The young man came in defeated and looking for someone to understand and help. After he explained what was happening his first question was “is this demonic?”
The more we chatted the easier it was to see that he was looking for serious answers. He wanted to understand as much as he wanted to be free.
It would be wise of us to explore some foundational principles before labeling something demonic. Wouldn’t you agree?
Let’s start by considering that there are three battlefronts or enemies that must be understood and dealt with simultaneously. Neglecting any one of them is a grave tactical error as a spiritual attack can come from any one or a combination of the three. Our three primary enemies can all be identified in Genesis chapter three as well as many other passages. They are:
- Satan and the demonic kingdom – verses
- The sinful nature – verses 6-13
- The world system – verses 16-19
Focusing on only one enemy such as demonic activity leaves the sinful nature and the world system free to entangle the believer. Likewise neglecting the demonic and focusing only on the sinful nature leaves us vulnerable on the other two fronts.
Listed below are items that must be taken into consideration long before determining exactly which enemy is being fought. Even when demonic manifestations seem to be obvious, ministers must be careful. Things are not always what they seem. Sometimes people can manifest things that look demonic, but in reality are nothing more than the flesh acting out to get attention. People can also claim they are under spiritual attack as a way of explaining situations they don’t understand or sin they don’t want to deal with.
When this is the case several devastating things occur. The individual usually leaves with their sinful nature fully intact and new beliefs that range from “the enemy is too strong in my life for me to be delivered” to “demons are not real.” Many times people will actually get worse because their sinful behavior was not properly confronted and they lose hope of being set free.
The minister can also suffer significant defeat because they see themselves as having failed to help the person. They may blame themselves for not being spiritual enough, not praying or fasting enough or disappointing God in some other way that would cause Him to withhold the anointing. It is also easy to blame the other person for not being sincere, not being saved, not confessing their sins and so on.
This is usually where the enemy comes in and takes advantage of the situation to cause further defeat. Remember, demons are opportunists. They will wait until just the right time to tempt and accuse. If the person or the minister leaves feeling defeated the enemy will push those feelings and thoughts.
The following six items should be considered and ministered to before moving forward with deliverance. Even when there is demonic activity these areas must be addressed for the overall long-term health and spiritual growth of the person.
- Temperament – Temperament is simply a way to describe the inborn characteristics, strengths and weaknesses that we are born with.
- Learned behavior – All of us grow up learning from family, friends and other environmentalThis learned behavior interacts with our temperament and produces our outward character.
- Lack of Christian maturity – Sadly enough this is a serious problem with many Christians.
- Medical factors – Not everything has a spiritual root. Unfortunately there are things like birth defects, disabilities, accidents, mental and emotional traumas and environmental issues.
- Suffering for righteousness sake – Romans 8:17 is a shocking scripture to some. It states; “and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.”
- Sin – At the risk of over emphasizing a point I would like to once again raise the caution that sometimes we suffer the natural consequences of our sin.
How do you evaluate what a person is dealing with?
Do you minister in the area of spiritual warfare and deliverance?
Rev. David M. Smuin
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