Did you know that deliverance needs to be walked out? As Paul said about working out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12), in a similar manner we must recognize that deliverance is not a singular, isolated event.
Let’s be clear upfront on the definition: to be delivered means to be set free from one or more demonic spirits. The term can me muddied and used in different contexts in the Body of Christ but in our ministry we try to follow the KISS principle (as in short and simple) as much as possible.
With that bit of housekeeping addressed, let’s get to the keys:
1. You must be delivered!
This seems so obvious but it needs to be stated. Either sovereignly or in the hands of trained and equipped deliverance ministers, the demons need to be driven out of the house (Matt 12:43,Luke 11:24). Without this first step, there is no deliverance! People typically experience a great measure of freedom initially after deliverance but the battle is on to stay free!
2. You must discern when the spirits seek to return to the house!
This specific warning in Scripture should alert us to the reality that we’re going to have to be prepared when the nasty former tenants try to return and take up residence (Matt. 12:43,Luke 11:24)! Discerning of spirits is a spiritual gift that God has given us (1 Cor 12:10) andwe must walk in it! The good news is that believers can see (in the spirit) and discern these spirits at work in other people and life situations but, like all the gifts, we must grow in it through proper teaching and repetitive use.
3. You must begin to win more victories for the battle of your mind!
Post-deliverance, that portion of flesh and space between our ears is where the enemies of our soul are going to labor to reopen doors and gain entry. How well a person fares in this battle is crucially significant to the perceived effectiveness of deliverance. There are not demonic spirits behind every problem or issue in a person’s life and we teach and preach that emphatically to clients and seminar attendees.
Memories of past sins, abuses, injustices and just about everything else are unfortunately still resident in our soul and the demonic kingdom has access there. They are heavily motivated to stir up our memories, put thoughts in our mind and even use events and others to accomplish this. After deliverance, there is new grace and freedom to win this battle!
4. Give yourself grace (and time) to develop new habits!
It is generally acknowledged that it takes anywhere from three to six weeks to develop new habits. We counsel our people to be prepared for it to take up to six weeks to see the full fruit of deliverance. If one has been set free from anger and profanity, it may take that long before they will see that they no longer cuss out that person who cuts them off in traffic!
Our experience is that the “lay-hands-at-the-altar-and-call-out-demons” approach often can look splashy and make people feel good temporarily but typically does not yield lasting results.
Proper preparation in advance and teaching, coaching and discipleship afterwards are critical in order to secure a more lasting victory. Deliverance is an event but also must be walked out as part of an ongoing lifestyle of spiritual warfare appropriating the finished work of the Cross. Are you a pastor or ministry leader?