Jennifer LeClaire is now sharing her reflections and revelations through Walking in the Spirit. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
You keep hitting the same wall. You are practicing sin and can't stop. These are two of the five signs you might need deliverance I shared with you a few weeks ago.
Of course, those aren't the only signs of demonic activity in your life. Demons can oppose you from the outside, but they can also oppress you from the inside.
When it comes to spirits at an individual level, I subscribe to the late Dr. Lester Sumrall's theory of demon possession as outlined in his Demonology & Deliverance manual. I believe there are seven stages of demonic influence: regression, repression, suppression, depression, oppression, obsession and, possession.
For the record, I do not believe a Christian can be demon-possessed. Jesus came to set the captives free, and He has given us a command and the authority to go along with it to cast out demons.
1 John 3:8b tells us, "For this purpose the Son of God was revealed, that He might destroy the works of the devil." And Acts 10:38 says, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him."
As I said before, you can be demonized in your emotions, in your mind, in your body or your physical lusts. But how can you tell if you need deliverance? Read these five telltale signs of demonic oppression below, but remember—Jesus came to set the captives free.
1. You hear constant voices in your head, and you can't shut them out.
The late Derek Prince used to say, "Anything that has a voice is a person." If you can't rid yourself of the imaginations, you could have a demon. When you meditate on the Word and it doesn't renew your mind, there's a stronghold.
2. You have obsessions and compulsions you cannot control.
These may include: strange fears and phobias, suicidal thoughts, sexually perverse thoughts, aggressive thoughts, rituals that control you, constant doubts over whether you left something, didn't turn something off, high anxiety when things aren't done your way, strange impulses to behave unusually, hoarding and addictions (food, sex, drugs).
3. You have constant feelings of guilt, condemnation and shame and rejection.
Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." If you cannot shake the intense feelings of guilt, condemnation, shame and rejection, you could have a demonic stronghold in your soul.
4. You have post-traumatic stress disorder.
Trauma starts as a shock against the soul. Left unhealed, it attracts a demon that torments you. The spirit of trauma wastes no time entering into innocent youthful minds unable to process emotions like adults—but it can strike at any age. Adults who don't know how or refuse to take the trauma to the Lord are also subject to demonic oppression.
5. You have mental health problems and feel tormented.
If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or uncontrollable emotions, you could be battling advanced demonic oppression. Deep discouragement, the need to control everything, self-pity, fear and extreme loneliness are not normal behaviors for Christians.
Yes, demons can oppress Christians. But remember, you can repent, renounce and break free, in the name of Jesus!
Jennifer LeClaire is senior editor of Charisma. She is also director of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, co-founder of awakeningtv.com, on the leadership team of the New Breed Revival Network and author of several books, including The Next Great Move of God: An Appeal to Heaven for Spiritual Awakening; Mornings With the Holy Spirit, Listening Daily to the Still, Small Voice of God; The Making of a Prophet and Satan's Deadly Trio: Defeating the Deceptions of Jezebel, Religion and Witchcraft. You can visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter. Jennifer's Periscope handle is @propheticbooks.
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