There is a major difference between deliverance and development, AND how they are ministered.
Text for Today – Psalm 107:20 – He sent His Word and . . . delivered them from their destruction.
Make no mistake about it; the Word of God does indeed heal and deliver. Additionally, the Word also develops. In our world of quick fixes and information retrieval via the Internet, many of us are not patient to study the Scriptures for ourselves. We want the minister to do that for us so all we have to do is ask a question and receive a supernatural diagnosis with its accompanying fix. As a result, in many lives, the need for development is mistaken for the need of deliverance, and vice versa.
For those who think the manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit has passed away, all they see is a need for development. The self-improvement industry has thrived on that assumption and become rich on the failures and disappointments of those who need to be delivered. On the other hand, those who need to be developed in the church world are just as disappointed when deliverance doesn’t seem to work for them, and they walk away with a failure mentality, thinking God has failed them, or the preacher/church has failed them, or they have failed God. In any case, a failure mentality is a sin consciousness and destroys faith.
Attempting to develop someone who needs to be first delivered is futile and a terrible waste of time that we should be redeeming. Attempting to deliver someone who simply needs to be developed is ultimately deception, injures the reputation and program of the Lord, and is likewise a terrible waste of redeemable time. Well, how can you tell the difference?
At the beginning of working with someone, you may not know, unless the Lord sovereignly reveals it to you. But here are some thoughts. If you’re praying for and ministering to someone who appears to just need development, they’re doing all they can to cooperate, and nothing is happening, that person may need deliverance. If you’re working with someone who seems to need deliverance, but as you minister to them and bring them to the Word, there is a growth in the things of God and a gradual turning from that seemed to hold that person captive, then continue with development. If with medication they can live a normal life, that person needs healing. If medication can in no way achieve that, such a person needs deliverance. Follow the advice of Jesus and “watch and pray.” Because of His great love and desire that men should know, love, and follow Him, He will reveal to you what you need to know and what that person to whom you are ministering needs.
Manna for Today – Hebrews 5:12-13; 1 Peter 2:2; 1 Corinthians 10:13