I used to doubt my ability to heal the pain in people’s lives when I knew they were influenced by an evil spiritual force. I attracted witches, cult members, fairies, those practicing new age, hitch hikers, addicts, criminals, prostitutes, mobsters, strippers, vagabonds, abusers, trans gender’s, religious zealots, petifiles, innocent people lured by secret societies and Americans who believed yoga was nothing more than a form of exercise. My fear in the power of satan to keep these people deceived was greater than my faith in Daddy to use me for their deliverance. I knew the basis for most denominational and organizational control was the religious spirit, I just didn’t realize that I was sitting under it. So when I brought these people I attracted to church with me because their troubles were out of my league to handle, I assumed those who bragged about supernatural power would be able to heal broken hearts or at least cast some demons out. What I found however, was powerlessness and confusion among many congregations. In fact, a suggestion of caution toward me became widespread as I questioned why there was no manifestation of Holy Spirit in churches who proclaimed how to set the captives free. Revival had become nothing more than a promise without delivery. Year after year I waited for the presence of God to sweep across the land only to see small glimmers arise, but quickly fade.
Growing tired of my own evil oppression I knew that someone somewhere had to know how to get this thing off of me. I enrolled in Ministry school and started to ask my colleagues if they were abreast on the demon matter? The shock was evident on everyone’s faces and I was told by most to “keep my eyes on the Lord and the devil would flee”. My reaction was hard to stifle and I often walked away wanting to shake some sense into anyone who would pacify their troubles with a quote from scripture. I had been the guinea pig at umpteen million deliverance ministries that concocted all kinds of crazy methods that only taught me what “not to do”. I applied promises to my habits, hang-ups and sufferings but was always met with a blanket statement to “focus on the finished work of the cross”, or “let go and let God” and realize “how great God’s love for me was”. The problem I had with these declarations, was the dismissal of my getting clobbered by the enemy. I had nobody explaining the victorious life in everyday routine. The people I attracted admitted that something bigger than them oppressed them, and I agreed with them while my Christian friends spent most of their energy explaining that oppression stops once someone gets saved. Yet I was saved and still related to similar problems of people who weren’t. I was made out to be like Job whose friends suggested my lack of faith was the true problem. The advice I received was shallow and based on circumstantial evidence they gathered about my life from the natural. What they did not question beyond their clichés was how intently I brought my sanctification process into the open for hopes of more than just my own relief. We could have moved past the elementary platitudes if the unseen realm was discussed without fear, but nonetheless, I let many speak without taking offense.
Few Christians preach positively, “let go and let God, surrender, and get over your past”, unless their own disillusionment led to their awakening. Disillusionment is often labeled as rebellion, back-sliding or being in a state of stagnation, but I see it profoundly as a wrestling with one’s true identity. If those statements were cut and dry and applicable across the board than everybody, even the worldly who chant them, would eventually blame God for their suffering. These “traditional” quotes simply become a barricade to the individual’s ability to co-labor with Christ in their own emotional healing. Suffering is always a result of the curse, indicating a struggle within one’s heart where a lie resides. If we believe God should have done something but He didn’t deliver, we doubt His love and concern over us. The love revelation came to me only after Todd White pointed to me during his sermon while at school, and said, “You’re going to truly be delivered soon, you’re on the verge of tapping into things of God that you have been questioning for a long time, and it’s coming soon”. With that, I trusted that my Daddy in Heaven was reassuring me; I was tapping into a heaviness that needed to be addressed for the hope of an awakening. I asked and I was answered publicly from an evangelist who spoke of his own deliverance. Three months later I was set free from the ruling spirit of control that I had carried into my walk with Jesus which hindered me from fully knowing Him.
A ruling spirit is called a strongman in the Bible and it has a right to afflict any person who has suffered emotionally, which is all of us. Deliverance from this ruling spirit and all lesser spirits under its rule, is available to all believers, it is a free gift for God’s children. Deliverance is simply removing the Strongman that keeps the Christian captive to emotional hardship. Childhood wounds are commonly the entrance of demonic affliction because of the inability to decipher lies at a young age. Smaller demons answer to the Strongman throughout the growing years and create reputations, accidents, destruction and accusation for the person to ensure that he will lose hope in God by the time he reaches adulthood. Many teachings in church proclaim that once a demonized person becomes filled with the Holy Spirit, he is no longer able to have a conflict of good and bad residing within. If that were true, than the famous one-liners we have discussed would be also. Scripture tells us however, that sanctification is the process of connecting intimately with The Lord through salvation, deliverance and healing, all of it occurring in tandem with inner healing along the way. “God desires truth in my innermost being”, Psalm 51:6
It has been my personal experience and observation of many believers that once an evil Strongman is removed, the revelation of being a loved child begins. Once the demonic spirit is out-of-the-way, there is no other resistance to inner healing except freewill. The addict can look at the resentments toward his parents and find forgiveness. The prostitute can face a childhood memory and hear Jesus’s truth about her self-worth and value for the first time. The abuse victim can see his own bitterness as a coping mechanism and begin to find acceptance for the ways he managed pain. All of the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos and the disturbed have a viable shot at finding love from The Father for the first time in a brand new way after the demon who is lying to them about their identity, and lying to others about who they are, is gone for good.
In my life, I took everything a step further. I not only pursued deliverance for years because I knew I was way too angry to be trusting Daddy with my life, but I wanted all of the other people I attracted to get set free with me. After all, I knew most of the people who called me crazy were only projecting the ways they felt about themselves onto me because that’s what the demons on them do. After Todd White prophesied my deliverance, I knew it was going to look different from any other attempt I had tried before. In fact the Strongman of control that I was hosting, had five different facets and manifested most with anger. Once that was ousted and then the religious spirit was told to leave, I returned home expecting to jump back into the mundane schedules of serving God. Almost instantly, my disillusionment with all that I had been taught about God set in. Conversation with Christians seemed lukewarm and many corrected me if I shared my deep meditation was replacing church. I listened to the stories of those who were spiritually abused in church and my heart began to break in pieces so fine that I ached for their mind renewal, the kind I was coming into for the first time in my Christian walk. With each new person I met I described my story of being set free from control and a number of other demonic spirits that would create a perfect scenario for my lack of faith in God and others. I listened, observed and cried with the numerous believers who had been rejected from church for probing too much into the supernatural realm, all of it, the good the bad and the not so often occurring’s. I brought back my need to question the pat answers to problems before deliverance and I assured those where I once was, that God wants them to ask and seek more, risk stepping out into a deeper revelation.
I see too many believers who attack their problems from a mantra based stance totally oblivious to demonic activity. In these uncertain times when abuse, addiction, mental illness, accidents and other evils are becoming normal occurrences,” the let go and let God, forget your past, surrender all and love others messages” will not cut it. Trying to apply those slogans while enduring emotional pain, negates God’s ability to deal with their pasts that still influence destructive behavior. In fact, some believers fall into a state of denial when encouraged to relinquish their responsibility of emotionally connecting to others. Without a trust in Daddy as the One who can become our security when reminiscing over a trauma, we are more susceptible to prolonged pain management in ways that we take into our own hands. Seeking deliverance places the responsibility back on Daddy to do it so we can grow curious in His direction of our character growth. “Character change comes as we confess our sin, get our real needs met, and repent from the evil that we find comes so naturally”. (Cloud and Townsend) The ability to do this greatly increases after the strongman and religious spirits have been removed.
I know the confusion, disappointment and the frustration of applying accepted Christian messages to lost dreams, death, addiction, abuse, spiritual authorities, politics, religious spirit and all of the systems spiritually allowed to remain because the curse ordained it so on earth. If we understood that everything is spiritual, of an Angelic or demonic form, there would not be a watering down of the Gospel to make us brush off suffering that could lead to healing. Angelic beings have power to lead us into a cleansing process where we experience a connection to God that causes us to repent for taking matters into our own hands. Demons have power to keep us distracted from the source of our emotional pain long enough that we believe we are already healed.
It is always the Christian who states that he doesn’t need healing or deliverance that causes me to pause. I won’t continue to reason with the demons influencing him because there is no point. Evidence in his relationships will speak louder than any declaration because emotional suffering doesn’t mask well, especially when his closest relationships are unsuccessful. Salvation alone doesn’t prove growth, it is the beginning of getting along well with others and seeking true liberty from oppression that connects a mature person of character to The Lord. Sanctification is the process of finding deliverance and processing one’s mental healing as he journeys with God.
Many times salvation is applauded in church circles yet so easily questioned after the receiver doesn’t prove change has occurred by his behavior. Behavior too often gets labeled as “fruit” in someone’s life when it is really just a symptom of inner wounding. Too much demand is placed on acts of service instead of emotional healing submitted to a relational God. This is a dangerous recipe for spiritual oppression in the form of religion. When humans label one more superior than another based on works they are responding to the demonic hierarchy of the law. The strongman gives the orders and the lesser demons uphold its decree, much like our judgment over someone else’s sin; a lie that determines one has to strive to maintain good standing with the judge. The fruits of the Spirit are the signs of God’s work in us and we don’t have to prove it to anyone. (Gal.5:22-24) Daddy isn’t judging his children according to their past wounds, bad behavior, demonic assignment, or because they refuse to surrender to Him. He offers deliverance as freely as salvation and healing.
Yes, the Gospel is simple. Jesus came to save, heal and deliver. He will not stop because of a denominational belief, a vision statement, tradition or brainwashing because, He first created every individual from His vantage of perfection. Whatever evil assignment meant to derail Gods children from their wholeness and security in Him, He longs to awaken. It is impossible to stop the love of God but evil has permission to try like hell to do so. Don’t let it. There is always more.
If what you’ve been telling yourself to keep afloat, to keep you from changing or delving deep into knowing your worth beyond survival, or if all the applications you have learned at church aren’t working, it is time to seek beyond salvation. The need for more victory grew as I did the expected things of believers but remained defeated. My asking to understand the spiritual realm led to my deliverance. Todd confirmed what I had been asking God for but, it is only after being set free that I can apply the messages of focusing on Jesus alone that he preaches. When I was still demonized I felt maintaining Todd’s type of enthusiasm for victory was overwhelming, but now my mind isn’t being arrested by thoughts of defeat and doubt from demonic suggestion.
I am able to recognize when I am controlling now far easier than when the strongman was aiding me to get the results I wanted. Now I confess control to God and gain a closer connection to Him as I ask where my emotional pain is coming from. I take responsibility for the work that only I can do in my sanctification process with The Lord. How grateful I am to have sought the deliverance made available to me even though it has been an emotional roller coaster. It proved that disillusionment was what I needed to discover how much I was loved. All of us can ask for wisdom and revelation from God for answers to the oppressive things in our lives. It’s not always your fault, and He knows you have tried to keep your eyes on Him, now He just wants to open them up to a spiritual dimension that already influences you, and He wants you to partake in your overcoming it.