“He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, … that the oppressed will be set free.”Luke 4:18 (NLT)
Afflicting Spirits in Chronic Physical Illness
During many of the early years when I was experiencing chronic physical illness, I wasn’t aware that evil spirits (including a spirit of affliction and others) played a role in the oppression of sickness. After all, I was a Christian, with the Holy Spirit of God living in me. I knew Christians couldn’t be possessed. But I didn’t realize that Christians could be oppressed.
Then I came upon a believer who knew that evil spirits can definitely harass believers in Christ. She knew how to take authority over ungodly spirits and cast them out, and she very simply used that authority to deliver me from a spiritual burden I hadn’t even been aware of. It felt like freedom. Because it was.
Since that time, I have endeavored to learn more about deliverance, so that I, too, could minister that freedom. After all, Jesus gave that authority to everyone who believes in him (Luke 10:19-20).
“Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy….“Luke 10:19 (NLT)
One reason I am so passionate about seeing people with chronic physical illness be healed is that there is a heavy spiritual burden on many of them, as well. The spiritual oppression that has piled on people with physical illness needs to go, so that people can live in the freedom Christ purchased for them.
Laying Aside Offense, in Order to Gain Freedom
I’ve noticed that people in healing ministry are often very careful to state that not every illness is directly caused by evil spirits. And my purpose here is not to contradict that statement. The point I want to make is that I think it gets mentioned so often because the very idea of being oppressed by an unclean spirit offends some people. But that doesn’t mean it’s not real.
Let me let you in on a truth from my own life experience: deliverance is freedom, and Christ came to give it to you. So just get delivered from those spirits that are not of God. (See resources below.)
There is a reason Jesus used the words released and free when he talked about saving, delivering, and healing people (see Luke 4:18). After you taste freedom, you won’t bother with ever feeling offended again about the idea. You’ll just want freedom—for yourself and for others.
And with all that ground covered, I want to now share a testimony from another believer about her experience with evil spirits.
Agnes Sanford’s Experience Being Freed from Depression and Thoughts of Killing Herself
As a young child of Christian missionaries in China, Agnes Sanford endured some specific emotional traumas that initially made her vulnerable to spiritual oppression.
Even though Sanford was a Christian—raised in a Christian home by Christian missionaries, from that point in her childhood on into adulthood, she was oppressed (not possessed—an important distinction, because that’s where many Christians get confused) by a spirit that weighed heavily on her mind.
For decades, Sanford lived with depression and intensifying thoughts of suicide. One day, a fellow Christian prayed for Sanford’s baby who had been very sick with a fever and ear infection for days. The baby was healed at once. Sanford recognized that here was someone who could pray for her.
When Sanford finally did ask the man to pray for her, he ministered deliverance to her.
Sanford was freed immediately. Depression was gone. She no longer had suicidal thoughts. She was really, truly, free.
The Authority and Power to Minister Freedom
As believers in Christ, we have been given the authority to minister with not only compassion, but also with the power of God. That includes laying hands on the sick and seeing them recover, and casting out demons (see Mark 16:15-18).
As someone has said, “Jesus paid a very high price to make us free, and I want to see him get everything he paid for.”
“He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free….” – Luke 4:18 (NLT)
Get Equipped to Free Yourself and Others
I encourage you to check out the training opportunities below, as well as the resources on my Recommended Reading page (especially those in the Life with God, Spiritual Warfare, and Healing sections) to help you become further equipped and empowered to minister freedom to yourself and others.
Then you will increasingly see Mark 16:15-18 in action, just as Jesus promised when he first spoke the words.
And if you would like to receive personal ministry, see the last section below for some free, online options from ministries I trust.
Global Awakening Training
Online training is available from Global Awakening. See the Global Awakening website.
Christian Healing Ministries School of Healing Prayer
Freedom Tools Training
Free, online training based on the book Freedom Tools by Andy Reese and Jen Barnett is open to teens and adults—both new and mature believers. The first of 14 sessions is on Monday, September 14, 2020, at 6 p.m. CDT, on Zoom. Training is provided by Emily Linge, leader of the Freedom Tools Ministry of Crossroads Christian Church in Evansville, Indiana. Get more information and register at the Crossroads Christian Church website.
Receive Ministry – Free and Online
Receive ministry from Global Awakening prayer ministers Mondays at 6:30 p.m. CDT at live.globalawakening.com. (No registration or appointment needed.)
To receive free online prayer from Christian Healing Ministries, make an appointment at the CHM website.