Clients often voice these questions, sometimes directly but often in subtle ways. I want to share with you what we say to them so you can hopefully be encouraged and not let doubt keep you from your appointed freedom.
We use a five-step deliverance ministry process at Above & Beyond, so there are many opportunities for the counselor and the client to feel each other out before the pivotal fourth session. We understand their presenting issues, family and life background and they get to approach the process gently and work through any concerns, rather like easing into a hot bath.
One client, let my office full of hope, expectancy, and excitement after receiving the final teaching. His next appointment was to be the actual deliverance session.
He called the day before to say he had concluded that he was not ready for the next meeting. He felt he needed to build up his faith somehow so that this would work for him.
We see this frequently; alone time spent thinking and receiving tormenting thoughts from the demonic realm lead them to a place of indecision and doubt.
Here is how I countered his concerns. I asked him the following:
- Do you want freedom for these issues in your life?
- Have you prepared and done the homework we have asked you to do?
- Do you believe Jesus wants you free?
- Can you “stir up your faith” for Him to do a work?
All of the points are important, but the last one is crucial. It’s not about having enough faith. Things would be simpler if we could measure one’s faith by the ounce, gallon, or foot, but that’s not how it works.
I did not try to convince him to press ahead, but when we agreed with every point, he determined to push forward with session 4, and it went very well.
A person’s faith for deliverance faith must rest in the love and power of Jesus, His desire to heal us and set us free and His willingness to work through the minister that has been trained and equipped for this.
Faith is a Gift, Not a Work
Faith is a gift from God. “By grace, you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Faith is a gift of the Lord to undeserving people, the outworking of God’s saving grace and the sacrifice of Jesus to pay the price for men’s sins.
In 2 Tim 1:6-7, Paul urges his protégé, “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God (emphasis added) which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
For us, the issue is not how much, but in whom and for what? Christ himself declares that if we have as small as a mustard seed, we can move mountains (Matt 17:20)! We must have faith in Christ alone and that He has made provision for our salvation, healing, and deliverance.” Our encouragement to clients lines up with Paul’s – “Stir up your faith”!
How does one do that? There are a variety of ways but all center on choosing to believe God’s word. Meditate on it, declare the promises, capture counter thoughts and replace them with God’s truths. These are lifelong disciplines that can be developed and matured.
Practicing these comprise the actions of stirring up one’s faith. We encourage clients to begin the journey; it’s a road that every believer must travel to gain victory.
Christ is our Deliverer. He works through His body, his church ministers (lay and professional). Our focus as children of God should not be on us getting better, stronger or gaining more faith; we are to believe and receive all that He has for us.
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