Some final, very practical thoughts on spiritual warfare.
Demons can't read your mind
Demons and even Satan himself, are only individuals. They cannot read our minds. For people who have been taught to be on the look out for the devil, the question of demons reading our minds is important. They may even find it hard to believe he can't read their minds.
And along with that, demons can understand tongues because we speak the languages of earth and heaven. But what does it matter? We are praying to the Father, so who cares who knows what we are praying? If you realize demons have no authority in your life, you won't really care what a demon may or may not know or understand - they are immaterial and irrelevant. Christ in me is all that matters.
For example: How much revelation from God did you have, how much did you know, before you were born again? The answer is very little. It wasn't until after your spirit was recreated by the Holy Spirit that the things of God became things that you knew, that suddenly made sense to you. That is because you were before in darkness, alienated from God, having very little revelation. But once in the family, the truths of the Father were revealed.
Now imagine beings thousands of times in greater darkness than you used to be.
If you being human had no light of God in your life, no personal revelation of the things of God, how much more in the dark and ignorance do you suppose demons are? They can't read your mind.
This is why we get weird thoughts and weird temptations that make no sense floating across our mind - they don't have a clue what we are thinking so they just throw things out there to see if any of it gets taken by us as a thought. Further, many demons have been around families for generations. In the same way the Father gives us angels to be in charge, Satan's perversion is that demons can be assigned to families, and are what the Bible calls 'familiar spirits'. Familiar because they have been around a family, often for generations, using up one body after another through the decades.
So they know what makes you stressed or afraid by observation, not by reading your mind. Relax, they are nothing to be afraid of - knowing they don't know your mind, that they can only guess what you are thinking because they know you and have observed you or your family for years, shouldn't bother you.
This is why what we say and what we do are so important. They observe us. By your words you reveal your heart. In the same way your words reveal your will to another person, your words also limit or give information to demons enabling them to act, or run away realizing there is nothing for them with you.
Cast them out
Jesus said to simply cast out demons. He didn't go looking for them, but when a person crossed His path who had a demon, He commanded them out. The same is seen in the book of Acts.
There is only 1 record of anyone talking to a demon, and that was Jesus talking with the boss demon, Legion, in Mark 5. That was just to determine who was boss over those thousands of spirit that man had, so He could cast them out. Ministries who regularly talk with the demons are off balance, for there was only that 1 time in the NT it was done, and that by the Lord for specifically learning who was boss over thousands.
You cannot override someone's free will
In Matthew 15:22 Jesus is asked by a mother to heal/deliver her daughter. In Luke 9:38-42 a father seeks healing and deliverance for his son, in the Greek 'boy', which is younger than a teen.
Going back to even 500BC we find Jewish tradition (in the Mishnah, the oral law) stating that a parent is responsible for the actions of a child until they turn age 13 (sometimes 12 for girls). That coming of age ceremony is called a 'bar mitzvah' for a boy, 'bat mitzvah' for a girl. It is based on the onset of puberty.
But many parents, including Barb and I, found that the Lord roughly follows the same principle. I remember laying hands on and commanding the fever away of one of my sons when he was young. Nothing happened, which was unusual. When I asked the Father why, He told me simply: "He knows enough and is old enough to stand on his own faith. He's responsible now."
If you have a teen or adult child, and they are not walking with the Lord
Perhaps even doing things where you discern demons are involved in their lives, your authority is very limited. You can intercede for them, and even command the demons away from them, but if they willfully live that way, the demons don't have to obey you. At the most, your loved one finds relief for a time, but when the demons return they give in, and the cycle begins all over again.
Perhaps that is why Paul's prayers in Ephesians 1:17-19, 3:14-20, and Colossians 1:9, all have to do with the Father reaching people and dealing with people in their hearts, not by rebuking demons in their lives. Ultimately, deliverance must start in the heart of a person - they must first reject demonic influence found in that habit, that addiction, that sin. There is no prayer of intercession for others recorded in the NT that involves casting demons out of someone' life, it's always about how they may be strengthened in the Lord, and see His call on them.
The body of Christ in Ephesus had been before Christ, involved in deep occult practices (remember Acts 19 records they burned their books on the occult when they came to the Lord). So we would expect Paul to write about demons extensively in his letter to the Ephesians - but we don't see that. We instead see prayers for the eyes of their understanding to be opened, for them to be strengthened by the Father's Spirit in their inner man, and so on. Those prayers are focused on Christ in them and walking in who they are in Christ.
Personal sin and demonic influence
Romans 13:14 says; "Put on the Lord Jesus, and don't make provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof."
The devil gets much more blame for the private sins of believers than he is responsible for. There is no demon mentioned here by Paul: he says you deal with your flesh. The Greek of Romans 13:14 for 'provision' is the word 'pronoia', from 'pro' which means before, or ahead of time, and 'noia' meaning 'to think'. Literally then: "Put on the Lord Jesus, and don't think ahead of time how you will fulfill the lusts of the flesh."
Demonic attack in sleep
Not all dreams are spiritual, many are the product of stressful lives and the cares of this world. But sometimes people fight demons in their sleep. Early on in ministry we noticed people who had been sexually or otherwise abused (verbal or physical) battled demons in their sleep.
For example, if a man molested his daughter, or a boy was molested by an uncle or older boy in the neighborhood, or things like that, the demons that motivated those attackers will often seek to continue to harass the victim, often in their sleep.
I have no chapter and verse on this, just experience. Demons seek people so they may expand their influence, or if the perpetrator dies, those spirits are left without influence, so will seek out the victims of the perpetrator. Often the perpetrator is still alive, but the girl or boy grew up and out of that authority structure (like family, or a social club like Scouts) that opened the door for the demons, so the demons will seek the victim to try to gain authority in their adult life. Often that is in their dreams - I don't know how it works that they harass at night, but I've seen it countless times.
Again, set your will.
Fight them in the name of Jesus, even in your sleep, using His name, and they will soon find no place and will leave that person alone. If this goes on for years, experience has shown that sometimes the victim has not fully dealt with the damage that was done to them, so it keeps the wound open and therefore the door open for those demons to harass them. Sometimes not. Sometimes the demons are strong-willed and try repeatedly. But you have to assert your will as stronger and set, and they will go away. First the attacks will lessen, then months apart, like they come back every once in a while just to test things to see if anything has changed with you. But if one's will is set, those demons will at some point give up, even if that person is working through the injury to their soul.
The subject is huge and my teachings in this space aren't meant to be exhaustive on any subject, but I hope beneficial and food for thought. New subject next week, until then, blessings,
cwowi.org and email me at email@example.com