We ran into a roadblock yesterday on the path to revival: many Christians don't believe they can have a demon. If you want to be part of the revival that is now springing up in America, you must accept the possibility that you have demons.
The mandate Jesus gave His original disciples to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons (Matthew 10:8), falls on His disciples today. But the Bible also says that "judgment begins with the household of God" (1 Peter 4:17). So, it seems that the first step towards becoming ministers of healing and deliverance is to experience healing and deliverance ourselves. We can only teach with authority truths we know from experience. God called the prophet Isaiah to preach to "a people of unclean lips," but first, Isaiah had to realize that he was in need of cleansing. In Isaiah chapter 6, the prophet encountered God's holiness, which caused him to realize, "I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts." Isaiah had to confront the evil of his own lips before God commissioned him to preach to the nation of unclean lips.
The book of Hebrews also confirms that a servant of God ought to sympathize with the weaknesses of those to whom He is called to minister.
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15
God has called You and I to be priests for the world in the likeness of Jesus (Revelation 5:10), who sympathizes with those to whom He ministers. Only, unlike Jesus, you and I are not without sin. Before we are ready to confront the demons in the lives of others, we need to confront the Devil's footholds in our own lives. That is why it is a problem when Christians don't believe they can have a demon. We will fail to be "merciful and faithful" priests to God if we do not see ourselves on an equal plain with those who receive our ministry. We will also fail to recognize demons in the lives of others if we can't perceive them in ourselves.
I believe there is a foundational reason that many Christians don't think they can have a demon, which is a problem that used to plague me. Believe it or not, the problem is a lack of faith in God's grace. People who have grown up in the Church have a harder time admitting they are sinners. If your parents raised you with strict morals that you have strived to keep (which is a good thing, not a bad thing), you are likely to subconsciously conclude that God loves you because you keep the rules. This wrong-headed idea was something I believed without realizing it for a long time. I only knew that I was constantly restless and plagued by a sense of not being good enough. But a great wave of relief and joy came into my life when I accepted that God's love for me purely depended upon His goodness and not my own. I finally found a place of rest from my striving to keep His love. This day of revelation was also a time of deliverance from pride, anxiety, anger, and restlessness. Out of this profound experience of deliverance, I found grace in my heart for others. We all belong on an equal plane and can accept the ministry of the Holy Spirit based on God's grace alone.
Why should I believe that a non-believer can have a demon while I cannot? What is the difference between a pagan and me? In theory, the difference is that I am aware of and rest in the love of God while they are unaware and unbelieving. Their lack of knowledge and lack of faith keeps them in bondage. But can it be said that I have no lack of faith? Can it be said that I never doubt the love of God? No, that cannot be said truthfully. I do struggle with faith and rest. Therefore, I must conclude that I still wrestle with demons. The only advantage that I have over a non-believer is knowledge. I know the Word of God, God's love for me, the power of Jesus' blood, the authority of Jesus' name, and the knowledge of past experiences with God. But if I cease to walk in faith, I am again susceptible to the enemy's lies. It is only in this place of humility that I become, like Jesus, a merciful and faithful priest of God.
If we want to see a Christian revival, we must be willing to acknowledge and confront the demons in our own house, and then we will be ready to do the works that Jesus did.
"For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God;" 1 Peter 4:17.