New clients often wonder aloud if deliverance ministry will “work” for them. Will it be effective? I love that question because it presents an opportunity for me to gauge their motivation level for freedom.
I have had the privilege of praying deliverance for more than a thousand people in one-on-one sessions and several thousand more in group meetings. I’ve seen many wonderfully set free while others have left with little or no change
What is the “secret sauce” for good deliverances?
I’ve been reminded many times that it truly is He who does the work through me and not me alone. I have an opportunity to partner with Him (I don’t like the term “used”) in this ministry and He set the ground rules for me many years ago.
I did not hear an audible voice but sensed very strongly that the Lord was telling me,
“Don’t steal my glory when things go well and don’t take the blame when they do not”.
That seemed like a fair deal to me and has worked well since 1998 when I first ventured into the realm of deliverance ministry.
I’m still learning the trade and don’t expect that process to end. Ever. We are continually striving at Above & Beyond to be as effective and efficient as possible and the Lord continues to bless us with new insights.
The unique condition of each client is vitally important also; I have seen some common elements in the most fruitful sessions and those are what I want to share now:
- Born-again believer. We have purposed to minister deliverance only to those who profess Christ as their Lord and Savior. Pre-deliverance preparation and teaching are vital for us as is the follow-up session on staying free when the demons seek to return to the house (Matt 12:45-47). We have made the determination that only believers, with the Holy Spirit in them, can have any reasonable expectation of keeping the doors closed and walking out the freedom of Jesus.
- Commitment to follow Jesus. Some clients confess Christ yet I believe are not committed to His lordship in their lives. It’s a subjective call to be sure, but I am looking for someone committed to doing what it takes to walk with Christ on the narrow road to life (Matt 7:13-14). We do not lay out a set of religious rules to follow but emphasize the need to build a relationship with Christ. During the final teaching session, we emphasize fifteen steps, including meditation on the Word and being an active member of a Bible-believing, Spirit-filled, Word-preaching church.
- Desperation for change. “Why are you here?” It’s one of the first questions I ask during the initial session. I try to listen and see on many levels. Are they here of their own volition or is someone making them come? When I hear, “Well, my wife thinks I have a problem” or, “my pastor says I need deliverance”, my excitement wanes a little until I can hopefully motivate them for more. I love desperate clients and remind the reluctant ones that Jesus did not heal or deliver everybody, but he did help those who came to him with expectancy.
- Committed to stir up their faith for Christ to do a work. In addition to desperation, I treasure those who are truly looking at Jesus (not me!) to do a work. I labor to try to help my clients build hope and for Jesus to set them free. I have faith that God will do a work and exhort them to shore up their own reserve if it is lacking.I had one client who was excited about deliverance and wanted to go through it but had a concern about her level of faith. She proposed to take a three-month leave from our sessions to go away and build up her faith. It’s not the amount of faith one has, faith as small as mustard faith can move mountains. Rather, we are called to stir up the faith that we do have and that those who come in for help on their own volition (see point 3) have passed that test. Those who are complacent or negative will have a difficult time receiving what the Lord wants to do. (James 1:6-7)
- Personal Preparation. Our mode of deliverance ministry requires that the client be actively involved in the process. We have them prepare homework prior to the actual deliverance session (number four) and also committed to attending the final session where we will teach them how to “walk out” deliverance and to be prepared when the spirits return looking for an open door.
Along that line, those Christians who have the word of God in them already, who have been raised in the Church, are better positioned than new believers to walk deliverance out more effectively. Knowing God’s word, and being able to draw upon it and speak it out, provides a strong advantage that neophytes in the faith do not possess. All things are possible though and new believers often have an insatiable desire and appetite to feast on the bible that can help them progress rapidly also.
In conclusion, the condition of the soil is much more important than the seed of ministry itself when it comes to lasting results. The parable of the sower that Jesus relates in Matthew describes this so clearly and succinctly. If all five of the above traits are present in a prayee (relatively rare), then the results truly can be amazing!
Sadly, many in our culture have a microwave, instant-fix mentality and the notion of actually having to do something and be an active part of the process can be unnerving for them. We are careful to position deliverance ministry correctly: it is not a quick-fix solution to every problem, but it can help them tremendously in advancing their walk with the Lord.
If you are contemplating deliverance ministry for yourself, or can see compelling benefits for a loved one, I hope you will consider the points above. I do not believe that quickie or surreptitious deliverance sessions on an unsuspecting person are fruitful or helpful; in fact, they can cause more damage.