WHEN DELIVERANCE DOESN’T COME…
We can learn much about spiritual warfare from those who have gone before us. We see it isn’t something new today, it is something all God’s people have had to face from the beginning. Here is a case from the sixteenth century: “The latter (a girl) was possessed by the demon who often threw her to the ground as if she had the falling sickness. Soon the demon began to speak with her mouth and said things inhuman and marvelous which may not be repeated …. The girl had always shown herself patient, she had often prayed to God. But when she had called upon the name of Jesus to deliver her, the evil spirit manifested himself anew, he had taken possession of her eyes which he made start out of her head, had twisted her tongue and pulled it more than eight inches out of her mouth, and turned her face towards her back with an expression so pitiful that it would have melted a stone. All the priests of the place and from round about came and spoke to her, but the devil replied to them with a contempt which exceeded all bounds, and when he was questioned about Jesus he made a reply of such derision that it cannot be set down.“
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. Even Jesus had times when He had to persevere for awhile (Luke 8:31 Greek). Usually deliverance is a process. It’s 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 all the Canaanites immediately then lions and other wild animals would have increased and done harm to the people. In addition, there is a learning process involved that can be used to help others (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).
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