YES, they do! Many Christians may look okay but they need deliverance from invisible barriers preventing them from walking in the victory of the Cross.
They struggle with evil spirits that never left after salvation!
And, if they be sincere with themselves they will tell yu that they have constant personal struggles like poverty, sickness, strife in marriages, anger, frustration, unemployment, sexual sins to mention but a few that seem not to go despite their genuine dedication to Christian discipline.
Deliverance offers a platform of addressing this constant struggle that are a direct opposite of what we have been promised and the kind of victorious life God wants us to live on here earth.
Once it is understood that salvation- becoming a new creature in Christ – does not transform the mind, and it takes deliverance to expel demons from the mind and even the body, then there shouldn’t be a problem.
It has to be understood that demons of anger, greed, lying and even addictions can still oppress well meaning Christians whose ministries are thriving. That, there are areas in their lives from which they are yet to be delivered!
These are perhaps the very areas, read strongholds, they struggled with before they were saved and the enemy uses these weaknesses to launch spiritual attacks against Christians to oppress them.
It is often a stronghold from which the believer needs deliverance even though they may argue, “Jesus is in me; I am born-again, but you say I have an evil spirit!”
We need to understand that when we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour, Jesus comes to reside in our Spirit, but demons can inhabit and access our soul region(mind, emotions , will) and body.
Satan battles to have access to the soul, which comprises our emotions, will and mind.
How demons enter and torment Christians
When someone struggles in an area, do not be judgmental, but offer them help. They may have been struggling in that area before they were saved and Satan is using that area of weakness to attack them.
To understand how demons can enter and torment a believer, a distinction between demon possession and demon oppression helps to shed light on why the believer will need deliverance from these invisible barriers that stand in his or her way of staying victorious in Christ.
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Possession refers to a total loss of a person’s control over what they say or feel, just like the mad man Gadarene. Mark 5:1-5. They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him.
This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
A foul spirit calling itself “Legion” possessed him- it possessed his spirit, soul and body. We can say he was “owned” and controlled by Satan.
An unbeliever belongs to Satan, and is “owned and controlled” by him. However, Christians can only be affected to some degree, as they allow, but not “total ownership” because a believer belongs to God. Therefore, Christians can be oppressed and not possessed.
A believer can be affected by demons to- a degree of control- due to habitation
Evil spirits in a believer’s life are squatters , they are invisible intruders, hence the need for deliverance to expel them out! They have invaded a territory that does not belong to them because this is a believer, a child of God!
Christians are God’s temple
To further understand how Christians can be oppressed by evil spirits, we appreciate that a human being is divided into 3 parts.1 Thessalonian 5:23. “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body.” Spirit, Soul and Body.
The soul itself is divided into three parts-Mind(for thinking), Emotions(for feeling) and Will(for Acting).
In 1 Corinthians 3:16 we are told Christians are “God’s temple” and God’s spirit lives in us. The reason why Paul compares us to the temple is because like the temple, we are also divided into body (outer court), soul (inner court), and spirit(Holy of Holies).
When we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in our spirit. A lot of people have misunderstood 2 Corinthians 5:17. “ Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!” They have assumed that every part of the person becomes new at salvation. The change that occurs at salvation only takes place in the spirit, but not the soul that needs constant renewal!
For an evil spirit to enter, something must happen. As Christians, we have a wall of protection but what happens when the wall breaks?
One way to be accessed by demons is through a breach in the wall or hedge of protection.
Openings, doorways or breaches will give entry. A thief (Satan) breaks a door to enter. There are four ways that this protective wall breaks:
1.Sin breaks the wall-Ezekiel 22:30 “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” God is looking for someone to repair the broken walls. We have to repair our walls quickly to defeat Satan.
2.Lack of self-control-Proverbs 25:28 “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.” Any area in your life where you can say , “I have no control…” it is likely an evil spirit involved. Satan seeks to control us.
3.Trauma-is not a spirit, but causes evil spirits to enter and we may develop fear, stress , anxiety, rejection. When am fearful it is not of God. 2 Timothy 1:7 “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
4.Inheritance/ generational curses-unrepented sins of the forefathers. God hates idolatry and curses upto four generations of those who practice idolatry. Just as we inherit physical features from our ancesstors, so do we the spiritual.Exodus 20:3-6 .You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Hedge of protection
To be accessed by demons, something has to breath the wall. Job 1:9-10. “Does Job fear God for nothing? Satan replied “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of is hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread out through the land.
Job had a hedge of protection. His wall was completely intact-there was no sin, no lack of self-control, no curses from his ancestors nor trauma. God in His own sovereignty removed it, because Satan told Him Job was only obedient because of the hedge or wall of protection that was around him.
In 1 Peter 5:8, we are warned about our adversary, “ Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Satan is like a lion who will only devour you if he finds an entrance!
Sin breaks the wall of protection. Some people are born with walls that are broken already. Others are powerless in the face of bloodline and family patterns that contend with their Salvation. Ecclesiastes 10:8 tells us, “Whoever digs a pit may fall in it, whoever breaks through the wall may be bitten by a snake.”
When the wall is broken, the snake bites and deposits poison, and if unattended one dies! The poison is the evil spirit Satan sends into your life through the broken wall-drunkenness, adultery, lying, liver cancer, suicide name it!
Many Christians are living a life of constant struggle leaving them frustrated, confused and depressed. The enemy causes them do doubt their salvation. If you are struggling with an area in your life even after you got saved you need deliverance.
When you got saved the spirits in your mind, emotions and will region-the soul- never left. Evil spirits are not in the spirit man but in the soul. It is from believers that demons are kicked out.
Still worshipped God
Satan will attack with sin (flesh), lack of self-control, trauma and inheritance. Demons may still reign, dominate and will only control a believer in proportion to the area given to them. Unchecked, they build and fortify a stronghold and kicking them out becomes harder as the unpleasant habit continues to manifest until sin is confessed and the evil squatters are prayed out in deliverance!
For Christians, Satan cannot reach the Holy of Holies (Spirit), but he can get access to the soul and can also reside in the body. Luke 13 :10-12 describes such a case. On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.”
This woman was crippled by a spirit. She was suffering, like many Christians, from a demonic attack that affected her body. Apart from her body, it also affected her mind and emotions. Her will was also tormented, but she still worshipped God, she still had faith.
When Jesus said, “woman be loosed from your infirmity,” she was being delivered from the oppression of the evil spirit of infirmity.
Evil spirts and the Holy Spirit do not and cannot live in the same room. People who say the Holy Spirit and the evil spirt cannot live in the same room are actually right! Spirits only reside in the soul and body of a person.
In Ezekiel 8:6, God took the prophet Ezekiel to Jerusalem to see how the Israelites had defiled His holy temple. “And he said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing—the utterly detestable things the Israelites are doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see things that are even more detestable…”
We are not only able to see how evil spirits can reside in believers, who are the temple of God, but we also see a clear demarcation between, the body, soul and spirit. Christians are the “house” that bears the name of God. It is possible for them to have evil spirits that defile it.
Colossians 3:5 “ Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” Scripture is telling us to put to death the residue left after our salvation. It means it did not die when we got saved and we must do something or else there is going to be a problem.
After salvation, Satan still clings to these things as open doors, gates, entrances, breaches in the wall, to send in demons that oppress a child of God and will not let go if not “commanded to leave.”
They inhibit the soul or body regions and continue with their destructive habits that may keep you in constant struggle until you are delivered.