The majority of Christians today are totally ignorant of the nature of evil spirits (demons), and many would prefer that they were not even mentioned. They choose to ignore this portion of God’s ministry because they are fearful of things beyond their understanding. The result of this ignorance is that multitudes live in needless torment. One of the deadliest misrepresentations of the truth of God is that a Christian should not be concerned with thoughts that a demon could be their problem. This is taught within many churches and gives the devil a “field day” to bring fear, mental torment, jealousy, hatred, lust, pride, self-pity, addiction, gluttony and many other forms of bondage, oppression, and defilement.
CAN A CHRISTIAN HAVE A DEMON?
One of Satan’s clever devices is to cause division among Christians over just such a subject, for then he is allowed to work freely on both sides. One side refuses to believe that a Christian can have a demon, while the other side sees demons in everything. Both sides are extreme, but if we look to God’s Word we can find balance. To answer the question, “Can a Christian have a demon?,” we need to understand the two main causes of a Christian’s problems.
The first problem is what Paul calls the “flesh” in Romans 8:5-8: “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
The “flesh” is defined here as the “carnal mind” and it is spoken of as enmity with God. The carnal mind is in the soul of man. After a Christian experiences the “new birth,” he is a new creature; however, he finds he still has the problem of walking in the flesh instead of the Spirit. His mind has not been renewed yet by the Word of God, so unless he reckons the “old man” dead when tempted, he fails God and gives in to his “flesh.” To maintain a walk in the Spirit one must totally dedicate his life to God and continually choose the path of God. The “flesh” of man is under Satan’s dominion as it is part of the old Adamic nature. The “flesh” and the “world” are under Satan’s influence, so when we sin we have yielded to an attack by Satan in an indirect way. Romans 6:16: “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves, servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness.” The way to get rid of the devil in these instances is to submit to the Lord and resist Satan so that he will flee (James 4:7). We are to crucify the flesh and choose God’s way in the situation. “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:24).
BATTLING WITH DEMONS
The Lord is revealing the devices of Satan so that Christians can learn to battle the real enemy as he attacks their lives, instead of battling one another. The main thing we need to do is to take authority over Satan, casting him out of our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Satan is a robber and a thief, and he delights in destroying God’s children. God wants us to grow up, stop acting like children by fighting with one another, and fight the real enemy, Satan. We need to lay down our lives for our mates and loved ones and be aggressive in prayer against the wiles of the enemy. He will flee when commanded to do so in the name of Jesus.
If the attack is from without, carried on by Satan’s suggestions, temptations and influences, we still fight him the same way we would if he has gained access and entered the body with dominating control. We call on God with a humble heart and submit our entire lives to Him, and then aggressively resist the devil, commanding him to leave in the name of Jesus. We should speak this command out loud. We need to realize also there are certain conditions one must meet in order to gain permanent deliverance from demon bondage. We first must be a child of God to receive help. If you are not “born again,” simply invite Jesus to come into your heart and save your soul. Accept God’s Word that says He loves you and wants to give you abundant life. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). To receive this abundant life you must repent and turn from your sins and accept God’s provision of the shed blood of Jesus Christ as the only way to cleanse you. Sin has separated you from God, and receiving Christ restores you to fellowship with Him and you become a part of the family of God. “But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God…” (John 1:12).