Over the last ten years, I have been involved in the ministry of deliverance. Deliverance ministry refers to setting people free from the influence of evil spirits, often by casting them out.
In my book Can a Christian Have a Demon? I named three common signs of demonic influence. Though not an exhaustive list, when any of these three exist, it is an indication that there could be a demonic presence and a need for deliverance.
Keep in mind that every case is unique, and that you should always seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Also be aware that there are varying degrees to which demons have a hold on a person; sometimes it is mild and other times more severe.
Luke 6:17-18 describes a multitude of people coming to Jesus “to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed.” Jesus delivered people from the tormenting influence of evil spirits.
Demons seek to torment, both physically and mentally. Luke 13:10-17 describes a woman who was tormented by a “spirit of infirmity” for 18 years, unable to straighten her back. She encountered Jesus and was set free from this physical torment. Mark 5:1-20 tells the story of a man so tormented by demons that he lived in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. After Jesus set him free he was found “clothed and in his right mind” (Mark 5:15).
Evil spirits seek to torment people with physical pain and sickness, various fears, insomnia and night terrors, demonic voices, and other types of torment.
The Bible says that Jesus went about “healing all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38). The devil and his demons seek to oppress people; to weigh them down and wear them out. Isaiah 61:3 says that God will give us a “garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” The spirit of heaviness is a demonic spirit that oppresses people with depression, despair, and hopelessness. It is as if a dark cloud follows the person wherever they go, constantly pressing down on them.
When people are set free from the oppression of evil spirits, it is like a heavy weight is lifted off of their shoulders. Many people report feeling lighter after deliverance. Where there was confusion there is clarity, where there was heaviness there is joy, and where there was despair there is hope.
Demons seek to place people in bondage; to keep them enslaved to certain sins, addictions, and destructive behaviors. Just as the devil is called “the tempter” (see Matthew 4:3), evil spirits are actively working to bring people into temptation and sin. Along with the sinful nature and world system, the devil and his demons seek to enslave the human race.
When there is an inner compulsion and addiction towards sinful or destructive behaviors, there is a possibility that what you’re dealing with is beyond the flesh and that an evil spirit is at work. Exercising self-discipline will usually not be enough in these cases; deliverance from an evil spirit will often be needed.
Do you find yourself in any of the above scenarios? The good news is that in Christ we can be set free from ever demonic influence. He died not only to forgive us of our sins, but to deliver us from the power of Satan. As we align our lives with God, we can resist the devil and break free from every evil spirit.
I encourage you to pray through a prayer of deliverance, call on the name of Jesus, and break free!