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Over the last few years, the topic of deliverance has been coming more to the forefront. It seems that God is putting His finger on this area and restoring it to the church in a greater way. I’ve been ministering deliverance for close to two decades, and I have never seen such openness in the church and hunger to be equipped to cast out demons and set captives free. This is good news!
While it is encouraging to see the emphasis on deliverance, there are also some potential downsides to be aware of. As this ministry becomes more accepted and mainstream, there is a greater potential for it to be exploited, misused, or overemphasized.
Deliverance was central to the ministry of Jesus. I often say that it was as common for Jesus to cast out a demon as it was for Him to preach a sermon (see Mark 1:39). So while it must be embraced, I am passionate to see it restored to the church in a healthy way. We must contend for a pure expression of deliverance!
A Pure Expression of Deliverance
In order to maintain a pure expression of the ministry of deliverance, it must be biblical, compassionate, and Christ-centered.
Too often, we have seen deliverance done in bizarre and unbiblical ways. Whether it is strange rituals or formulas, lengthy conversations with demons, reliance on special objects, or otherwise, there are a variety of practices that go outside of the teaching and example of Scripture. Deliverance is strange enough when it is biblical–there is no need to get into weird methods!
Let’s stick with the sufficiency of Scripture. Let’s make sure that our teaching and practice in this area is grounded in the Word. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Along with being biblical, we must also have a compassionate expression of deliverance. Throughout His ministry, we can see that Jesus was constantly motivated by compassion. Here is one of many examples: “And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14).
When people are seeking help getting free from demonic influence, we must always prioritize caring for them and ministering in love. We must never be motivated by trying to appear powerful or seeking to gain a greater following. We must never exploit a person who is seeking freedom. Let’s stop putting cameras in people’s faces as they are going through deliverance or having demonic manifestations. Let’s stop smacking people or pushing them to the ground. Let’s stop dogpiling people or yelling at the top of our lungs while trying to cast out demons. We can walk in power and authority while also expressing love and care for individuals receiving ministry.
Lastly, a pure expression of deliverance is one that is Christ-centered. We must give Jesus center stage. It is not about the minister or about the demons, but about Jesus and the ones who are receiving healing and deliverance. Too often, deliverance is done in a way that makes the minister the center of attention. It becomes a spectacle and a show. Especially as interest in this area is increasing, we must be careful to minister with a humble spirit and always point people to Jesus. He is the Deliverer and He receives all of the glory!
So, as we continue to see an awakening in the are of casting out demons, let’s ensure that we strive for a pure expression. Let’s keep it biblical, compassionate, and Christ-centered!