are uncertain and unresolved.

But you ARE safe, even though your feelings tell you otherwise.

What If I Really Did Originate the Evil Thought?

But let’s dig to the bottom of these evil thoughts about the devil: what if you feel like you really DID want that evil thought?

What if, for at least a moment, that thought seemed to be ego-syntonic?

What if it seems like you DID choose it?

Sometimes, people with religious OCD do get to this point where you’ll finally cave in to the obsessive thought and curse God or agree to whatever evil thought has been torturing you. But then, in a few days, you’ll be back to God, sincerely begging for forgiveness.

Honestly, it’s like people who confess to crimes they never committed just so that the interrogator stops torturing them.

Why does this happen? The OCD cycle of intrusive thoughts is so intense and exhausting that it can push us into mental and emotional overdrive and cause us to act in uncharacteristic ways that are unlike our normal selves. Here’s the cycle:

You begin with a triggering thought. You know what your exact trigger is. Perhaps it is the urge to curse God or pray to Satan.

When you experience that trigger, your anxiety immediately spikes.

Religious OCD Cycle: Trigger Stage

You then enter a period of rumination.

You turn circles around yourself, trying to figure out if that nasty thought was genuinely from you or not. As you ruminate, your anxiety goes even further up.

Religious OCD Cycle: Rumination Stage

But the evil thought doesn’t go away. So you begin resisting it.

You push back, hoping against hope that you can pray the right prayer or find the right verse that will completely neutralize the terrifying thought.

Your anxiety goes even further up…

Exhaustion begins to set in…

You aren’t sure how much more you can take…

Religious OCD Cycle: Resistance Stage

Finally, you reach a point of utter exasperation. You’ve hit the OCD explosion point. Every last reserve of mental and emotional energy is gone.

You let go and agree to the thought, awful as it may be.

Religious OCD Cycle: Explosion Stage

At that moment, your mind and emotions enter a state of free fall.

The intrusive thought is gone.

It is in this stage of the OCD cycle that you may experience a loss of emotions, numbness, depersonalization, or derealization.

You have completely emptied your emotional tank in the struggle to analyze and resist that intrusive thought.

Religious OCD Cycle: Mental Silence Stage

Eventually, you reach a feeling of semi-normalcy again, with one exception.

You miss God.

You miss the sweet communion and close relationship you know is there in the “real you.”

So you return, wishing desperately to reconcile with God.

You ask for forgiveness and feel the sweet embrace of reconciliation…until it starts all over again with your next intrusive thought about the devil.

Religious OCD Cycle: Reconciliation Stage

If experience this cycle, it is OCD. A truly devil-worshipping person will not have this cycle.

What Should I Do to Stop These Evil Thoughts from the Devil?

If you’re a Christian having evil or demonic thoughts, what should you do?

Well, you should do something very counterintuitive. You should resist the urge to argue back against the thoughts.

Imagine there are ten angry little chihuahuas yapping at your heels, and you’re scared to death of getting bitten. Do you start kicking at them, or do you stand still?

Well, I hope you don’t start kicking at them, because chances are they’ll start attacking!

It’s the same with intrusive thoughts.

The more you fight against them, the worse they become.

If you have evil thoughts from the devil, resist the urge to argue back against them.

The more you try to search the internet for positive verses to neutralize the thought or engage in spiritual disciplines that make you erase it, the clingier it will be.

The way to respond to these thoughts is actually very counterintuitive, you have to prevent yourself from responding in any way.

That’s why it’s usually the best course of action to get professional help. Religious OCD does respond well to therapy, especially if you pair it with spiritual mentorship at the same time. However, these kinds of methods where you learn not to respond can feel very counterintuitive, so it’s usually best to get a pro to help you over the tough parts.

I would encourage you to look at one popular article on this website in which I discuss three powerful spiritual methods for dealing with scrupulosity. It also includes free worksheets that can help you. (Find it here!)


If you have awful, scary thoughts about the devil, you’re in company with spiritual giants like the great John Bunyan. You’ll be happy to know that he was eventually able to cure his scrupulosity and went on to live a live of devoted service to Jesus. Like Bunyan, I believe you’ll do the same. 

Wherever you are in your journey with scrupulosity — whether you’re just finding out about it, whether you’ve been doing some internet searches, or whether you’re in formal therapy — take the next step.

It does get better, but not by accident.

What’s your most helpful go-to method for dealing with demonic intrusive thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

Best wishes on the journey,

jaimie eckert signature

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  1. Hello Jamie,
    I am interested in getting coaching from you and wanted to know if you accept insurance to pay for the service or is it out of pocket?

  2. what helped me whilst battling with scrupulous ocd is instead of trying to refrain from thinking of the scrupulous thought try not to think of something pleasant

  3. Thank you so much for publishing this and making me feel seen for the first time in these thoughts. It is so appreciated and god bless.

    1. me too. I've been going through all of this for 7 years now. and the pilgrims progress is my fav movie btw. I watch it alot. funny how he went through this as well.

  4. Hello I have OCD and also been diagnosed with high functioning autism you see I like to watch fantasy movies with magic and and the characters who do it but I'm not trying to do it in real life it's similar to how people say Harry Potter is satanic and I don't know whether it is or not I'm just trying to enjoy a movie sometimes when I'm enjoying a movie I have an intrusive thought that I'm not honoring God and that I'm going to go to hell if I don't repent please help me I am also a new growing Christian

    1. Hi Alex,
      You are bringing up one of the most hotly contested topics within twenty-first century Christian lifestyle debates. 🙂 I would say this is not so much a “scrupulosity” thing as it is a discussion that the broader Christian family has been having for the last few decades. There are Christians who believe it is okay to watch/read magic/fantasy/witchcraft type entertainment. Their argument is that Christians are able to tell the difference between fact and fantasy, and there is no real harm to a person as long as they are not doing it in their own life. Other Christians will argue back that we ought not to put ourselves on Satan’s ground by watching/reading these things, because it benumbs the conscience to the evil of witchcraft and occultism, and “by beholding we are changed.”

      I would encourage you to do a bit of study on this topic (not obsessive-compulsive study! Look into it when you are feeling calm and not anxious). This is probably not a scrupulosity concern, as I know many non-OCD Christians who have grappled with this topic for themselves. We must remember that Scripture defines truth for us, not modern-day culture around us, and not the anxieties of our own hearts. After studying, sometimes we will say, “I’m alright. My anxiety is just making me feel false guilt.” Other times, we will say, “according to the Bible, almost everyone around me in my American culture seems to be wrong.” Like in ancient Sodom and Gomorra, when “the whole city” came together to sexually assault Lot’s angelic visitors, there are times when yes, the majority of people are dead wrong. The majority has a tendency to be wrong, so it can be helpful to factor that into our study of current issues in Christian lifestyles.


    2. i think maybe the Lord is calling you away from Harry Potter. The Bible says that some people get convicted about certain things and some do not — i think, for you, Harry Potter is convicting, like it is for me. Not obeying your convictions is a sin. But, I am not a pro, just felt led to share that with you. 🙂

  5. I'd like to add that although I haven't had thoughts of blaspheming I know I've got angry with god going through some aweful trials and get stuck in fear and panick fear flight
    I sense the strong emotions of anxiety
    but. I can distract my attention to something else this dose help I've gone on very long in-depth punishing thoughts when reoenting the devil dose use the words are you sure you are a Christian you wouldn't be having these thoughts
    my thoughts come more from threats seeing thinking negative threatening thoughts of what might happen Im learning to say Jesus this dose not belong to you I trust in your word you will not leave me you will rescue me I believe his word to be true active
    I have also experienced his rescuing from what seemed to be an impossible healing when other Christians prayed non stop for my grandaighter
    nearly died several times when they went into prayer non stop the lord stepped in and has saved her life again and done more so I have seen with my own eyes what prayer dose because I suffer from anxiety it is so easy for that fear to open a door to the enemy and it goes larger in the mjnd so much of the time now I just speak Jesus Jesus Jesus you promised and I remind him of what he promised me I tell my self that God is above those thoughts one of my neighbours past by and the thoughts were she's a witch i said jesus even if that's true and I don't think it is
    I know your power defeated satan at the cross
    so I use scripture alot to counter the attack I believe I have my life to Jesus I believe now it is him that choose me I believe god understands my illness the same as he dose with autism and I've read even if a person with deep shezaphia
    was healed whis goes to show the power of God over every evil force on this earth we may sense it but I do believe now the more I read it I do believe as his child I am invited into his throne room to pray through the saving name Jesus
    so I ask Jesus to forgive me of any known or unknown sin I know that if am angry or evil thought comes it is 100% it is not from god
    and so as much as I can I take in deep breaths breath out the anxiety breath in his word lord you Said like jesus did in the wilderness
    also I know I did not imagine it no way thoughts happen but when I was in church my grandaughter was once again critically ill
    I felt so broken but heard the words trust in me let me take it let it go I care about your burdens at that time I said ok jesus I trust in your love for her and I experienced the sensation of invisible arms around me it was so real I looked around to see where it was coming from of course no one was there the beaufufil love of Jesus knows what deep pain anxiety lose tramuer causes us and he really cared
    David had to pretend to play insane to escape from a king Abraham was so afraid he lied about his wife being his sister but it's written god have the king a dream Sarah was released
    Elijah exhausted from tramuer god sent him food help these are not imaginations they happened I've heard of seen the most amazing things god has done the amount of tramuer I've been through there is no way I got through that without god's help
    may go overboard in researching scripture but boy it really helps when it comes to mind my mind has been on such a cycle I couldn't stop it then I Said sorry Jesus I can't stop this anxiiouness
    but I believe you can so pleased give me your free gift of peace and it comes rrealky comes it's not me going numb or falling by mind control no it's instant the other thing that helps is to constantly tank him after praying in fact thank holy spirt Jesus father God more more more
    how do I know it's the enemy because the battle sometimes increased the enemy wants us to doubt god's goodness so he puts those threatening thoughts
    I read of one man who had become so convince a lorry driver that I would have to get out of the truck and throw himself off the bridge he drive over every day as he dwelt on that thought
    he believed it so much that he asked his wife to handcuff him like it says in proverbs so a man thinks so it is unto him but god I know is above our thoughts his mighty and stronger above all our fears some of the strongest men of God like Spurgeon spks truthfully about his bouts of depression I think it's time the church was honest enough to admit there is mental illness in this world part of the fallen nature of this world
    broken world BUT WE DO NOT LOSE OUR SALVATIOM. god has compassion on this world there is a new site just set up where a Christian lady has been appointed by god to help those people with autism and what was once a chronicle suffering child with autism is now improved 50% and continued to work with him tramuer counseling more than before suddenly the church is coming alive in understanding that the mentally ill what ever that is Jesus can dosr bring healing so for me it's learning the scripture just sometimes as simple as one prayer jesus Jesus there is power in your name I'm calling on you to help me now thank you lord we limit god to how much power healing power
    I write all this down as my own true experience to say there was times when I thought I was going to lose my mind but now when I do something wrong I come quickly to throne of grace and say Jesus I'm sorry help me please
    these are words that are active god said my word is active sharper than a two edge sword do we believe we have a choice have I struggled with doubt unbelief of course and if most Christians were honest if preachers where honest like Spurgeon the rest of the world would have hope that they are not helpless the biggest news of all is god loves you will never leave you he knows your weakness and offers his strength thank you lord I recommend staying in close touch with Jesus

  6. one I found is to call on the name of Jesus because I know his name is powerfully healing and check the scriptures remind myself of one scripture mine is nothing shall seperate you from god's love and reaffirming by saying thisr scriptures aloud .I a child of God brought through the blood my sins are covered
    I know his love is higher than my thinking how because I've seen it witnessed that no matter what trial I find myself in I sing praises to him in my mind
    I do breathing technique too
    blowing out the stress breathing in his love peace

  7. I had an intrusive thought when I was ill it came out of nowhere it was about worshiping the devil I became really anxious and went through a very traumatic time. Eventually the Lord brought me through it with counselling as well, but it seems whenever I get stressed my mind takes me back to these thoughts and I go through the same thing again, but I know with prayer and my friends I will come through it again, but why do I keep getting these thoughts

  8. I get confused if I have scruplosity. I have thought I was DEMON possessed till I've gotten sick and scared. I have thought I have committed the unpardonable sin. I have Epilepsy, have gone to alter many times when growing up and right away doubted if I was really saved doomed to he'll. I can.still be insecure and afraid at age 65 even going to a Roman catholic church. Please help me. I have also gone to many counselors because of these situations and drugs alcohol continued arguments.

  9. Hello!

    What you tell about a person who, after a thought, felt physically that something was leaving him through his head?

    Suppose a person was going through a fierce spiritual battle during some time. This spiritual battle began because this person was living in sin, and then realized that he might have gone too far. This person thought this because at the same night that he commited that same sin for the last time, he heard a voice in his head saying "Beth-Aven" (this person didn't know this word until then). After hearing this word, this person oppened his Bible EXACTLY in the book where the prophet Hosea relates to "Beth-Aven" the fact the God left some people (or some city) because of their sins.

    In the midst of this spiritual battle, at some night, while this person is exhausted, a suggestion come to his mind: "you have to face your worst fear." The worst fear of this person is blaspheming the HS. Then, after hearing this suggestion, this person have some thoughts, and in his mind say some words, just to see what would happen… After all, this person had to face this fear. This person is even afraid of admiting that he said some words.

    What happens, though, is that imediately after thinking those words, this person feels his heart trembling in an inexplicable way, and feels something leaving his body through his head. "OH NO!", this person thinks.

    Then, in the next day, something strange happens: this person is possessed by an urge of beat others. While having this urge, he began to search at Google what is this, and then find some people saying that this may be a demonic possession. Then, about the same time he is performing this search, his sister sends him a link of a preaching, which this person starts to watch. While the preacher is saying some words, this person starts to feel very angry about these words, this person begin to hate this preaching, and then begin to realize that the thoughts of the previous day were for real, I mean, because if the Lord really left this person, then it oppened the possibility for the enemy of our souls to enter this person.

    Luckly for this person, his father, who is a pious christian, without saying any word, suddenly go to his room, locks the door, and start praying. Immediatelly this urge of beating others leaves this person.

    This person realizes that he is very empty now. He don't feel any love, any hope… it's just terrible, like God had really left him. This person is now hopeless, feeling like Saul.

    The next day, this person make a pray asking God if He really considered this person's thought to be genuine. Then, after making this pray, this person opens two different Bibles, and these two Bibles opens exactly at the same phrase where Jesus says that blasphemies comes from the heart. After that, this person opens those two same Bibles at a passage in where the apostles Peter and John accuses a man called Simon of having a bad thought.

    This person then comes to the conclusion that God really considered his thoughts to be genuine, and this person is now feeling lost and damned forever.

    Have you ever heard of somebody having a physical reaction like that? I mean, after having a thought, feeling that something was leaving him through his head.

    Thanks in advance.

      1. Hi Jaimie! Thanks a lot for your time and for letting me know your text about physical sensations. I believe you are helping many people.

  10. I had thohhhts that the devil possessed me. I had a bad panic attack months ago and horrifying dreams. Now my thoughts say I worship him when I do not. I love god and Jesus. I feel crazy ! And he thoughts don’t stop.

  11. I had an encounter with a cult leader 20yrs ago. I didn’t realize who I was getting to know. The start of our conversation was about God’s love. Before I really understand what was happening he had more control than I realized and it almost cost me my life.

    Since that encounter I have suffered from every lie the enemy hurls my way. Thoughts that God gave me over to him are the worst. Thoughts about how my life has changed because of that time and thoughts that all conclude my damnation.

    I still don’t understand what happened but I do understand the suffering and despair of having to listen to intrusive thoughts that redefine the Jesus I understand Him to be. These are attacks and I do believe they are both demonic and a brain disorder. It’s just like the devil to find our weaknesses and attempt to exploit our pain. My faith is no longer in “my faith” I realize my faith and trust are In Christ. I am not a follower of Christ’s because I don’t have problems. I follow Jesus because I desperately need and want Him.

  12. Hi, I have been really struggling with thoughts that are from satan. The thoughts are really horrible and things that I absolutely despise and I know that I will never do or become but the fact that they truly make me so angry it is hard for me to go about my day. It takes my happiness and my joy out of the day and I just get super frustrated and tired of what satan is telling me. The devil often tells me that no one ever deals with stuff like what I go through and makes me feel worse about myself. That truly hurts me. Often times I do strike back at the devil and get really angry and say stuff back. I try to get verses stuck in my head ready to go. I know that I am going to be a disciple of Jesus and do great wonders for his kingdom. It is just truly exhausting and miserable having to dry I deal with thoughts that make me so sick and angry. I am truly glad that we have a savior that loves and gives us strength to have peace in all this. It is nice to see that there are people like me. We are never alone in this battle nor will we ever be!

  13. Jesus loves you so much and you will be rewarded for your suffering. Jesus knows you are His and no one can snatch you out of the Father's hand. Please don't worry. Nothing the devil or his minions do can ever separate you from the love of God. I have suffered for the last 10 years with every complaint on this website. I have resolved my severe depression which manifested itself in religious OCD and I would say the following – Please read your Bibles, particularly the New Testament, and learn how much God loves you and nothing will separate you from Him. These thoughts or impulses do not come from you. It is a lie that tells you they are your thoughts – don't believe it. I found complete release from my torment when I knew in my heart they were from out of the air and not from me. Do not fight these thoughts with your flesh, saying I must not think or I must not do such and such. You overcome these thoughts by not engaging with them. In other words you just let them go. They are just noisy passengers on a bus and you are the bus driver. Just let them go. Ignore them. Do not fight them, just let them go. Walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, your comforter and guide. Walk in the Spirit as a child of God, heir of God, co-heir with Christ seated in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. Scrupulosity is caused by thinking you are under the Old Testament "law" which says do not do, do not think, do not say. The law has passed away but the enemy doesn't want you to know that. Grace has come and it says "walk in the Spirit" as the child of Christ that you are. You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, spiritually born again and in heaven. It's true. Remember – these thoughts are not some thing you fight they are something you just let go and they will lose their grip on you. God bless you all.

  14. Does exposing myself to a thought from Satan mean I have to do what he says to overcome my fear? I have been told by Satan that he wants me to find a woman I didn't visit many years ago because Satan told me too. I don't understand exposure therapy since I don't want to do what the devil tells me to do.

    1. Hi Linda,

      I am not an expert in ERP since technically that is something you would work on with your therapist. Here on this website I provide some spiritual justifications for why I think ERP is often a very healthy exercise, and some spiritual guidance on what kinds of religious exposures are appropriate, but as for the actual procedure itself, you would want to do that in partnership with a therapist who specializes in ERP.

      Is the example that you’re sharing your own suggestion of what ERP would look like, or did your therapist tell you to do that? For me, it would be an unusual exposure and would seem to lead to entrenchment in the OCD rather than actual healing. I say that because part of OCD recovery involves a recognition that “this is not me, it’s my OCD.” From a religious standpoint, we ALSO need to carefully define that “this is not God, it’s my OCD” and sometimes, “this is not Satan, it’s my OCD.” So the example you’re presenting would require you to mislabel your OCD and interact with it as if it’s Satan’s voice, which may not be helpful. But again, you would want to pick that apart with someone who specializes in ERP.


  15. I have intrusive thoughts thar drive me crazy. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. The more I read the Holy Bible and the more I pray to Jesus, the intrusive thoughts get worse sometimes. I could really use some help.

  16. This was very enlightening. I have recorded the Holy spirit and Christ has made his abode with me. I’ve been under attack and have actually died twice because my thoughts weren’t my own and I didn’t realize it. I’ve been delivered since then and my life is getting better thanks to our lord and savior Jesus Christ. Preacher is my calling. Spiritual discernment is my gift from the Holy Spirit so yes demons and the spirit of Satan himself harass me all the time because he doesn’t want preachers especially true believers with gifts filled with the spirit of God..I don’t know about therapy but I do know asking Christ to help you with this problem is the best thing. We cannot over come the things we can’t see on our own. Only with him can we succeed. Resist the devil and he will flee. This takes time. Just because you stop sinning for a month or two doesn’t mean it’s over with and you’ve defeated the devil. He’s gonna keep coming back cause he hates Christians the most especially the ones who were big time sinners and have not turned their lives over to Christ. Resist the spirit of the devil and he will flee from you. Ask Christ for relief and he will give it to you.

    1. This has really helped me. I struggle with intrusive thoughts all the time. I'm supposed to go speak with a preacher on Thursday about these horrific thoughts. I love Jesus Christ and I just want the devil to leave me alone.

  17. Dear Jaimie,

    I have been suffering from intrusive thoughts – murderous thoughts toward my beloved ones, so sad and painful as I love them so much. Also offensive thoughts toward God whom I love deeply.
    I have been so grieved by these thoughts – which are not mine and indeed come from the enemy of our soul – that I collapsed emotionally and spent two months in a clinic for depression. I have spent the five last months on sick leave. This is very hard. All of this followed covid infection and prolonged intake of benzodiazepines, which I would never recommend to anyone.
    I am 52. Interestingly, I had blasphemous thoughts and other lies about God harassing me when I was 15. I was not a born-again believer back then, and it "ruined" 14 years of my life until age 29. I got saved at age 24 and baptized in the Holy Spirit at age 30, which was a tremendous help to me.
    Now I am connecting the dots. Thank you for your heart and your ministry.
    Your insights or prayer would be appreciated. What should I do?
    Jesus carried my sins and sicknesses, so I am expecting full healing from Him 🙌

  18. Hi I'm having trouble with my bad thoughts and I don't want them to be in my head and every time I get them I seem to get a headache and I just want God to know that I don't mean the thoughts and then I feel bad and it's driving me crazy. I'm just so confused and I want Jesus and God to be proud.

  19. Jaimie, I am having a hard time with my thoughts and I feel like exploding, but I can feel God’s hold on me… I don’t know what to do. I think doubts about things I believe and it just doesn’t make sense. What should I do?

    1. Hi Gavin,
      First for the good news: no one with OCD has ever actually had their brain explode, despite strong sensations indicating an imminent danger of this occurring. So take heart.
      Secondly for my advice: the best thought that can counter such doubts is the thought that doubts are ok. Please read my article on our addiction to certainty. Experiencing doubt does not make you an unbeliever. Belief can only come in the presence of doubt, because faith is that indomitable force of the will that chooses to step out when one cannot see clearly. Of necessity, then, there must be a great deal of unknowns and foggy vistas that accompany true faith. Your doubt needn’t indicate anything wrong about your faith life; most robust followers of Jesus have plenty of doubts and unknowns, even about major and central aspects of faith. For some, this leads to deeper study and new Scriptural insights; for others with obsessive-compulsive brain wiring, this can lead to anxiety and circular rumination. But again, it doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with your faith experience because you have doubts and questions.
      Be encouraged,

  20. This helped me so much… for the past month or so I have been struggling with this and it has taken such a toll on me . I know I’m a good person with a good heart I love others but for some reason these thoughts come into my mind where I feel like I’m constantly being watched by the devil or he is constantly saying he’s here and I immediately put god in my head but it continues to happen over and over and it makes me fearful. I am diagnosed with severe anxiety and adjustment disorder which makes it extremely difficult to balance as well. I do believe I can definitely have this ocd because it effects me every single day. Though I’m in perfect health it’s my mind that I fight with. These comments brought me to tears and reassured me I’m not alone… it’s so sad so many of us are going through this.. thank you for shedding light on these dark times..

  21. Thank you for your video and your blog post. I've been coming back to this one especially for the past few days to reassure myself and to help me get a full understanding of the things that are going on with my scrupulosity. It especially helped me tonight, because recently I've been having constant reoccurring thoughts about demon names and trying not to think about them, especially after I saw some on an internet post and a friend was playing a show with characters that were named after demons. I had just received some comics, too, and had looked in the back cover and saw that the author had used the name of a demon for the title for one of their previous comic works (it had nothing to do with spiritual things though, i believe). I thought it was a serious sign from God saying that I shouldn't like this specific comic series because the author's previous comic title was the same name that I had been obsessively trying not to think about and find ways around thinking about for the past few days (i had a bad panic attack and cut out the titles from all the book covers, even thought about throwing away the books too). But this post and video, along with some others, helped me to really understand the hold scrupulosity can have on a person and how much it can really freak you out, especially if a trigger directly related to what you're thinking about comes up unexpectedly. Still having doubts about whether it's a sign from God, but I'm slowly trudging towards trying to reign in my intrusive thoughts and not freaking myself out about what happened.

    Thank you so much, Jaimie!

  22. Thanks for shedding light on this tormenting subject. I backslid from God for several yrs and it’s not the first time but every time I returned to him I never had these kinda attacks so intensely till a few weeks ago. It all started with a sexual image of Jesus and then led to believing I committed the unpardonable sin and being distant from God trying to restore my faith did not make anything easier cause it left me completely vulnerable. I went from one mental image to constant blasphemous thoughts and utter confusion not knowing where the thoughts or voices were coming from, myself, God or the enemy. From there my sleep health and relationship with wife and above all God took a toll and just got worst. I prayed and seemed answers exhaustingly but it seemed to only get worst till I just let it reside on its own. As I write now I’m slowly recovering but still getting thoughts in my head even about worshiping Satan and it completely makes me sick to my stomach. This does help to know I’m not alone in this. May God intervene in all our endeavors and not lead us into temptation but deliver us from it. I do suffer from anxiety, PTSD, and severe depression and My mind seems to be my worst enemy! Prayer is greatly appreciated!!

    1. Yes, it can be very exhausting when we are in an OCD spiral. Take courage, you will not be like this forever. There is hope and healing in Jesus Christ. Keep learning and keep pressing closer to our Savior!

      1. I also have the same recurring thoughts that I committed so many sins and have been forgiven too many times and I am rejected by God forever. This fear is almost unbearable.

  23. I have been having intrusive thoughts since I was 8 (I’m 16 now), and though they haven’t always been related to religion, for the past couple of years they have been about the devil. Some of these intrusive thoughts say that I’ll give him my soul if I do random, everyday things. (Not just that I worry about him getting it if I do them, although that occurs too, but the intrusive thought says that I will) If I do these things, am I “agreeing with” this thought, even though these thoughts didn’t really originate from me?

    1. Nathan,

      I know how that feels – been there too. With one difference: you are able to seek help in a much more effective way. When I started having the thoughts, there was no Internet, and I did not know what caused the thoughts.
      Try calling those intrusive thoughts with another name. After all, they are not yours, that's why they are called intrusive. You could call them "wrong channel" or "random noises" or whatever helps you to realize they are not yours, neither any spiritual message, but something mechanical, like a bothersome ad in the YouTube that you can hear but that does not hear you – because they are not real. (Besides, a soul is a great and important thing. If your soul belongs to God, you cannot in give it away as it is His. And if your soul belongs to you only, what I wrote above holds still.)
      But the most important thing – please turn to somebody who can help you over this, somebody from your own religion who takes his faith seriously but also has the necessary psychological training. Some congregations offer that free. You can even ask in the beginning if the person has experience in this field. I tried the same, but at that time these issues were not yet understood well, and I had to wait and suffer for too many years. Please do not let that happen to you.

    2. I’m 16 as well and I am going through the exact same thing. It is terrifying. I’m struggling so much and I don’t know what to do. I have a fear that I’ll accidentally do something I don’t want to do through an intrusive thought. It’s so exhausting but just know you are not alone. I feel you 100%

  24. Hi, can someone help me, I’m only 14 and I have this but with images, images of god bowing or kneeling to satan or satan sitting in a throne, I feel like collapsing Nd crying every time i imagine it, which also causes me to doubt even though I don’t agree with it, can u help me Jaime

    1. Hi Lamartha, so sorry to hear you’re having a hard time! I am sure there are many people here in the scrupulosity recovery community who would say they have exactly the same thing. I would recommend trying to see an OCD specialist in your area to see if you can get an official diagnosis and start treatment of some kind. Have you talked with your parents about this? Lots of kids are shy about this kind of thing, but I would encourage you to talk openly with your parents about it. They are your best cheerleading team and can help you see the right people so you can get this done and over with!

    2. Hi Lamartha!! I'm in the same boat unfortunately. Let's first acknowledge that these thoughts and horrid images are scary. For me, these intrusive thoughts show what we are MOST afraid of. Please reach out to your family, or talk to a school counselor or something to that effect. We're going to get better, so please don't give up <3

  25. I have demonic demon thoughts and I catch myself fighting back talking to myself. They are really demented. But I'm going to try and pray fight back and suffer just like Jesus did. I pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, The lord is my shepherd and Apostle Creed. And I suffer with evil thoughts. I'm also diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia with OCD. So let's see how this goes I'm 4 days in with horrible thought it doesnt go away

  26. Oh my gosh!! Jaimie you don't know how much you have helped me. Since finding your site, subscribing to your Blog and watching the videos you have opened my eyes and given me a sense that I am far from alone. A great video and one which has made me think and understand "I am safe". Thank you as always.x

    1. Hi Nicki, I’m so glad it’s been helpful. You’re right–you aren’t alone in this! So happy to have you here with us in our scrupulosity recovery community. <3

      1. I’m glad to found your website too!! It is a relief to know that someone can help me understand my struggle. But I want to ask for your help on the fact that I sometimes afraid that I might have “normalize” the thought. When I have the extremely blasphemous thoughts I was very afraid and confused to why could I have such a thought. After sometimes when I convince myself that this is “normal” since I suffered from scrupulosity, I should let it go, thinking to myself, “ Yeah I have this thought, it is ok since it does not make any sense and I should pay no attention to it”. However, after a while, I begin to analyze the thought again and .. once again terrified myself, I’m deadly afraid that I actually think that it is normal to have these thought while it is truly not. My trying to normalize and ignore them I’m afraid that I actually may agree or give consent to these blasphemous thoughts.
        I found myself feeling unease at to the fact that I can have such a thought, i tried to figured out if there is any moment into which I genuinely enjoy them and this possibility scared me.
        What should I do ? Please help me!!

  27. I understand you are saying these thoughts are not from the devil and if we say we curse God we really don’t mean it, but what influence does the devil have on OCD?

    1. I have suffered for many many years with awful unwanted, evil thoughts and I was diagnosed with OCD in my teenage years so I know my thoughts are ultimately because of OCD. However, I think satan knows our weaknesses (OCD and others) and will use them further as spiritual weapons against us. He is just awful, I recently had a terrible experience in a holy place and have felt since that I have polluted it. I have repented, asked for forgiveness but I think after all these years it’s time for me to get more help. So I think OCD is an illness some will experience here on earth and then there is satan trying to make it worse. But there is one who is even more powerful than OCD and satan and I know Jesus is aware of our struggles and loves us just the same.

  28. Continuing on from my previous comment when I try to declare out loud "I believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit my voice gags involuntarily at the name "Holy" and sometimes an involuntary swear word will come out which is not what I intend – also this is SPEECH, not thoughts…Very traumatic. I have no interest in serving the devil nor do I believe he had anything to do with God yet these thoughts and impulses torment me.

    1. This is probably your brain tricking you. It’s fairly common for people with OCD to mix up the word order or word selection of prayers and songs, and then spend excessive time obsessing about why they mixed up the words. Try to let it go and not “figure it out.” God knows your intentions.

      1. Jamie! Please help me!
        I “pray” fake thought prayers for unwanted outcomes to the devil.
        I love Jesus, why am I doing this?

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