Breaking the ChainsSeven tried and tested steps that will lead you on the path to deliverance.
What is Deliverance?
Scripture presents at least two predominant views of deliverance. In the Old Testament, deliverance focuses on God rescuing His people from their physical enemies (1 Samuel 17:37; 2 Kings 20:6). In the New Testament however, deliverance is understood through the person and work of Jesus Christ, who offers deliverance from this present evil age (Galatians 4:1) and humankind’s greatest threats—sin, evil, death and judgment.
In the New Testament, the Greek word
Can Christians be demon possessed? I believe that’s an emphatic “no,” because possession means ownership and God’s children belong to Him. But Scripture and experience have taught that Christians can be tormented by evil spirits, especially if they continually and willfully disobey God and His Word. The only authority Satan has in our lives, is the authority we give him!
Deliverance brings the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan into direct conflict, and is one way to weaken Satan’s grip over our lives—it is ground level warfare! Victories are won when the strong man causing oppression is weakened and is eventually pulled down (see Daniel 10). Deliverance is the supernatural transference of God’s people from oppression to freedom.
How Can We Experience Deliverance?
Here are a few tried and tested steps to deliverance learned from Scripture and others ministering in this field. I advise anyone seeking freedom from spiritual strongholds to ask a mature Christian to journey with them, as they pray through these steps together:
1. Humble Yourself
Pride is a barrier to deliverance, so the first thing we need to do is humble ourselves before God. We must deliberately submit, as a decision of our will, every area of our character that is not yet under the full Lordship of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 5:5-6). Be humble and open with God about your temper, lust, jealousy, insecurities, fears and worries.
2. Be Honest
Without humility, we fail to be honest before God. John 8:32 says “the Truth will set you free,” but the reverse is also true; without honesty about our sin, we will not be free. Satan is the father of lies and thrives when we keep things hidden (John 8:44). Therefore, bring them into the light. God is omniscient (all-knowing) so we can’t hide anything from Him anyway!
3. Confess Faith in Christ
God has forgiven our sins through Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection (Colossians 2:13-15). The power of sin over our lives is cancelled, and through His sacrifice, Christ “disarmed the powers and authorities,” making a “public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:9). Every Christian shares in this victory. Because we are in Christ and He is in us (1 Corinthians 1:30-31), we also have authority over Satan and his demons (Luke 10:19). This is why our confession of faith in Christ is vital to spiritual deliverance and victory. “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9, also see Revelation 12:10-11). There is nothing Satan can do to change this liberating truth! Be aware though, the authority of Christ over Satan only applies to those who embrace the cross and die to sin, Satan, themselves and the world on a daily basis (2 Corinthians 12:9).
4. Confess All Your Sins
It is only when sins are confessed that they are forgiven, removed and we are purified (1 John 1:9). This might include involvement in drugs, alcohol abuse, sexual immorality or the occult. Remember, we must be as honest as possible.
5. Repent and Renounce Evil
Repentance is not an emotion but an act of our will. It is a conscious and determined decision to stop sinning, and to turn our back on Satan and submit completely to God. Part of this involves asking God to reveal to us, by His Holy Spirit, anything in our possession linked with the kingdom of darkness (ex.: a trinket, dream catcher, Ouija board, occult/horror movies or books, certain types of music, or any item dedicated to Satan). These “doorways” give the Enemy authority to work in our lives and prevent deliverance.
6. Forgive Others and Self
Matthew 6:15 (NIV) says, “If you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” To be truly free, we must forgive others, irrespective of the severity of the hurt they’ve caused us. We must choose forgiveness even when we have been the victim. It’s a choice we make in the power of the Holy Spirit, as we cannot rely on our emotions to do it. We must also choose to forgive ourselves. Unforgiveness gives Satan the right to keep us in bondage and strengthens his hold over us. Forgiveness takes away this right and weakens his grip, opening the way for deliverance.
7. Stand On Scripture
2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV) says, “All Scripture is God-breathed” and Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) says the “Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword.” Even Jesus experienced this power when He was tempted in the wilderness. He overcame Satan by standing on and proclaiming God’s Word (Matthew 4). If we want to be free, we must do the same. Reliance on God’s Word is an integral part of walking daily in our continual deliverance. Ephesians 6 is clear that if we want to take our stand against the devil, and stand firm, we must keep taking up the armor of God—of which there are two offensive weapons: the Word of God (the sword of the Spirit) and prayer (Ephesians 6:17-18).