When it comes to healing, sanctification, and deliverance, it is important to understand that God often works through a process over the course of time. There are powerful breakthrough moments along the way, but there is also ongoing growth. Healing and deliverance involve various factors, and I have seen many cases where deliverance happened progressively. The following excerpt from Keys for Deliverance explains this concept further:
Having led thousands of people through deliverance prayers in both personal and group settings, I have come to see that there are some general principles that can be applied to most situations. But I have also learned that every situation is unique and requires the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit. There have been many times when deliverance happened quickly and easily, and other cases in which it was more of a struggle to gain breakthrough. There have been some occasions where little to no progress was made. I don’t always know the answer to why some cases are harder than others, but I believe that there are at least three factors involved in any given ministry situation.
The first factor is the “God factor.” What is He putting His finger on and how is He sovereignly moving? Are there certain areas that He is highlighting first in the person’s process of restoration and deliverance? A second factor is the spiritual condition of the one who is receiving ministry. What degree of demonic influence are they under? Are they submitted to God and willing to repent where needed? Are they walking in forgiveness toward those who have hurt or sinned against them? Are they willing to close every door and are they truly desiring freedom? The third factor is the anointing and grace on the person who is ministering. Are they walking in faith and authority? Is the Holy Spirit’s anointing upon them? What spiritual gifts flow through them? Any one of these three factors can impact the outcome and effectiveness of a time of ministry for deliverance.
I have also observed that it is not uncommon for deliverance to happen in a progressive way. If a person needs deliverance in multiple areas, sometimes God will deal with one or two areas at one time, and then move onto other areas at a later time. While it is certainly God’s desire for His people to walk in total freedom, He may move in a specific way in a given prayer session or lead a person through full deliverance progressively over the course of time. We can see a parallel in how the Lord drove out the enemy nations from the Promised Land so that the children of Israel would inherit it step-by-step instead of all at once.
I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land. (Exodus 23:29-30)
Sometimes, it might be best for a person to receive deliverance in stages so that they can be established in one area of freedom before moving on to the next. If you end up needing multiple prayer sessions to get total freedom, that is totally fine. What is important is to keep moving forward and taking more ground. I often remind people that Jesus is their Deliverer and that He will lead them in their process of freedom and restoration. Every situation is case-by-case and we must rely on the Holy Spirit and keep our eyes on Jesus.
There is a balance in all of this. While deliverance can be progressive in nature, I also believe that as we receive a greater anointing of the Holy Spirit and power, we will see deliverance happen more quickly and thoroughly. After all, in one encounter with Jesus, the man with the legion of demons was completely set free and healed in his mind (see Mark 5:1-20). But just because we are not functioning at the level of Jesus doesn’t mean we should become discouraged. Let’s use what we have, while contending to walk in a greater authority, grace, and power to set captives free.
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