I heard of a young ex-drug addict where I am from who had become a Christian. He stopped taking the drugs, got a good job and his story was an inspiration to many. But after some time, he started smoking the dope again. He couldn’t seem to overcome. He ended up committing suicide. Why do people with deep hurts, emotional problems, addictions and so on become Christians but not overcome? Didn’t they repent properly? Is the gospel not for them, but for more stable, nice people? No! Surely not!!! If the gospel means anything, it is the ‘power of God’ for those who are being saved.
And what about these fanatics who see demons as the root of every problem? They have been known to cause a lot of problems and bring the church into disrepute. And yet the fact remains that even traditional churches have ‘Diocesan Exorcists’. What’s going on here?
From the two books I have just mentioned, I had come to some clear conclusions.
Derek Prince is someone I have been blessed by many times before and I know his teaching is well researched and scriptural. He is not someone I can dismiss easily. Neither is he one to come up with bizarre, exaggerated stories, and I do not regard him as a publicity seeker. Nevertheless, this book opened up to me an area of ministry which was largely new to me. I could not argue with his arguments from scripture, and his anecdotes, though sometimes bizarre, seemed to fit in with the scriptural worldview as I knew it. The possibilities now staring me in the face were now quite simple:
- Deliverance from demons was a commonplace part of ministry in the New Testament
- Deliverance from demons is a rarity in UK churches
- Deliverance is for Christians
- Deliverance ministry enables many Christians to overcome deeply rooted problems that nothing else appears to have solved
- Many people in our churches today go from week to week carrying deeply rooted problems that don’t get resolved through normal bible teaching and pastoral ministry.
What happens to all these people who seemingly cannot overcome despite the fact that they may get good ministry from their churches? Some give up on the faith. Some have ended up committing suicide. For many, we write them off as unrepentant, carnal Christians, or unsaved and regard it as their fault. Many Christians simply hide their vices well and succeed in looking good to other Christians, knowing deep down that if they admit they have problems with fornication or sexual temptation or drugs or alcohol or gambling or depression or domestic violence or anger or self-harm, nobody can help them anyway, so it’s not worth the embarrassment of admitting they need help.
I had been like this. Why admit this to anyone? They can’t help anyway.
But I now had an idea. I’m going to have a go at something Prince mentioned in his book. Self-Deliverance!