Some years ago, after battling many personal and family challenges, the Lord began to stir my heart in a new direction and rather than read the Bible simply as a story book or as a collection of wise words, I began to truly meditate on what I was reading. Prior to that, even as a Christian, my reading was very superficial and sometimes done out of habit. I was a gospel singer who was starting to gain recognition in the community I lived in and even internationally. Singing for Christ was cool and something bigger than my usual sense of direction had convinced me that I needed to stick to gospel music and not do other genres of music. Years later, it would become clear to me and those around me what God was starting to do in my life.
The Bible shows us that Jesus spent a lot of time casting out devils and healing the sick but I never thought much about what this meant for my own life as a Christian. Many believers will identify with me here. If I was to truly be a follower of Christ, would I be able to do the things Jesus did? Back then, with no spiritual power myself, it occurred to me that if a demon possessed person showed up in front of me, I would probably duck for cover. Something was wrong with this picture, after all Jesus himself said in Mark 16:17-18 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Wow! The very first thing Jesus said believers would be able to do was to cast out Devils and then He went on to list other miracles we would be able to do. So I began to ask myself why I did not see the miracles Jesus did in my own life and in the lives of most of my fellow Christians today. The Lord was starting to get my attention in a deep way but I still could not see how that would be possible in my own life.
Fast forward 10 or so years into the future, after some near death pregnancy experiences, the Lord brings some divine connections my way which started me on the spiritual journey of my life. Like an onion, the spiritual layers of my life began to uncover and deep levels of generational bondage were peeled away one layer at a time. Through out this escapade, I had to learn spiritual warfare for my own survival. I had to learn how to partner with the servants of God who had been divinely assigned to walk with me in a new season of self discovery and lead me into a new dawn were purpose was beckoning me to answer the call of my life. Was the same Jesus who had set free the man of the Gadarenes from legions calling my name? Could it possibly be true that as a believer, one of the signs that would follow me was going to be the grace to cast out devils? As I began to meditate more on Mark 16:17-18, I realized that every believer could cast out devils; I did not have to be a Pastor, I did not need to attend Bible College, I did not need to have special powers, I was not perfect but I was qualified to be used by God to cast out devils because in Jesus’ own words, I had already believed!
Today many spirit filled believers are living in bondage and not experiencing the abundant life that Jesus paid for. On the other hand, many unbelievers appear to be thriving and enjoying the good things of life. Many believers spend countless hours praying and believing God for the manifestation of the many promises in the Bible which never seem to materialize. If you are honest with yourself, you may recognize that there is a disconnect between your own life and the life God promises His children. Poverty, sickness, stagnation and many other demonic setbacks have stood as a mountain between you and your destiny. The church is paying a price for turning its back on the ministry of casting out devils. This is a missing piece in the puzzle of life that must regain its place in the line up of Mark 16:17-18 if the Church is to walk in freedom. For many, just like it was for me, the wake up call will come only after years of bondage causing their backs to be on the ground. At his juncture, spiritual warfare becomes a necessity for survival! When this sign follows you as a believer, not only will you tread on the serpents and scorpions in your own life, but you will be a true reflection of the love and power of Christ to others in a suffering world.