Anyone who has had any experience in dealing with people as a minister or in ministering to people has come to the realization that people, including Christians, are opposed by real powers of darkness that the Bible calls demons. There is a devil, demon powers and a spirit world. More specifically, these demonic powers are identified as principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and wicked spirits in heavenly places Ephesians 6:12. Jesus gave us complete victory over them (Colossians 1:13; Luke 10:19) but we’re going to have to deal with them in our earthly walk. We cannot get God the Father or Jesus to do what we’re responsible to do. All of the power and authority vested in Jesus’ Name was not for Him to use but for us (Matthew 28:18-20).
Deliverance is for a person, saved or unsaved, coming from some degree of bondage or point of demonic influence and control to the freedom that is in Jesus. That person may come to freedom or release from captivity through a variety of possibilities and pathways and the subject of deliverance covers a broad spectrum of truth in the Word of God. This post or article is in no case complete or exhaustive. Any Believer who knows their authority and position in Christ and walks in it can dominate the devil and demon powers.
When it comes to Christians some believe that Christians are automatically exempted from all demonic activity, influence, and control because of the blood of Jesus. Others believe another extreme that all Believers have demons and need them cast out regularly. To shut out the possibility of demonic activity, influence, and control in Christians is to ignore people who seriously need help, who are bound and held captive. To say that all wrong activity in Christians is a demon is also bad because it opens the door by suggestion and constant focus on the devil which in itself can contribute to increased demon activity. We cannot stick our heads in the sand and say demons do not exist nor can we look behind every sneeze, wrong look, every chair, or knickknack looking for devils.
First Thessalonians 5:23 clearly differentiates between man’s ‑ spirit, soul, and body. The soul (mind, will, emotions) in a Christian is in the process of being redeemed/renewed or saved Romans 12:1; James 1:21. The body in a Christian has a future redemption (Romans 8:23) and until then, it must be controlled and kept in subjection Romans 6:12, 13. The soul can be a perpetual battlefield. The soul of a Christian suffers greater onslaughts from the powers of darkness than any other part of man’s being.
There is room for attributing some problems Christians face solely to works of the flesh (Galatians 5:17) but a Believer can and does come under demonic attack, influence, and control other than just the flesh. Although there is a distinction between works of the flesh and demonic activity, there is in many cases a real connection between them (i.e., uncleanness Galatians 5:17‑21 vs. unclean spirit Luke 11:24). James 3:14-16 indicates that there is a devilish or demonic connection to the wisdom that influences bitter envying and strife along with every evil work, “14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” First John 5:18 says, “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” The word for “toucheth” is “haptomai” and means to attach oneself to, to touch, and refers to handling of an object so as to exert a modifying influence upon it. A Believer who keeps himself, the wicked one cannot so much as touch him but what about the Believer who doesn’t keep himself?
I do not believe a Christian’s spirit can be possessed by the devil or for them to have a demon spirit in their spirit man. The spirit is a new creation of God and everything in it is of God (2 Corinthians 5:17, 18). First Corinthians 6:17 also says, “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” Believers can give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:27) and can have demonic strong holds within them (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5). Demonic powers can manipulate, influence, and exert control through a place given to them and their strong holds. In Ephesians 4:17‑26 are listed broad areas and categories of sin we should not yield to, and in connection to the yieldedness to those fleshly impulses is the statement, “Neither give place to the devil.” If Believers could not give place to the devil, why mention it? Place is the word, “topos” and can mean territory, spot, room, or space. A place given establishes control and a base to influence from.
Demonic influence and control is by varying degrees and intensity. Deliverance is liberating a person from points of bondage (to whatever degree) or from places of enemy influence and control. Deliverance may range from acknowledging truth and freeing oneself (2 Timothy 2:25, 26) to needing someone outside of yourself being the agent of deliverance (Luke 4:18; Mark 16:17). The issue is not whether a demon is “in” a person or “outside” a person but freedom from its bondage and control. The real “in” is in control and the real “casting out” is out of control. Deliverance is casting out the enemy influence from its place of control, and a person does not have to be totally possessed to need deliverance.
There is a danger of pride and in talking about it and people getting too devil conscious. Jesus said, “19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven Luke 10:19-20.” There are some who have more experience than others in setting the captives free, but every Believer has the command, power and authority in Jesus’ Name to set men free. Jesus is the Deliverer, and He is inside every Believer. Our focus is on Jesus not devils and not our authority. We are to experience delivering people and live in the reality of it but not giving the devil excessive attention. When we meet them we deal with them and go on.