She’d been a faithful churchgoer and sang in her choir, but her pastor only offered sympathy and encouraged her to wait on God. I listened to her story, and she admitted that many of the cases in “Possessed Believers” reflected her life. She agreed that she needed deliverance, and she wanted to learn how to fight. When our counseling session was over, I gave her some specific things to start doing, and prayed strongly against every spirit that had been working in her. But she was resistant. Something in her didn’t want to fight, just to cry and praise God and behave in the churchy kind of way that I’ve seen all my life. She was sweet and friendly, but her heart was stubbornly closed, even though her mouth told me how much she believed and how much she appreciated my prayer. She left saying she felt better, but I knew that she was clutching onto those demons, refusing to let them go. Interestingly enough, she never came back for any more counsel or prayer.
I could clearly see the demonic attacks, from her childhood all the way through her multiple marriages and her troubled relationships with her kids. The only way was for her to become a real warrior in faith, and that would mean being willing to learn how to view her problems spiritually, and react to them spiritually, based on the Word of God. Just learning a few tips, getting a prayer or two and waltzing out the door was not going to change a woman like her who’d been oppressed for years. She’d have to change her old churchy habits, because it was those very habits that allowed demonic forces to dominate her family for generations. Demons love religiosity as much as flies love rotting garbage.
This is the big frustration in working with people who are already Christians and need deliverance. They don’t realize that the most dangerous demons are the ones that make them content not to fight, that feel so comfortable, so sweet and sociable. They’re the demons that insert the thoughts, “Now wait a minute, that kind of prayer doesn’t seem very Christian – all that yelling and demanding demons to leave. We’re nice Christians – we don’t practice craziness.” Religious demons will cause their victim to laugh sweetly when I determine a miracle in faith, they’ll smile at me as if I’m naïve and idealistic, but behind the smile and laughter is the darkness of hell. I can confront a demon of addiction or witchcraft and hear it scream in hatred, but confront a demon of religiosity and it’s all gentle contempt and patronizing smiles – unless the victim of those demons is humble and ready to let go. Then their mask is removed and they behave just like any ordinary demon; easy to take dominion over and cast out.
As I always say – the proof of faith is not being patient, loving and kind. Demons know how to imitate virtues to keep people in confusion. Real faith terrifies the devil, no matter what his disguise is. So what does that mean for those of us who want to use real faith? It means that if our deliverance prayers are just repetitious phrases we heard pastors use when rebuking the devil, we’re no better off than a religious church lady. “Get out devil!” “I don’t accept you in my life!” “You’re tied up!” are all meaningless when we aren’t conscious of who we’re actually speaking to, and of the One who’s Name gives us that authority. We have to get into warfare mode, to become spiritual terrorists to forcefully take back what the devil has stolen from us. That doesn’t happen automatically, and it definitely doesn’t happen by just repeating the right words. Being in warfare mode means looking right through the devil’s disguises and attacking him ruthlessly by faith, pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone and fueling the fires of hatred against evil with every prayer we utter, and every sacrifice we make.
Some of you just made a huge sacrifice to God last Sunday in church. What you did was a weapon of warfare – or was it a passive religious act to “buy” a blessing? Keep this passage in mind and remember you are facing principalities behind the problem you want destroyed. You have weapons that are powerful and effective. Become a bully. God’s waiting for more bullies to join His side.
“I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not return until they were destroyed. I wounded them, and they were not able to rise; they are fallen under my feet. For You clothed me with strength for the battle; You subdued under me those who rose up against me. You gave me the necks of my enemies, and I destroyed those who hate me. They cried for help, but there was none to save them; even to the Lord, but He did not answer them. Then I beat them small as the dust before the wind; I cast them out as the dirt in the streets.” Psalm 18:37-42 MEV