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When Demons Are Left Alone

I was listening to an interview with a famous worship leader who described his grief when he discovered that his hero, Brennan Manning, never overcame alcoholism. He said, “This man knew grace so well; surely he would overcome alcoholism by the end of his life?!” But this was not the case. Why? Because you can’t crucify a demon, nor can you theorize a demon away. You have to drive a demon out.

Separate the Man and the Spirit

Brennan Manning was not an alcoholic. Brennan Manning had a demon who was an alcoholic and drank through Brennan’s body. If Brennan had separated himself from this demon, the alcohol would have gone with it because it was the demon’s appetite. It was Brennan’s responsibility to drive this demon out, which he failed to do because of ignorance or unwillingness (In which case the alcoholism would indeed become a part of Brennan’s identity because he bought into the devil’s lie.)

Demons hide for this purpose: as long as you think the evil thoughts and appetites are yours, you will act on them. But once you realize an enemy is inside you, you combat the enemy and drive it out in Jesus’ name. Brennan Manning died an alcoholic because he never separated himself from the demon.

Brennan Manning profoundly influenced another Christian music artist: Rich Mullins. Rich Mullins was a talented musician, a devoted Christian, and a wounded child. Rich Mullins also died an alcoholic.

The worship leader who admires Brennan Manning so much is very devoted to Jesus, but he admits that he has anger issues, and they are apparent. If this worship leader doesn’t get some deliverance, he faces dire consequences in the future. What do I mean? I do NOT mean that God will be so angry at him because of his sin that He will throw him in Hell. That is not the kind of consequence I refer to. But this man’s marriage and relationship with his kids will suffer, and his joy, character, and sound doctrine will suffer if he doesn’t defeat the rage. Rage is of the devil and can only accomplish the devil's works, to steal, kill, and destroy. No matter how much emphasis you put on grace, anger and rage still destroy, and if they aren't defeated, they will defeat you.

There are very sound reasons that Jesus cast out demons everywhere He went. Jesus did more than cast out demons, but He didn’t do less. Jesus preached the Gospel and cast out demons. Jesus fed the poor and cast out demons. Jesus healed the sick and cast out demons. Jesus taught from the scripture and cast out demons.

The grace of God is so sweet, abundant, and beautiful. But while you celebrate the grace of God, you must cast out demons also, or Satan will defeat us in the end.

Jesus said,

Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’

John 15:20

If Jesus cast out demons, who are we to think we can disciple people without doing the same?


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