One of the biggest flaws in Western Christian thinking is to externalize and project moral conflict outside of self. The idea that all moral conflict is outside of oneself permits the deeply false model of internal problems as “illness.” The illness model excuses moral failure; if you are “sick” then it’s not your fault. This locks us into a false frame of reference that excludes spiritual discernment.
This also brings a crippled image to so-called “spiritual warfare.” People get all militant and verbally forceful, and we see lots of “spiritual heroes” supposedly with special talents for effectiveness in dealing with problems. This is not the way things are depicted in the Bible, but it’s read back into the Bible.
A critical element in deliverance from demons is that the victim hears and recognizes the word of truth in the midst of their internal storms. The ritual of demanding demons leave serves the purpose of awakening the moral awareness of the person who is suffering demonic presence. I realize it doesn’t sound like that when you read stories in the Bible about casting out demons. There is probably nothing I can do to convince your mind this is how it works, but I’m trusting your heart to catch the truth of this. Demon possession doesn’t work like most Western minds imagine it, because Western thinking is poisoned with a pagan mythology inherited from the heathen Germanic tribes that conquered the Roman Empire. It’s half the foundation of Western thinking.
Demon possession is fundamentally an issue of moral volition. Demons are quite happy to seize any authority you yield to them in your soul. Granted, your human development can be crippled badly by your environment and can set you up for failure, but there is something inside of you that is attuned to recognize divine truth. It’s in the dynamics of that field of sensory activity in the heart that recognizes the presence and authority of another heart that has the right answer. So the real miracle here is not the authority of the words spoken in some orthodox ritual of precise language, but the resonance of two humans communicating on the heart level.
Seeking God’s face and gaining moral clarity changes the resonance of your heart, that 10-15 foot field of quasi-electromagnetic energy our hearts exude. Actually, the field stretches off into infinity, but the measurable activity is detected at 10-15 feet with current technology. Either way, when someone surrendered from the heart to Christ comes within proximity of someone in need, that someone in need is capable of recognizing it.
Demons naturally recognize it, and they do what they can to bias their captives from hearing the truth. But demons can’t change what God has made, and reality actively supports those who are committed to Christ. So when a true believer announces authoritatively that the victim need not remain captive, it really depends on the victim to seize the moment of God’s mercy or to reject it.
Even with all this explanation, I’m not giving you a genuine clinical description; I’m portraying it in a fashion that should help you be an agent of God’s miraculous powers. I’m striving to counteract a very bad imagery, false parables, and hoping your heart will receive my words as a better representation of truth. And it really is between you and God. I’m not going to pretend I can authoritatively assert anything that doesn’t depend on the Holy Spirit actively breathing it into your soul. Don’t do this by your mind; let it learn from the heart.
This is the whole issue. If we saddle the mind with figuring it all out, we will get it wrong and keep doors open for the demons to come and inhabit our souls. Let the heart establish what’s true and the mind work out the implications. That’s how it should work. Rituals are not magical incantations of “word power,” but are calls to the soul. All I can do is seek to awaken some moral awareness inside of you; you are the one to cast out your own demons. If your faith rises because it resonates with your convictions, then you win.