We continue to confuse the spiritual conditions produced by demonic influences and the operative results of our human flesh burdened with the limitations or misdirections of sin.
First, works of the flesh are not works of darkness. In fact, darkness does not cause works of the flesh as much as darkness takes advantage of doors opened by works of the flesh. The devil did not make you do it. You decided to do it, then darkness took advantage of the open door.
Second, works of darkness are influences. The authorities, rulers, and cosmic dominators produce “this present darkness.” The variables pile up with respect to how this present darkness influences a person’s life. That level of influence contributes to that person’s decision-making. That person may be characterized by a bondage to that influence, but the bondage remains a surrender of that person’s will. It is not demon controlled behavior as much as it is surrendered will to the demonic influence.
Third, you can cast out demonic influences by rebuke, dismantling the advantages a strong man’s position provides in influence the house, and by authoritatively displacing the demonic “presence” from the person’s “house” – spirit, soul, and body. You can do this for the person when the person lacks the strength of will to do so, but only after the person surrenders to Jesus Christ as Lord, or to the extent, he strengthens his will and chooses and different master. This is exactly what repentance does: “I change to be changed.” You can remove torment off an unbeliever, but freedom only begins when a person starts the rescue process we call “salvation.”
Fourth, we can identify demons by what they do and the character of spiritual conditions they create. So, “a spirit of fear” or “a spirit of infirmity” identify what a demon does or the spiritual condition that demon produces. The ridiculous cataloging of human behaviors by this method becomes both tiresome, fleshly in its own right, and counterproductive. To assume that all works of flesh reveal a work of darkness is not a Bible perspective. A “lying spirit” and “lying” are not necessarily the same thing. That is, a person can lie without having some specific demon operating with influence in them. It is quite “natural” for a person to lie when they are deceived. They decide to do so. You can cast out a conclave of lying spirits, and they can still lie. Or, they lie because they chose to lie. Then, a lying spirit might seek greater access to influence through that open door.
Fifth, some behaviors are chemical responses, a bodily condition in which the neural-network dysfunctions. They may be demonic. They usually are not. Sickness and disease is not a demon. It is sickness and disease. A spirit of infirmity is actually or technically about a limitation of function. It can certainly manifest as a chronic condition. A person can have diabetes in some form from behavior or genetics. Casting out the spirit of diabetes is not the way forward for healing. Jesus and the entire Bible makes clear distinctions between disease and demons. Some sickness is demonically produced by limiting curse. Most disease is a disease. Demons can take advantage of weakness and vulnerability to ‘pile on’ when suffering people are tricked into opening doors. So, unforgiveness or a bitter root judgment can be the root cause of disease or infirmity because of a decision to submit to the work of flesh instead of submitting to God and resisting the devil. The demon then builds something internal through the open door. Casting out a demon without confronting the unforgiveness misses the point of redemptive ministry.
Sixth, the smallest, most feeble believer can order demons around when they are submitted to God. In fact, the measure of resistance to the devil is the level of submission to God. Children can set people free. New believers can set people free. Freedom is not a power show. Recall that when Jesus and His disciples displayed authority over demons, the people went into wow-wow mode. The disciples went into wow-wow mode. Jesus did not gon into wow-wow mode. He understands “How Things Really Work in the Spirit,” so He told them to rejoice they were enrolled as kingdom citizens. They had spiritual photo ID’s to vote in the Ecclesia. The authority is God’s expressed in the level of personal submission a person achieves through shared passion and trust with God. This is why Paul’s thorn produced or revealed greater enabling grace flow and expanded Divine strength available. Paul was measured by submission, not by apostolic assignment, per se.
Seventh, creating a need for yourself in freedom ministry reveals you should not be doing freedom ministry. Gaining identity from spiritual power displays is exactly what Jesus says should not be done. The identity is kingdom citizenry, not personal ascendancy. When the servant wishes to get a room full of people vomiting, screaming, shaking, and manifesting in order to set up a power display, that person is a fraud to the kingdom and a charlatan to the ministry of freedom. Sit them down in a freedom-room for personal ministry. If hey cannot submit to that, they are not submitted to God and wish to submit demons to themselves. They will submit people to themselves if you allow them to submit demons to themselves. They are wolves. The kingdom citizen prepares the tormented for kingdom lifestyle. This is why Jesus rejoices that demons are subject in His Name to those enrolled in the kingdom: they can establish kingdom culture by removing the behavioral causes that prevent a kingdom lifestyle and corporate culture.
Shut Down the Magic Show
Superstition feeds the magic show of “demons obey me.” There is no office space on any street of the kingdom available for what half the church celebrates as “deliverance ministry.” Shut it down! More Jezebels do demon casting than Elijahs do lightning strikes. Superstition is a faulty “How Things Really Work in the Spirit.”
FreedomMinistry International has been at work in the kingdom context and culture for more two decades. More than 300,000 people have been touched by this ministry worldwide. The measure of its success is discipling, not demon casting. This is not a spiritual form of watermelon seed spitting or log throwing. Of course, demons obey! That is not the point. Do people remain in freedom and continue to expand that freedom? Do people gain the strength of will to submit more deeply to God?
We have deliverance ministries at work in isolation because they cannot submit to anyone at all! They are no more submitted to God than the devil is. Women who do not submit to their husbands, kingdom leaders, or basic protocols are certainly not submitted to God! Shut it down! If freedom is not part of discipling, shut it down! If freedom is not part of the preparation and positioning of the serving leaders of the building, body, and bride, shut it down! It is not an extra-curricular sport or subject taken only by a special breed of wild-eyed woodsmen! Freedom is the rescue of souls and includes the discipling aspect of submission to God and assigned leaders as the basis for the devil fleeing the person with strength of will to resist.
No one lacking the strength of will to submit has the strength of will to resist.