Deliverance is a ProcessIntroduction:
During the years that this blog has been available to the public, I have gotten several help requests, in which people expressed their disappointment that they were not immediately delivered from the influence of spirits that have been with them for a long period of time.
After years of suffering under the domination of an evil or unclean spirit, it is completely understandable as to why these folk want "instantaneous" deliverance. Yet, it is important for them to understand that complete deliverance will take place in stages and that patience is required and impatience is the enemy. I would like to briefly discuss the stages of deliverance in this post.
Stage 1: A Freed Life
8:35 And people went to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man sitting at Jesus’ feet, clothed and in his right mind, because the demons were gone. But the people were frightened. Luke 8:35 (NCV)
The man mentioned in this Scripture was tormented by a terribly abusive spirit for many years. Yet, at the command of Jesus, the spirit left and the man was set free and was in his "right mind." The demon was forced to obey the command of Christ because of His authority in the spirit universe and because of the sheer power that He could apply.
A Christian who knows the authority given to him by Jesus, and is familiar with the power given to him by the Holy Spirit can have the same results as Jesus. Actually that is the quickest and easiest part of deliverance, but what follows may not be as easy.
Please note that this Scripture implies that not only was the man tormented by a spirit, but may have been out of his right mind, which is another way of saying that he may have had a mental illness as well. So he was delivered and healed at the same time.
Stage 2: A Holy Life
14 Later, Jesus found the man at the Temple and said to him, “See, you are well now. Stop sinning so that something worse does not happen to you.“
John 5:14 (NCV)
A lifestyle or unrepentant sin is an open door to spirit possession. The kinds of spirits that are most commonly involved with possession actually wander though our world looking for people who have these sin based doors open for them to enter. Even if you go through stage 1 of deliverance, repetition of sin invites your tormenting spirit back, and Jesus indicated that even worst kinds of spirits will take ownership because you have not changed your ways.
If you do not want to return to the suffering of spirit possession, then be brutally honest with yourself and examine your ways. Don't try to justify or excuse your sinful behavior, but change it. If you can't change it by yourself, then seek help from your Pastor, trusted friends in your church, a self-help group, or a Christian counselor.
Stage 3: A Victorious Life
6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his great power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can fight against the devil’s evil tricks. 12 Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world. 13 That is why you need to put on God’s full armor. Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing. 14 So stand strong, with the belt of truth tied around your waist and the protection of right living on your chest. 15 On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong.16 And also use the shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows of the Evil One. 17 Accept God’s salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:10-17 (NCV)
This rather lengthy portion of Scripture describes exactly what you need to do in Stage 3 of your deliverance experience. It clearly tells you that you need to go to war because you have all that you need to win the battle. Unfortunately, once the doors to the occult and spirit universe are open to lower spirits, the battle to stay free of their influence can take years to win. Personally, I was in battle for at least 6 years after my salvation experience, with waves of demonic attack taking place within regular intervals. If you also suffer from a mental condition, then the battle may take a life time to gain complete victory.
Many wish there was some kind of "magic wand" that could bring immediate deliverance without the voyage into holiness and victory in battle, but that magic wand does not exist and it takes work and persistence to be free.
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