Deliverance ministry refers to freeing people from the influence of evil spirits; casting out demons in order to free others from torment, oppression, and bondage. Reading through the gospels shows that this is a ministry that was very common for Jesus.
Mark 1:39 says, “And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons.” Casting out demons was as common for Jesus as preaching sermons. Yet, it is often not practiced by the modern church. I find that many churches will not even talk about the subject.
Why do we not see the ministry of deliverance given the same amount of prominence as Jesus gave it? What keeps people from seeing the truth about the work of evil spirits and the need to deal with them? In my last article I showed that demonic activity is very widespread and deliverance is commonly needed. In this article I want to mention some of the obstacles we must overcome to see this ministry restored.
I believe there are three major barriers that keep deliverance ministry from being more widely accepted in the body of Christ.
There is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding that surrounds the topic of deliverance. Many believers assume that deliverance must be rarely needed because they have never seen it. Some think that it is only for extreme cases. But these and other beliefs do not line up with the Word of God; they are more the result of human logic and tradition.
The Bible says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Scripture also indicates that our ignorance of the devil’s schemes allows him to take advantage of us (see 2 Corinthians 2:11). This is certainly true in the area of deliverance from demons.
(Click here for an overview of some of the most common myths and misunderstanding about deliverance)
Another barrier to seeing deliverance ministry restored to the church is fear. For many, the topic of the devil, demons, and spiritual warfare is one that they would rather avoid. Hollywood portrayals of demon-possession glorify the power of the devil, and cause unhealthy fear of evil spirits.
But we do not need to be afraid of the devil or his demons. The fact is, Satan is a defeated foe. In Christ, we have authority to drive out evil spirits and resist the devil. Remember the words of Jesus in Luke 10:19: “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Lastly, there is often a stigma associated with the need for deliverance from demons. Many feel that if they need deliverance, they must be an evil person or something must be terribly wrong with them. They feel like they will be misunderstood by others and that they will be looked down upon.
Once we overcome our ignorance and fears about this topic—and gain more of a biblical understanding—we can see that there does not need to be any embarrassment associated with a need for deliverance. The Bible speaks plainly and openly about it, and does not try to hide it away as something to be ashamed of. Just look at how Mary Magdalene was described: “Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons” (Luke 8:2). It was looked at as quite normal for a person to need deliverance; certainly not something to be humiliated by.
As we remove these barriers of ignorance, fear, and stigma, the way will be paved for many to be set free by the power of God!