BELIEVERS need to understand they can have evil spirits that never left upon salvation.
They need to understand that salvation does not transform the mind and it takes deliverance to expel demons from the mind and even the body.
Christians, even whose ministries are thriving, can still be oppressed by demons of anger, greed, lying, addictions and many others.
There are areas in their lives from which they are yet to be delivered-like greed , theft, immorality, sicknesses and so on.
The enemy uses these weaknesses to launch spiritual attacks against Christians. It is often a stronghold from which the believer needs deliverance.
Mostly it is what they have been struggling with before they got saved. 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 resides in our Spirit, but demons can inhabit and access our soul region.
The battle is for the soul!
Evils spirits are squatters
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 Christians a distinction between demon possession and demon oppression helps understand why the believer will need deliverance from these invisible barriers that stand in the way of his walking in freedom and victory and serve God effectively.
Possession refers to a total loss of a person’s control over what they say or feel.
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-his spirit, soul and body. We cans say he is “owned” and controlled by Satan.
An unbeliever belongs to Satan, and is “owned and controlled” by him. However, a Christian can only be affected to some degree but not “ownership.”
A Christian can be oppressed and not possessed, he or she can be affected by demons to- a degree of control due to habitation.
In a believer’s life, evil spirits are squatters, they have invaded a territory that does not belong to them because this is a child of God!
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” John 1:12.
The spirits are not wanted there!
To further understand how a Christian can be oppressed by evil spirits, we appreciate that a human being is divided into 3 parts. 1 Thessalonian 5:23 “V1 Thessalonians 5:23: “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body.”
The soul itself is also divided into three parts-Mind(for thinking), Emotions(for feeling) and Will(for Acting).
In 1 Corinthians 3:16 we are told we 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!
How demons get in
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 is through a breach in the wall. Openings and doors are there for entry. A thief breaks a door to enter. There are four ways that our protective wall breaks:
- 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.
- 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…” is likely to have an evil spirit involved. Satan wants to control us.
- Trauma -not a spirit but causes us to be affected as we may develop fear, stress , anxiety, rejection and end up breaking our walls. 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” Click this link to read more about fear.
- Inheritance/ generational curses-unrepented sins of the forefathers. God hates idolatry and curses upto four generations of those who practice idolatry. 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
For one way 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.
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.
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 freedom in Christ.
Ecclesiastes 10:8 “Whoever digs a pit may fall in it, whoever breaks through the wall may be bitten by a snake.”
When a wall is broken, the snake bites and deposits poison, if unattended one dies!
The poison is the evil spirit Satan sends into your life through the broken wall-drunkenness, adultery, lying, liver cancer.
Many Christians are living a life of constant struggle living 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, but unchecked they build and fortify a stronghold and kicking them out become 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 “ 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 loosed from the oppression of the evil spirit of infirmity.
The Holy Spirit of God comes to reside in our spirit when we get saved.
Evil spirts and the Holy Spirit do not 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 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.”
Put to death means they did not die when you got saved.
Satan is still clinging to them as open doors, gates, entrances, breaches in the wall, to oppress a child of God.
When someone gets born-again, there are spirits that if not commanded out, will not leave.
They inhibit the soul or body regions and continue with their destructive habits that may keep you in constant struggle.