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Jesus Came To Set the Captives Free: Why Deliverance is For Today

Jesus Came To Set the Captives Free: Why Deliverance is For Today

Walk in Deliverance by the Power of the Spirit

A recent survey found that more Americans believe in Satan than in God. I don’t encourage anyone to be more concerned about what the devil is doing than how God is moving in the earth. But the reality is that even among Christians there is a level of satanic activity that must be dealt with if we are to live a Spirit-led life. Most Christians seem to overlook the ministry of deliverance, but Jesus integrated it with the believer’s call to evangelism in the Great Commission found in Mark’s Gospel. Not only did He say, “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel,” but He said, “In My name they will cast out demons.”

Victory Has Been Won

Jesus won our redemption on Calvary. He took away the shame of our sin long before we were born. But we must appropriate that wholeness into our lives. We must take authority over Satan and renounce all control he might claim over us. This can often be done with a “self-deliverance,” or taking our rightful authority over Satan in our own lives. I do this when I feel I am facing a problem that is demonically energized. If that does not work, there are ministries trained in deliverance that can help.

Some habits are rooted in the physical side of our being, and breaking the habit becomes a matter of taking practical steps to change behaviors, much like a smoker quitting cigarettes would do.
These steps include:

  • Substituting a healthy activity for the unhealthy one
  • Enlisting the support and encouragement of others, who spur you on to the desired outcome

Bad habits often have other problems at their root, including strongholds in the mind or soul. James Robison makes the point well that strongholds are not demons. If they were, we could cast them out. A stronghold is like a beachhead from which Satan tries to attack us. Another way to see it is as a dungeon that contains unhealthy thought patterns. At the center of any stronghold is an idea that runs contrary to the nature and character of God. That idea may be:

  • Fear
  • Insecurity
  • Lust
  • Greed
  • Pride

Any number of "faithless" thoughts like these can form the center chamber of a stronghold. Sometimes what appears to be a sexual problem is really a stronghold of insecurity or fear.

Then there is an inner wall of reasoning and human logic. This is built when we try to fight a stronghold on human terms with arguments, intellect, and analysis. The inner wall can become a barrier to getting rid of the stronghold because no matter how much we think about it, or will it away, it will not budge. As the Bible says, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” Strongholds are supernaturally built and must be torn down by supernatural means.

An outer wall of pride also keeps us from victory. This pride sometimes leads to fear that others will find out about our problem. Perhaps this wall is built when we grow fond of the pet sin we have, or brag about it—the kind of thinking the Bible calls a “high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.” If we are to be free, we cannot fear what others will think. We must be willing to throw down our pride and admit who we really are—to ourselves and to others. We cannot fawn over or make excuses for our particular area of weakness.

Free Indeed

Is deliverance a cure-all? It might appear so at times because the change is so radical. But deliverance does not negate the need for “working out our own salvation with fear and trembling,” renewing the mind, and changing behaviors. While I believe deliverance is a spiritual reality (and I can testify to achieving great spiritual victories as a result of breaking spiritual strongholds), it isn’t the panacea to all spiritual problems. Remember that Jesus said those demons can come back—and bring their friends.

For example, I believe in divine healing. I know people who have been miraculously healed, and I believe I have been healed of various ailments over the years, including back problems and a battle with prostate cancer in 2013. But is everyone who is prayed for healed? No. Just because some people are not healed, it doesn’t change the fact that others are healed— instantly and totally. In the same way, some people continue fighting the same battles even after deliverance, but perhaps in varying degrees. Others, however, are delivered and set free—instantly and totally. Deliverance is a real part of the gospel package, but it is only one part, neither something to be feared nor a magic bullet.

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