Psalm 70:1 sets the tone for anyone who wants to be comprehensively liberated. “Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O LORD”. It is a Psalm of urgency. The heart cry of somebody who needs deliverance is very important because that is what God responds to. In the place of prayer, God listens more to what your heart is crying out for than what you are trying to frame with your mouth. Songs 2:14 says “O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice and thy countenance is comely”. God is first interested in your countenance before your voice. Whenever you are coming into the presence of God and your spiritual countenance is not what it should be, God takes note. You just don’t stroll into the presence of God; there is heavenly protocol to observe. Whenever you are coming into His presence, you must remember that God is a thrice-holy God. Many times people play down on this and miss out the real thing. Once you violate the heavenly protocol, everything ceases at that point and that is why a lot of prayers don’t fly. Deliverance is a very serious issue. Anyone who is in captivity needs help urgently. God looks at us from the inside out; your heart must be consistent with your voice for your prayer to fly.
Psa. 68:18-19 – God is interested in loading his children with benefits on a daily basis. Remember that Jesus ascended on high and led captivity captive, total liberation from any form of captivity can only be possible through Christ; it is only possible through his finished work at Calvary. This is a fundamental truth. 2 Tim. 2:26 – “And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will”. The devil is the greatest kidnapper ever. The bad thing about him is that when he kidnaps, he does not ask for a ransom, instead, he proceeds to kill and eventually destroys. It is a progression; he comes to steal, to kill in order to destroy. It is only through the finished work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that there can be hope. When satan defeated man in the Garden of Eden, he thought he had won, but God always has a joker. When Jesus was crucified on the cross, there was jubilation in the kingdom of darkness; they did not know that their celebration was temporary. I prophesy that every goal the enemy has ever scored against you shall be cancelled, in the mighty name of Jesus.
Anyone who is truly born again is born again to win progressively; all you need do is purposefully connect. That is why we are not just winners; we are more than conquerors through Christ. Are you in him? Have you enthroned him? He is always ahead of satanic influences, snares, plans, purposes, schemes, wiles and strategies of the devil. The greatest strategist there is, is God and the beautiful thing is that you can tap into him. Whenever you fail to partner with God, you end up cheating yourself. No matter your success level right now, a greater future belongs only to those who have learnt to partner with God.
Heb. 2:14-15. One of the things that drive people into serious spiritual captivity is the fear of death. It is the fear of death that drives many people into demonic covenants for protection. In the process, they mortgage their destiny by just one misstep. Sometime ago, I read a novel by Dennis Wheatley titled “To The Devil – A Daughter” about an ambitious young man who wanted to be ‘very successful’. His ambition drove him to enter into a secret society where he was promised wealth. He was taken to Lucifer to know what he will sacrifice in exchange for the wealth he was about to receive. Whatever the devil gives is not always free. After series of rituals, he met Lucifer who asked him to sacrifice his only daughter when she clocked the age of 21. At that time, his daughter was still very young so he felt he still had time. He started making money and his businesses started booming. The more money he made, the more he fell in love with his daughter. When she turned 20, he started to plan a way out, it got to a point where he would have been ready to give away everything he had to save his daughter but all to no avail. He went through a lot of trauma but at the end, he had to succumb. The book is a warning.
There are people who are ready to give anything for an office. There is nothing the devil offers that does not bring captivity. Unfortunately, the kind of Christianity that is in vogue today does not prepare people to say “No” to satanic overtures. Do you know that the devil is willing to offer any amount for your salvation? How much is your salvation worth? What is the price of your salvation? Let’s look at this from a practical perspective. Do you have relatives who are under the same form of bondage? Look around you, your family, your siblings. Have you observed an evil pattern in your family, in your town, village, country, your place of work or the place where you live? I know of a couple who waited for years for the fruit of the womb after their wedding without any. It took the grace of God for them to observe that what was happening to them was also happening to every other person living in the same block of flats where they lived. There was no cry of baby in that house. They decided to leave the house and in less than one year, they had their first child. A couple moved into a house with five (5) cars in a particular location in Lagos and lost everything. Eventually, the man was afflicted with a terrible sickness. When we went to pray for him, he could barely stand but thereafter, they moved into another house in another location and the man’s health was completely restored. There are so many other instances. An average Christian might find it difficult to understand the extent to which satanists go to control destinies. Most locations/places are not innocent at all.
Because of the activity of one sorcerer, the entire city of Samaria was held in captivity; so collective captivity is real. (Acts 8). Certain destinies are corporate. The moment you are born into a family, you are born into the assets and liabilities of that family, in the same way, the moment you are born into a nation; you are born into the assets and liabilities of that nation. God has made provision for your total liberation but you must cry out.
What is corporate captivity? Simply put, corporate captivity is when a group of people are collectively caged by the enemy. What are the characteristics of corporate captivity?
- Collective bondage – what is happening to one person is happening to every other person in the family. It is not a coincidence.
- Collective limitation – a Pastor friend once told me that nobody from his village has ever built a storey building anywhere. I told him that he will be the first person to do so and to the glory of God, he has completed a one-storey building in Lagos and about to finish another one in his village. Why? Because he ran into the Lord, he laid his life on the altar.
- Collective spell – when people are under a spell, they tend to take wrong decisions; they walk into bondage; they hug their enemies and fight their divine helpers.
- Collective doom/tragedy – certain destinies are corporate. Whenever you board a vehicle, you are surrendering your will to the will of the driver of that vehicle. Always remember this. You will take it for granted that the driver will take you to your destination safely. How are you sure that the driver is in good mental condition?
- Collective woe – you must be very careful about who is leading you. Christians beware! Don’t surrender your will to a leader who is going nowhere. Leadership is all about direction. Where is your leader leading you? If he is not leading you to heaven, he is not high enough, he needs to come up.
What keeps people in collective captivity?
- Unconfessed sin – every true child of God must take sin seriously. Sin is an acronym for satan in our nature. Anyone who commits sin is giving visa to satan. Glory to God, he has made ample provision for us to confess our sins and receive forgiveness. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. 1 John 1:9. We must keep very short record of sin, confess them and apply the blood of Jesus. In Zech. 13:1, God has opened a fountain for our cleansing.
- Unbelief and Doubt – unbelief is a very serious matter. God does not classify sin the way we do. Many people grew up with the Roman Catholic notion of small, medium and big sins. There is a general misconception that lie telling is a small sin. How does God classify sin? “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death”. Rev. 21:8. Fear, lying, unbelief are terrible sins before God and God classifies them with the abominable, murderers and several others. These are the things that make people enter inadvertently into captivity. Your unbelief is trying to transfer your lying nature to God and God hates it. God is absolutely truthful; if he says it in his word, he expects you to accept it the way it is.
- Unforgiving Spirit – this is satan’s big joker. It is a well blocker and a terrible gate of hell.
- Spiritual malnutrition – if you are in a place where they are painting things for you and you are satisfied in the name of motivational preaching; a place where they are not telling you that sin is dangerous, then you should know that they are just patching you up and using leaf to cover your nakedness. Do you know that the sin you fail to judge with judge you?
- Addiction – it is so easy to be addicted. The greatest addiction today is addiction to gadgets; texting, chatting, browsing etc. Addiction is a spirit; inordinate affection. By the time you get addicted to these things, you will not have time for God and God is jealous for your attention. Idolatry is anything you place side by side God in your heart. It is so easy to get addicted to nonsense. Every journey to addiction starts with just one step. Anyone who is addicted to anything is in bondage and cannot help himself. Once you are addicted, you have engaged all your energy to the thing you are addicted to. It may even be a habit.
- Incomplete deliverance – why is there incomplete deliverance? Most of the time, it is because of the human elements involved. God has made provision but there are conditions to be met. For instance, if someone is in dire need of deliverance and the person is not sincere, there is no deliverance minister that can help such a person. Secondly, if you are dealing with the works of the flesh and you cast out the devil but the person is addicted because the flesh has gotten used to that particular sin that made the demons to enter in the first place, until the habit is dealt with, the demons will continue to be actively engaged. This is the reason why a lot of Pastors run away from deliverance. It is very demanding both physically and spiritually. But we cannot run away from it because that is exactly what Jesus came to do. He came to set the captives free. Every deliverance minister must of a necessity, be a good teacher. Many times, it is not just about demons leaving. The demons can leave but once the person is empty, they will come back. Jesus said when an unclean spirit leaves a person, he leaves for a season but when he comes back and finds his former place of abode empty, he will go and bring more terrible demons. That is why there is need for the counselee to be one hundred percent cooperative; you must understand that you are in need and must cooperate. Every deliverance case is a case of spiritual sickness. Some of the people carrying demons are not even ready to be delivered. If you know what demons do to people, you will hate them. Incomplete deliverance destroys destinies; someone who is not completely delivered is still under captivity. Do you know that the presence of one demonized person in a vehicle can cause an accident? Why was the ship in which Jonah was travelling about to capsize? In the same way, the presence of one man can save a ship from capsizing as in the case of Paul. If you are undergoing deliverance, do not pretend that all is well. Thank God for exposing the demons and trust him to expel them completely with your cooperation. After that, get filled with the Holy Spirit so that you will be able to retain the deliverance.
- Pride – pride is one of the cheapest sins and it brings people under corporate captivity. Pride is one of the marks of the beast. Pride is nothing but the idolatry of self. Nobody teaches us to be prideful, we just acquire it. Where do you deal with pride? On the cross. When you have learnt to live the crucified life, you will then say, like Paul, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”. Gal.2:20. It is also the crucified life that will deal with the works of the flesh. You must keep on going to the cross on a daily basis and be dropping things at the feet of Christ. As you do that, you will be receiving progressive impartation and progressively, you are getting sanctified.
If you read Matthew 11:20-23, you will see Jesus pronouncing woe on some cities. The meaning is that these cities were already cursed; there was an evil programme and woe hovering over them. Take note that all the woes pronounced took place and most of the cities were completely destroyed. You can be in a city or a country that is under serious woe.
TO BE CONTINUED.