Understanding Spiritual Warfare, Part I

What Is Deliverance?

Plainly put, deliverance is that thing which happens when a person becomes free from evil spirits. That is no nonsense. There are evil spirits all around us. Jesus made this very evident, when He said that they are constantly searching for bodies to inhabit. (Matthew 12:43). That must mean that they come pretty close to us, at times! But, aha, they cannot do any damage (cannot enter in, or even affect us from the outside) unless permission is given them.

Who gives this permission? Jesus does — if it is His will for us to be tested and “proven,” as it were, by these evil spirits. Just as Jesus said to Simon Peter that day, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.” (Luke 22:31). Satan had to ask Jesus first if he could trouble Peter. The only “hold” that he could have on Peter was that which Peter would give him, through his sin.

Does Sin really Permit the Hold?

It is evident that sin gives the hold. Remember what Jesus said about the “hold” that Satan himself had (or didn’t have) on Jesus. Jesus said, “the ruler of this world [Satan] … has nothing in Me.” (John 14:30). We know the reason for this is clear: “[Jesus] has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15). This was His victory! It can be ours, too!

Evidently, Peter needed to be proven in the matter (we all do). There is none of us that is perfect, and the fact that we get “tested” by Satan on occasion (or by one or more of his demons), should be no surprise. We are living in a spiritual world! (Have you noticed?)