As you seek deliverance from Satan’s attacks in your own life or try to help another find freedom, here are some principles to remember:
Playing Christian music during deliverance or at other times in your home is often very helpful for demons don’t like to hear Jesus praised (I Samuel 16:23). There is power in praise (Psalm 22:3), so use praise in your warfare praying. You can praise God in prayer or in song during deliverance or afterwards. Use this whenever attacked.
Do not converse with demons, either by having them give messages to a person’s mind or to speak verbally through a person’s vocal cords. The object in deliverance is not to get in contact with demons but to remove them. Communication with them makes you a medium and God’s words forbids that (Deuteronomy 18:9-13). There are good reasons to not communicate with them. Neither Jesus (Mark 1:25) nor Paul would (Acts 16:17). They are liars and deceivers (John 8:44) and you can’t believe what they say. God wants you only to be in touch with Him (Deuteronomy 4:24). Through the Holy Spirit we have access to all truth and power (John 8:31-32; I Corinthians 12:7-11). By communicating with them you give them recognition, allow them to stall, make things much harder on all people involved, and open yourself up to pride. Besides, they are total liars and deceivers so nothing positive will come from it.
What about when deliverance is slow or not at all? Remember sometimes God has a greater purpose than casting out every demon as soon as we pray. Sometimes there is delay. Jesus even had times when He had to persevere for awhile (Luke 8:31 Greek). Usually deliverance is a process. Its like peeling the layers off an onion. As new sin is revealed and removed, more ground is taken back from Satan’s forces. This gradual process allows the person to better fill the ground which has been reclaimed with God’s Holy Spirit and gives him time to grow spiritually (Psalm 59:11; 119:50,67,71) before the next ‘layer’ is removed. That’s why the Jews under Joshua only conquered the Promised Land bit by bit instead of all at once. If they would have driven out the Canaanites immediately then lions would have come in and harmed them. There is a learning process involved that can be used to help others, too (II Corinthians 1:3-4). Other times complete deliverance never comes. Paul’s thorn in the flesh is an example (II Corinthians 12:7). Paul testifies God then provides the grace needed to withstand. God wants us to learn to depend on Him (Psalm 119:59,92). Of course if the opening is allowed to continue then the demonizing will continue, too (Psalm 94:12-16; 81:11-14).
When you start sensing that as much as will take place has taken place you can begin changing the direction you are going. Ask the counselee if he has had any thoughts of impressions that he should share. Deal with whatever these may be. Ask if there is anything they would like to talk about or pray about.
Pray again for wisdom, asking God if there is anything else to be dealt with at this time and for His continued leading and guidance. Ask God what else needs to be done. Some times there is lots of spiritual growth and maturity needed. Other times it is consequences of sin that need to be faced. Faith gets tested. Quite often there are other demons or rulers (which are demons, but the leaders) that will need to be dealt with later.
Make sure they understand what has happened and what to expect in the next few hours and days. Doubt, unbelief, guilt are quite common tactics of the enemy. Encourage them to stay faithful, pray, read the Bible, memorize and use verses when attacked and write down any questions they might have. If they don’t fill the vacated spaces in their lives then the demons will return in even greater number (Luke 11:24-26; Matthew 12:43-45).
Encourage them to call for prayer whenever needed. That very act on their part can be humbling and work against their pride, thus it can be very freeing. If demons know they will be calling for prayer help they will be more hesitant to attack than if they know the person will try dealing with them alone.
Remind them that this is a process, not a once-and-done procedure. It’s not that clear cut and dried. Remember Paul’s thorn in the flesh? Ultimately God has the final say, not the demons. Remember Job? So when demons remain after we think they should be gone the first thing we must do is ask God what He is trying to teach us, what He wants to show us. He uses it all for our growth. Do we need to learn perseverance? Patience? Dig deeper for a root sin? Humble ourselves more? Trust? Are we an example to others (as Job was)? The ultimate answer to the questions you are asking lie in God’s will, not in a demon’s power.
Close with a prayer of thanksgiving and praise for what God has done. Ask God to continue the good work He has started in the person. Pray for their protection and growth. Ask for their memories to be healed and the parts that have been emptied to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Forbid any demons to return or others to do the same work. Ask God to bless them and use them for His honor and glory.
Do you listen to Christian music at home or in the car? Especially when you feel attacked you should do so. When you start to struggle sing some favorite Christian songs to yourself. Take some time to listen to some of your favorite Christian music today. Use it to focus on God and guide your praise to Him.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)