Deliverance Prep 101: What you can expect!
Preparing somebody to receive and maintain their deliverance is very important. This is a basic list of things that you might explain to somebody before you walk them through deliverance. I always like to make sure they understand what is going on, and not feel confused or in darkness over the process of deliverance.
Deliverance is often a process
While deliverance can be a one-time event, it can also be a process. If you don't receive all your freedom at once, don't be discouraged! Sometimes it takes time to dig out all the junk in our souls. One session you may address one area of your life, while in another, you may address bondages in another. Or sometimes you may have several sessions to address issues in one area of your life. Either way, don't be discouraged. Many times it takes multiple sessions before a person is completely delivered. Sessions can range from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the bondage that must be sorted out and worked through.
Never be discouraged, but keep pressing forward to receive what Jesus purchased for you with His blood on the cross! Sometimes it may even take more than one minister to bring that freedom, as different ministers may be more knowledgeable in various areas of deliverance.
The goal of deliverance is wholeness
It is easy to think of the deliverance ministry as a quick-fix... simply casting out demons takes away all of a person's bondages. The ministry of deliverance is often a process which involves more than simply driving out the demons. There are usually strongholds to be torn down. Since strongholds are incorrect thinking patterns, this is done through the renewing of your mind according to the Word of God. There is often inner healing that needs to take place as well. I cannot stress how important it is to pursue an intimate relationship with the Lord once you have been delivered. If you neglect your relationship with God, the enemy would be more than happy to begin finding ways to cause you to lose your newfound freedom.
The purpose of deliverance is to receive freedom from any hindrances in your life that would keep you from walking in the fullness of God's plan for your life and your relationship with Him.
The four elements of deliverance ministry
Deliverance ministry can be generally broken down into 4 groups of ministry:
Legal grounds, as many of us call them, are basically things in a person's life which are giving or have given a demon the right to enter or remain in the person. Unconfessed sins, ungodly soul ties, unforgiveness, holding cursed possessions (occult rings, etc.) and so fourth can give demons a right to inhabit and torment a person. These legal grounds are removed through repentance, renunciation, extending forgiveness, etc.
Strongholds are basically incorrect thinking patterns in your mind. If you think God is angry with you, then you will feel like He is (when nothing could be further from the truth). If you think you are worthless, then you will feel worthless. Strongholds are torn down as you meditate as specific areas of God's Word which reprograms your mind to think differently. If God sees you as a precious child of His, and you begin to realize and believe that... it will change the way you see yourself for example.
Inner healing is often required when ministering to somebody who has been abused, raped or has been exposed to a traumatic experience. Inner healing is a working of the Holy Spirit and is received as a person releases the inner hurt and pain from past experiences and allows the Holy Spirit to come in and heal those wounds. Forgiveness often plays a part in this releasing process and is done by faith (even if you don't feel like you could ever forgive somebody for the damage they've done). Oftentimes, self-forgiveness needs to be received as the person is holding things against themself which must be released.
Casting out demons is where the demons are confronted in Jesus' name and driven out of the person. This step is where the actual demons are expelled from the person and cannot be overlooked in most cases. Even if you do feel a measure of freedom after tearing down strongholds and breaking up legal grounds, demons may still be present and need to be cast out.
What you can expect during a deliverance
Sometimes you may manifest a demon, other times it seems like nothing happens when they are being expelled.
Mild manifestations often involve coughing, spitting up phlegm, burping, deep yawning or sighing, pressure or pain in areas of your body, shaking, screaming, etc. If you feel these things coming at you, don't resist them... let the demons manifest and come fourth. Demons may use your vocal system to speak through you to the minister.
Stronger manifestations are usually found in cases where a person is being delivered from severe oppression, deliverance from occult involvement or Satanism. You are often not conscience when these spirits manifest. They can cause your body to levitate, physically struggle with those present for the deliverance, cause a demonic convulsion, and so fourth. If you have been involved in energy healing, new age practices, false religions, witchcraft, occult, Satanism or other deeper demonic practices, then it doesn't hurt to let your minister know in advanced so he or she can have additional support present during the deliverance session.
Feelings or emotions will often rise up as spirits are confronted. For example, if we are dealing with a spirit of grief, the person may experience deep levels of grief as it is manifesting and being driven out.
You may experience loss of consciousness or partial loss of consciousness. As the spirits manifest, some will suppress your conscious as they manifest. Sometimes you feel drownded out but are still aware of what is happening. Other times nothing happens along these lines and you are fully conscience. If you do feel yourself falling into a deep sleep stage, I wouldn't try to stop it... it is recommended to allow the demon to come to the surface where we can deal with it.
Demons may speak through you at times to the minister. Sometimes they will simply take control of your mouth and speak. You may or may not be aware of this when it happens, but don't try to prevent it. If you hear yourself spewing out curses and foul language towards your minister, don't be ashamed... it happens!
Sometimes spirits can be stubborn and require persistence to drive them out. If the minister repeatedly confronts the same spirit, don't worry... I often have to spend a little time just trying to get the demon to come to the surface so I can deal with it. Demons can resist our authority and therefore they require persistent pressure before they cooperate.
Things not to do during deliverance
The enemy can try to bombard you with doubt, fear and make you feel like you will never be set free. I advise to fight those feelings as much as you can. Saying to yourself, "I will never be set free!" is doubting the work that God is trying to for you and wages war against your faith. You might find it helpful to say to yourself something along the lines of, "I resist those feelings and believe in the work that Jesus is doing in my life!"
It is important not to be afraid of the demons. God is much more powerful, and His angels are here to assist! We may encounter some strong spirits that will resist our authority (that is why we need to be persistent), but your freedom has been paid for by the precious Blood of Christ, and we need to stand on that as we confront and battle the spirits at hand.
When demons are manifesting or being driven out of you, it is usually best not to do much talking. Spirits often leave through the person's mouth, and it is true that we can hold them back from coming out if we obstruct their passageway. If you feel something evil coming up your throat, don't try to stop it from coming out... let it come fourth!
Hanging on to your bondage can literally keep you from being delivered. It is important to LET GO and allow the demons to be released. Trying to remove a spirit of fear while you're choosing in your mind to agree with it (being fearful) is not an easy task. You need to be determined to have faith in Jesus, which is the opposite of fear. Let those demons come out... let them come to the surface and be expelled... don't hold them back!
Keep your minister informed on what is going on
Before your deliverance, while filling out the questionnaire, do you experience any uncomfortable feelings, nervousness, shaking, etc. while trying to answer certain questions? If so, let the minister know what the questions were because it is likely arousing a spirit in you that doesn't want those legal grounds to be broken.
Throughout the deliverance session, the Holy Spirit may bring to your remembrance a past sin or situation that may have opened the door to demons... tell your minister about this right away so they can help you remove any legal grounds to the spirits. If you feel the Holy Spirit sharing anything with you during your deliverance, don't hesitate to share it with your minister.
You are often going to experience things that your minister cannot perceive or know about. For example, physical pain in an area of your body indicates a spirit manifesting. If the minister knows where it is, he or she may place a Bible over that area of your body and confront the spirit. If you feel any discomfort, pain or pressure in your body or confusion, headache, racing thoughts, irrational emotions, etc. rising up in your mind, then it can be very helpful to let the minister know what is going on. If you feel release from a spirit or feel something leave you... let the minister know. If you experience any feelings of anger, hate, rage, rebellion, the desire to run out of the room, etc., I recommend telling the minister about what is happening. Always try to keep him or her posted on what is going on inside you, unless they are right in the middle of casting it out and you feel it is coming out of your mouth (I mentioned above not to talk or obstruct your airways as the demons are being expelled).
YOU are often the best person to determine whether the spirit has left. Did you feel a release or relief as if something has left you? Let the minister know! Sometimes they can go into hiding (to trick you into thinking they are gone) and other times there are additional spirits to be driven out, but keeping your minister updated on what is happening is helpful. Normally speaking though, when you feel a release, it means that spirit(s) had departed.
Have questions? Don't hesitate to ask!
It is important to communicate with your minister while doing deliverance; if there's something you don't understand, don't hesitate to ask him or her. We may not have all the answers, but I believe it is important to help you understand the best we can.
If demons return, don't hesitate to seek freedom again
Every once in a while, a person may re-open doors to the demons which they were delivered from. When this happens, if the person has repented for any sins committed, then there is no reason to hesitate seeking that freedom again. Sometimes a person can feel embarrassed or condemned for messing up again or allowing the spirits to re-enter them. This is a tactic of the enemy to keep them from re-seeking that freedom. I do not judge or condemn those who re-seek that freedom, but rather encourage you to do so... it's your freedom... don't let the devil re-claim that area of your life!