With the recent release of my new book, Keys for Deliverance, I am focusing a lot of my articles on the topic of deliverance from evil spirits. This is a subject that we must remove the confusion and fear from, so that it can become normal in the church again.
Deliverance is much more relevant than many people realize. Here is a small sampling of issues I have seen people set free from when they were delivered from evil spirits: Depression and other mental oppression; suicidal thoughts; fear and anxiety issues; pornography, lust, masturbation, and other sexual sin; eating disorders; insomnia; various types of physical sickness and pain; uncontrollable anger; tormenting thoughts of death; self-hatred, self-destructive behavior, cutting; various addictions.
Many others could be listed. I am not implying that issues like the ones above are always caused by demons, but many times there is a demonic component that is not addressed.
Below are five basic truths about demonic influence:
1. Demonic influence is real: Whether we like it or not, we live in a world where evil spirits exist. The devil is not a made up character of mythology or ancient society. He and his kingdom of darkness are very real. Jesus dealt with the devil and with demonic forces throughout the gospels. These were genuine encounters, not legendary or theoretical stories. Evil spirits are real, and they seek to influence people. This should not put us in a posture of fear, but we should be aware of this reality.
2. Demonic influence is common, not rare: Not only is demonic influence real, it is common. Jesus did not just cast out demons occasionally; He did it regularly. Mark 1:39 indicates that it was as normal as preaching: “And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons.” I have found that the need for deliverance is much more common than we might suspect.
3. There are varying degrees of demonic influence: Not every case of demonic influence is the same. Depending on the number and nature of demons present, and the degree of hold they have, demonic influence can vary from mild to extreme. A man in a synagogue had one demon; Mary Magdalene had seven demons; the man with the legion likely had thousands of demons (see Mark 1:21-27, Luke 8:2, Mark 5:1-20). In Matthew 12:43-45, Jesus describes a situation where a man starts with one evil spirit, but ends up with seven others, and in a worse condition. There is a wide range in the degree of demonic influence that a person can be under.
4. Christians can be under demonic influence and need deliverance: The belief that a Christian cannot have a demon is a misunderstanding, and is based more on human logic than biblical fact. The Bible warns that a Christian can give place to the devil and the apostle Paul warned against receiving different spirit (see Ephesians 4:27, 2 Corinthians 11:4). Many believers do in fact need deliverance from evil spirits.
5. Certain things can open the door to demonic influence: Demons cannot just influence and enter whomever they please. There are normally things that happen that open the door to their presence. These open doors can range from unrepentant sin, trauma, unforgiveness, occult involvement, and other avenues.
*Click for a list of some basic open doors
I hope that this brief overview will clear up some confusion and bring some truth into the topic of demonic influence. If you are in need of deliverance, trust Jesus to set you free! Joel 2:32 (NASB) says that “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered.”
*Here is a prayer for deliverance that you can use to pray, submit to God, and cast out evil spirits: A Prayer for Deliverance