Holy Fire—Choosing Freedom over Bondage

One of the most powerful moves of God happened in the 1980s in Argentina.  A businessman led this Crusade by the name of Carlos Anacondia.  Carlos gave powerful evangelistic messages that brought thousands of Argentinians to Christ.  At the core of his teaching was his emphasis on deliverance.  The person who developed the model used during these meetings was a friend of Carlos named Pablo Bottari.  Pablo’s Ten Step Deliverance Model was practical and easy to follow.  Dr. Randy Clark traveled to Argentina in the ’90s to learn this model from Carlos and Pablo.  In 1997 Dr. Clark brought the key Pastors of the revival to Florence, Ky, to teach on this model, and we were blessed to be asked personally by Dr. Clark to come to the conference. 

After being trained by Argentinian pastors, Dr. Clark began traveling around with world using this same model in his crusades. For over twenty years, I have practiced and taught others how to use this model for deliverance.  I have also learned from others such as Peter Horrobin, the Kylstra’s, Francis MacNutt, Linda Forster, and other ministries that teach deliverance and inner healing.  These ministries rely on the Holy Spirit, the word of God, and the knowledge that we must be saved and want to be set free from bondage to experience true freedom.  I never wanted my focus to be on deliverance; but, the more I ministered, the more I realized how much I needed to learn a practical and effective model that would set people free.

We are created in the image of God and are comprised of three parts, body, soul, and Spirit, and what affects one area will affect the health of our entire body.  When we confess, repent, and receive Christ as our savior, we receive a new nature where the Spirit of God resides within us.  We now are capable of seeing things and understanding things we had previously never considered.  We are given the keys to the Kingdom of God, enabling us to be free from our old sin nature, which we were slaves of, to live in the new nature as adopted sons and daughters of Father God.  Through the working of His Spirit within us and in maturing in our new nature with discipline, we can live in freedom and stay free from bondage. 

Even after the enemy’s legal rights have been broken through our confession and repentance, we may still need to go through inner healing.  We often need to be healed of the brokenness we experienced under our bondage.   Because we still possess free will, if we do not close off the area where the enemy was allowed to enter, there is a possibility that the enemy may return and afflict us once again.  As Peter said in I Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.”

Deliverance plays a crucial part in getting a person set free.  Often when ministering, we fail to see how much influence the demonic has over a person.  There are degrees that a person gives over to demonic forces, especially in substance abuse.  The following may help you recognize what stage a person is in, from their initial experimentation to becoming oppressed by demonic forces.  

We allow a demonic spirit a place of influence over us when we consistently and deliberately fail to follow God in holiness and truth. Many times people have been unable to recognize the steps of satanic influence.  First, it begins with ‘experimentation,’ which often happens without their understanding of what they are getting themselves involved in.  The next time however it is not experimentation but a ‘choice‘ they are consciously making.  If they continue to go down this path, it will become a ‘habit‘ and, if left unchecked, it quickly leads into a

bondage.’  I need to say here that I do not believe a Christian can be fully possessed by satan but I certainly do believe they can be in bondage to their act of disobedience which leads to the next step of being oppressed by the enemy.   A Christian cannot be possessed, but they can be oppressed and, at times, exhibit demonic manifestations depending on how much they have given over to the demonic. 

Excuses that people give about having a habit are often simple, ‘My dad was like this, and his dad before him, it runs in the family.  A simple excuse for being in bondage is, ‘I can quit anytime I want to; I just don’t want to quit right now.’  Also, when you see a person’s personality change, it often shows their degree of oppression.

  Chapter 5:1of Galatians says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Later, in that same chapter of Galatians 5:16-26 it says, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whateveryou want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

We all have personal responsibility to walk out our salvation, be overcomers, and allow the Holy Spirit that lives within us to rule over our flesh. His plan is not only for us to get to heaven but also to live a free and mature life here on earth and to fulfill our destinies. I want to live out of His plan for my life and I want my life to be so full of His Spirit that I leak out what and whom He is to others and give out of the abundance of whom He is in me!

In my own life and from ministering to others, I have found that the biggest battle is over the mind and emotions.  Negative, hopeless, and condemning thoughts are out of the pit of hell. Our Lord convicts us of sin so that we will quickly confess our sins to Him, repent, and turn away; most of the time, we must run away from any enticement of the sinful nature. But remember, He never brings hopelessness and condemnation but always comes with a way out.  God convicts out of love it is satan that condemns with torment. Our Lord is full of light, hope, and strength. This is why the two greatest commandments are to love Him and to love others.  As we live and abide in His love and give His love away, the battle over our minds will become less and less.  Living a holy life will become our nature, as is His nature. 

One scripture He has brought to my Spirit these past few weeks is from Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” You see, out of what is in the heart, the mouth speaks. As you read the next paragraph, put your hand over your heart and let this be my prayer over you today.

“Oh Lord, you are the Holy fire that comes to purify, cleanse, and refine, and out of the abundance of you is everything that has life. Let us be ones that speak life, hope and strength, and bring your love, peace and freedom. Knowing that inside this suit of clothes you reside and as your ambassadors we are full of the same spirit as that of our resurrected Christ.  Give us boldness to speak out for righteousness and truth, and prepare the paths you have before us to walk in. We ask in Jesus name amen.”  

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