The majority of Prayer Requests we receive relate to Deliverance. Deliverance, being the setting free of a Christian from the bondage of Satan and a release of the person into Christ in a new and fuller way.
Every book on Deliverance will tell you that exercise can be a simple and painless process or a long protracted painful battle. Some Christians are able to do self-deliverance and all works out perfectly and very smoothly. Others, typically those whom the enemy sees as a real future threat, can be long, hard battles. Every book on deliverance will also mention how to live our lives after deliverance, to ensure that we stay free from being demonised. This is a very important issue. Such advice tends to comprise some simple instructions: Lead a Holy life; Read your Bible; Pray; Resist the devil. All easily said, not so easily done, for these are lifestyle changing requirement – good, I agree, but life style changing nevertheless and not all of us can manage that and rise to that level.
Before I begin to look at what the Bible says on this topic, my own experience, and that of many deliverance professionals, is that demons are opportunistic creatures who desire to inhabit and then control a human body – though any body will do at a push. Remember Mark 5:12 and Jesus’ deliverance of the man in the Gadarenes, during which “… all the demons begged Him, saying, Send us into the pigs, that we may enter into them.” What this means in practice is that if there is still an opening available for them in you, even after deliverance and all the best efforts of the deliverance leader to plug that opening, you will be re-infected again sometime later. This does not mean that you are leading a sinful or unholy life, it just means that one of these opportunistic creatures has availed itself of an open door and come in to set up home. I know, it has happened to me many times.
The Bible clearly indicates that Satan and his minions have no rights over mankind other than that which they are given by God or us, ourselves. Yes, we ourselves give Satan rights to legally claim us, when we indulge in sin and ungodly activities and we, mankind, give Satan the right to claim others when we curse them. Secondly, though we lead honest and blameless lives after deliverance, others can demonise us by cursing us (intentionally or accidentally – both work as both are legally valid) and in doing so, open a door which only a human, not a demon, can open. Overcoming curses and ungodly soul ties is pretty simple and straight forward – we just need to know it has happened – and that is now always so easy to recognise.
Typically, reading the short list of ‘requirements’ to retain our demon-free state, as above, is in essence a negative view of looking at our situation, and negative view solutions tend to fail as they are so hard to sustain long term. This said, there is a short description in Obadiah 1:17 which speaks to the situation in a more positive light. It says:
“But upon Mount Zion shall be those who escaped [have been delivered]; and it shall be holy. And the house of Jacob shall possess their own possessions.”
Now to be clear here, Obadiah 1:17 talks to Israel and to God’s promises to Israel and it is not intended that we seek or expect God’s promises to His own land and peoples to be passed on to a newly delivered Christian! Nevertheless, prophetically we can look at the principles involved and extend these.
From the very beginning, it was God’s goal and intention that Abraham’s descendents, the descendents of the House of Jacob, should “possess their own possessions.” This is the reason the Lord went to so much effort to take His chosen people out of Egypt and enter them into their Promised Land. Two preconditions in Obadiah 1:17 govern this possession of their possession. 1) that they have escaped their captivity – that they have been delivered and 2) that they are holy. Then and only then, can they be blessed with the possession of their possessions which had been promised to them centuries and generation before. The Hebrews, the seeds of Abraham and Jacob, could not claim their inheritance if these two precondition had not been met.
When it comes to Christians and deliverance, the situation is much the same: unless we are delivered and unless we remain holy, we lose out on the blessings which God has planned for us.
Being demonised, robs us of our inheritance from God to a greater or lesser extent and robs us of our true character, for there are three main purposes of demons vis-à-vis mankind:
- Demons torment and afflict us.
- Demons seek to keep us from knowing Jesus Christ as Saviour and when that fails,
- Demons seek to keep us from serving Christ effectively.
The New Testament confirms that this extension of the principles of Obadiah 1:17 to the Church and individual Christians is not unreasonable, as Paul’s experiences recorded in First Corinthians 10:1-11 demonstrate. The last verse, v11 speaks to deliverance, referencing us and the tribes and peoples of Israel, saying “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”
We, like the Israelites are asked to look forward, not back, as for example, Acts 3:21 says “… whom Heaven truly needs to receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of His holy prophets since the world began.” In other words, God has provided a solution for our problem and has had it in mind from the beginning of time. But as it was conditional for the Israelites, it is for us too, as both Leviticus 11:44 and First Peter 1:16 tell us clearly to “Be holy, for I am holy.”
Yes, this is what all Christians are asked to be, but which few Churches appear to pursue. Asking those deliverance graduates to pursue that which the Churches themselves fail to honour, smacks of hypocrisy. We ought not to espouse that which we ourselves do not exercise and demonstrate.
Nevertheless, holiness is the aim of all Christians and the route to receive our blessings. Hebrews 12:14 also reinforces this focus and aim saying “Follow peace with all, and holiness, without which no one shall see the Lord…” This pretty much says it all. Salvation is not within either our grasp or possibility if we are separated from the Lord!
I believe that seeing the positive larger picture of God blessings which are available to us, is the best way to focus our lives after deliverance.
Many people after deliverance suffer attacks from the enemy as he tries to retake ground and property lost to God. The more important the loss, the harder he will try to retake it. At these times, I believe the most important single factor in retaining our victory and our freedom is having been forewarned and prepared for this eventuality (certainty) and by having a support group available for prayer and help. Then when it happens, we are not then taken by surprise and can react correctly, speedily and calmly, this avoiding fear, confusion and further contagion.
As I sought to close this article, the Holy Spirit brought me to a page in Derek Prince‘s book “They Shall Expel Demons” which lists the following:
- Live by God’s Word.
- Put on the garment of praise.
- Come under discipline.
- Cultivate right fellowship.
- Be filled with the Holy Spirit.
- Make sure you have passed through the water of baptism.
- Put on the whole armour of God.
The explanation of these seven principles are pretty self evident. If you need more explanation, please do ask and we’ll be pleased to add it in here later.
Our website contains extensive resources for Healing and Deliverance which we recommend all those undergoing deliverance study – just as a soldier gets trained before warring starts. Proper training will ensure we remain victors and overcomers and come into the blessings of the Lord for our lives.