Ministry Today | Serving and empowering church leaders

Are we preaching freedom to the demonically oppressed?

Someone in your church needs deliverance. Acts 10:38 is a wonderful description of what Jesus came to do: He “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil.” Jesus came to bring relief from the oppressing powers of Satan. That includes more than forgiveness of sin.

I know pastors must preach a balanced message and that there are varying degrees of spiritual maturity within each congregation. But pastors have, for the most part, ignored the deliverance message from the pulpit.

The church today is weak, anemic, sick and in bondage. We are just like the unsaved when it comes to sickness, divorce and other areas of bondage. I believe the reason is that the message of freedom from demonic powers isn’t being preached.

Pastor, what will you do when your members start to come to you for help in this area? Sure, you can send them to a counselor or a Christian psychologist. But Jesus didn’t say, “Counsel them out” or “Medicate them out.” He said, “Cast them out,” and that is the role of the church!

You can’t lead people where you haven’t been. You must bring them out of spiritual bondage and teach them to walk in freedom and boldness. I wish my pastor had taught me. I could’ve avoided so much pain.

I could’ve helped my demon-tormented mother, or my brother, who was in the grips of sickness and debilitating bondage. I could’ve made a difference in so many lives.

If Jesus came to “heal all who were oppressed of the devil,” should we not let that Jesus come alive in us? Should we not be advancing against the kingdom of darkness with the authority Jesus has given us?

A pastor recently told his congregation about a season in which his young son continually woke up horrified throughout the night. “I was downstairs studying one night when I heard his scream. As I walked to the stairs, it seemed the Holy Spirit said to me: ‘How long are you going to take this? You know what it is. Deal with it.’”

The pastor said he climbed the stairs, picked up his screaming son, cuddled him in his arms and addressed demons: “This is my son. I command you in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, leave him alone! Leave now and never return, in Jesus’ name.”

He went on to say with a big smile: “Ever since that night it has been nothing but Z’s. Just peaceful sleep.”

Let’s teach our people the kind of authority we have in Christ. Before my father died, he gave me power of attorney—legal, court-recognized authority to act in his behalf. His authority became my authority. I could sign his name, make decisions in his name—and it was honored!

Jesus has given us power of attorney (see John 16:24). He’s sent us out in the same way the Father sent Him—with all power (see John 20:21). Power to speak with authority to demonic powers and make them retreat. Power of life and death in our words. Authority over all the power of the enemy.

Pastor, I urge you to experience firsthand who Jesus is and who you are in Christ. You can’t teach it until you experience it. Spiritual warfare is more than knowing about Ephesians 6 and 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.

God’s people are sick. They are in spiritual bondage. I believe God is looking for deliverers, for those who will stand unashamed in the power and authority of the Lord Jesus and speak to set His people free!

Don Dickerman is an ordained Southern Baptist minister and former pastor. He has directed a global ministry to prisons since 1974 and in 1995 received a powerful anointing for healing and deliverance.

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