FIRST THINGS FIRST!
1. You must be truly born again! This takes place when God’s spirit convinces you of the reality of Jesus Christ and you respond to God, saying in effect, “Yes, I was wrong. I need you as my Savior and I want you as my Lord. I’m deeply sorry for the way I have lived without you. But now, I give my life to you. Come into me, Lord Jesus.” Without the foundation of a true born-again experience all attempts to break free of satanic influence are ultimately doomed.
Being born again involves two things on your part, which can occur in any order. The first is faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any many should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9). It is through faith that we recognise Jesus Christ and His right to be God in our lives. This faith is a certain inward knowing which leads to responses of love towards God. You must believe that Jesus died for you, to pay for your sins, and that God raised Him from the dead. Without this faith, you cannot be saved, nor lastingly delivered.
The other principle most people, including myself, find more difficult. It is wrapped up with the paradox that Jesus referred to when He said, “He who seeks to save his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will find it.” It is repentance. You can only be delivered to the extent that you allow the root of self-will, pride and independence from God to be taken out. Sure it is painful. Its rather like taking out a rotten tooth or a cancer that threatens to poison and destroy the whole body. But without repentance, demons will always have something to come back to. Shallow repentance puts us in a shallow place with God. Deep repentance puts us in a secure place with God. Without repentance, Jesus promises you will “lose your life”, you will “perish”. The Bible teaches that those who live on in sin will not inherit the kingdom of God. So consider well. Both the decision to repent and the decision not to are very costly. True faith will help you to see which path is ultimately the best one, which leads to life, not loss.
Sin is basically a “me-first” attitude of heart in which God’s laws are rebelled against and God’s involvement is resented.. Out of this principle of sin come all of the “sins” – things like adultery, hatred, masturabation, greed, envy and strife, which reinforce this separation from God. The whole tree, as well as its branches, need to go. What you do not finally deal with will eventually rise up to enslave and destroy you again. We can only escape from satanic influence to the extent that we are honest and thorough on this point. By all means begin with Jesus – and trust Him to change your heart – but remember that it takes your participation in the matter as well.
If you are not sure if you are born again, why not make sure by taking this step in the form of a prayer of repentance and faith in God. Just click on the link, read the prayer, think about it and the pray it to yield yourself to God. You cannot really be permanently free from Satanic influence unless you freely give your life to Jesus. Please contact me if you have now decided to do this, or you have questions before you take this step.
Vital Keys for Deliverance
I’ve chosen the passage of Scripture found in James 4:4-10 for this (please read it) because it gives some major keys for getting a clean heart. Although God is sovereign and can cause any person to experience some measure of deliverance, it is now well known that meeting certain conditions will make it a lot easier for you or any person you minister to to receive deliverance. Here are some major keys:
1. Avoid friendship with “the world”. James said friendship with the world is enmity with God. This doesn’t mean don’t have friendly relationships with non-christians. It does mean not to join yourself in close relationships with ungodly people where you are sharing their spirit and attitude. How can God free you from demons on the one hand if you are drinking them in on the other – through loving the ways of ungodly people – be they friends or media personalities on the box (television). You can’t expect a powerful deliverance while you are giving your imagination passively to the ungodly programming of the media and entertainment industry. You need songs of praise in your heart and mind, not songs of entertainment, if you want God to move in your life. God’s comfort is better than what the comfort the world offers, but you have to choose which you would rather have.
2. Have hope based on knowing God’s will for you.
Satan seeks to discourage, and bring us down into despair. God doesn’t want us to despair – thinking we will never get free of satanic bondage. You will, if you just keep paying attention to His Word and the voice of His spirit more and more.
If you have given your life to Christ, Christ wants to take possession of what you have given to Him. This is only logical. As He does, He will work ever so wonderfully to get everything unclean out of your life. He wants to drive out the demons. Unite with His desire on this point, and look forward to the peace and joy you will enjoy because of it. As you pray, you will attract the Spirit of God. Your capacity to pray will grow from 2 minutes a day to 2 hours or more a day as the Spirit works more in your life. Prayer is a necessary condition for getting delivered and staying delivered. But it is not enough – you need faith too. Don’t worry though, faith will come.
The Bible says, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously” (James 4:5). We should realise that the Holy Spirit is very jealous for us and certainly wants to get all the demons out of us. So we can have strong hope in God and faith that He wants to help us. We must never fall into despair concerning God’s willingness or power to help us. We are getting free to make room for the Holy Spirit to bring the kingdom of God more fully into our lives.
It is the knowledge of the truth which makes you free (John 8:32). Therefore, meditate on the portions of the Word of God relevant to your problem, and ask the Holy Spirit to quicken them to you.
3. Have FAITH in the grace of God.
“But He gives more grace.” (James 4:6). It is by the Spirit of God, by grace, that we are going to be delivered from evil spirits (Matthew 12:28). We need to trust and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in all this. God’s grace is at work in our initial salvation experience, but also in all subsequent deliverance. Satan had good reasons to have us in bondage, but now because of Jesus’ love and grace, we can get more and more free every day.
Faith means at some point accepting that God has given you legally what you already need. You “see” this even though your experience contradicts it. You ask for deliverance, believing that you receive. Then, after following the steps below, you can begin declaring and demanding that demons leave you and mountains of oppression be cast into the proverbial “sea” (Mark 11:23).
4. Humility. Therefore he says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6). Humility means a sober opinion of ourselves, in the light of God’s glory. We can only have good qualities because God put them there anyway. God is the one who is able to make the difference for you. God’s power flows to deliver us when we humble ourselves (James 4:10). In relation to deliverance, this humilty implies the following:
a. Be willing to be honest about it and admit your need for help. A proud person will not do this. Satan would love to convince Christians through false theology or false faith teaching that they have no need of deliverance when their lives prove otherwise. The appeal is made to pride, “Fancy thinking I have a demon. Ridiculous!”
b. Admit that you need to change. Drop the rebellious attitude and get a teachable spirit.
c. Be willing to let God’s Spirit minister deliverance to you in any way He chooses, even if you feel that it might make you look silly. Don’t decide beforehand what you will and won’t permit to happen to you. You might just hold the demon in if you do that. Sometimes demons have to manifest when they come out – it might be through a cough, a yawn, tears or vomiting – to give a few possible examples.
5. Know the Truth
Jesus said, “If you abide in my Word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the knowledge of the truth shall set you free”. (John 8:31,32)
Satan wants us ignorant concerning what he is doing in our lives. When we know the truth that knowledge is the key to our deliverance. “Through knowledge, the righteous shall be delivered” (Proverbs 11:9). The more relevant knowledge you have in your heart and mind, the greater and fuller can be your deliverance. Some knowledge only tends to puff us up – the knowledge we really need will show us the need to change to be more like Christ.
We need knowledge concerning two things – God’s Word and ourselves – our own condition. The two are related.
If you are serious about deliverance I recommend listening for hours to the Bible on audio tape. This requires less discipline that personal Bible study and is also many times more powerful, since we hear the Word.
We must also know the truth about ourselves. Not just what we are in Christ, but also about what we are manifesting through our words, deeds and behaviour. These things are a fruit of our heart condition, and the kind of thoughts we are tolerating in our own minds. We must be willing to face up to it and acknowledge it. This takes humility. We need to call things by their right names. For example, if you have been enslaved to alcohol or other drugs, don’t call it a “disease”. Call it sin, and cry out to God for freedom from it.
Knowing the truth includes knowing what God means by sin. The moral law of God as revealed in the Bible gives us his knowledge. For example, idolatry (loving or valuing something or someone more than God the Creator), unbelief, pride, fear of man, complaining, slander, sex outside of marriage and occult activities are all sin and must be repented of. Occult activities, even on the part of our ancestors are especially dangerous in opening the door to demons. These activities include but are not limited to any form of astrology, consulting fortune tellers, channelers or psychics, witchcraft, divination or fantasy games containing these themes. (see Deuteronomy 18:9-12; Isaiah 47:12-14). We must know the meaning of words so we can identify whether we are committing any of these sins or not! Satan will be looking to exploit any ignorance in these areas.
Secondly, we must know the truth of God’s Word. Indeed, consistent meditation on God’s Word is vital for breakthrough. It is a scientific fact that repetition causes words to go deeper and into more parts of our brain. We want God’s Word to get wired into our brain. Understanding, confessing, declaring and proclaiming what the Word says relating to your life is a vital key to overcoming Satan in every kind of conflict. That’s the way Jesus did it in the wilderness (see Matthew 4:1-10).
We can know Jesus as the overcoming victor in our life through the revelation of Him in God’s Word. This releases faith for a victorious life.
6. Submit to God. (James 4:7). We are not in the place to receive deliverance if we will not submit to God and His Word. Submission to God occurs on a moment by moment basis. It means doing the one thing the Spirit of God is urging us to do NOW.
This is not a legalistic solution. Legalism throws a rule-book of requirements at people at says – here’s God’s rules, shape up! Its all up to you! Whereas God works through by His Holy Spirit to take us by the hand and lead us step by step to break with evil. He does give us the power we need at every step. He is very patient with us also. Most of us have taken years to get where we are and we are still a long way from where we want to be. But if we had not yielded to God at all – nor sincerely spent time going after God we would not even be where we are today!
The thing is to keep your eyes on Jesus. He is gentle and gives us strength to do what needs to be done. The issue relates to this: do we want Him or do we just want relief? If we only want relief, we will fall again after our deliverance. If we want Him, He will fill our lives.
Submission to God includes:
a. Confession of all known sin.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
God knows all the nasty details of what we have thought, said and done. He can’t be shocked by our confession of what it was. But he requires us to open up our hearts and share with Him our shame, so He can take it away. We get close to God when we confess the things in our hearts and wait before Him.
Until confession of sin occurs, demons have a legal right to remain. One of our biggest mistakes though is to take our eyes off Jesus. Let Him empower you to confess your sins.
b. Repentance from all known sin. (Luke 13:3)
Repentance is for Christians. If we still want to open the door for the devil through sin, what is the point of trying to cast the devil out? We will reap what we sow. Its wise to turn from sin.
c. Renunciation of Satan, occultism, idolatry back even to the 4th generation
Vitally important here is the renouncing all contact with Satan. You must totally repudiate the occult in all its forms if you hope that the devil will leave you. Even a visit to a fortune teller, a psychic or a witch counts as occult involvement, and will get demons into you for sure. They won’t leave easily either, unless you take a firm attitude. Destroy any idol, fetish, unclean or occultic book or magazine in your home (see Acts 19:19).
Your prayer to God should also include a renunciation of all generational curses and occultic activity or idolatrous worship of your parents, grandparents, great grandparents and even great great grandparents. You must renounce the sins of your forefathers, because these open the door to oppression in your life and you need to cut it from you by a verbal renunication.
If you find yourself complaining about someone, don’t be deceived, you need to forgive that person from the heart.
Forgiving others is absolutely foundational to getting free from curses and demons. At some point we have to forgive and break the vicious circle of wrongs, offenses, and bitterness leading to further bondage and unhappiness.
True emotional healing is strongly tied with the grace to forgive others for the injustices – real or imagined – which they have committed against us.
Jesus said in Matthew 18:35 that if we do not forgive our brother from our heart, God will hand us over to the tormentors. The demons are the tormentors. You cannot even be permanently forgiven by God if you will not forgive others, and your prayers won’t work either. This one sin of unforgiveness explains about 50% of the problems in the church today, and one of the major reasons for our powerlessness and frustration.
d. Making restitution or confession to others for past wrongs.
For example: if you stole a stereo from someone God expects you to give it back (if at all possible – otherwise give an equivalent to the poor). If you have spoken malicious gossip against a brother God expects you to make it right to the best of your ability by a public confession if necessary. All this is not easy but it opens the door for God to move.
e. Trusting God completely for salvation and deliverance through the blood of Jesus alone.
Don’t get caught into the trap of trying to establish your own system of attaining righteousness based on a system of ritual, fasting, penance or whatever. Get back to the simple good news of Jesus’ sacrifice in your place and thank God for His gift of righteousness.
f. Calling on the name of the Lord.
“Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered.” (Romans 10:13).
To be delivered you must be desparate. Calling upon Jesus verbally, crying out to Him has power. Once God has led you through the above steps, call upon Jesus to set you free. He will do it.
7. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7). Having fulfilled all the previous steps it is necessary to resist the devil. This word “resist” used here is not a passive resistance, but an active resistance. You have to command the demons to go. You must throw them out violently. Jesus said that those who believe in Him would CAST OUT demons in His name (Mark 16:18). Use the principle of Mark 11:23 – do not doubt that what you say will come to pass! It takes an attitude of spiritual violence, of aggressive faith but God has given that faith to you!
You can call them by what they produce e.g. “Spirits of fear, get out of my life in the name of Jesus!” No longer do you listen to the voice of spirits, and their arguments designed to discourage and undermine your faith. Now, in the name of Jesus, knowing that God is with you on this, you tell them to get out. Expect they will leave and act on your faith, expelling them physically by breathing out.
When demons no longer have a legal right to remain, they have to go. They may resist, but your faith and God’s anointing will make them want to leave! They find God’s presence and power tormenting (which is why they do all to stop a Christian tapping into the power of these things!). Know that “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4).
You must expel the demons (Mark 16:18). Jesus said those who believe would expel demons. Expelling involves an act of the will and a breathing out. The word for spirit is the same as the word for breath in both Hebrew and Greek. Often you will feel the spirits coming up as you breath out. Different manifestations such as coughing or vomiting are possible at this point – but are not essential to deliverance. Let them happen if they start, but don’t let the demons talk through you, if possible. What is important is to be sure you get them out and that you keep them out.
8. Maintain your Deliverance by Drawing Near to God at all times.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8). In practical terms this means:
b. Pray always (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Keep seeking God through prayer. Develop communion with the Holy Spirit more and more. Through a life of prayer you can be full of the Holy Spirit as God requires – and then you will not be empty so as to leave openings in your life for evil spirits. Ephesians 5:18 says, “Be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
d. Hear the word of God and do it (Luke 11:28). It is significant that this instruction follows directly after Jesus’ teaching on the way evil spirits seek to return after they are cast out. Matthew 12:43- 45 reveals that the man’s problem here was that he was empty. That is why we must get filled with the Word and the Spirit to maintain total deliverance. This is what God wants for our lives.
9. Let love be your goal and motivation in all things.
The purpose of God is that we walk in love. We must keep our minds on God’s love and how we can love others, and not get on an endless hunt for demons. God’s main purpose is to build us up in love. This is something positive for us to do and seek. Doing the positive will of God will enable us to avoid the negative traps of Satan. We must always keep Jesus in mind and seek to use our knowledge of deliverance to serve others and as a tool to help them both enjoy God more fully and also to fulfil God’s destiny for their lives.
May God bless you as you put these principles into practise in your own life and in the lives of those to whom God leads you to minister deliverance in the mighty name of Jesus Christ!
Please let me know how this teaching has been helpful to you.