Can A Christian Have A Demon?
The blood of Jesus has already overcome the enemy of our souls, and we know with certainty that we can overcome that same enemy in our souls by “the blood of the lamb, the word of our testimony, and loving not [our] lives (souls) unto death.” (Rev12:10) While I believe the context of this passage is about a future war yet to come, and not one that has already occurred, it is worth examining it in light of our struggle to bring our souls into submission to our regenerated spirit.
The phrase “loving not our lives (souls) unto death” has a duel meaning in this context. On the one hand, it means we are willing to be martyred for the cause of Christ. But it also means we love God more than we love our souls and that we are willing to accept the daunting task of bringing our souls into submission to Christ, willingly and joyfully, that we might fully partake of the “divine nature,” Christ in us, the hope of glory. (2Peter 1:4; Phil. 3:10)
According to Proverbs 4:23 our heart is the wellspring of life, and we are counseled by the wisest man who ever lived (other than Jesus), Solomon, that we are to guard it “above all else.” God’s redemptive purpose in our lives begins with our heart. Once our heart is purified, He continues His work of sanctification until our entire personality, or soul, (our mind, will, and emotions) is fully submitted to Holy Spirit.
Are you beginning to see why Paul calls this challenging process “working out our salvation with fear and trembling”?
It has always fascinated me that in the Book of Acts God testifies that He had found in David, son of Jesse, “a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.” (Acts13:22) (Italics mine) This is an extraordinary statement in light of everything that David did. He was an adulterer and a murderer, yet God still honors him like no other man in all of Scripture.
The simple answer is that in spite of all his sins, David loved God more than his soul. In his own words, he tells us in Psalm 131, “Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty . . . Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of its mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.”(v.1a-2)
What does this have to do with us today?
Jesus has already perfected (or made complete, fully mature) those who are in the process of becoming sanctified in Him by “one offering,” His sacrifice. (Heb. 10:14) In this passage, the sacrifice of Jesus is written in the Greek perfect tense, which literally means He has perfected. It’s done, finished at the Cross, forever complete. Nothing will be added, and nothing can be taken away. However, the process of sanctification, the process of becoming conformed to the express image and likeness of Jesus, holy and without blemish, is ongoing, occurs in stages, and is accomplished under the guiding hand of Holy Spirit. Through the process of sanctification we can fully appropriate everything that has already been made available to us by the sacrifice of Jesus--as long as we obey Him and his commandments. (Heb. 5: 7-9)
The fierce battle for the souls of mankind started in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, has been waged unseen in the heavenlies since Creation, and impacts every person on the planet today, whether they are Believers or not. For Believers the battle for control of the mind, will, and emotions (our soul) is even fiercer. Once we acknowledge that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, that He gave up His exalted status as God and came to Earth, lived as a man among His creation, was crucified (even though He was innocent of every crime He was accused of), died and was resurrected, the enemy of our souls no longer owns us. We have been bought with a very high price, set free from the “law of sin and death.” Therefore, the enemy, the Accuser of the Brethren, the Father of Lies, only has legal right to buffet us, unless we give him more access than is legally his. His stated purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy. One way he accomplishes this is by using his army of demonic parasites to infect our souls.
How do we know we are dealing with demonic infestation in our soul, and not simply a temporary sin? How do we know that we need something more than a change of attitude, behavior, or perhaps counseling to help us overcome our sin?
Generally, if we’ve repeatedly made a concerted effort to repent, that is turn away from our sin, if we have battled the sin consistently and persistently, if nothing we have done under the guiding hand of Holy Spirit gives us the freedom we are promised in Christ, then it is likely we need deliverance from demonic influences.
Demonic infestation can enter our souls both before and after we come to salvation. Sometimes demonic parasites are generational and attached to our bloodline. Sometimes we speak curses over ourselves, or others, either knowingly or unknowingly. Severe trauma, such as mental, emotional, or sexual abuse, a car accident, severe, life-threatening illness, and many other life experiences all can open the door to demonic oppression.
Our task is to discern, with the help of Holy Spirit, just exactly what we are dealing with. Once we know what--and who--we are dealing with, we need to ask Holy Spirit for a specific strategy, then do what we are told. We also need to understand that demonic infestation results in strongholds in our soul. The longer the demonic parasite is present and active in our soul, the more obvious and stronger the wall is that keeps that part of our soul estranged from God, the more resistant to healing that part of our soul becomes.
The process of the deliverance of our souls is complicated by demonic deception. Rarely do demons talk to us in the third person. It’s always first person, until they are confronted and realize they’re about to be banished from our souls. Why? Well, think about it, unless you suffer from an extreme form of infestation, like schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder, if you were regularly hearing voices in your head urging you to continually fall into sin, you would quickly realize that those voices were not originating from you! Under normal circumstances, it wouldn’t take very long for you to banish those pesky critters that want to ensnare your for their wicked and malicious purposes using the name of Jesus and the power of His blood.
So, the challenge, then, is to recognize that we are dealing with spiritual, supernatural, demonic entities which operate in our soul. They have become a part of our everyday life, in many cases without us being fully aware of their presence. We have been tricked by these demonic entities into believing that Jesus is powerful enough to bring us to salvation but impotent when it comes to setting us free from ongoing sin.
What is the root of their trickery?
The serpent in the Garden of Eden “beguiled” Eve into believing that she needed to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil so that she could “become like God.” Once Eve ate of that prohibited fruit, the fruit of knowledge of self apart from God, what is called today, Humanism, entered the world. When Adam ate at Eve’s bequest, the enemy of our souls gained legal right to “bruise the heel” of God’s magnificent and perfect creation. Over time, mankind changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator. (Rom. 1:25)
Next week, in Part 3, we will look at a specific strategy we can use to free ourselves of these pesky, unwanted, demonic parasites and gain authority over them.