How important it is to keep what God has given us! With confidence our freedom can be maintained if we constantly give heed to the following exhortations:
1. Do Not Fear the Enemy Returning.
In Matthew 12 Jesus tells us where evil spirits go when they are cast out, and how they desire to return to ‘their house.’
Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through
waterless places, seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I
will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it
finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes, and takes
along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in
and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the
first. … — Verses 43
Spirits can only return and bring others with them if the house is left unoccupied and vacant. As you are set free, consciously yield the freed areas to the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Let them be occupied with God’s presence, so there is no room for spirits to return.
When there is a continuance or re-occurrence of a problem after deliverance, many Christians become condemned, feeling they have given opportunity for spirits to return. Rarely is this correct. What is happening is that further spirits in the same bondage area are stirring. Spirits work in families or groups. The breaking of their holds is progressive. Even though a major release has been experienced, there may yet be many other spirits to come out. Sometimes they lie low for months before they consciously bother you again.
You must see yourself progressing, not going back; becoming freer and freer, not more bound. If you are walking in the light and yielding to the Holy Spirit’s infilling, evil spirits are not coming back. Rather, through your faith and through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, other spirits within are being stirred up to be driven out. When they feel the pressure, because they are in you, you also feel the pressure. Realize what is happening and don’t fear the enemy returning.
2. Yield Daily to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Every day deliberately acknowledge Jesus as your Lord. Let your heart be set upon Him and desire to do His will. Romans 10:9-10; 12:1.
The continuous attitude of my heart is: ‘Lord, I choose Your will.’ To do the will of God is of utmost importance to me. I see myself as His property. I declare continually that I have been sanctified and set apart, by His blood, for His purposes. My commitment to Him is 100-percent. He is my life, and therefore the works of darkness know they are not welcome.
3. Be Filled with the Word of God.
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
— Colossians 3:16
Regularly read God’s Word. Every day let a portion of Scripture be in your mind for meditation. Counteract the enemy’s fiery darts with the truth of God.
In particular, meditate upon the glorious truths of your identification with Jesus Christ as outlined in the Epistles. Let these truths be released through your lips.
Joshua 1:8 says: This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.
The word meditate in Hebrew means ‘to murmur, to speak in an undertone.’ Whether it be quietly, or in a speaking voice, let us have upon our lips the Word of God.
Let us also sing the Word through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
Paul said of Timothy, . . . ‘From childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus’ (2 Timothy 3:15).
4. Be Filled with the Holy Spirit.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the (Holy) Spirit.
— Ephesians 5:18 AMP
The Spirit-filled walk commences when a believer comes to Jesus, the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16), and asks Him to fill him with the Spirit. By faith (Galatians 3:5) he begins to receive and drink of the waters of life. From then on, he is to be continually ‘being filled’ with the Holy Spirit.
If you have not been baptized in the Holy Spirit, you could pray a prayer such as this: ‘Lord Jesus, I come to You now, acknowledging You as my Lord and Savior. I desire to be filled with Your Spirit. I desire to know You more. Consciously and gladly I yield my entire self to You for the impartation of new life. Right now I ask You to fill me, and by faith I begin to receive. Thank You, Lord Jesus. You are imparting to me now. You are filling me now. I praise You. I worship You.’
Already we have discovered that in the Hebrew and Greek the word spirit also means ‘breath’ or ‘wind.’ Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, . . . ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ (John 20:22). Just as evil spirits can be expelled through the breath, so the Holy Spirit can be received through the breath. God breathed into Adam the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). Jesus breathed on His disciples. With your eyes on Jesus Christ as your Baptizer, you can utter the prayer given or a similar cry from your heart; and then as you breathe in normally, let that breathing in be the action of releasing your faith to receive. ‘I receive the Holy Spirit. I receive now. I breathe in the breath of God. I yield to God, the Holy Spirit. I allow Jesus Christ to empower me for His service. I receive.’
For some people, the entering of the Spirit-filled life is a dynamic experience. To others, it is a quiet receiving by faith. Whichever way we enter this new walk, we are to daily yield to the Holy Spirit, walking by faith, not by feelings.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is not to be equated with wonderful feelings of emotion — although these may certainly be experienced. Even in difficult times, when our feelings are low rather than high, we are still filled with the Spirit. Being filled is not dependent on feelings. Jesus was not feeling ‘high’ when He faced Gethsemane and Calvary, but He was still filled with the Holy Spirit.
It was the Holy Spirit who gave Him the strength to go through the sufferings.
Let us receive the Holy Spirit by faith, and then let us daily walk by faith, being constantly ‘being filled’ with the Holy Spirit.
5. Be Clothed in the Armour of God.
Ephesians 6:10-17. We have already spoken on the armour of God which is part of our spiritual equipment. Place it on by a confession of faith and keep it on. Live in your armour.
6. Be Continually Praising.
Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
— Hebrews 13:15
From our waking moments until the day closes, let our hearts and lips offer up regular offerings of thanksgiving and praise. Initially we need to cultivate this, but after a while it becomes a part of our life.
Let us choose to praise the Lord, regardless of pressures or battles. He is worthy to be praised. A praising Christian is a victorious Christian. No praise, no victory.
7. Deal with Sin.
As soon as we know that we have transgressed, let us quickly repent and confess our sin to the Lord.
If we confess our sins. He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. — 1 John 1:9
By continuing in any activity of sin, we give legal ground for evil spirits to enter. We cannot afford to be careless with sin or to grieve the Holy Spirit.
8. Be Alert to the Enemy’s Tactics.
Having been made aware how spirits gain entrance, let us be on our guard. If we sense they could be seeking a place in us, declare our freedom in Christ and resist them firmly.
Recently when walking through a shopping arcade, I was strongly aware of the presence of evil spirits; the atmosphere was so heavy. Within my heart I thanked the Lord for protection and quickly resisted the presence of the enemy.
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the
world. — 1 Peter 5:8
9. Cultivate Right Relationships.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another,
even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all
men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one
another. —John 13:34
We love because we are commanded to, not because we feel like it. Work at personal relationships. Keep yourself from bitterness, jealousy, criticism, un-forgiveness, etc.
If you feel wrong attitudes beginning to lay hold of you, deliberately renounce the enemy and choose to maintain right attitudes. Declare the enemy has no place in you.
Deal with the pressures quickly rather than let the enemy build up a hold over weeks and months.
10. Be in Fellowship.
Every Christian should belong to a ‘sheepfold.’ There is an occasional exception, for example, a Christian who lives in an isolated, out-of-the-way place. However, most Christians have no excuse for not finding a spiritual home.
Don’t spend a lifetime searching for a perfect church. You won’t find one. Join yourself to a good, Bible-believing, Holy Spirit-honouring congregation where you will receive spiritual nourishment and spiritual oversight.
There are too many ‘gypsy’ Christians who will not settle and let their roots grow down. Wanderers are in danger of being deceived. Sheep need sheepfolds.
Members of the Body of Christ are to function within the Body. You cannot function within the Body if you are not joined to the Body.
And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and
good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the
habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you
see the day drawing near. — Hebrews 10:24
11. Walk in Humility.
. . . ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the
humble.’ Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee
from you. —James 4:6
Because the Lord is constantly fashioning and adjusting us, we need to have an attitude of humility that causes us to be teachable. We should welcome adjustment, especially from those who are spiritually mature and over us in the Lord.
Many times I have witnessed believers who through pride, and stubbornness would not submit to wise counsel, and who have thus brought much hardship upon themselves and opened themselves to demonic bondage.
Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
— Hebrews 13:17
12. Be Christ-Centered.
Let Jesus Christ be central in your mind. See Satan as small and Jesus as large. Let your conversation be Christ-uplifting, not devil-uplifting. Major on the realm of light, not the realm of darkness.
If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
— Colossians 3:1
Do not fear becoming demon-conscious. Having come myself through many spiritual battles, and being now involved praying regularly for others for deliverance, I am very demon-conscious. However, being demon-conscious has made me much more Christ-conscious than ever I was before. It has been through a Christ-consciousness that I have learned to overcome and maintain victory over the enemy.
Jesus is our wisdom, our discernment, our power, our victory, and even our life itself. We are to be caught up with Him.