WALKING IN FREEDOM AFTER DELIVERANCE
Have you been delivered from demon powers? Praise the Lord! Deliverance is a valid ministry of the Holy Spirit’s anointing in the Church today. The Body of Christ is engaged in spiritual warfare with the powers of darkness. «For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.» (Eph. 6:12). A great portion of Jesus’ own earthly ministry was devoted to casting out demon powers, and this authority was passed on to believers in Jesus Christ. (Mark 16:17).
Walking in the spirit after a deliverance is essential in order to keep a person free. The fact is that Satan is determined to rob us of our freedom and every other good thing we have from God. We must learn to stand our ground by means of the weapons that are at our disposal. (Eph. 6:13-18).
It may be that the demon powers from which you are now free had been associated with you for a very long time. In such cases you can expect several weeks after deliverance during which the Lord will gradu-ally heal your mind and emotions. The Holy Spirit is always gentle and does not give us more than we can
handle at one point in time. But, no matter how long it takes, He always finishes the work He has begun in us. Regardless of what happens, remember that Jesus Christ in fact won victory for you nearly two thou-sand years ago. Satan can only try to get you to doubt this truth or convince you to give up your freedom voluntarily. Do not be defeated by negative thoughts, emotions, or circumstances. «Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.» (Rom. 8:37).
In order to avoid the enemy’s snares it helps to recognize some of his strategy. Four typical methods of attack encountered by people after deliverance can be outlined as follows.
1. The Scriptures say that Satan is the father of lies. Even though they are now outside of you, demon powers may still talk to you. Do not accept thoughts, ideas or guidance as coming from the Lord unless it lines up with Scripture, it gives you peace and is a part of normal Christian behavior. The Holy Spirit never contradicts the Bible, never creates chaos within and never tells us to do strange things. Typical lies from the enemy might sound like this. «You haven’t been delivered;» «It wasn’t real;» «It wasn’t
completed;» «You can’t keep your freedom;» «The demons are still inside you;» or «God demands that you do such a thing or else.» Do not believe it. Make your stand on the Word of God. «Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.» (John 8:36).
2. One meaning for the word «Satan» is «accuser». You may find yourself feeling guilty for having had demon powers or for your past sins. Remember that all your sins and failings are under the cleansing of the Blood of Jesus Christ, and God has put them out of His memory. On the other hand you may be told that you are too weak to resist the devil, you are failing God, and you are just a lousy person generally. The trick behind these lies, and the ones discussed above, is getting you to focus on yourself instead of Jesus Christ. No matter what we are or have been, Jesus Christ is perfect and He loves us. Remember that your strength comes not from your own faith-fulness but rather from your faithful Lord. «But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.» (Psalm 13:5). Relax in God’s full salvation for you. The name «Jesus» means «God-saves» – not «man-must-save-himself’.
3. The enemy may try to intimidate you with dem-
onstrations of his power. Do not be frightened if things seem to go wrong for you for a while or if some symptoms from before deliverance seem to reappear. Remember that if Satan was as powerful as he claims to be, he would have swept us all away a long time ago. The reason that we are still here is that his power is in fact very limited. There is only one all-powerful Person and He is the same God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who sends us His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, and in Whom we are baptized. We are on the winning side.
4. You may find yourself tempted with old habits or behavior that do not fit in with the Christian life. The devil has a way of making the old times seem rosy to us, just like he tricked the Israelites in the desert into missing the «leeks and onions» that they had left behind in Egypt. Of course Satan forgot to mention the misery and slavery that went along with those tasty onions. Do not become nostalgic about the past but keep your eyes on the future as you prepare to enter God’s promised land for you. Jesus Christ did not come to take good things away from you, but rather to bring you real life. «I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.» (John 10:10b). Put your trust in Jesus
Christ and you will have the desire of your heart. (Psalm 37:4).
Recognizing the enemy’s strategy is helpful but it does not win the battle for us. it is more important that you learn and practice some positive principles that will enable you to gain ground quickly and hold it. The following five points are easy to remember and will help you tremendously.
1. FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION ON JESUS CHRIST. His Blood is the most powerful protection in the universe. Moreover, Jesus Christ came and shed His Very Blood because He loves you. Confess the fact that He loves you and repeat the following prayer every morning, both in your heart and out loud. «Lord, I cover my mind, my emotions, my body, soul and spirit with the precious Blood of Jesus Christ.» Talk to Jesus Christ through out every day, sharing the good things and the bad with Him. You can be sure He will not leave you. «And they over-came him (Satan) by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.» (Rev. 12:11).
2. ALLOW THE HOLY SPIRIT TO HAVE HIS WAY WITH YOU. Pray through out the day. Let
the Holy Spirit show you negative attitudes, habits, feelings and behavior that need to be changed. The Holy Spirit is God’s power given in order for you to become like Jesus Christ. He will show you things through the Bible, through other people, and through your experiences «Praying always with all prayer and supplications in the Spirit.» (Eph. 6:18a). «However, when He, the Spirit of truth has come. He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.» (John 16:13).
3. IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE SCRIPTURES. The Bible is the written Word of God. The Word of God is a living thing that works in us even when we may not understand or comprehend fully what we are reading. Read as much as you can but not less than one chapter from the New Testament Gospels each day. If, however, your mental state at present makes this impossible, then until the Lord has healed your mind further, concentrate on memo-rizing a verse from Scripture each day, constantly repeating it to yourself. Select verses that seem to apply to you and you may begin with some of the verses quoted in this article. «If your abide in My
word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.» (John 8:31, 32).
4. COMMAND THE DEVIL AND HIS DEMON POWERS, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, TO GO AWAY AND LEAVE YOU ALONE.
Make it clear that you intend to follow Jesus Christ no matter what. Above all, do not argue with the enemy and entertain his thoughts because you can not beat him that way. Instead, clear your mind by gently praising Jesus Christ. «Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.» (James 4:7).
5. HANG ON TO OTHER CHRISTIANS.
The Christian walk is not a solo performance. You will need other people in the Christian Fellowship to support you and edify your faith. This is nothing to be ashamed of but rather is God’s preferred way. Jesus Christ ministers through His Body. «Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.» (Gal. 6:2 ).
If you practice these five FAITH principles, your post-deliverance problems will be minimal and your progress steady. Remember that God will not
abandon you and do not be discouraged by any failures. Thank the Father for sending Jesus Christ and anointing Him with the Holy Spirit to bring us out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. «‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me. Because He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To pro-claim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’ Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’ (Luke 4: 1 8-2 1 ).
James 3:14, 15, 17