Discernment and Deliverance
“Howbeit this kind goeth not out
but by prayer and fasting..”
The scriptures are clear that there are dominions and principalities of evil. Having had some experience with casting out demons prior to this encounter, the disciples were troubled by this situation.
“Why could not we cast him out?”
We have an absolute need to continue to walk deeper in our communion with Him. There are many situations we encounter in our Christian walk for which we pray and make our requests to God for answers; often we are left perplexed by unanswered prayer. God’s silence is often His invitation to seek Him for greater understanding.
When presented with the death of a child (2 Kings 4), Elisha had his servant lay his staff upon the child fully expecting the Lord to heal him. Upon hearing that the situation had not changed Elisha went to the house and prayed unto the Lord for healing, again with no effect. Undeterred, Elisha found the answer for He knew His God. The answer was found in the further seeking of God and so it will be for us. There is much for us to learn of His wisdom, His ways, and His wonder. Blessed are those who desire to be taught of His Spirit. Paul was an avid learner. He did not rely on his knowledge of the scriptures for his passion was to know intimately the person of Christ.
“every where and in all things
I am instructed”
Paul was ever attentive to the Spirit of God. In all things, he was intent upon being further instructed in the wisdom and the way of the Lord.
God is preparing us for eternity. He who sent His Son to die on my behalf wants me to spend my short time here with a desire for Him to “instruct me in the way of righteousness”. It is not enough to lean upon our knowledge of the scriptures; knowledge alone can make us callous to our need for Christ. The deepest form of deception is self-deception. Powerlessness and hypocrisy are the fruit of a life rooted in the tree of knowledge. Jesus did not come to bring a new teaching; He came to bring us into Life and Freedom.
Many years ago, my faith was shattered by the death of a young girl. The impact of her loss was a turning point in my life. The obvious issue of my own powerlessness in God drove me to make drastic changes in my life and thinking. My knowledge of scriptures was to no avail when dealing with the demonic powers which came to steal and destroy God’s creation. It was through this heart-wrenching experience I came to realize that only in my knowing more of Him could the scriptures become an experiential reality in my own life.
The perplexity of the scriptures can only be solved by His Life moving within us.
The scriptures are very clear that in some cases the healing power of Jesus is the great need for some and in others, deliverance is required. Understanding the scriptures alone is insufficient to meet the needs presented to us.
“And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. And He stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.”
The beauty and the wisdom of God as presented in the scriptures is that they unerringly bring us to the person of Jesus Himself. Jesus “rebuked the fever”. In our day of sophistication, we are blind to spiritual realities. There are mysteries presented to us within the spirit world that can only be understood by our abiding in Him who sees all things. Too many today rely on the mere knowledge of the scriptures without an awareness of our blindness apart from the life of Christ within.
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
The religious leaders of that day rested in their knowledge of the scriptures. Jesus pointedly pressed upon them their great failure in relationship to God; “in them you think you have eternal life”. How many today stake their assurance of eternal life on the mere knowledge of the scriptures without ever touching their deep need for Jesus Himself.
Jesus concludes His discourse to them with:
“And ye will not come to me,
that ye might have life”
True life is in Christ alone. He is my salvation, and it is in Him becoming my life that I can become a ministration of Him to others. The truth of my own personal need for a deeper walk in Him is found in the needs of others. My inability to see the addicted set free, the bound delivered, and the lost filled with the light and life of Jesus is God’s invitation to me to “come up higher” into the mystery of Him.
“Then coming up to Jesus privately, the disciples said,
Why were we not able to cast him out?
And Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief”
Matthew 17:19-20 (LITV)
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested,
that he might destroy the works of the devil”
1 John 3:8
And in like manner…
“…as my Father hath sent me,
even so send I you”