Posts Tagged ‘unclean spirits’

Real Witness

“But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin. Hear this, you leaders of the house of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right; who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness.” (Micah 3:8-10)

Your real Christian witness flows from somewhere deeper than your voice. The Prophet Micah attributed the power of his ministry to the Spirit of the Lord. Our power comes from the same source! Out of the belly of a man; filled with the Holy Spirit, rises a testimony of truth and power (Jn. 7:37-39).

You are more than your story – You are His-story!

We cannot stand on our own righteousness… it is Christ in us that speaks of better things than what people see or hear. Indeed, were we to find ourselves reliant upon our strength, our wisdom or our charm, we would find no hope against the onslaught of this world’s trouble. But we are not at all in the clutches of impending doom… for we are not our own. We live as Christ’s Ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20). We have been purchased by a blood as pure and holy as the whitest snow (Eph 1:7). We have been offered freedom’s highest position (Eph. 2:6). And we have a voice within ourselves that comes streaming forth like a rushing waterfall (Phil. 4:13). Christ has become our strength, our wisdom and our witness, because He is our peace… our focus and our joy. He is our Righteousness!

The Mystery: Its “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27)

Jesus told His followers they would receive power to witness about Him when the Holy Spirit came on them (Acts. 1:8). You can’t witness effectively by relying on your own strength, because fear will keep you from speaking out for God. You can’t witness effectively by choosing the best sermons or knowing the right words to say. You are not smart enough to outwit the devil. You cannot witness effectively by creating the best atmosphere or offering the most attractive invitation. Only by relying on the power of the Holy Spirit can you live and witness for Him! But with that power comes the promise that signs and wonders will follow those who believe (Mk. 16:17).

“Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:6-8)

This is the witness we have in Christ: “That if God be for us, who can stand against us?” (Rom. 8:31)

Oppressed by Demons

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

Demons work hard to deceive and bring all kinds of oppression into our lives. Satan acts like a roaring lion (1 Pet. 5:8), because he knows the impact of a fully equipped Child of God (Jn. 10:9-10)(Eph. 6:10-12). Remind yourself that life is a wrestling match and there is power available in Christ to overcome him… the oppressor! Contemplate some of the following ways in which you have found yourself in the midst of battle…

  • Accusation: To be plagued with unworthiness and guilty feelings
  • Affliction: To inflict something hard to endure
  • Fearful Expectations: To consistently assume the worse outcomes
  • Harassment: To annoy or wear us out by frequent attacks
  • Influence: To exercise power over us to affect our mood
  • Opposition: To resist or hinder seemingly simple tasks
  • Torment: To cause severe suffering of body or mind
  • Torture: To punish or coerce by inflicting excruciating pain
  • Unbelief: To create deceptive and unreasonable doubts
  • Worry: To disturb or destroy our peace by persistent torment

How Does Satan Oppress:

The question arises whether or not demons know our thoughts. Are demons able to read our minds? The answer seems to be that if the demons are “inside” a person that they can, but they cannot if they are on the “outside”. For most of us, we fight the battles of his oppressing, tormenting or accusing lies and threats. It seems obvious that demons do find ways to plant thoughts in our minds, so they must know what we are thinking by observing our behavior! They study us and attack our weakness, confusion and failures.

I believe the first goal demons have, is to prevent us from receiving forgiveness and salvation in Christ. If that fails, they work at preventing Christian maturity. They try to shut us down and make us ineffective. Their chief strategy is to try to get people to turn away from God. They do this through many forms of oppression such as temptation, shame and isolation. Any way they can challenge God and His Word, they will fight for control over our hope and faith. Demons lie to us and work hard to get us lying to ourselves! Remember the devil is a thief, looking for easy access to unguarded treasures!

Another form of harassment is accusation and criticism. Demons will interject condemning thoughts into the minds of anyone who is willing to listen. They particularly like to stir up the past with thoughts of, “You really should have…” or “If only you had done… (whatever) differently”. Demons are on a “seek and destroy” mission. They can “gang up” on us to undermine our sense of reality and control our behaviors. They take advantage of our “blind spots”, and they love it when we are physically or emotionally weary… it makes us vulnerable to defeat. They attempt to affect every area of life: spirit, soul, and body. They don’t play fair, in fact they don’t play at all! They will kill us if we allow it!

But Jesus Heals… The Oppressed!

“Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.” (Mt. 12:22)

And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed“. But He answered her not a word… Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs”. And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table”. Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire”. And her daughter was healed from that very hour. (Mt. 15:22-28)

Healing & Deliverance:

The word healed means to be made whole or cured of something. When Jesus healed those with unclean spirits, He was making them whole and restoring them by removing those unclean spirits. By “casting out” the unclean spirit deliverance was achieved and freedom allowed the person to regain their sense of balance and reason! What Jesus was dealing with was spiritual blindness caused by a demonic stronghold in the mind. The Biblical idea of an “unclean” spirit is simply to identify what that spirit does to the human soul… it pollutes and defiles the thinking process so that the person looses control of their ability to reason. When a person is oppressed by the devil, they will often be confused and disoriented… “blind” to the realities right in front of them. Jesus would heal the oppression, by casting out the unclean spirit and speaking the Truth of His Father’s love (Jn. 15:9)! He would say things like, “The Father loves Me, and in the very same way the Father loves Me, I have loved you… therefore, abide in My love.”

Jesus was the Truth in human flesh and He carried the authority that challenged every lie that stood in opposition to reality from God’s perspective. Notice that Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit and went about healing the oppressed. The beauty of His ministry was that He brought the Kingdom message… with Kingdom power and authority. The Good News is that no power on Earth or demons of hell can stand against the revelation of Truth as anointed by the Holy Spirit. Today, it is not normal to be unable to process your thoughts. Its not God’s will for anyone to feel confused and oppressed by the devil! But for healing and deliverance to bring freedom… we must allow the Truth to break in, anointed by the Holy Spirit; and set our minds free from spiritual blindness!

Jesus’ words: “These things I have spoken to you (and over you) while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (Jn. 14:25-26)

Being A Disciple

“And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.” (Mt. 10:1)

Simply put, a disciple of Jesus is a follower of Jesus. Jesus told his 12 disciples, “if anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” (Mt. 16:24)

What does it mean to follow Jesus?

1. Live as a Worshiper – (Jn. 4:23-24) We have been created in the Image of God; and as image bearers, we are to be carriers of His Glory. The question is not that we worship, but ”who” will we worship? Our worship is like a fire hose that can’t be turned off, so the question is where will we direct our passion and what will we pursue? A follower of Jesus worships their Creator and repents of any false worship – idolatry, including good things like family, work, or recreation.

2. Seek a Kingdom Identity – (Mt. 6:33) A follower of Jesus recognizes the sinful tendency to find their identity in their money, intelligence, career, education, children, human relationships, or any number of created things. Therefore a disciple turns from empty idols and finds their peace and joy in serving the Living God (1 Thes. 1:9).

3. Become Committed to Spiritual Community – (Acts 2:40-47) A disciple of Jesus has a Spirit inspired desire to live life with other followers, the Church. They recognize their membership in the Body of Christ and understand the weight of that responsibility by giving of their gifts, time, and money to serve others.

4. Embrace the Great Commission – (Mt. 28:18-20) Jesus said He was sending His Church in the same way in which He was sent (Jn. 20:21). A follower of Jesus sees themselves as a missionary sent on purpose, in their everyday lives, to restore a broken world through Kingdom living and proclamation.

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