Example of demons at work
This is a very common scene where a person gets involved in sexual perversion, and winds up in very real spiritual bondage. Let's take a person by the name of Andy, who was a very happy young Christian man who just happen to get curious about bestiality (sexual relations with an animal) and decided to give it a try with the family pet. At first it feels good, but then guilt begins to sweep over him. He now is addicted to bestiality (spirits of sexual perversion/bestiality and addiction are now on the scene), and is overtaken by guilt (a spirit of guilt begins to harass and remind Andy of his failure). He begins to turn in on himself, feeling ashamed of his dirty habit which he keeps falling into. Furthermore, the problem is drastically compounded because of the waves of guilt that keep hammering Andy about his bondage. This constant beating-down by the spirit of guilt brings a shame-based identity to Andy's mind (the demon spirit of guilt just installed a stronghold of shame in Andy's mind). Andy begins to see himself as a failure who is in bondage to a gross and embarrassing sin. Next, Andy begins to take on a beat-yourself-up mentality, where he begins to hate himself (which is a form of unforgiveness and defiles him even more!). This opens him up to spirits of infirmity, such as those behind many auto-immune diseases. If this isn't enough, the enemy has also been telling Andy that God is mad at him for living such a lifestyle, and that he will never win God's favor because of his failure. This caused Andy to see his heavenly Father as a distant, cold and angry God instead of a loving and forgiving heavenly Father. A new stronghold (where Andy sees God incorrectly) begins to take hold, and coupled with the beat-yourself-up mentality this makes for a breeding ground for mental illnesses such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD to take hold. Andy could take on a whole array of troubles at this point, from mental illness to lukemia.
Years go on as this process eats away at Andy's life, and carries out Satan's mission to KILL (lukemia), STEAL (Andy's ability to enjoy life) and DESTROY (Andy's relationship with his heavenly Father).
John 10:10, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
How does the devil (Satan) carry out these goals in our lives? Through his army of evil spirits! For more information on the work of evil spirits in the world today, be sure to read the article entitled Our Direct Enemy - Is it Satan? Or his demons?.
How cases like this are usually addressed
Andy may turn to his church for prayer to be healed of lukemia and his mental illness. The pastor does his best to pray over Andy for his healing, but with no results (because the root of the problem was never addressed... only the symptoms). Andy has no choice but to undergo medical surgery, which is also unsuccessful. Andy winds up in the hospital with medical bills driving him into debt, and taking pills that are further harming his body and costing Andy a fortune. Andy then begins to become depressed and feels hopeless over his physical condition.
Mentally, Andy is no better off... being tormented by each minute of agony that goes by thanks to his struggle against OCD. Because his pastor cannot seem to help in this area either, Andy decides to seek secular therapist concerning his OCD, but after hours of secular counseling, the therapist gives up and diagnoses Andy with OCD and gives him some pills to take that will help drug him up and suppress his so-called mental illness. The problem is far from being solved, as now Andy is taking pills that are causing more harm than good, while the mental torment is still there... the problem was never truly solved.
Andy may also turn to his church for help in the area of bestiality, but his pastor doesn't know what they can do about it besides repent and try hard not to give back in to it. Andy repents, but keeps falling back into the sin. His pastor may wonder if he's not sincere about his repentance, but Andy knows that there is a driving force within him that keeps pushing him compulsively into his sin. Andy then begins to beat up on himself even more, driving him to possibly suicide from feeling like such a failure (struggle with awful bondages to guilt and shame, suffering from likely mental illness and maybe even lukemia... what has Andy got to live for anyways?). Andy has enough and pronounces doom over himself by saying, "I wish I could just DIE! I would be better of DEAD!", thus opening him to spirits of death and suicide (See Proverbs 6:2, Proverbs 21:23 and Matthew 15:18). Now, as if things weren't bad enough, Andy now feels compulsively driven to take his life. Many people in Andy's shoes do end up taking their life, or continuing to live in misery and bondage... unable to enjoy life, they may turn to drugs or alcohol to suppress their problems, which in turn opens him up to even more bondages. Instead of living his life for the Lord in joy and freedom... telling others about Jesus and enjoying the life that Jesus gave him... he's living in misery and defeat.
Let's say his pastor had a good understanding of strongholds, and was able to help Andy tear down some of his strongholds. The problem is, those strongholds were put in place by the constant nagging of evil spirit(s), therefore unless the demons are cast out, Andy can spend months tearing down strongholds, and feel some definite relief, but the minute he backs down from his battle, those strongholds quickly re-form because the spirits which are building those strongholds were never dealt with. The only way Andy can continue to enjoy even a little bit of freedom is to wage spiritual warfare against those strongholds for the rest of his life.. but the minute he relaxes, the strongholds come right back. Not to mention, the other problems in his life are still not being addressed, such as lukemia, his mental illness, or his struggle with bestiality.
This story is not unreasonable, and is true in the lives of many across this country and world! Those of us in this type of ministry see these kinds of stories on regular bases!
Fighting the wrong enemy
Acts 10:38, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."
How did Jesus go about healing (restoring - Luke 8:2, "And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils.") all who were being harassed by the devil? He got to the root of the problem... He prescribed the perfect medicine... deliverance! The church today doesn't always prescribe the correct medicine, because they are not looking at the root of a problem, but at the symptoms. If a person has lukemia, we often pray for them to be healed, then ship them off to the hospital... not even considering what the root of their problem may be!
Paul said in 2 Corinthians that "We are not ignorant of Satan's devices"... how many of us today can make such a claim? Do many of us today realize that spiritual issues are usually the roots to physical infirmities? Do we realize that bitterness defiles a man (Hebrews 12:15) and put him into the hands of tormenting spirits (Matthew 18:23-35)? Or are we ignorant of Satan's devices?
2 Corinthians 2:11, "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."
If somebody shot a bullet into your home one day to attempt to kill your family... would you go rushing after each bullet trying to stop it? Or would you grab your gun and kill the guy who's doing the shooting? Which would be wiser? We need to stop fighting Satan's bullets, and begin to attack the spirits who are holding the guns! If your basement kept flooding, would you keep mopping up the water, week after week, or would you dig deeper to find the reason as to why the basement was getting flooded in the first place? It would be rather pointless to keep addressing the symptoms, without looking at where the problem is coming from, wouldn't it? That same principal is true in the spiritual realm as well. If we have a spiritual problem, let's find the root of that problem and treat the root. Once the root is cleaned up, the problem won't be returning and causing more problems!
You will never solve the root of the problem by treating the symptom!
How the problem can be truly solved
In Andy's situation, he needs to go through both spiritual warfare (the renewing of his mind, and the tearing down of strongholds), and also deliverance where unclean spirits are cast out in Jesus' name. Repentance is a must. The sexual relations with the animal must be repented of before the Lord, along with any other sins that need to be repented of. I also recommend that the person also verbally renounces and breaks any unclean ties in Jesus' name that were formed between them and the animal through unclean sexual relations. Andy needs to realize that the blood of Christ has then removed his sins, so the next step is for Andy to make a choice to forgive himself for his past failures. Andy needs to know that he is loved by his heavenly Father, and that he should forgive himself of his past. These can often be strongholds that Andy needs to tear down, which take place as Andy renews his mind with the Word of God. If God's Word says that Andy is forgiven, and that God has even chosen to forget his sins... therefore Andy needs to stop holding his past against himself. Self-forgiveness is a must in a situation like this!
The enemy has painted a bad picture of God in Andy's mind, through constantly telling Andy that God hates him for the sin which he has done. This means there is a stronghold in Andy's mind, that causes him to see his heavenly Father as a cruel, distant and angry God, instead of a loving and forgiving heavenly Father. It's like seeing things through a dark pair of glasses... strongholds will distort your vision/perception. Therefore, Andy needs to tear down that stronghold as well. Andy needs to feed his mind on the goodness of God, which can be done through meditating daily on Bible verses that show us the goodness and forgiving nature of our heavenly Father. Andy would also do good to read some good books such as Blessed Beyond Measure by Gloria Copeland, which will show him what the true nature of his heavenly Father.
The person ministering to Andy needs to take authority in Jesus' name over the unclean spirits in Andy, and began commanding them to come out. Spirits such as sexual perversion, bestiality, guilt, fear (which entered when Andy began to see God as an angry God), self-hate, etc. need to be addressed.
Of course, it is also very important to pray before the deliverance, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal anything that needs to be revealed, and guide them through this process. It is important to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit when driving out unclean spirits, because He may lead you to cast out some before others, stop and talk with the person about something, etc.
When Andy walks away after being ministered to properly, and all the strongholds and spirits were addressed... he will be able to walk out the door glowing with freedom and joy over his newfound life. Many who go through deliverance like this will find that it makes such a positive impact on their system that when they go outside, the grass looks greener, the sky is bluer, and the air is fresher! Those who go through this type of deliverance and find freedom as Andy... will walk away being able to enjoy life for a change... they will be happy to be alive!
The next step is for Andy to cultivate his relationship with his heavenly Father, and not to go back into the world. I would even pray that he receives the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, which will set them afire for Christ!