As stated before, deliverance isn’t a once-and-done thing. It is a process, like peeling layers off of an onion. Sometimes progress is very slow. It may seem no progress is being made at all. Then, too, it is certainly possible to loose what you have gained (through sin allowing the openings to be used again). Satan’s forces don’t quit easily, and just because they are defeated or weakened once doesn’t mean it is all over. Often the battle gets worse for awhile. The more they tried to obey and stay close to God, the more opposition and battles the Jews faced when conquering the land. Paul’s thorn in the flesh is an example of this (II Corinthians 12:7-10).
Another example is Nehemiah. When the walls of Jerusalem were in disrepair and no one was making any effort to rebuild them there was calm. But when Nehemiah started encouraging the people to rebuild there was much opposition. Some was external, other internal. Externally Nehemiah faced ridicule (2:19), anger (4:1), criticism (4:2), mockery (4:3), threat of war (4:8), compromise (6:2), and lies being told about him (6:6). The stronger attacks were internal. Satan attacked him within with discouragement (4:10), wanting to quit (4:10), greed (5:1,3,5), and fear (6:10). Nehemiah persevered despite it all and finally the work was completed (6:15) and the enemies of God defeated (6:16).
We, too, will face much opposition, and continuing opposition. When we fight against Satan’s kingdom by being true to God’s kingdom, we must realize the enemy will fight back. What are we to do about it? Satan’s plan is for us to be discouraged, to quit, to not persevere, to stay where we are or to lose ground to him. Here’s how to make sure that doesn’t happen:
When the Jews crossed the Red Sea God opened the waters and they walked through on dried land, but after they matured in the faith things changed. When they got to the Jordan they had to rush down the hill and step into the water while it was still there, trusting God would move it when their feet hit the water. He did and again they walked through on dry land. You are no longer at the Red Sea. You’ve grown beyond that. Now God wants you to commit to obedience no matter what, to step into the rushing water trusting He’ll be with you. If you wait for the waters to part first you’ll never move. Commit to stop no matter what – even if it kills you. Decide you’d rather be dead than to continue to disobey. Now I don’t’ think it’s a live or death matter, but still you need to be willing to pay any price you may feel will come. I know God will take care of you through it. It will be more of a struggle than you’ve had with some of the other victories, for God increases the pressure so our faith muscles grown. I like the story of the old lady who was known for her faith. Someone said to her once, “I bet if God told you to run and jump into a wall you’d do it!” The lady said, “Yes, If he told me to do so I would. It’s my job to run into the wall and it’s His job to take care of the wall.”
WHY DOES GOD ALLOW THE BATTLE TO CONTINUE? That’s the age-old question. Why does God allow people to suffer and struggle? How can a God of love allow so much evil to continue? God doesn’t defend Himself or explain what He allows. He gives us a free will choice and sin and the resulting evil are the natural consequences or turning from Him. Still, innocent people suffer. We can’t try to evaluate God’s person and character by these things for He has proven His character and love by leaving heaven, becoming a man, living on earth, then going to cross to take on the punishment for every sin we would ever commit. That proves His love for us beyond a shadow of a doubt. If it weren’t for that we would all deserve eternity in hell from this moment on. So anything less than hell from now on is His grace and mercy. Why He seems to show more to some than others is not up to us to judge. God isn’t accountable to us. We cannot stand in judgment of Him until we know all the facts as He knows them and see everything as good or better than He sees it. Many things seem unfair to little children but they must trust their parents. Getting an injection from a doctor, having a pretty shiny knife taken way, many things seem to a child that a parent doesn’t love them but a child doesn’t have the perspective to truly view what is happening and we don’t have God’s perspective on life either. We do know that facing things we don’t understand gives us an opportunity to trust. Our faith is stretched and we grow. God is glorified as we see Him deliver and as others watch us patiently trust Him. Spiritual warfare is just one of many forms of suffering God uses for our good and for His glory. That’s another reason why deliverance often isn’t instantaneous but a drawn-out process.
While God’s deliverance is full and complete, it often takes time because God wants us to learn to persevere and keep trusting. We learn how to fight by the battles we are in. Persevere. Be patient. If you are getting weary or discouraged, confess that to God and ask Him to help you persevere.
(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.)