The Way Of Deliverance
[Editorís Note: If you are experiencing any measure of distress or oppression from the powers of darkness, or ministering to someone who is, the following testimony and teaching from one set free from demonic oppression by the power of Christ may be beneficial to you.]
When my life was about to be wrecked, the Lord Jesus Christ set me free!
Although the Lord delivered me, it was not through my sitting in a rocking chair and wishing that I was set free! It was through cooperating with Him and through accepting His mercy and grace. It was through earnest prayer and supplication as I recognized my helplessness on the one hand and His almighty power over Satan on the other. It was through resisting the devil in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Use the Word of God
It is important to read the Bible every day. Even if you do not understand all that you read, there will be much that you can apply to your own needs.
There is a way of preserving the Word for further use which I have followed with wonderful results. As you read the Bible, take special note of those portions that fit your need. Copy them into a small notebook, together with the references where the verses are found. Then every day go through the notebook, reviewing the verses and using your own words to appropriate the promises. You will gain strength as you use the Word of God.
I have memorized many, many promises that I use in prayer. Wonderful Scripture portions were made my own, often with words like these: "In the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I accept, I receive, I appropriate this promise, as it is written..." (I would then read or quote the portion).
More help was perhaps found in Psalm 91 than in any other long passage of Scripture. I committed it to memory in the early part of the battle. I used my own words of acceptance, going through the whole psalm a phrase at a time. I would read a portion and then frame my petition based upon it. It has never failed to give strength and comfort and blessing.
Deal With Sin
It must be clearly understood it is useless to plead with God for deliverance from demonic oppression until we have come to the place of repentance for sin. This means the confession of specific sins and the determination and set of will by the grace of God to forsake forever those sins.
Repentance is the indispensable starting point in our deliverance from Satanís power. Even thoughts and memories of those sins must be eradicated through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ shed on the Cross of Calvary.
Oh, beloved, ask God to search your heart. Let not sin have dominion over you. "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Prov. 28:13).
Depend Upon Union With Christ
A basic truth on which to stand and out of which to operate is the believerís union with Christ. Christ Jesus our Lord bought you from Satanís power with His shed blood on Calvary. If you have trusted in Christ as your Savior, God has made you a part of Him so that there on the Cross you died with Him. When He arose from the dead, you arose in newness of life with Him, a new creature in Him. And because you are united with Him, you are also seated with Him at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Eph. 2:4-6).
Believe Godís Word concerning this, dear one, and by faith take your place of safety in Christ.
"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe" (Prov. 18:10). The name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is an equivalent to and inseparable from His divine and holy Person. As we take refuge in Him we are in that secret place where the enemy cannot reach us. As we are identified and united with His holy Person our lives are hid with Christ in God, that place where the wicked one toucheth us not (1 John 5:18).
I often declare that I WILL NOT be moved or swayed or influenced or pushed or driven by anything whatsoever which comes from the hosts of evil, for I am seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus my Lord (Eph. 2:5-9). There I am, "far above" (Eph. 1:21). I am united with Him as He is seated on the throne at the right hand of the Father. My true position is NOT here in this old sin-sick world, but united with Him in heaven. Oh, beloved, we do have a wonderful refuge in Him!
My life is hid with Christ in God. How often have I taken this place of refuge and shelter in Him and appropriated that throne power given to me as a child of God indwelt by the Holy Spirit. From that place I have commanded in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that these spirits of evil must depart right now and never return.
Reclaim Ground Given the Enemy
"Neither give place to the devil" (Eph. 4:27). "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us" (2 Cor. 2:11).
If demon powers are able to work in a believerís life, it is because the enemy has been given advantage or "ground." In some manner the personís consent has been gained either with or without his knowledge. It is accomplished through the wiles, deceit, or counterfeit of the enemy.
This ground needs to be discovered, confessed to God as sin, and then cancelled in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The method to follow is to go back over your life while you ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your remembrance any and all ground through which the enemy might yet hold some advantage over you. Sometimes the thing that gave ground is quite remote from the results. As each item is brought to light, ask the Lord to forgive and cleanse you.
Then declare that you take back any and all ground given. We must refuse to let the defeated evil spirits have any place in us. If I know how I have given ground, I name it and reclaim it. Here are some suggestions as to possible ways in which ground might be given: Anger, hatred, disobedience, ignorance, religious emotionalism, fanaticism, contact with false cults, use of the Ouija board, contact with a spiritist medium or a fortune teller, inordinate affection, reading impure literature, sexual impurity, secret sins, sensuality.
Learn to Resist the Devil
"Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (Jas. 4:7).
The following affirmation is one that it is well to use again and again in taking a stand against the enemy:
"I do here and now renounce and refuse any and all allegiance I have ever given to Satan and his hosts of wicked spirits. I refuse to be influenced by them, and I refuse to be used by them in any way whatsoever. I reject all their attacks upon my mind, my spirit, my soul and my body. I bind the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ upon every circumference of my being, and I revoke all their power and influence within me or around about me.
"I resist them in the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I plead the merits of that transaction upon the Cross of Calvary whereby Satan and all his powers became defeated foes. I stand upon the promises in the Word of God. In humble faith I do here and now put on the whole armor of God and I am able to stand against all the wiles of the devil."
There is far too little resisting of the devil among deeply spiritual people, with the result that there is far too much evidence of demonic working. Far too much ground is given through passivity among those who do not know how to resist or who believe that the Lord will automatically protect them from Satan. If the spoken words of refusal and acceptance were used, there would be far less of sick bodies, nervous collapse, and mental and spiritual imbalance among Christians.
Again let me emphasize the importance of reclaiming ground and practicing refusal and resistance. Refuse in prayer to accept anything whatsoever from the devil and his hosts of evil and declare that you accept only that which comes from the Lord Jesus Christ through the blood of the Cross.
Guard and Control Your Thoughts
As far as you possibly can, keep from thinking about your own condition. Instead, think as much as possible about Christ. Keep in mind the promises and other Scriptures that give us strength. It is well to memorize any portion that gives help and then keep saying it over and over again throughout the day. Keep the mind occupied with constructive thoughts rather than with those which discourage.
Praising the Lord will deliver one from going round and round in circles thinking about what Satan and demons are doing to him. I have done this many times, and it has worked wonders for me. Even when not really in prayer, I learned to sing praises over and over during a time of special testing. This has helped me many times when I have had a problem. It has not necessarily been an actual satanic attack as such but just unwelcome and unwanted thoughts that were troubling me.
The procedure I follow is first to pray about the matter. Then I go about my work singing praises to the Lord. When not singing out loud, I am constantly thinking some well-known hymn, or just words of praise and thanksgiving in the name of the Lord.
Pray Without Ceasing!
Satan is merciless and pitiless in his determination to destroy us. We must have that strength from the Lord that comes only through prayer. Prayer is our life-line to God. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:16).
The way to open the doorway into the place of prayer is through praise and thanksgiving for our blessings. And when it seems that our prayers are only our own words with no anointing of the Holy Spirit, we can break through by using the Word of God.
In the battle for deliverance I learned to use the promises of the Word in my prayers. As I did so, the strength of the Lord permeated my being. I stood on the promises by claiming them for myself.
It seemed to me that I had nothing unless I asked for it in prayer. Nothing could take the place of prayer. If I failed in prayer then I failed in strength and in resistance to the enemy. I believe that if I were to stop praying now, I would again be drawn into his power. But praise the precious name of Jesus Christ, I can always reach Him in prayer!
It is often that I say that I am dead, and my life is hid with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). Daily I put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18) with spoken words. Day by day I keep sins confessed and thus forgiven and under the blood. In the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I resist and cancel all which comes from the enemy, naming it if I know what it is.
I declare that I accept only what comes from Christ through the blood of the Cross. I am crucified, buried, raised, and ascended with Christ, for He took me with Him there (Rom. 6:1-11; Eph. 2:6-9). I am seated with Him at the right hand of the Father in heaven! It is from this vantage point that I do my praying as well as my resisting of the powers of darkness.
Pray fervently and persistently. Boldly ask, seek, knock. Stand on the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary, and pray in the power and the authority of His name. Pray audibly! The spoken word carries weight in the invisible realm.
Prayers should be addressed to the throne of grace in heaven (Heb. 4:16). Our Lord Jesus prayed to the Father in heaven (John 17:1).
Persist in the Battle
I can look back to my time of conflict and remember that it took a long time to learn the lessons that the Lord was teaching me. I would ask in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to be made firm and strong and unwavering in Him. There were times when it seemed as if I walked a fine line right on the edge of a precipice. While Satanís power was pulling me downward, there was the definite knowledge that the Lord Jesus held me up.
Many times I became discouraged and felt that I had to start all over again. Nevertheless each time the victory was easier than the time before, and each time the loss was not so great.
I had to learn that nothing could take the place of prayer. It was only through prayer that I could receive His strength. Most of my slipping back was due to lack of prayer.
I want to encourage you to keep up the good fight. Gird on the whole armor of God, and press on to full deliverance from evil powers.
I wish I could help you to know the wonderful peace and the freedom from fear which came to me. This victory was not won by passivity, however. There were times when I lost courage and slipped backwards. Once again I would take up the battle and fight with all my human strength as well as with the power of God.
So take up the battle with all perseverance. Fight it with the determination to win. The prize of full deliverance is so precious.
The Mighty Weapons of Our Warfare
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds" (2 Cor. 10:4).
THE WORD. "The Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God" (Eph. 6:17). "For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword..." (Heb. 4:12).
THE NAME. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth" (Phil. 2:9-10).
"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him" (Col. 3:17).
THE BLOOD. "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold... but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Pet. 1:18-19). "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Rev. 12:11).
THE CROSS. "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God" (1 Cor. 1:18). "And having spoiled principalities, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in [the cross]" (Col. 2:15).