Thursday, January 15, 2009
The Extent of Demonic Control
There are many questions today about demonic control. One well known pastor when asked about demons and the Christian said "Don't worry about the little green men." In other words totally ignore the issue. On the other hand some believers have become fearful of the enemy. They believe everything that goes wrong in their lives must be the work of the enemy. Both extremes are unbiblical. Under the direction of Satan, demons seek to attack and harass Christan's. Satan is not bound today to use the same particular set of strategies that he used in New Testament times, and his strategies can be expected to be tailored to his audience. How much influence can a demon have on a true believer? In seeking to answer this question, we must keep in mind several basic principles: 1. Satan's power was broken at the cross (Col. 2:15). 2. Scripture is not exhaustive on the subject of demons. God did not tell us everything about every subject. Deuteronomy 29:29 "The secret things belong to the Lord our God."3. Satan is able to influence a believer, or else there would be no reason for the many New Testament warnings to resist him. The questions is not his ability to influence us, but the extent to which he is able to do so. 4. Do not confuse spatial relations (the physical location of a demon) with spiritual ones. A genuine believer can allow a non-Christan person to control him-why not a demon? The issue is one of control, not ownership.5. Once we become believers, we still face the lingering consequences of sin from our past.6. We must carefully define our terms. However we define the term in relation to demons and the Christian, in the final analysis all believers are Christ's possession, and nothing (angels, powers, and principalities) can change that. A person having a demon is not the same as the demon "having" him (i.e. controlling his eternal destiny). While the person may yield control to demonic forces through sin, he cannot yield his eternal status as a child of God, which Christ fully controls. 7. What, then is my conclusion? I feel that, though demons can display a remarkable amount of control over the body and actions of a genuine Christian, nonetheless they cannot "possess" him in the sense of controlling his eternal destiny (see I John 5:18). The extent of the control given to any demon(s), however, is determined by the believer, who has the authority to yield his own life to whomever he wishes (whether the Holy Spirit, evil spirits, or even human beings, including cult leaders.) Sin in a believers life open a door to enemy influence. Repentance and confession of sin closes the door. Sin is Satan's ground, repentance is ours.