A question we are often asked is, “Who needs deliverance?” The answer is: Everyone! Everyone who comes into the Kingdom of God. That’s why Jesus made it the centerpiece of his mission statement in Luke 4:18-19 KJV
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Underline mine)
Let’s peruse this text to discover the root of my answer. First of all, who in the Kingdom of Darkness is not poor? Everyone is born into darkness, schooled in darkness, and lives out darkness thinking and is therefore poor; poor spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, financially; one or two of these, or all the above. We all, without exception, need the good news of the Kingdom of God.
How about broken-heartedness? Who among us came into the Kingdom of God without brokenness in our being? Obviously, everyone who makes the leap from darkness to light requires healing in the deep places of their person. The Hebrew concept of the heart is not just referring to the emotional being, but indicates the very core of the person. Each of us was damaged – whether severely or lightly – by the nature of darkness: to steal, kill, and destroy. Perhaps it was abuse of some sort, or neglect, or just the absence of the active presence of the Living God. But darkness injures. Therefore, Jesus’ mission is to heal that brokenness.
Let’s skip to preach deliverance to the captives for a moment and move on to the next section. Blindness, by its very definition, is darkness. The inability to experience the spiritual sight necessary to navigate the treacherous roads of life on this planet leaves us alone in our own wisdom, alone in our own darkness. Everyone who squirts through the birth canal into the Kingdom of Light is in need of sight, not just open eyes, but the equipping required to see for both personal and relational benefit. This understanding is not automatic but acquired through training and practice.
I find it intriguing that the bruised need liberty, as opposed to healing. This is another reference to the restriction, the constraint, the bondage in which we lived in the Kingdom of Darkness. Have you ever stubbed your little toe trying to make it to the bathroom in the middle of the night? For the next few days you will be dominated by the pain coming from one of the smallest parts of your body. Every step draws your focus; every time you roll over in bed your toe shrieks enslaving your entire consciousness. Anyone who has spent more than fifteen minutes in the Kingdom of Darkness has been bruised. Oh sure, we all develop coping mechanisms to cover for our hurt – arrogance to cover our insecurity, shyness to cover our shame, ferocity to repel anyone who would touch our injuries – and we live out our miserable existence pretending to be free when we are enslaved by ancient pain.
Who is really convinced that they are the favorite child of the Living God? The acceptable year of the Lord is the promise of the Year of Jubilee: no work, no striving, debts paid, and freedom from slavery. How many of us who have crossed over into the Kingdom of Light are convinced of this miracle? After a lifetime of relationships with church people, I assure you that rare is person who doesn’t just perform religious activities, but really thinks like the child of the King. Most of us have carried our rejection thinking from darkness into light without so much as a hiccup. It’s one of Satan’s best weapons. He’s convinced us that Father has rejected us; after all, didn’t He throw us out of the Garden?
Now for a quick philosophy class. If everyone is poor, necessitating the good news; and, if everyone is broken and in need of healing; and, if everyone is blind, demanding sight; and, if all are deeply bruised requiring liberty; and, if no one knows true acceptance; then, does it not follow that everyone who comes into the Light is in desperate need of deliverance?
What do I mean by deliverance? Deliverance is simply this: casting out the demons influencing one’s life. It’s not deliverance from attitudes, addictions, or thinking. It’s liberty from the demons assigned to maintain one’s darkness thinking even though the leap has already been made from one kingdom to another.
Deliverance is part of the atonement. That is, it is part of the salvation process. It is not automatic – just as the other five parts of the mission statement are not – but is something to be pursued once the threshold of the Kingdom of Light has been traversed. Therefore, just as one only needs to be born into the Kingdom once (assuming one does not get a case of the stupids and jumps back into darkness) so deliverance is necessary only once. After that, it is a matter of spiritual warfare: Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
That’s the way to stay demon-free.
That’s the way to stay demon-free.
So, what about it? Do you really think like the King or just perform nice things for Him? Are you still wounded, even though nobody else would suspect? Are you aware of internal influences you can’t seem to overcome? Are you still as blind to the things of the Spirit as ever? And what about the bruises that control you?
Wouldn’t it be nice to not just be free but to have liberty? Freedom is the lack of bondage – liberty is the ability to think free and to act upon that freedom.
Today might be that day. Pursue deliverance as a part of working out your salvation with fear and trembling. Pursue freedom and liberty; it’s within your reach!