This is not a topic I was familiar with at all for decades. But as I grow in my faith in Christ, and as I better understand spiritual warfare, I realize that the choices we make have great impact spiritually. There are doors we can open that invite the Holy Spirit to take control in our lives. There are doors we can open that invite demonic authority into our lives. Many times, we are completely oblivious to what we are doing.
I have had enough experiences in ministry to have run across some people who have been demon possessed and were healed. I have also known many countless numbers of people who have been spiritually oppressed by darkness, even professing Christians.
Demonic Possession happens to unbelievers. It involves a demon(s) taking control of a person’s mind, motives, and life. According to the Bible, this can manifest as:
- sickness (like epilepsy in Mark 9:14-19, and other illnesses)
- personality changes, violence, and superhuman strength (Matthew 8:28)
- knowledge of the future (Acts 16:16-18)
- evil, attempted murder (King Saul when he was troubled by an evil spirit, Judas and his willingness to betray Jesus)
Believers have the Holy Spirit living in them and are sealed by Him. Disciples of Christ, to my knowledge, can’t be possessed.
Demonic Oppression can happen to believers or unbelievers. A person is influenced by demons in their thoughts. The person does not take her thoughts captive for Christ and allows the demonic lies to fester. My experience with those who have been oppressed is that this can result in things like:
- depression, despair, anxiety, and hopelessness
- intense fear
- physical illness (I have personally seen things like auto-immune disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, lower immune function, etc…)
- broken fellowship with the Lord
- no desire for the things of God or for God
- self-destruction and abuse (cutting, self-harm, suicide, gluttony, addictions)
- hatred toward others
- violence/abuse toward others
- desire for sexual perversion, porn, immorality
- certain psychological disorders at times
Of course, demonic possession or oppression are not the only things that can cause some of these issues. So we need to use God’s Spirit and His wisdom to discern what is happening with specific people and situations.
THINGS THAT CAN SOMETIMES OPEN DOORS TO DEMONIC INFLUENCE
- the occult – horoscopes, ouija boards, seances, going to a fortune teller, casting spells, witchcraft, Voodoo, fascination with the occult, reading about it a lot, etc…
- idolatry – when we worship things/people other than God, we are really worshipping demons and receiving their teachings Deut. 32:16-17
- certain addictive mind-altering drugs – meth, crack, narcotics, LSD, alcohol, etc…
- horror movies/books/video games
- some Halloween activities, dabbling into the things of witchcraft and Satanism
- fascination with demons
- music/media that glorifies evil, killing, horror, immorality, and sin
- isolating myself from other believers
- ignoring time with God, prayer, and scripture reading
- listening to false teaching or ungodly messages
- holding on to sin in our hearts rather than confessing it and turning from it immediately
- bitterness, unforgiveness, resentment (Eph. 4:26-27 sinful anger that goes on more than a day)
- rebellion against God
- rejection of His Word
- certain kinds of pagan meditation
If I am inviting anything unholy into my life like this, I may be allowing Satan and his forces to have authority over my life in some ways. Thankfully, I can turn from sinful things and repent and move toward Jesus to receive His healing.
THINGS THAT OPEN THE DOOR TO GOD’S DELIVERANCE
- speaking the truth of God’s love and salvation from the Bible out loud
- singing praise songs to Jesus out loud
- repentance from all known sin
- resisting Satan coupled with total submission to the Lordship of Christ (James 4:7)
- prayer for self for Jesus to bring deliverance
- other believers praying for deliverance for a person (it’s best to have at least one who is experienced with this if there is possession or severe oppression going on)
- getting rid of any lies and replacing them and rebuilding our lives on God’s truth
- putting on the spiritual armor and truth of the Lord (Eph. 6:10-18)
The key is to turn away from the darkness and focus on the Light – Jesus, His glory, His holiness, His truth, His Word, His promises, and His goodness. We praise and thank Him and receive His work on our behalf and His Spirit, we can be set free from sin and demonic oppression/possession. When I resist Satan and yield myself to the authority of Jesus, He has the power to set me free. I don’t have authority over demons or Satan myself. I don’t need to talk to them or engage in any interaction. I just need to yield myself to Jesus and His authority over my life and His Words.
We don’t focus on the darkness.
We focus on Jesus.
Note – Everything is not spiritual oppression or demon possession. We have our own sinful natures that do just fine on their own with tempting us into sin, also. The steps of repentance and submission to Christ are the same for spiritual oppression or for repenting from sin that we have gotten into ourselves.
What Does the Bible Say about Demon Possession by www.gotquestions.org
Ambushing Satan with Song – John Piper about praying for a woman to be delivered from a demon
A friend’s story of demon possession and healing:
- Depression and Oppression – Part 1 – depression, resentment, fear, and lies
- Possession – Part 2 – this resulted in her desiring sexual immorality and attempting murder
- Salvation and Redemption – Part 3 – thankfully, her boyfriend, at the time, recognized what was happening and knew what to do
Radiant’s story of spiritual oppression due to believing demonic lies that resulted in severe illness, to the point of being almost an invalid.
Radiant’s story of the spiritual healing that is available to each of us in Jesus.