When I teach on the topic of deliverance, I will often use Mark 1:21-28 as my text. In this passage Jesus is teaching in a synagogue toward the beginning of His ministry. The people recognize that His words carry an authority they are not used to hearing from the local scribes. Suddenly, a demon begins to manifest through a man, yelling out to Jesus. Jesus sharply rebukes the demon, casts it out, and the man is set free. The people are astonished and begin to spread the word about Jesus throughout the region.
As I contemplate this passage, a question comes to my mind: How long did the man who was set free attend this synagogue without getting the help he needed? How many weeks, months, and years did he sit there under demonic influence without anyone having an answer for him?
While the Bible doesn’t give any details about this man, I have to wonder what his background was, what opened the door to demonic influence, and how long he was in that condition as a faithful attender of the synagogue. You see, it wasn’t until Jesus stepped in that the demon was exposed, confronted, and cast out. Until that time, the unclean spirit was comfortable in the synagogue.
The same holds true in our time. The sad reality is that demons are comfortable in many of our churches today. And just like the man in the synagogue, many people attend church week after week with some type of demonic influence in their lives and aren’t getting the help they desperately need. I am not speaking of evil people with evil intentions, but those who love God but have areas of their life under demonic oppression. Something is wrong when demons are comfortable in church!
You see, demons are not threatened when the Kingdom of God is not advancing powerfully. They are not threatened by the lukewarm church. Demons are comfortable in church:
Entertainment in the church is no threat to the powers of darkness. Light shows and fog machines don’t set captives free. Even doctrinally sound messages with no authority or anointing will not displace demons. But when the Kingdom of God is forcefully advancing; when the Holy Spirit is given reign; when Jesus is exalted above all things; when the Word is preached with authority; when the church is once again a house of prayer; when the glory of God fills the temple; demons begin to tremble because they know they are about to be expelled.
I guarantee you this: if demons are not being cast out in your church it is not because they are not present. The need for deliverance is great. Many who attend church need to be set free so they can move forward into all that God has for them. It’s time for us to see the power of God move. It’s time to get equipped to set captives free. It’s time to advance the Kingdom of God and displace the powers of darkness.
As we advance God’s Kingdom and welcome the Holy Spirit to move in our midst, demons will be comfortable in our churches no longer and many captives will be set free!