There is an important relationship between repentance and deliverance from evil spirits. Repentance precedes freedom from bondage and demonic oppression.
Before Jesus launched into His ministry of preaching the good news of the kingdom, healing the sick, and casting out demons, John the Baptist prepared the way for Him. John called people to repentance; to turn from sin and submit their lives fully to God. He exhorted them to change their mind about sin, break their agreement with it, and bear fruit that demonstrated genuine repentance.
By the time Jesus stepped into His ministry, a wave of repentance had come through Israel by the ministry of John. Jesus continued in this vein, preaching “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). The ministry of Jesus was marked by salvation and deliverance; but before deliverance came repentance.
We see this same pattern when Jesus sent out the twelve to minister: “So they went out and preached that people should repent. And they cast out many demons…” (Mark 6:12-13). Again, first there was repentance, then there was deliverance.
Submit to God, Resist the Devil
James 4:7 says, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” The prerequisite to successfully resisting the devil is submitting yourself to God. You can try to cast out demons, get delivered, and resist Satan all you want; but without being surrendered to God it is all for not. You can’t resist the devil if you’re not submitted to God!
Some people seek God for deliverance, while God is waiting for them to repent. If we want to be delivered from the power of sin, from oppression, or from evil spirits, then we must come into complete agreement with God. We cannot justify or minimize sin in any way. We cannot compare ourselves to others to feel better about our sin, or shift the responsibility to someone else.
From the place of true repentance and submission to God, we can resist the devil and he will flee.
I have seen again and again people set free from demons when they come under the lordship of Jesus and submit fully to Him. I often use a prayer for deliverance to help guide the process. But the prayer is not a magic formula; it only gives words to the reality of a heart that is submitting to God and resisting the devil.
If you are seeking God for deliverance, make sure that you are willing to come into complete agreement with Him and walk in repentance. He will set you free as you call on the name of Jesus and resist the devil!