Jesus is met by two men who have demons in them and are scaring people. The demons scream at Jesus then ask to be driven into a herd of pigs. Jesus says this single word – Go – and the demons enter the pigs, which subsequently jump into a lake and are drowned. The people who witness this react with fear and ask Jesus to leave their territory.
Ahhh….Deliverance. It’s one of those creepy things most people don’t want to think about, but in ministry it’s one of those things you have to deal with occasionally. We have taken many classes over the years on deliverance ministry and have had a few opportunities to put our knowledge into practice. There was a woman, for example, who we prayed for at an out-of-town conference because she complained about voices in her head that told her to do self-destructive things. We ran into her years later and she said that she was very grateful because those voices left that night and never returned. It was very interesting to me because I remembered her and how I really didn’t want to pray for her because it was late in the evening and I was tired; and I remembered that I didn’t believe her when she said the voices were gone. I figured she was just tired of people praying for her, but I was apparently wrong. Never underestimate the power of prayer, even when it doesn’t feel like anything’s happening.
Anyway, deliverance is really just healing ministry. It’s exactly the same thing – praying for people to be restored to good health. Whether the cause is infection, injury, bad neurological connections, chemical imbalance, emotional pain, geriatric issues, or demons it’s still sickness and restoration to health through prayer ministry or other means is always possible. With God all things are possible.
At those deliverance classes they always give you a lot of instructions about the best ways to get rid of demons. It’s kind of like going to garden club meetings where people share stories about their success with Japanese beetles, or the kind of fly swatter that works best for them.
Usually at these classes they give you a handout with a lot of instructions, which generally include some things that you should say. I have been known to use a little prayer suggested by Francis MacNutt, a Catholic priest who is famous for his healing and deliverance ministry. We went to one of his classes. Actually with this prayer you don’t have to say anything. You just deliver the prayer on a sheet of paper to the afflicted person and ask them to read it out loud. It goes like this:
“In the name and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, I command satan and all evil spirits to release me so that I can be free to know God and his will for my life. As a child of God who is seated with Christ in the heavenlies, I command every evil spirit to leave my presence and to go straight to Jesus Christ to dispose of as he will, never to return again, harming no one along the way.”
Compared to “Go” this is pretty long. However, here’s one that I was given last year when I went to a deliverance class:
“Lord Jesus Christ, you are the root of David and the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Alpha and Omega. It is you and you alone to whom I wish to be eternally wed and tied. I renounce, forsake, sever and remove by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth Who Came in the Flesh, all of the following ties to our ancestors and others: blood, soul, spirit, physical, emotional, heart, sensorial, intellectual, hatred, and very person. I also cancel the power of and remove by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth Who Came in the Flesh, all of the following originals, backups, replacements, double portions and exponential combinations of the following curses and spells: regular, special, generational, physical, spiritual, religious, perverted, voodoo, astral, satanic and demonic, time bomb, self-propagating, time, occult, unique, multiplicity, and witchcraft. I also sever, cancel, and remove every seal, mark, ancestral and ritual vow put upon us –by birth, marriage or the call or God – by our ancestors, others, and by those demons inhabiting our bodies. I affirm that this is now accomplished by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth Who Came in the Flesh. I claim total and complete ownership by the Lord Jesus Christ, and I now send all of those ties, curses, spells, seals, marks, and vows to the foot of the cross to be dealt as the Lord Jesus Christ deems fit. I ask you, Lord to cleanse us with your blood, and I ask the Holy Spirit to purify and fill us with his light and fire. Amen.
[Eye roll]. Personally, I think the demon would probably enjoy all this legalistic language, especially if you do it with a lot of arm waving. No one enjoys a good performance more than a demon. Probably wiser to just do what Jesus did and just say, “Go.”
Yes I believe in angels, and I believe in demons. I saw a demon once, in the middle of the night in my bedroom. It wasn’t particularly scary. It was kind of pathetic. It seemed like it didn’t want to be there. I told it to leave and it did. I don’t know what I said. I think it was something like “Go.”
So what gives you the right to say “Go” to a demon? All you need is faith that God wants that critter to go. All you need to believe is that good triumphs over evil and that they can’t occupy the same space at the same time. You are simply affirming that there isn’t any room for demons in the Kingdom of God. After all, it’s part the Lord’s Prayer: “Deliver us from evil.” It’s a valid prayer. The Kingdom is here right now so all demons must go. Now.
So if you run into something you think is demonic, just say “Go.” You don’t even have to say it out loud. The demon will hear it. If you mean what you say it will obey. It’s just spiritual extermination, getting rid of unwanted pests. Shooing away the flies. If that doesn’t work John and I will come over and see what we can do about it. And if that doesn’t work maybe we can get Francis MacNutt to come – he’s a professional exterminator. But give it a try yourself first. No worries. God’s got your back. Anyone can say, “Go.”
What does this scripture say to you?