Addicted to Deliverance?
As a deliverance ministry, we have had the opportunity to deal with a great range of cases, and we have learned many valuable things along the way. One of the most valuable lessons that we learned early on is understanding the importance of not simply undergoing a deliverance, but learning to walk in dominion after your deliverance.
The danger of not knowing the importance of this can cause many Christians to become addicted to a cycle of deliverance. Understanding that deliverance is just the stepping stone towards reaching the goal of walking in dominion will cause a shift in your mind that produces powerful growth in your life.
God told the Israelites that He would not drive out their enemies from before them all at once. Although God went ahead of Israel, He did it “little by little.” The contingency and speed of how fast God completed this deliverance and dominion was what caused an increase in the Israelites. When you increase, not only do you understand and possess what is yours, but you inherit what already belonged to you through the sacrifice of Jesus.
I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land.Exodus 23:29-30
The link between deliverance and dominion is development. Deliverance is what God does for you, but dominion is what God does through you. It is when God develops you and increases you. In the New Testament, development is equivalent to discipleship, which is when the Lord develops you on the inside.
Deliverance is what God does for you, dominion is what God does through you.
When you come to Jesus Christ, you may receive deliverance, but that doesn’t mean you’ll see every promise fulfilled right away. You don’t get everything God has promised to you right away just because you’ve accepted Christ. As you grow in Him and increase, there will be higher levels, more breakthroughs, more freedom, more victories, and more blessings. Your development is key. Just as children are not able to walk straight out of the womb, nobody is born with a natural ability to walk in dominion. You have to grow into what is already yours in Christ.
Although dominion is given to every Christian, many do not exercise it and as a result, they continue to live as victims. The pursuit of God and the renewing of the mind is what causes someone to move from a constant need for deliverance to a life of freedom and victory in Christ. When you begin to develop a habit of praying, reading the Bible, giving, and habitually attending church, your spirit begins to grow. That growth is what helps you to possess what God has already granted you.
Too many people fight over whether Christians can be possessed when the real question is why are Christians not possessing their promised land? We are supposed to be possessing our promised land!
Then Joshua said to the children of Israel: “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you?Joshua 18:3
We need to move from being delivered from demons to defeating demons. We need to move from Egypt to the promised land. However, the promised land is contingent on you increasing, developing, and growing. As you grow, God will give you more freedom, victory, and breakthrough.
Walking in dominion is not just knowing you have the authority, commanding demons out in Jesus’ name, or knowing which place to anoint. Although these things are important, true dominion comes when God develops maturity in you by removing Moses and manna.
True dominion comes when God develops maturity in you.
Before Joshua fought in the promised land, Joshua had to emotionally mature. Losing Moses and manna can throw us off of our tracks. “Moses” may represent people in your life you depend on—a parent, a mentor, or someone close to you that suddenly leaves you. “Manna” represents the resources in your life that you cannot live without right now, like your job, your living arrangements, or your business.
Before Joshua stepped into dominion, he lost these things. This left him with two options: stay confused and question why God left, or come to the realization that God was actually still with him, even if these physical provisions/people were not.
Sometimes when God starts preparing you to mature spiritually, He will remove people who you walked with. This could happen suddenly, which can leave you feeling confused and cause you to look for someone else to depend on.
When you are in the promised land, stop looking for someone to depend on and start looking at all of the people who are depending on you! This is the shift that needs to take place in the mind of a conqueror.
When you are in the promised land, stop looking for someone to depend on and start looking at all of the people who are depending on you!
God may only bring some people into your life for a specific reason or a season; when this is accomplished, He’ll remove them. Although this will cause you to have to mature quickly, God is using this to develop dominion within you. Moses provided the Israelites and Joshua with a sense of stability and security. When Moses is removed from your life, you have to stand on the fact that although they are no longer with you, God is.
When Manna is removed—when your job, business, or location changes–you may also feel confused. However, God never promised manna—He promised milk and honey. How can God give you milk and honey until He removes the manna?
Don’t be frustrated because your dominion does not start with your authority; it starts with your maturity. Your maturity is shown when you keep moving forward even after your brook dries up. Don’t stay and die because of the dried brook. Maturity is also shown when you can stand even if everyone else has walked away from your life. Abraham chose to still trust God even after Lot left him. True maturity is when your manna stops and you can still say, “My God is still with me, I will go into the next season of my life.”
God may take away the people you depended on, and instead, make you the one that others begin to on. This is where maturity and development are needed. Before Joshua fought, he needed to be anchored in the fact that he was now the leader.
Joshua also needed to realize that God did not abandon them because the manna stopped; He just transitioned them into a new season. Sometimes the transition looks like an abandonment because you may have depended on it for 40 years, but this provision was not the promise. The manna was meant to be temporary to get them to milk and honey. We can get so addicted to the manna so much so that when it is removed, we forget the real purpose and calling God gives us—to walk in dominion.
God will develop patience and perseverance by letting you face impenetrable walls.
When Joshua stepped into the promised land as the new leader, God needed to develop patience and perseverance within him.
God will develop patience and perseverance by letting you face impenetrable walls.
The first battle Joshua encountered was the most difficult that he had to face. The Israelites were faced with an impenetrable wall and had no strategy or equipment to bring it down. Although Joshua sent two spies to go to Jericho to figure out how to bring the wall down, they did not come back with a plan but with faith.
God is developing you when He throws you the biggest battle first.
From the beginning, He wants you to learn one thing: do not rely on your flesh or on a strategy, but rather on His Spirit and prayer. The strategy that God gave Joshua did not make sense in the natural realm because it was strictly spiritual. The Israelites walked once a day around the wall for 7 days, while circumcised and physically weak. As they walked, those defending the wall threw rocks at them from the wall, yet Joshua and the Israelites obeyed God. Day after day, they walked and nothing happened, but on the seventh day, they were commanded to walk around it seven times.
This was God’s plan for the Israelites–to wait and walk while God did the work.
In these 7 days, God developed patience within His people. Despite opposition, they walked with the ark on their shoulders and in obedience, patience and perseverance were developed.
When walking in dominion, you will need to have a spine, stamina, and a strong persevering attitude. The devil is compared to a lion, which has a small heart, causing it to lack stamina. Therefore, being patient and persevering is the way to overcome the devil.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.James 4:7-10
When God begins to work on your patience, He is developing authority and dominion within you. If you are desiring freedom or deliverance, shift your attitude. Don’t think “if it doesn’t happen today I’ll quit,” but rather if it doesn’t happen today, it’s going to happen sometime in the future. Be steadfast and planted in God. If you stand your ground and don’t move, the enemy will move.
Be steadfast and planted in God. If you stand your ground and don’t move, the enemy will move.
Let God develop that fruit within you as you walk with Him. Don’t walk away from Him if He doesn’t do it in your timing. While God fights for you and wars for you in these moments, He is also working on you.
As God is beating the enemy, He is also building you. How can God build patience in you if you quit every time He tries to? God will not just zap you with patience, He will instead present you with opportunities to become patient.
You cannot build perseverance with one altar call. Even after undergoing deliverance at the altar, you may find that not all of your problems are immediately solved; there may still be challenges to overcome. God is more interested in developing your character than getting the demons out. He is more interested in your development and growth than in your destination. He is interested in making us disciples and His children that exemplify His character.
God is more interested in developing your character than in getting all the demons out. He is interested in your development more than your destination.
God develops dependency through defeats.
After the victory in Jericho, Joshua became overconfident when fighting for the next city. He sent the spies out again, but instead of them coming back with faith like before, they returned with a strategy. Joshua’s confidence turned into cockiness; his prayers turned into planning. He went from depending on the supernatural of God to depending on his strategy. He went from spies saving Rahab to the Israelites losing 36 people. They ultimately ended up losing the battle.
After this battle Joshua was left confused, tearing His clothes and crying out to God. Joshua had to come back and fully surrender to God; it was at that point that God responded with divine instructions and strategies for victory.
You will experience defeats in your promised land, which will be a result of a lack of dependence on God. It is normal for us as humans to get one victory under our belt and equal that experience to God’s will. We may think after that victory that we no longer need to pray as long or depend on Him as much. But scripture says,
Pride goes before destruction.Proverbs 16:18
How is pride masked? It’s masked in instances when you plan instead of pray and feel like you have what it takes to do it on your own without relying on God. You cannot walk in dominion without walking in dependence on God. Sometimes the Lord will bring us back to a place of dependence by allowing defeat in different areas of our life. Defeat is not a way to punish us, but to bring us back to prayer either before the battle or after the defeat.
When you get first get delivered, the first couple of days are amazing! You are so sensitive to the voice of God, to what you watch, and what you do. But afterward, it is common for people to feel invincible and unstoppable, putting themselves into complacent situations. This then leads to lukewarmness and them walking a fine line of what is considered a sin.
This behavior is what causes people to feel like they need deliverance again, which is possible. But what the majority of people really need at this point is dependence. Deliverance was never made for you to become independent from God.
When you are broken and hurting, dependence on God is easy, but when you are walking in victory, whole, and healed, can you still walk and depend on God as you did when you needed Him to hold you?
When you are broken and hurting, dependence on God is easy, but when you are walking in victory, whole, and healed, can you still walk and depend on God as you did when you needed Him to hold you? Can you pray the same way now when nothing is pressing you from the outside?
Make the decision that is spiritually and emotionally mature to be dependent on God in your failure and in your success. It’s not that Christians are too busy to pray, but rather that they are too proud. We need to maintain an attitude of dependence in our heart toward God no matter what the circumstance. Dominion and victory are connected to walking in dependence on God. You can be delivered powerfully but if you don’t depend on God, you will go back into defeat; however, if you choose to repent, He will restore your dominion.
You can be delivered powerfully, but if you don’t depend on God, you will regress to defeat.
Getting back up from defeat is part of our development.
When Joshua experienced defeat, he did not go back to Egypt, instead, he got up. This represents when you get delivered but fall back into sin, or when you get delivered and the enemy attacks again. When the enemy tells you, that you need to undergo deliverance again from the beginning due to a sin you recommitted, remember that this is not true. You can, in fact, resume from where you left off.
How do you resume?
- You repent of your sin.
- You remove whatever you brought into your life that is not of God.
- You renounce it.
- You restart.
Dominion is like a muscle; you need to exercise it! When you become mature and stand your ground, develop patience, and your dependence on God is treasured, then you are learning to walk in dominion. Make sure pride does not become your downfall, as it did with Satan.
Stay humble and dependent even in our dominion and victories.
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