Deliverance from Demonic Activity
It is foolish to ignore the methods and power of the enemy. This makes our families and us vulnerable while Satan and his forces work unnoticed and unchallenged. Many overlook the fact that about 25 percent of Jesus’ ministry as recorded in the gospels involved deliverance from demonic affliction. The forces of evil did not suddenly disappear when Jesus left the earth.
Believers need to learn how to pull down strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4), wrestle against principalities and powers (Ephesians 6:12), and resist the devil (James 4:7). Merrill F. Unger noted in What Demons Can Do to Saints that the Christian’s armor is for external, not internal foes:
But if the Christian fails to use his armor, will the foe stop short of invading the believer’s citadel? If he does invade, this is precisely why the believer may become enslaved and need to call on Christian warriors to come to his rescue in prayer battle if he ever is to be delivered from Satan’s snare into which he has been "taken captive by him at his will" (2 Timothy 2:26).
We must recognize that we have been given authority and victory in the spiritual warfare (Matthew 10:1; Luke 9:1; 10:19). As C. Fred Dickason in Angels, Elect and Evil observes, “The apostles and their followers cast out demons in their day (Acts 5:16; 16:16-18), and Paul states that Christians have all they need to wage warfare against Satan (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Though we have no resources of our own, we have all we need in Christ by virtue of our union with Him (Colossians 2:9-15).” Because of the cross, Satan is a defeated foe (John 12:31). Christ has “disarmed the rulers and authorities” (Colossians 2:15) and is exalted “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion” (Ephesians 1:21; Philippians 2:9-11; 1 Peter 3:22). Furthermore, as believers in Christ, we have been raised with Him and seated with Him in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). The Lord “delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13). In our new position, we have authority in Christ and power in the Spirit.
The problem is that many believers do not exercise their authority, and this is precisely what the forces of darkness count on. We must not only know that we have been liberated from the authority of the devil through the blood of Jesus Christ; we must also act upon this fact.
There are certain conditions for complete deliverance from demonic influence or oppression:
1. Salvation—Without Christ, there is no hope of victory over the powers of evil. Only through the Son of God can you be set free from the bondage of sin and Satan (John 8:36). You must affirm your faith in Jesus Christ.
2. Willingness—You must desire to be set free. If symptoms continue after dealing with the flesh, you must be willing to admit the possibility of demonic activity.
3. Confession—Believers who fail to acknowledge their sins cut themselves off from fellowship with God and become vulnerable to satanic attack. Restoration of fellowship requires repentance, because sin is rebellion against the holy God (Matthew 3:8; James 4:8-9). You must honestly examine yourself and confess any known sins of thought, word, or deed (Psalm 32:5; 139:23-24; 1 Corinthians 11:31; 1 John 1:9). In this way, you reclaim ground that you have yielded to the adversary (Ephesians 4:27). Confession should be as specific as possible, especially when it relates to sins of involvement with the occult. Ask the Lord to bring such sins in your past to light.
4. Renunciation—You must renounce Satan and make a clean break from his works (2 Corinthians 4:2). Verbally break any curses or connections with the sins of previous generations in your family, particularly in the area of the occult and false religions (Exodus 20:3- 5). Renounce any contacts with mediums and destroy any occult paraphernalia (horoscopes, ouija boards, magic books, tarot cards, etc.; see Acts 19:18-19).
5. Forgiveness—You must be willing to forgive all who have wronged you (Matthew 6:14-15; 18:21-35). Ask the Lord to show you any areas of unforgiveness, and ask for His grace and enabling to forgive yourself and others. Only in this way will you be free from the root of bitterness with its hatred, resentment, and anger that can become territory for demonic strongholds. It may be necessary to reconcile the past by inviting God to expose hidden areas of pain, injustice, rejection, and abuse in light of His presence and truth. As Leanne Payne observes in The Healing Presence and Restoring the Christian Soul, this need for inner healing, or healing of the emotions, can be directly related to spiritual warfare. Inner healing is best accomplished in the presence of believers who are skilled in this area of ministry.
6. Submission to God—You must humble yourself before God and acknowledge your complete dependence upon Him. “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:6- 7). You cannot have victory over Satan without first submitting yourself to the person and will of God (Romans 12:1-2).
7. Resistance—When the conditions of salvation, confession, renunciation, forgiveness, and submission to God are met, the devil and his demons have no legal right to harass you. Use the authority you have been given in Christ and stand firm against the powers of evil. Persistence in calling upon the Lord will break through spiritual strongholds. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9a).
Taken from Ken Boa’s Handbook to Spiritual Growth
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