If you see a cockroach in your house and go over and squash it, what is your reaction? Are you relieved you killed the intruder or are you purposed to go after all its comrades you know must also be in proximity?
The “demons-are-like-cockroaches” analogy, as it relates to deliverance ministry, has three major aspects to it:
- Where you find one, you are going to find others
- They indwell the house (think of your body and soul)
- It’s more helpful to get rid of many of them and not just the ones that are visible.
You might ask where I get this viewpoint from. Apart from practical experience in ministry, we also see this phenomenon in Scripture. Jesus, in Luke 8:27-39, was confronted by a man who was demonized. He made a brief inquiry of the man (“What is your name?”) and the demons responded, “Legion” because many demons had gone into him. When he was delivered by Jesus, we know that the demons, whatever the number, entered into the pigs and tormented them into driving themselves into a lake to drown.
As a matter of interest, in the parlance of the time, the term “legion” was applied to a grouping of Roman soldiers. There were typically six thousand (!) soldiers in a Roman legion. Does that mean the man had six thousand demons? We’ll not know the answer to that question this side of eternity however we can say that there was a sufficient number to drive a herd (of unknown size) of pigs to their demise!
People Can Have More Demons Than They Realize
Our experience in ministering in deliverance to literally thousands of people is that people typically have more and different demonic strongholds than they might have surmised. Some number of our clients comes in quite confident that they know the number and names of the spirits that they have and their list is often accurate but incomplete. Coming back to our cockroach analogy, how many are comfortable only dealing with the vermin that they can see?
Our ministry does not focus primarily on trying to identifying all the spirits precisely. Rather, we believe it is most helpful to teach the client the nature of open doors. These doors are identified during the course of homework and preparation for deliverance, the doors (or legal rights) are closed and then we minister deliverance.
Part of the homework preparation is having each client/prayee identify potential strongholds on a comprehensive list. It is not at all unusual for us to see people get set free from spirits they did not know they had. Another blog account details our experience with a man who was set free from a spirit of murder that he was unaware of!
The fact is that demonic spirits, as part of their plan to kill, steal and destroy, are often able to hide successfully in people. As a result, a person can learn to cope and co-exist with these devils at best or try to medicate them at worst! Of course, no one knowingly goes down this road but the fact is that ignorance is not bliss in this realm and many people (including Christ followers) die every day for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).
There is a better way… do you agree?