I’ve had occasion to minister to wronged spouses (victims of adultery, spouse caught with pornography or perversions, etc) and they often do not understand why their partner just did not stop doing the behavior. The same argument is sometimes used when dealing with those dealing with substance abuse issues. “If you really loved me, you would have stopped” is the common refrain in various forms and contexts. How do we address that question in deliverance ministry?
God, in His sovereignty and love, gave man a free will so that we might make choices. Christians often time struggle and battle to do the right thing… knowing what God would have us do but the desires of the flesh working against that. Paul detailed his own struggles in this area in …. when he indicated that he continued to do that which he did not want to do.
How does one distinguish between someone consciously continuing to make “bad” choices from a person who truly desires to change but is powerless to do so of their own accord and free will? I believe the issue is the person’s heart condition?
I have ministered to pastors, leaders and men of God who have been bound up in pornography or various perversions. The ones I meet with (and come to me voluntarily seeking help) are truly tormented and desirous of change. They know that their behavior was displeasing to God and dishonoring of their spouses but they were powerless to get the victory on their own. We have seen people get delivered from demonic spirits that have been the source of the torment in their lives.
An evidence (not a proof) of a demonic stronghold being present in a person’s life is when they are unable to get or sustain lasting victory even after pursuing it through all available means, including prayer, fasting, counsel and so on. In situations like that, getting delivered from the demonic stronghold is the only answer for victory. Jesus did not counsel demons out of people; he cast them out and put that same call on His church to do it too (Mark 16:17). Let’s be about all parts of the Father’s business!
As one client explained to me after being delivered from spirits of lust and pornography, there was no longer the “pull” in his mind to do that behavior and he was able to win the ongoing battle of the mind because the power (demon) behind those thoughts were no longer in him. We have a free will and there are not demons behind every tree or issue in our life but when they are there, they need to dealt with in a biblical way!