THE DELIVERANCE MINISTRY
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness (meekness), self-control. Against such there is no law.”
The word fruit is singular, meaning that these nine qualities can only be produced by a person who has had the love of God shed-abroad on their hearts at the moment of their spiritual birth, in other words, unbelievers do not
have the capacity to produce spiritual fruit, since they are not born again, or born of the Spirit of God.
Galatians 5:24-25 “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit (if we are born again, or born of the Spirit), let us also walk in the Spirit.”
What Paul is trying to teach us here is that we have a unique opportunity, as believers, to take advantage of the deliverance that our salvation has made available to all who believe.
In the previous lesson (deliverance is for life, in the deliverance archives) I made the point that Jesus not only forgives us our sins when we confess them before Him in true repentance, but that Jesus is not only just, but able as well, to cleanse us, that is, to deliver us from the consequences of the sins that He forgives us when we truly repent. 1 John 1:9
So that Paul is making the case to the Galatians, that since the Spirit of God’s love abides in them, for without God’s Spirit they could not be saved, why don’t they just continue to follow the spiritual path of love that will eventually lead them to a victorious walk of self-control, which is the goal of the Christian path, that is to overcome our selfish ambitions.
Philippians 2:3-4 “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interest of others.”
A self-centered person can never truly be delivered, for the Christian battle is always between the spirit of Selfish-Ambitions and the spirit of Self-Control, and a self-centered person can never walk in self-control, for everything in this world is designed to entice the spirit of selfishness that we were all born within our human nature, away from God’s counsel that will lead us into the path of self-control.
1 John 2:15-17 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
The key phrase here is, the love of the Father, spiritual fruit emanates from the love of the Father, without the love of the Father there is no spiritual fruit, and love for the things of this world will keep us from being delivered from the spirit of Selfish-Ambitions.
1 Peter 1:9 “Receiving the end (goal) of your faith—the salvation (deliverance) of your souls.”
The goal of our Christian walk is that of living by the power of the spiritual fruit of Self-Control, for against such there is no law, in other words, there can be no condemnation against us when we are led by the Spirit of God’s love.
But remember what Paul said, if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit, meaning that not all who are born again, that is, they live in the Spirit, are able to walk in the Spirit as well, for they are bound by strongholds that keeps them from walking in the freedom that Jesus has destined for them.
What is it that keeps Christians from walking in the freedom of self-control that Jesus has already purchased for them?
Jonah 2:8 “Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own Mercy.”
Jonah 2:8 “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” NIV
Remember that it was Jonah who did not want to go and preach to the city of Nineveh that if they repented, God would forgive them, and because of his rebellion against the will of God, he was taken into the belly of hell itself where he almost perished. Why did he rebelled?
Jonah 4:2 “So he prayed to the Lord, and said, ‘Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.’”
Jonah refused to preach to his enemies because he did not want them to be spared the judgment that they had coming. Knowing that God is merciful, Jonah feared that if he preached to them and they repented, that God would forgive them, as He did.
Jonah’s selfish desires got the best of him, for he rather see his enemies perish than forgiven, and it almost cost him his own soul, so that he understood about forfeiting the grace that he had with God.
Jesus taught the same principle to us in a parable, so that we understand the dangers of walking in our own selfish interests.
Matthew 18:33-35 “Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you? And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers (tormentors) until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
If we are to fully understand about love and forgiveness, and deliverance and restoration, we have to view them from a spiritual perspective, rather than from our physical perch, and that is because there are demonic forces involved with all of these.
The torturers, or tormentors, are the demonic entities that are in place, and they are ready to go, in a moments notice, after those who stray from the path that God has ordained for them to walk in.
While in the world, many of us fell prey to their trickery and paid for our sins and mistakes with the loss of something that was near and dear to us, for the wages of sin is death, and many of us became bound to their strongholds that kept us repeating the same sins over and over again.
But when we got saved, Jesus delivered us from the path of waywardness and set our feet on the solid foundation of His Word, and put us under His protection and covering.
But the deliverance from the strongholds that still remained after our salvation, can only be obtained by the power of His love with which He loved us, working in us and through us, and manifested to others in a way that makes it clear to all the demonic hosts that we understand God’s mercy and His great love and compassion for all humankind.
1 John 4:18-20 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us (we understand His love for us so that we are able to love Him back, and are able to love others as He loves them). If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”
As we learn not to take the offenses that come our way personally, and make it a habit of praying for our enemies and for those whom the Lord places in our path that keep failing others and ourselves, we become spiritual light bearers on behalf of those who are out in no man’s land.
Our prayers for them becomes a temporary covering, like the one that God provided for the prophet Jonah as He was dealing with Jonah’s rebellion, that way, the demonic tormentors are limited in what they are able to do against those we are praying for, and when the Lord knows that they are ready, He will remove the temporary covering that He placed over them through our ministry of intercession and reveal to them His love for them and the way of their salvation.
Jonah 4:6-11 “And the Lord God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah (a temporary spiritual covering), that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah’s head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, ‘It is better for me to die than to live.’ Then God said to Jonah, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?’ And he said, ‘It is right for me to be angry, even to death!’ But the Lord said, ‘You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?’”
Jonah had such a tremendous stronghold of hatred towards the people of Nineveh that he was angry enough to die for a plant that offered him a temporary covering, while he waited to see if God would destroy the city that he hated and did not want to see delivered.
The fact that God uses the number one hundred and twenty thousand, connects it to the church age, for there were about one hundred and twenty disciples gathered together in one accord when the Holy Spirit fell on them. Is there a hidden lesson here for the church of Jesus Christ?
Let us keep it personal; is there a hatred so deep within you against someone or something, that you are willing to forfeit the grace that you have in Jesus just to get revenge? I pray not!
But if you have a stronghold of prejudice in your life against someone who has hurt you, you need to bear it no more, ask the Lord to deliver you, pray for His revelation to show you the spiritual condition of those who betrayed your trust, and know for a fact that all your trespasses He has gladly forgiven you.
If you cannot find the capacity within you to love and to forgive those who spitefully used you and abused you, I have good news for you, He will give you a new heart, just let the old one go.
Get on the floor, with your face pressed hard against it, and picture yourself at the feet of Jesus, and there cry out to Him; Lord! Have mercy on this lost and broken sinner, and there at the foot of the cross, leave that old broken and hardened heart once and for all, and before you get up you will be renewed, for He is a merciful God, and He will not turn you away.
To be sure, you will not be the first nor will you be the last to be delivered by the power of an all loving and merciful God.
Jonah 2:2 “...I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, and He answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol (hell) I cried, and You heard my voice.”