Last summer I had the amazing opportunity to encounter a deliverance ministry that would forever change my life. I did not know much about deliverance, although I had attempted it several times before, either on my own or through the help of others who prayed for me. I had no idea deliverance was even something important or necessary in my life. I only knew that spiritually things were wrong and something had to change. It took me over a year of research to even understand the concept of deliverance and why it was important, but it was not until my own deliverance did I realize how great an impact it would have on my life.
Merriam-Webster define’s deliverance as: the state of being saved from something dangerous or unpleasant. The Bible has at least 85 verses that talk about God delivering us (rescuing, saving) from troubles, distress, fear, enemies, the wicked, destruction and more. Jesus has brought us the greatest deliverance of all time, by dying on the cross to give us freedom from death and hell.
Commonly, deliverance is referred to as a spiritual deliverance from demonic oppression. We are spiritual beings in a physical body, surrounded by a spiritual realm unseen by our eyes. Jesus cast out demons from the Jews all throughout the Gospels, and the disciples and apostles have many stories of casting out demons from people as well. Deliverance is not something often talked about in Christian circles, yet it is one of the most important experiences a Christian can have.
Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.
There is a common misconception that Christians cannot have demons. The belief holds that a Christian cannot have demons and have the Holy Spirit at the same time. Demons can harass Christians, or possibly attached to Christians, but cannot be inside of a Christian in any way. This is a belief that has taken root in the church over the past century, but if you look through the history of deliverance, you will see it was quite common for hundreds of years. The devil wants to stamp out the very thought of demonic oppression in Christians because he can effectively keep his stronghold if we do not believe we can have demons.
There is nothing in scripture that says we cannot have demons if we have the Holy Spirit. Even Paul the Apostle had what he called a “thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan, to torment me.” We know for a fact that the Apostle Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit, and even went to the throne room of God – he speaks about it in the very same passage he talks about being tormenting by a demon. God did not deliver Paul from this demon, yet used it, at least for a time, to teach Paul about relying on God alone. It seems like a harsh way to learn a lesson, but we see something similar in a story about King Saul.
Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better.”
1 Samuel 16:14-16
It is difficult to look at a passage such as this, and see that God Himself sent an evil spirit to torment King Saul. Yet, it is here in scripture. God is sovereign and in control of all creation. Therefore He has to give permission to the devil and his minions when it comes to allowing them to harass His children. Why would an all-loving God do such a thing? For the same reason God gave permission for Paul to be tormented – “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10. We have to learn about humility and dependence on God, in the face of hardships and persecution, just as Christ did. That may be a tough pill to swallow, but it is actually a beautiful thing.
We are so reliant on this physical world and all we see and feel. It becomes a hindrance; a crutch, to our spiritual lives. We forget so easily that the devil is a prowling lion, seeking to devour us. We go about our lives believing that all of our problems are just symptoms of our lives; pain because we overuse our bodies, health problems because of the food we eat, depression because of our genetics, etc. Sure those things do play a part in our lives, but we are completely overlooking the root of all of these problems. The spiritual nature of this world and ourselves.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8
The reality is, pretty much every single person has some form of demonic oppression. When I say ‘demonic oppression’ I am referring to having a demon(s) inside of your physical being. A Christian cannot be possessed by demons, meaning demons cannot be in your spirit. That is where the Holy Spirit is. They can be in your physical being though, influencing your soul (mind, body, emotion). A person who has not given their life over to Jesus Christ can be possessed by demons. That would move from oppression to possession.
The devil is very busy working on stealing you away from God, starting generations before you are even born. Not because you, in particular, are special to him, but because he wants as many people in his kingdom as he can possibly get. All the devil needs to do is get on man in a family to commit his life to darkness, and that one man will commit every generation under him indefinitely. This gives rights to the devil over that one man’s family – his children, and children’s children, and so on.
So you yourself may not have done anything to give rights over to demonic oppression, but your grandfather or great grandfather may have, and you would have no idea. Your family may have a history of depression or alcoholism, etc; that is a sign of demonic oppression that has come down your family line. That is just one of the many signs that you can see. So even if you grew up in a Christian home and gave your life to Christ at a young age, you still need deliverance because you have to break off generational sin.
Keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.
Deliverance is part of the salvation experience. There are six parts to the word salvation: welfare, prosperity, deliverance, preservation, salvation, safety. Deliverance is a very important step in the process of salvation. Without deliverance, you are not clearing out the places where darkness has had a chance to get a foothold to make more room for the filling of the Holy Spirit. Without a doubt, the Holy Spirit comes to reside in every believer who confesses Jesus Christ as Lord; but how much of yourself are you able to give over to the Holy Spirit to indwell? If you have covenants with the darkness that you are unaware of, then those places are left untouched by the Spirit of God. If you decide to believe it is impossible to have any darkness in you because you have Christ, you are denying a very important truth. We are all sinners – born sinners. Your sin does not leave the moment you accept Christ into your heart. It is part of the process of sanctification. So why believe a lie that you have never partnered with darkness, knowingly or unknowingly? You are giving the devil a continued foothold that will go into the next generation to come.
The Holy Spirit wants to come to indwell us not only to commune with us but to bring us healing. Without healing, we cannot completely connect with the Spirit of God. It is pride-fullness to believe we have never partnered with darkness. Darkness is a part of this world and everything in the world. It would be impossible to go through life and never partner with darkness in one way or another. Only Jesus Christ, the perfect one, was able to achieve that. Even Jesus was tempted many times, to partner with the devil and his lies. Thankfully He did not, otherwise, we would never even be able to move into salvation.
Deliverance is a part of the healing process. When you come to God, you are broken. Many are worn down from the ways of the world and have spent a lifetime sinning against God purposefully. We need to be healed from the lies of the world we have let become one with our thoughts. We need to get healing from the emotional and mental pain we have experienced in life. Deliverance is a step towards this process of healing because the demonic always partners with our pain and the lies of the world. It is like spring cleaning. We are resurrected with Christ and walk into a new life. Do you want to bring unnecessary baggage with you?
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
If you are ready to take the next step into deliverance, then that is a wonderful thing. It takes great strength to first realize you have a problem and need help, and second reach out and ask for help. There is help for you! God has not left you to do this life alone. He is right here with you! He is ready to walk with you into this journey of healing. He is going to strengthen and empower you to be able to do this. If the thought of a deliverance brings fear, then you need to understand, that is the demonic inside of you. The last thing they want is to be discovered and kicked out! If you are feeling angry at the thought of deliverance, then that too is demonic. The demons do not want you to believe in deliverance, because that means you have to accept that you might have demons. And if you accept that you might have demons, you are being empowered to freedom! The devil is a slave driver and does not want you to be free!!!
Just know that deliverance isn’t about getting 100% free of demons. You are going to receive great freedom, but you may have some more work to do after your initial deliverance. That is where an inner healing would come in. If you still have problems you have some very deep roots into the darkness that you have oppressed and need help to uncover. That is OK! It is actually good! Because if you are willing to reach that level of freedom, well watch out Satan! You are going to be unleashed into the amazing plan and calling God has over your life! Are you willing to accept that calling that God has for you? It is a choice you have to make. It is not easy. Yet if you choose to walk into that journey, then you must know that you are going to receive a crown of glory and honor in heaven! Amazing!!
Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
1 Peter 5:2-4