On Spiritual Warfare
Ex-occultist, Annie Fintan speaks on Spiritual Warfare and deliverance
It would seem that everyone has their own standpoint on spiritual warfare. Since I work with a Christian ministry that focuses on reaching those in the Occult, I hear a variety of viewpoints on the demonic. On a daily basis, I interact with those who have been touched by the Occult in some way, and are seeking answers.
Recently, a Christian woman who believed that the problems in her life were the result of demon possession contacted me. Due to a parent’s past involvement in New Age practices, she believed that demons had gained access to her, living within her. She had been to various pastors, who attempted to cast these demons out, but nothing changed. Having already surrendered her life to Christ, she regularly prayed for deliverance and would fast for days. By the time I met her, she was worn out and discouraged.
This woman was only one of many. There are countless people who have sought help from churches or ‘deliverance ministers’. Sadly, they have often come away with only more confusion and desperation.
When I shared my beliefs with this woman, she was completely surprised and even offended. She found it hard to accept that I do not happen to believe she was possessed. As Paul stated in 2 Thessalonians, I shared with her that "…the Lord is faithful, who will establish you, and guard you from the evil one." Unfortunately she refused to even consider the possibility and continued her endless search for hope.
My heart truly went out to her. It was easy to see her pain, and I hope that she will someday find the freedom that Christ offers. Once again, I had to wonder at the human tendency to complicate something God has made so simple.
Deliverance is a very personal matter for me, because I was once a member of the occult. Having once been possessed myself, I cannot view the issue in a trivial manner. After years of witchcraft, the demons within me were destroying me, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Deliverance was a life or death matter to me. When I finally turned to God, it was with a gun barrel to the side of my head, ready to pull the trigger if He could not be found. My life hung in the balance, and I was simply desperate.
I called out to God, and He intervened on my behalf. At the name of Christ, the demons within me had to leave. I did not know the appropriate words to say, or the proper way to say them, but it didn’t take long before I felt the demonic grip on my soul loosen. Realizing God had heard my prayer, I gave my life to Him in that moment. It was not a halfhearted commitment, but a complete and total surrender, and I found freedom that night. He proved Himself mightier than any demon that had ever enslaved me.
I could take the time to write out an in-depth theological viewpoint on the matter, but that has already been done by much better theologians than myself. I speak from personal experience, and that experience was quite simple. Yes, there was an incredible spiritual battle that waged, but God did the fighting, not me. I base my beliefs on Biblical truth, and I have never found huge dramatic displays by "deliverance ministers" in the pages of Scripture. Never once have I found Scripture that advocates casting demons out of Christians. When Christ sets us free, we are free indeed. (John 8:36)
I have listened to many ministers educate others on ‘deliverance’, and I am often alarmed by their teaching. No doubt if I had heeded their advice when I was seeking freedom, I would still be lost and unaware of God’s power.
When I came to God, He did not force me to jump through various hoops, recite endless holy cliches, and then shrug His shoulders in ambivalence when I failed to do this adequately. Rather, when I bowed humbly before Him and admitted my weakness, He showed His might. When I took a step in God’s direction, He did not back away, but He came running to my rescue.
1 John 4:4 tells us "…He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." There is no need for us to spend years seeking deliverance from ministers. "He has delivered us from the power of darkness…" (Colossians 1:13) I encourage you to "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." (Galatians 5:1)
There will be times when we are tested, even oppressed by the demonic. That is when Scripture tells us to "…submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)
My prayer for you is that you will find the freedom that Christ offers, whether you are currently in the occult, or you have been a Christian for years. My God does not do things halfway. When we turn to Him with our weakness, He does the miraculous. It is then up to us to accept what He does and live our lives accordingly. That is true deliverance.
Refuge Ministries International