Deliverance: GODís way
We in the Church are far less effective at Christian ministry than is presumed. We also understand far less about spiritual warfare and deliverance than we think. Anyone who doubts me can do a cross-sectional survey of a randomly selected group of counselees or adult Bible class attendees to determine the effectiveness of our ministries. Certainly folks may be able to use Christian terminology but are often unable to effectively apply head knowledge to real life problems.
In the area of deliverance and spiritual warfare we must admit that Satan benefits when we in the Church embrace false teaching. Many persons visit church after church seeking help for persistent demon influenced problems. These problems may temporarily stop after a visit only to resume at a later date. I believe it is time we are taught what the first century Church was taught to ensure we are getting the same results they got. It is time to evaluate our beliefs and practices against a balanced interpretation of Scripture. As Bible teachers we are responsible for challenging the mindsets of Christians under our care.
Let us examine the model of deliverance expounded in Job 36:7-14. Sin opens the doorway for Satan to harass, possess or oppress an individual. In Job 36:7 the sin which led to individuals being bound in fetters and held by cords of affliction is pride (verse 8). Now notice GODís initial response to the victims of bondage (verse 9). Then consider how the Church of today may typically respond to such demonic bondage.
GODís initial action was to teach and to show the individuals where they had gone wrong. This is consistent with CHRIST, while on Earth, who said HIS role was to preach deliverance (Luke 4:18). And we should recall how often CHRIST used the phrase ďgo and sin no moreĒ to persons HE had healed (John 5:14; John 8:1-11). The point I am making is that the Church under CHRIST ought to be teaching how to live and walk in freedom. Deliverance is not a procedure we do for others, but is the process of helping them see where they have done wrong and showing them how to use CHRISTís resources to overcome Satan and be strong. Why is this approach necessary? Because many of the persons coming through the doors of the church simply want someone to pray them out of their problems. Their main concern is to get out of the distressing situation. Some will admit they donít care how they get out, but just that they do. Your own research would show that if delivered today, tomorrow morning such individuals fall into the same sin and their end result is worse than the first (Luke 11:24-26). Since the laborers are few, I am sure you will agree, we need to ensure we are not beating the air in the area of deliverance (1 Corinthians 9:26). Therefore GODís first step of teaching the victim is best! Learning is an integral part of restoration.
According to Job 36:10 GODís second step to deliverance is repentance. Teaching is followed by repentance. Repentance of sins to receive salvation (if the person is unsaved), and repentance of the named sin(s) which led to the demonic bondage.
After the victim repents he or she can then be taught how to use CHRISTís resources for strength to overcome Satan. Notice that Job 36:11 promises total recovery from bondage if the former victim maintains his or her obedience to the LORD. Destruction is sure, regardless of what we may pray for, if the former victim chooses not to obey (Job 36:12-14). This is GODís way of truly helping those afflicted by Satan. If we are honest, many of the persons we are trying to help in our own understanding suffer dreadfully at the hands of Satan for many years. Letís conform fully to the Apostleís teaching to ensure that persons are really being healed and delivered. Letís be effective in what we have been called to do.