Jesus was not a demon hunter. His mission was not to track down demons and to cast them out of individuals. His mission was to bring His world (Heaven) into this world (Earth). However, as He went about doing good and bringing heaven to earth, demons would naturally rear their ugly heads and expose themselves.
This is what I have seen in my years of following King Jesus and carrying on the mission He entrusted to His disciples: when you look to help captives become free, open up prison doors, and be a vessel to help heal hearts, demons will sometimes make their appearance.
I do believe Christians can have a demon messing with them. The word translated in the Bible “demonize” is a horrible translation of the actual word, which means “to have a demon”. The translation of the Greek word “daimonizomai” – “to be demonized” – instead of “to have a demon,” has been a stumbling block for many when it comes to deliverance ministry with those who know Jesus.
My mentor put it very simply by saying that demons are a lot like rats – once the trash is out of your life, the rats leave too. I couldn’t agree more, as I have countless stories of people who had trash in their life (such as bitterness, and unforgiveness, for example), and once they let that go, they instantly felt a freedom in Jesus they had never experienced before.
The latest example of this happened for me about a month ago when I was at a coffee shop with one of the young ladies in the church that I pastor. She had been struggling with crippling anxiety. She shared with me about unforgiveness in her life towards two people that had seriously wronged her. Once I walked her through forgiveness she released those people and instantly felt better. I then commanded all spirits of anxiety and fear to go and had her renounce a few things too…and sure enough, her paralyzing anxiety that had been crippling her for months instantly left and has yet to return. I love this stuff – Jesus wins!!
I’m not saying it is always as simple as just forgiveness, but what I am saying is that a lot of people struggle with spiritual oppression and other things related to warfare because they have refused to forgive as they have been forgiven. True forgiveness no longer requires retribution. It releases the debt of another, as Jesus did for each of us, by paying our debt in full with His life on the cross.
Even Paul pleaded with the church at Corinth to “forgive so that no advantage would be taken of them by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.” (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)
I am beyond thankful today that Jesus does not offer partial freedom or partial forgiveness, but complete freedom and complete forgiveness. Choose today to release those who have wronged you and know that Jesus came to set you free!
“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)