I once knew a man who had demons attached to him. When you believe in the Light, you must acknowledge that the dark also has a presence in our world too. Most people I know are not comfortable talking about demons and darkness though. In today’s and yesterday’s Gospel of Luke 4, Jesus encounters demons and casts them out after they recognize him as the Son of God. Do demons really exist today?
My experience with this man and in other encounters of people who I have seen in various ministries in which I am involved is that I strongly believe that they do exist. Because the demons work on behalf of the dark side, these people may tend to be suicidal and/or chronically depressed. You can imagine the weight of having something heavy attached to you. These entities are not of the Light and therefore are a burden. They seek to destroy–health, success, relationships, sanity, self-esteem, and so much more.
I had a woman call me recently who confided she was demon-possessed and she fit into the above categories. She believed that she was going crazy and needed someone to pray with her. Someone had sent her to me. As I listened to her, I thought she had some spiritual attachments that were trying to harm her. Her biggest fear was talking to someone about what she was experiencing and hoping others would not think she had lost her mind. I believed her and more than that, I suggested how she could pray for herself for protection. The dark side prowls around, hungry to devour souls. I am pleased that this woman was open to being healed and was relieved to find someone who did not think she was crazy.
This is not to say that everyone who is depressed has a demon attachment. They may need other forms of healing. I believe in the power of a team approach for casting out demons though–it is safer and more powerful. I do not recommend treading unaware into this area; I often refer to people who are more skilled than I am to deal with deliverances.
In today’s Gospel we see that after casting out the demon as well as binding and silencing them (an important aspect so that they do not harm others)–Jesus heads out to a deserted place. This type of work requires immense energy; rest and prayer will restore the one who ministers in this capacity. I think that the spiritual gift of recognizing demons is a challenging one. Most people who I know who have it, do not discuss it. It unnerves people. We do not like to think about demon possession. Images of The Exorcist creep in. I cannot stress enough though, that demons existed in the time of Jesus and they still look for souls to destroy.
The demons in Luke’s readings recognize the Christ. Demons will find ones who stand in the Light and try to create havoc. Whispering the most powerful name of Jesus causes demons to flee or retreat. The more entrenched they are in a person, the more vile and vicious they can be. They are great deceivers and the hosts may not even know that they have these harmful beings attached to them. If you are involved in a deliverance ministry, armor yourself well and take time to retreat and regroup afterwards. If Jesus took the time, you should too.
What do you believe about the dark side of life?
How does being a child of the Light give you the strength to battle these forces?
God of Light and Love,
You sent your Son Jesus
to cast out demons and darkness.
Banish now anything that is not of You
from my presence and fill me with Your peace.
Bind any spirits that are not of You
and send them silently to the foot of the cross of Jesus
to be dealt with as He judges so that they may not harm anyone else.
Surround me with Your healing Light and restore me to
the fullness of Life that you have planned for me.
In the powerful name of Jesus, the Christ and Conquerer.