Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dealing with Demonic Influcence

What do we do if we have encountered what we believe is demonic influence in our lives or the lives of others? How do we deal with it? We should use prayer (Mark 9:28,29; Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6,7). (The presence of fasting is a textual issue, but this does seem to be a proper approach to serious prayer.) We can use the Scriptures (Matthew 4:1-11; Ephesians 6:17; Psalms 119:11). There also seems to some value in the act of worship (1 Samuel 16:23) (I would suspect that it is this, rather than just music, that is in view here). And if you feel certain there is something demonic involved, there is a place for the direct rebuke (Mark 1:25-27; Acts 16:18; Luke 4:41).

But none of these should be seen as magic talismans, like waving a cross in front of a vampire. They must be used with faith (Ephesians 6:16; Mark 9:23,24; Proverbs 3:5,6) and humility (1 Peter 5:6-9; James 4:6-10; Luke 10:17-20). And this must be rooted in our knowledge of Christ, that He is victorious (Colossians 2:15; 1 John 4:4; Romans 16:20). There is an example in Scripture of what happens to those who try using these things merely as a form (Acts 19:11-16). It should also be noted that, except for the direct rebuke, these are the same remedies that should be applied to the problem even if there is no demonic influence involved. Which is why I think that, unless it is really clear, we should start by dealing with the problem and confront the demonic aspect only as it becomes evident.  

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