An introduction to deliverance ministry

deliveranceNothing can substitute the experience of praying for a person and seeing his or her deliverance as a result of our prayers. If you have an opportunity to participate in a class or practical course, or if it is possible to accompany someone who has experience in this ministry, take advantage of it. The Holy Spirit is a marvelous teacher and wants to help those that cannot get experience in any other way other than taking a step of faith and praying with a dependent and learning heart. Those with more experience must greatly depend on the direction of the Holy Spirit in their ministries. The most important ministry that you can have is to be a channel through which the love of God can flow until a person is able to receive deliverance. The second most important ministry that you can have is to be a vessel through which God can pour out His Spirit and the life of Jesus upon a person to receive prayer for deliverance.

…out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)

… you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ , nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. (1Timothy 4:6)

…and exercise yourself toward godliness . (1Timothy 4:7)

Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel. (1Cor. 14:12)

Let all things be done decently and in order. (1Cor. 14:40)

What is deliverance?

Deliverance is freeing a person from the oppression of an evil spirit. Demons are bodiless evil spirits, under Satan’s authority, that seek to torment people and if possible, enter into their lives. Demons become restless if they are unable to enter into a human body. (Matthew 12:43-45). A demonic spirit, when given the opportunity, will torment and manipulate its host in various ways. It is extremely important for the church to understand demons and deliverance because of the effects that such spirits can have over believers, in the area of church unity and evangelism.

I will use the term “oppression” in this post instead of “possession”. “Possession” implies complete ownership and control which is not a feasible situation in the life of the believer. Since the Lord Jesus Christ has purchased the believer, neither Satan nor his emissaries can possess him. However, many believers do not surrender themselves completely to Jesus and thus open themselves up to the possibility of demonic affliction and oppression in the areas that they have not surrendered to Jesus.

The effect of demonic oppression

A demon can torment its host with problems such as insomnia, panic, general accusations of uselessness or guilt, pain, sickness, depression, irritating behavior and the like. Sometimes, they can provoke the host with seemingly unwanted and uncontrollable evil desires to sin in a particular manner. In Acts 5:3 Peter pointedly asked Ananias, a believer:

“Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?” (Acts 5:3)

Luke relates an event that happened at the Last Supper:

Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them. (Luke 22:3-4)

A demon can force his human host into sin and persistent habits from which the host may try to resist and break free. This is one of the greatest causes of believers becoming discontent with the Christian life and falling away from the faith. After committing a particular sin in cyclic periods, repenting, receiving forgiveness, resisting, sinning again, and repeating the process over and over, believers may feel like leaving the church. If they do not leave the church they may remain but with a hopeless existence and lack of perspective of ever experiencing practical sanctification, never dreaming that they can be delivered of such oppression.

Demonic spirits can cause sicknesses, and sometimes block inner and physical healing. Jesus cast out demons that caused deafness, muteness and epilepsy, among others.

Demonic spirits can impose a weight of spiritual and emotional oppression so effectively that it blocks the spiritual perception of the host and in the most serious cases, can cause depression.

The remedy for demonic oppression is deliverance, which has been a sign of the power of God over Satan for non-Christians. Different from prayer for a physical healing, which sometimes does not result in an immediate healing, the ministry of deliverance is usually effective when the born again believer that truly desires to be free receives prayer for deliverance. There can be no passivity when we seek any type of blessing from the Lord.