Ready for deliverance? What to look for
As ministers, it is important to be able to recognize situations where a person is not prepared to receive deliverance. Here are some important guidelines to keep in mind when seeing if they are ready to receive and maintain their deliverance:
#1 Are they a Christian?
If they are not a Christian, do not even think of a deliverance session unless the Holy Spirit specifically tells you otherwise. Casting demons out of non-believers is unwise as those spirits can come back 7 times worse.
#2 Are they prepared to give up anything necessary to receive and maintain their deliverance?
Every now and then, we see people who are simply seeking deliverance so that their problems will go away, but they are not willing to give up ungodly things in their life to receive and maintain their deliverance. For example, one person came to me asking for help, but was not willing to stop living a lifestyle of fornication. If they are not willing to give up things in their life that are giving demonic spirits legal grounds, then they are not worthy of or prepared to receive the children's bread (deliverance). Those demons have a right to be there, and many times we will be unable to get those spirits to budge. Even if we do cast them out, they can come right back because they have permission to be there.
#3 Are they willing to seek a close walk with the Lord and spend time with Him each day after their deliverance, so that they can maintain their deliverance?
After a person receives deliverance, it is important to note that demons often like to re-approach that person, and if they are not on their guard, those spirits would love to coax the person to let them back in. If they aren't spending time with God and cultivating their relationship with Him, they will give in much easier (either knowingly or unknowingly) and those spirits could re-gain their access.
#4 Are they prepared to meditate on Bible verses and work hard to keep strongholds torn down?
In many cases, it is vital for that person to renew their mind (including tearing down strongholds) before they are able to walk in complete freedom. This can take time out of their daily lives, and they must be willing to follow through with this if they want to make the most of their deliverance. Demons not only work to build strongholds in our minds, but they also thrive on them and even use them to re-enter people! Strongholds are very powerful and are a tool in the enemy's weaponry... we must be ready to take this tool out of his hands!
#5 Are they willing to communicate everything in their past with their minister so that he can identify any issues that must be worked on in order for that person's deliverance to be effective?
Sometimes people are unwilling to tell anybody about something they've done in their past because it is so embarrassing. This is a trap that the devil uses to keep a person from breaking free. It is important to be able to trust the minister with whom you are sharing your past, but on the other hand it is also a very important step in the deliverance process. There are many things that a knowledgeable minister can pick up on when they hear a person's past. That is how we usually discover strongholds, legal grounds and even the type of demons or demon groupings that are present. Knowing this helps us effectively go forth and minister to that person.
#6 They must be ready to let go of their demon(s).
Some people like holding onto their demons because of the pleasure that spirit(s) may bring them. For example, incubus may bring a woman much sexual pleasure at night, and therefore she does not want to give it up, yet she wants delivered from the problems that it is causing in her life. If a person is not willing to give up a spirit, then there is little we can do to help them.
I must also caution that though a person is struggling in an area of their life, it does not mean they are not sincere and ready to receive deliverance. It is important to discern whether they are prepared to receive deliverance or not, as there will be times when a person cannot stop masturbating or cannot stop lusting, and yet they want so badly to be set free from those bondages. Just because they cannot stop falling in that area, does not mean they are not sincere. It can mean that the spirit has such a grip on them that they are put under so much pressure to give in, that they can barely keep themselves from giving in.
Take for example a spirit of rebellion. It will cause a person to take up a very rebellious personality. On the other hand, if they are wanting to be set free from that, then they are most likely ready for deliverance, but if they enjoy their rebellion and refuse to give it up, then I question whether or not they are ready. The same is true with spirits of lust, addiction, etc., if they realize the bondage they are in and want to be set free, then I would move forward with the deliverance. But if they tell me that they enjoy their addiction and lusting and are not willing to give it up, then it's not time to move forward (unless the Holy Spirit directs otherwise).
Don't take this to an extreme
Although it is not a common problem, I have seen where some deliverance ministers can blame the person for not being ready to receive deliverance when they cannot seem to cast a demon out of them (unsuccessful deliverance), or when they would rather not deal with the person or the demons in them. When a deliverance fails, while it can be the person's fault sometimes, it can also be several reasons that are beyond the knowledge or understanding of the minister (not all legal grounds were removed, not all strongholds were addressed, etc.). However, some ministers use the excuse "you're not sincere" or "you're not ready to receive deliverance". This is heartbreaking, because they are blaming the person in bondage, possibly creating an even worse situation and feelings of failure and unworthiness. It is a shame to see a person who is ready for deliverance be denied and told that they are not ready to receive it. It is important that we be able to discern whether or not the person is prepared to receive deliverance so that we do not fall into this trap.