I was blessed to get born-again during the Jesus Movement or the Charismatic Movement as it was also called – way back in 1971. And what a glorious time that was because it was so easy to witness to just about everyone, anywhere!
Another characteristic of that time was the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the outpouring of His gifts. But as you know, when God is moving the devil always tries to rear his ugly head. Hence, a big emphasis on deliverance from evil spirits, so much so that deliverance ministries started popping up all over. I witnessed both of these characteristics of that movement.
However, what I didn’t realize that demons were not the cause of everyone’s problems. Yes, satan and his evil forces are always behind all evil, but what most people have to deal with on a regular basis is not the casting out of demons behind every door or under every rug. What they, and I’m speaking of Christians, have to deal with is their very own flesh! And as you know, the flesh can be very stubborn at times!
Look at the list of the works of the flesh:
Galatians 5:19-21 (KJV) 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Here we see what God calls the works of the flesh. These are not demons to be cast out but lusts and habits to be dealt with and overcome. We are the ones who have to deal with our flesh and keep it under. You can’t cast out the flesh – your carnal, natural part. We have to keep our flesh in check and keep it under control.
Yes, I believe in deliverance, casting out of evil spirits, and resisting the devil but for the most part, we are the ones who must take control and rein in our fleshly desires that contradict the Word of God. We have authority over gluttony, gossip, unforgiveness, selfishness, anger, and the list goes on.
Too many times I witnessed Christians wanting deliverance from evil spirits rather than taking charge of their flesh. It really wasn’t demons at all but a weakness of the flesh. In the end, they didn’t really get a handle on their problems.
God has so graciously given us all the tools we need to be overcomers and victorious in every area of our lives. He’s already done His part. Now we must do our part.
Let’s purpose in our hearts to get our flesh under control so we don’t give the devil an opening to trap us. God sees us as winners! Praise the Lord of Glory!
1 Peter 5:8-9 (KJV) 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
James 4:7 (KJV) 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Matthew 18:18-20 (KJV) 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.