The AUTHORITY of the Believer
“Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have authority (Gk: exousia) to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons.” (Mark 3:14,15).
We see in this passage that “being with Jesus” comes before receiving the authority to cast out demons. In order to cast out demons, we must first “be with Him”. Otherwise demons may treat us as the did the sons of Sceva, saying, “Jesus we know, and Paul we are acquainted with, but who are you?” Just saying that we belong to God will not impress demons greatly if they know our hearts are divided. Being with Jesus, spending time in His presence, is the key to effectively destroying Satan’s works. Our life is in Him. Demons will try to distract us and keep us out of the place of intimacy with God, because they know when we are close to God, they cannot stand before us.
Legally we have been purchased by the blood of Jesus. To the extent that we truly give ourselves to Christ, and keep abiding in Him, Satan cannot touch us. In fact, when we have our spiritual armor on (see Ephesians 6:12-18), when we are clothed with Christ, we are armed with authority “in Jesus’ name” to cast out demons. Added to this authority we must receive “power” through the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8; Acts 2:4) for maximum results in casting out demons.
Incidentally, if you live carelessly, it is not enough to say, “I am a born again child of God” and expect demons to flee from you in terror. Effective authority over Satan and his demons comes through true submission to God. Jesus never did anything unless the Father showed it to Him or spoke it (John 5:17). It is presumption to think that we can go off independently of God and destroy Satan’s strongholds. Nothing “independent” of God will cut any ice in spiritual warfare.
Having said this, I want to encourage you to believe that you have been given authority to cast out demons. It is not something you have to be “ordained into the ministry” to do. It is something that Jesus will teach you to do as you stay in His presence, especially if others around you can model faith and wisdom in these areas. That is the advantage of being in a church where the people take the power of the name of Jesus seriously.
BEGIN WITH YOURSELF
My advice is this: if you are new to casting out demons, make sure you are full of the Holy Spirit before attempting to help anybody who needs deliverance. And if you struggle to be filled with the Holy Spirit and live full of the Holy Spirit, you should learn how to cast demons out of yourself – or find someone else who can help you! This might sound extreme at first, but believe me, this is the way it is. Many times demons of doubt and unbelief have wrapped themselves around the minds of Christians. The result is that although they would like to believe from the heart, something just stops them. Demons are tormentors in the realm of the mind as well as the body and emotions. Many times persistent evil attitudes and thoughts in us – a critical spirit, an ungrateful complaining spirit, a spirit of hurt – are linked to the presence of demons at work in us. These sins must be confessed and renounced so that the demons associated with them can be driven out.
A lot of Christian ministers would do well to drop some of their present ministry activities to spend some time attending to these matters. Failure to do this could be likened to a woodchopper who insists he has no time to sharpen his blunt and ineffective ax.
YOU MUST BE A PERSON OF PRAYER
It is no accident that revival breaks out only in places where God finds people who are truly devoted to prayer, and usually fasting as well. We are exhorted to pray always and not lose heart (Luke 18:1). Satan fears our prayers more than we realise. Casting out demons requires faith, but it also requires prayer. Prayer is the secret of power with God and power over demons. Prayer attracts the Spirit of God, who is more than a match for any demonic spirit or fallen angel.
CONFESSIONS RELATING TO CASTING OUT DEMONS
I have previously compiled some verbal confessions on the subject of casting out demons which you can use to build your faith in this area. There are other Scriptures also which are relevant to this area. The Holy Spirit can show you these things. Those who want to see and use these confessions may click here.
You were born to win. You are more than a conqueror through Christ. Through the cross and His subsequent resurrection from death, Jesus has made the way for you to be victorious over every work of the devil. If you have never given your life to Christ and would like to, please click here. Please let me know about your victories in God as time goes by.