Dwight Fletcher | Freedom - permission granted - Part I
Today we continue our article on freedom. As we established last week, many people are not free. They are being held captive by life-controlling habits that are influenced by Satan. The devil works through a large demonic network to steal, kill and destroy our lives. But, some persons have just not acknowledged the presence and influence of the devil in their lives and this is a problem.
Do you remember the game Charlie Charlie? The Ministry of Education published a statement in The Gleaner on May 29, 2015 banning the game in schools. They issued this ban after several schools across Jamaica reported cases of disruptive behaviour by students who participated in the game. The ministry stated that some students displayed demon-possessed or paranormal behaviour while playing the game and that based on their reviews of the game, there can be serious psychological effects and physical harm to children.
A game with pencils moving around cannot cause serious 'psychological effects' unless it is influence by something or in this case someone outside of the natural - Satan. While there are legitimate mental and physical challenges, some issues have a direct satanic origin. We need to recognise that there are natural causes but there are also negative spiritual causes to the things that happen in our lives. Maybe it started with playing a seemingly innocent game with pencils, you might have even enjoyed it. But participating in this 'innocent' game gave permission to Satan to negatively influence your life. By becoming involved, you said to the devil, "PERMISSION GRANTED, you are welcome to affect my life".
There are various other things that give the devil open access to our lives, many of them we are not even aware of. So, let us explore a few ways in which we give Satan permission to influence our lives and how we can take back our freedom.
Sin is rebellion against God. Satan began that rebellion against God in heaven where he sought to take for himself the glory that was the Father's alone. Satan continues this rebellion by influencing us to join him by committing sins. This does not mean that every time you commit a sin, it is influenced by the devil. However, the ongoing practise of sin that remains unconfessed and unforgiven will eventually give rights to the devil to influence and control a person in a specific area or areas of his or her life. Sometimes a single decisive act may open the way to a satanic influence.
Look at Judas, it is when he made the decision to betray Jesus that the scripture says: "Then Satan entered Judas..." Luke 22:3 NIV. Judas' decision opened a door which he could not close. The decisions we make, the sins we get involved in have physical and spiritual consequences. Satan does not respect you, every opportunity he gets he will try to steal, kill and destroy you.
Sin isn't only rebelling against the living God, but it is also offering worship to Satan. It places Satan ahead of God in our lives and makes us vulnerable to being influenced by Satan's agents. Once we give access to the devil through sin, we are pressured from the inside to continue sinning. Slowly our lives drift from bad to worse. But no matter how influenced you are by Satan, you still have a choice whether to sin or not. Every time we resist satanic pressure to sin, we force the demonic more out into the open and loosen its grip over our lives.
Jesus' death on the cross gives us opportunity to cancel our sin and all the rights Satan has to our lives. "You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross." Colossians 2:13-15 NLT. When Jesus forgave our sins in one blow He disarmed our spiritual enemies. When we are forgiven they have no hold on us, but it is up to us to live in forgiveness.
The primary keys to deliverance from satanic influence through personal sin is confession and repentance. As the Apostle John says: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 NIV.
- Confession is not just telling God what we have done wrong, but it is agreeing with God's perspective on the matter and laying down our own will subject to His.
- Repentance is the positive act of turning away from the sin now and in the future.
Confession and repentance is as simple as praying this prayer:
"Father, thank You that You are a forgiving God. I confess that I have sinned. I have done things that displease you and have given the enemy a hold in my life. I repent of my sins (name some sins you have committed). Please forgive me.
I turn away from all those sins and turn to You. Help me live in a way that please You. I purpose to follow your plan for my life." In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Join us next week as we continue with the ways in which we give Satan permission to influence our lives and how we can get free.