Deliverance ministry is a very controversial topic. It is not simple, and I have found many facets regarding the ministry in itself. Most theologians will define it as the casting out or deliverance from demons or spirits. Some ministries focus more closely on delivering people from what they see as harmful emotions like anger, pride, grief, soul ties, or resentment.
Regardless of what you believe to be true...we have an authority in the name of Jesus. If you are anything like me, when I thought of deliverance of evil spirits, I envisioned The Exorcist movie released in 1973. Flying objects, blazing fire, demonic tones, disfigurement of body limbs, a stench odor, infestation of demon entities, black eyes, and distortion of the face. The well-played Hollywood entertainment version. The cases of true possession that are valid cases are rare. Nevertheless, are documented in history. The very first documentation of such evil spirits were recorded in the bible. In 1 Samuel 16: 23 states: Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the EVIL SPIRIT WOULD LEAVE HIM.
And in Mark 1:21-28 (NIV) Jesus publicly ministers to a man possessed by an impure spirit.
They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The impure spirits shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
How does my story relate to such a spiritual phenomenon? I opened doors that required spiritual deliverance. I have often wondered why I became a target for the devil. The simplified version is...I was living in sin. And while we all have lived in sin and sought our own selfish behaviors; God was teaching me to rely solely on him. I was angry at God in the beginning for allowing the devil to torture me. God gave us reign to make our own decisions and while there are thousands of people living in addiction and acting on fleshly desires; I witnessed with firsthand experience of the evil versus good fight in the heavenly realms. Maybe for this very moment to share to the world the warfare is real and to stay alert of the evil one's schemes. You are not a victim. You are a warrior. If you are struggling mentally, physically, or spiritually I challenge you to seek out God. He is always nearby. For he never leaves or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). One of his many promises.
The day after I broke my fast, I slept. I refrained from eating until after my appointment with John. The following day it was 'my time'. I was very anxious, and not completely sure what the session would entail. Tawana pulled me away from my delightful job of tagging clothes. We walked backed to her office as I was introduced to John. John was an older gentleman who spoke with wisdom and intimated me at first glance. Small talk was made but I wanted to begin prayer. For the first fifteen minutes John asked me every personal question under the sun. I felt safe in his presence to share truthfully and by doing so, I gained his trust. God's presence was in the room. An example of the questions ranged from childhood, marital status, and children to the more intimate questions on witchcraft, sorcery, tarot cards, sexual partners, addictions, and fears. Some answers were more difficult to share but the freedom of vigorous honesty with myself, a trusted confidant, and God was healing; And all my demons were at war knowing I would not house them anymore. Before prayer began, I had my fifth step (AA terminology of confession of wrongdoings).
After, John pulled his chair closely in front of mine. Tawana sat near him (close enough to hold my hand). Immediately, I closed my eyes and turned my head. I could not look at him directly. My body began to shake. I started having tremors and wanted to leave the room. Tawana has shared I was no longer present and would come back-in-forth into consciousness. She asked if I wanted to continue, and I said yes. As John gently said my name and directed me back to him, the remainder of the session I vaguely remember and for a long time- I had no recollection of the memory. It was a blur. All I knew was I had freedom from prayer. And I no longer felt weighed down psychologically.
John began to pray. As he prayed, I cursed him. I spoke in a different language. I screamed. Gritted my teeth. hissed.
Demonic spirits manifested themselves through me. I had become so oppressed with such demonic influences that I was unaware of such spirits dwelling in me. When I would come back to consciousness after the spirit was called out by name, I was heavy crying and saying Jesus help me. Tawana prayed in the spirit nonstop. And when I had brief moments back to myself, she asked if I was okay and if I wanted to continue. I agreed each time. It was intense. After, what I believe had been five spirits delivered, John stopped.
Did the devil have possession of me? NO. I am a child of GOD. In Atlanta, I dabbled into forms of witchcraft naively and unknowingly aware of the evil spirits I made contact with. I did it for fun. That, along with the negative hold of alcohol, effected my sensitive, empathic, soul. It was a configuration of lots of soul searching in all the wrong places.
All evil flees at the name of Jesus. The manifestation of evil spirits openly and speaking as such is more so out of pride and to scare the minister and its prey from taking authority. In my opinion, we all could use deliverance prayer at one time or another. My entire outlook on the spiritual world, demons and so on changed. I no longer fear oppression or opened doors. I pray. And seek guidance. If the spiritual terminology agitates or seems unrealistic; think back to a time in your life where you mentally felt drained, defeated, desperate, detached, overly reactive, and overwhelmed. As a Christian, I refer to it as oppression. No matter what you identify it as...you know it exists. The supernatural. Miracles. Wonders or serendipity. The unknown occurrences fated by God. Physical healing. Answered prayer.
I know effective prayers works miracles.
As mascara smeared down my face, and I wiped my last tear drop I walked out of Tawana's office not weighed down by the forces I walked in with. I walked outside to smoke. My best friend, Sonya, arrived and asked me how the session was. I answered with, "it was good. I do not know what happened. I really cannot remember." She responded by saying my eyes no longer appeared heavy and the countenance of my face changed. All I was aware of: I felt free. I could not explain it. It remains challenging to put into words my experience. Many women I know have been delivered by intentional prayer.
I feel like the events that led to my healing were extravagant. "Not all who wander are lost." In the midst of my struggles, God saw the big picture. I may have wandered but I was not lost.
I envision God letting the devil show-out and have his moment of dwelling while openly making his presence known. Because today, I share my story of freedom with confidence.
IF IT WERE ME, I would have never voluntarily shared my personal story. It is only by the holy spirit's direction I began and continue my journey sharing my truth.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.