A SMALL ERROR IS STILL ERROR
As the early church continued to grow and expand despite (or perhaps because of) persecution, Satan was developing another approach that would ultimately prove more successful in slowing the growth and strength of the church – false teachings. Many of Paul’s writings, especially the letters written towards the end of his ministry, warn against this as it had already started in his day. Slowly but surely, though, teachings from other religions found their way into Christianity. Over the centuries these caused a large segment of the church to develop into what became the Roman Catholic Church of the Middle Ages. This brought in rituals and new teachings about spiritual warfare as well.
Before long church practices that were a means to an end became an end in themselves. The water used for baptism was thought to be invested with special properties instead of just being a way of showing the new birth had occurred. This water then became used in rituals used to bring about deliverance. To become holy water the water itself as well as some salt that was added were both put through a formal ritual of spiritual deliverance to purify them. Then the resulting salted ‘holy’ water was thought to have power over demonizing.
Today, too, we must be careful of putting faith in objects, rituals, written prayers and things of that nature. When a person is in misery and is desiring deliverance, they are open to trying anything and everything. But it is only faith in God that brings deliverance. It is only by prayer depending on Jesus that we can be free. Nothing we do, no rituals or procedures can add to that!
Sometimes we think that the harder or longer we pray the more apt God is to hear and answer. Or perhaps if many people pray there is more power. That is not so. It is important to pray hard and long, and have others pray, but we can’t put our faith in that, only in Jesus. Demons can lure us into marathon sessions of prayer and deliverance that exhaust all who are involved. If God leads us to persevere in this way we must, but still we must always remember it is not our perseverance but only God’s power that ever brings deliverance.
Another thing to watch for is thinking that deliverance must be done in public, in front of a large crowd. If that is how God wants that is fine, but Jesus and the disciples never held large group meetings to do deliverance. They just dealt with people when and where they met them.
Keep your eyes always and only on Jesus for He and He alone brings victory and freedom!!!