What is Deliverance?
Very simply, deliverance is telling the enemy, the devil, to leave us alone. We can usually tell there is demonic influence in our lives when we’ve used all the spiritual disciplines in our lives to gain victory in an area, and we seem to continually hit a brick wall, i.e. still struggle without success, in that area.
Specifically, deliverance is the Spirit-empowered ministry of expelling demonic spirits that influence the thoughts, will, actions, and emotions of believers and unbelievers. The authority to expel demonic forces is given to every believer. (Mark 16:17, Luke 10:17-20) In practical terms, deliverance is telling the enemy to leave through the power and authority of Jesus Christ, whose Spirit resides within each believer. The enemy recognizes authority and must bow his knee to the authority of Jesus Christ.(Phil. 2:10-11) Deliverance is an on-going process. We can take care of the past, but, because we live in a fallen world, access opportunities for the enemy are continual. The Holy Spirit gives us discernment to address the demonic as it presents itself.
Here are some indications that demonic activity exists:
Feeling totally helpless over an emotion, thought, or behavior
Inability to gain victory even after prayer and Scripture meditation
“It’s like something came over me.”
“A voice told me to do it” or “I saw myself doing it.”
Connection with past involvement in the occult, witchcraft, Satanism, or false religions.
Are Both Deliverance and Inner Healing Needed for Freedom?
Yes! Deliverance, which tells the enemy to leave, without inner healing leaves the door open for the demonic influences to return to those access areas and attempts to lead the person back into bondage. Inner healing, which closes the door or access point to the enemy, without deliverance, allows the spirits of darkness to continue to attempt to lead the person back into sinful behavior or unhealthy ways of thinking. When the spirits have been ordered to leave, they cannot return if there is cleansing, healing, and filling with the presence of God in the areas where they had operated.
How Does the Enemy Access Our Lives?
Inner Healing and Deliverance cannot take the place of discipline and discipline cannot take the place of Inner Healing and Deliverance. Usually the person needing ministry will feel a sense of total helplessness over an emotion, thought, or behavior. That person cannot seem to gain a victory in that area, even though they have sincerely tried to submit that area to the Lord. We must discern what is unwillingness to deal with sin and aninability to do so. Here are several common areas where the demonic can gain access.