Inner Healing and Deliverance
A New Life of Spirit Led Ministry to Others
Basic discipleship enables us to prune the bad fruit off of our spiritual tree by calling on Jesus in any moment of need. Inner healing and deliverance are needed to pull out our deeply buried root issues. We all have them. They are unresolved stuff still stuck in us that produce bumper crops of bad attitudes and actions. As the saying goes, “Where’s there’s fruit, there’s a root.” The great thing is that once you deal with the root, a lot a bad fruit goes away.
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:1-2 ESV
Issues Rooted in the Past
Inner healing and deliverance pick up where Basic Discipleship leaves off. In a sense we go below ground to get at the root issues causing spiritual problems (sins) or emotional pain (wounds). Where basic discipleship is about pruning away the bad fruit that shows up on your spiritual tree in present moments, Inner healing goes after the past issues where deeply buried roots feed the rotten fruit on the surface. See this truth illustrated as "Fruit and Roots."
See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no "root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled. Hebrews 12:15 ESV
Before we start it needs to be said that this article is in no way intended to be a “training manual” for doing deep works of Inner Healing or deliverance as a lone wolf. It takes being a part of a team. It takes being mentored by others. It takes a good deal of time invested in training. The disciples spent three years with Jesus, watching how He did what He did, listening to all His messages and getting their questions answered by the Master. Then He left them to it as a Body of believers. Don’t try this on your own! Remember the sad case of the seven sons of Sceva who fled “naked and bruised” when a deliverance session went south.
That being said there are entry levels to inner healing that any Christian can do which will help others find healing for some (not all) of the issues that trouble them. That’s the work of The Keys (See Prayer Ministry). For now, however, let’s content ourselves with understanding the basics. Jesus said that if we would continue in His word, we would know the truth and the truth would make us free. Being “made free” by learning the truth is a process, but it is also a battle.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32 ESV
As we fight the good fight of faith to believe that God’s truth really is the truth, then healing goes forward. Emotional and spiritual healing is a truth encounter far more than it is a power encounter. Although demons can and must be driven out by the power of Jesus’ Name, spiritual darkness is first and foremost a lie. Believing lies gives darkness its power. As Rolland Baker says, “It was untruth that broke the world. God is using truth to mend it.”
Inner healing is essentially replacing the lies of the enemy with truths from Jesus. Whenever this is successfully accomplished, evil spirits lose their right to remain. Doing deliverance is almost always feather light whenever inner healing has gone before it. Sometimes, however, deliverance has to come first, because the person is so tormented that they cannot process truth sufficiently to work on their inner life. These can be knock-down, drag-out sessions and if you’re not fully equipped and covered in prayer, you just might be the one knocked down! Know your limits. Once the spirits are cast out, inner healing should be ministered so that the person can be fully “on board” with whatever they will need to do to stay free in the future.
Glossary of Terms
1) Issues, Wounds and Scars
Issues are the bumps, bruises and scrapes of the emotional life which we shoved down and never really released at the time they happened. Everyone has them and they can usually be easily mended by The Keys. Issues are memories of people or events that come bobbing up to the surface like tissues in a box. Like tissues they can be dealt with one at a time—pull it all the way up and out and give it to God. Just know that other issues are sure to appear!
Wounds, on the other hand, are issues that carried us deeper into Emotional Trauma at the time the event occurred. The pain is still intensely active. Wounds are usually infected with lies that the enemy sowed into them and were further complicated by our own ungodly reactions. Nevertheless, they can be completely healed. It just takes more time, attention and determination to fully cleanse the wound and see it healed.
Scars are healed wounds. Simple issues don’t leave scars, but wounds do. We can be so completely mended that there is no pain left in the memory, yet we have been marked by what we passed through. Wear your scars as a badge of honor. You not only survived an attack of the enemy, you have gained wisdom, an enlarged heart and a living testimony of the Lord’s ability to heal deep wounds. That’s a tremendous encouragement to others.
These are un-surrendered, un-healed or un-crucified areas of the old nature embedded in our flesh. Whenever we are touched by people or events in a certain way the stronghold springs to life. The negative emotion it represents gets a strong hold on us, making it extremely difficult to break free before our inward thoughts or feelings become words and actions we will regret later. Strongholds are habit patterns of thought and belief that have become ingrained in us by past repetitions. We’ve always reacted that way! Now, that the Lord is calling for a different response, the stronghold tries to jump in first and block the way, often without any conscious decision on our part. Strong, but wrong, emotional reactions have to be carried as captives to Christ. Then the inner lie that they are built upon can be held up to the light of His truth and renounced.
3) Ministering the Three Keys
Jesus promised that He would give us the “Keys of the Kingdom” to all who, like Peter, apprehend by faith who He really is. There are many keys that Jesus gives us which work to unlock our destiny, release the supernatural workings of the Spirit, or lead to fruitfulness in service. These three keys unlock the heart.
The first key is getting really, really good at receiving His forgiveness, so good that there is no shame or blame, regret, guilt, or condemnation left in any of our memories of past sin and sinfulness. That’s true freedom!
The second key is turning right around and setting free everyone who has ever done anything against you or your loved ones by forgiving them fully from the heart. Once done, there is no pain left in the memory. What an incentive!
The third key is believing God’s truth, especially the truth of His promises, so fully that there is no anxiety or despair left in you, only peace, freedom and joy. That really frees your heart to soar like an eagle! These keys are a vital part of Basic Discipleship. We need to use them on every present moment that triggers any negative emotional response in us. But they also work splendidly on issues rooted in the past. You can’t do Inner Healing without them. They are at the core of what is needed to free us from pain and bondage coming from either the present or the past.
4) Inner Vows
These are the misguided attempts people make to deal with the pain or injustice they experienced, usually in childhood. The son of an alcoholic father may vow, “I will never be like my dad!” only to discover later on that the pattern is thoroughly entrenched. In trying to break generational sin patterns or correct our own behavior, we inadvertently put the weight of transformation on our own shoulders. Here, the problem is not so much getting free of inner vows and the bitter judgments that go with them, as in remembering them or recognizing them for what they are. Once identified, they can be fairly easily renounced and broken. Until then, they are a secret source of stronghold power working against true liberty of spirit.
5) Ungodly Beliefs
At the heart of our Negative Emotions are ungodly beliefs engendering them. Why does anyone want to curse out someone who hurt their feelings? Because sometime in the past they began deeply believing that it is the right way to handle that kind of situation. Why does anyone crave a substance? Because there is a tenaciously held belief that that the fix is going to do them some good. It may be that an evil spirit is pressing its own twisted emotions on us at times, forcing us feel what it feels, but if we cling to a right belief we can resist any wrong feeling until it leaves.
Ungodly beliefs compromise our ability to discern right from wrong. They feed negative emotions and weaken our ability to resist temptations from the enemy. Ungodly beliefs form the core of any stronghold. These must be carried as captives to Christ, repented of and renounced, breaking all agreements with the enemy. Then the truth can be confessed and believed to the liberation of the new emotional responses the Holy Spirit brings.
6) Healing of Memories
Nothing can change the past. Nothing needs to change our memories of it, if what we are remembering actually happened. What brings healing is to let our memories become infused with heaven’s perspective, so that the painful way we had been remembering something is expanded by greater truths we were unaware of at the time. In this way “death is swallowed up in victory.” For instance, a person may have been traumatized thinking that they were abandoned by their family or friends at a time when the enemy did his best to destroy them. Let the perspective radically shift. See by faith that the invisible God was doing His best to protect life, even when the enemy was doing his worst. They were never abandoned; otherwise they would be dead! This shift is by no means easy to accomplish, but when it happens the memory tells an entirely different story: We are survivors; we are loved; we are saved—even when we were most vulnerable—because our loving Father chose to rescue us.
Memories can be healed just as ungodly beliefs are healed by renouncing the lying message (“No one cared!”) and choosing to believe the truth (“God was with me!”). This way of healing memories works like a champ, but only if the person has a muscular faith and well-exercised prayer life of their own. As a mercy to our weakness, the Lord provides a second way of healing memories—by entering into them Himself and bringing a perspective that shifts both mind and heart. This is not guided imagery, nor should it ever be taken in that direction. We are not telling the Lord what to do or trying to make the individual see what we think they should see. The truth is that Jesus really was there then and He is here now. What would He have liked to show you or do for you, if you had eyes to see Him back then? There is no guarantee that Jesus will show up in the person’s memory, but if He does, the painful event is always transformed by something He reveals.
7) Curses and Generational Sin
Generational sins are the primary impact of the curse of the Law  upon the average person, until they reach an age where their own wrong choices and consequences catch up with them. Every family has its flaws: Certainly no one is perfect at not sinning, or even perfect at repenting. So, family systems pass on a pattern of sins from one generation to another, until someone rises up who says, “It ends here!” It is easy to see the flaw, especially if it has deeply wounded you, but what’s needed is the compassion to plead mercy, grace and forgiveness over the ones who brought the curse into your life. Then repentance for the whole family line, pleading the Blood of Jesus and declaring the curse to be broken—nailed to the cross—will bring deliverance, if they are combined with a steely determination to put that sin to death in your own life. Let us take our stand with mighty Joshua who declared, “As for me and my house, we will follow the Lord."
Breaking curses off a person that have been placed on them by another, follows a similar pattern and is relatively simple. However, breaking the deep curse of occult Involvement requires taking things to a greater level of intensity, especially if the bondage or emotional destruction was severe. In such cases every aspect of Inner Healing and deliverance will be required. As described in scripture the occult encompasses four main categories: the worship of false gods (idol worship; false religions), forbidden ways of seeking knowledge of the future (astrology, fortune telling), forbidden contact with the dead (séances, mediums), and forbidden ways of seeking to access spiritual power (witchcraft, sorcery). Freedom is real, but so are the powers of darkness. Never enter into this lightly!
8) Deliverance from Oppression
Evil Spirits come in all shapes and sizes. They also have different assignments and personalities. Scripture speaks of spirits of fear, lying spirits, a spirit of jealousy, and a spirit of heaviness, among others. It just may be that every sin mentioned in scripture has an evil spirit assigned to inflict that sin upon us. However, our negative emotions are not the same thing as evil spirits, any more than symptoms of physical sickness are. Nevertheless, the dark kingdom stands somehow behind the flare ups of disease in our bodies and the dis-ease in our souls.
Whenever we give ground to the enemy, emotional strongholds can be formed by our agreements with ungodly beliefs that match his own demented perspective. Let those strongholds grow unchecked and a tipping point may be reached where an evil spirit begins oppressing us. Whenever that happens, a spirit of fear (for instance) can throw us into a panic attack or hammer us with anxiety anytime it wants to—because we have lost the ability to discern the danger and resist its pressure. Inner Healing can undercut the power of any evil spirit, leaving it no ground to stand upon, if the person is able to cooperate. If not deliverance can bring freedom, but Inner Healing will still be needed to maintain it.
9) Deliverance from Possession
You’re not ready for this, so don’t even think about it. Probably no one is. It is only by the grace of God that some can minister freedom to those who are this deeply bound to darkness. Fortunately, it is extremely rare, compared to all the other problems that people have. Possession simply means that an evil spirit is in such complete control (“possession”) of the person that they vanish from sight—all you see and hear is coming directly from the enemy. There is a debate going on about whether Christians can actually be possessed by the enemy, since we are the Lord’s possession. The truth is that Christians can be so oppressed that the enemy can manifest directly through them. They may not be fully possessed in the same way that an unbeliever might be, but when manifestations are going on there is virtually no visible difference.
Let the caution be repeated: Having head knowledge of these terms and a zeal to be about it, does not quality anyone for doing ministry at this level. You will certainly do more harm than good, if you do not submit to being trained by others who have gained practical experience and have the wisdom and patience to work with you. Pioneers are needed in every field to open up new territory when no one has gone before. Those pioneers have already come and opened this field in the preceding decades. The rest of us have been learning from them or from their books. Once you get trained, let's hope that on-the-job training will take you further than the pioneers went, but don’t presume you can outdistance them without studying them first. Take time to enjoy the adventure of learning!
More to Explore
Giving Great Talks There is one rule that governs all talks: make sure you have something to say! We can’t help you with that, but we can supply the coaching for how to know when you’ve got it (something to say) and what to do with it when you do.
Leading Prayer Ministry This is only one of many ways of doing prayer ministry, but it has been highly effective. The great thing in the care of souls, as in medical practice, is to make sure you do more good than harm. This “method” has led to many happy outcomes.
Healing and Deliverance Scriptures
“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." Mark 11:25 ESV
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!" And he said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” Luke 10:17-19 ESV
"When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first." Luke 11:24-26 ESV
Scriptures and Foot Notes
 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, "I adjure you by the Jesus, whom Paul proclaims." Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?" And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. Acts 19:13-16 ESV
 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues. Mark 16:17 ESV
 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44 ESV
 Visitation Conference message given in March 2006, Columbia, SC. by Rolland Baker, Mozambique missionary. Conference notes.
 The Lord doesn’t want us to gloss over these wounds, healing them “lightly” with only an encouraging word: “They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, 'Peace, peace,' when there is no peace.” Jeremiah 8:10 ESV
 We are not “to blame” for any emotional reaction we may have, but we are responsible for what we choose to do with. The responsible thing is to carry it to Christ and deal with it His way: For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 ESV
 Non-Catholics generally believe that the keys were not given exclusively to Peter, but to all who receive the same revelation he did: Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:16-19 ESV
 This passage is about eternal life, but it gives expression to the way that heaven triumphs over the earthly by overwhelming it: When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 ESV
 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, "The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation." Exodus 34:6-7 ESV
 "'Cursed be anyone who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'” Deuteronomy 27:26 ESV
 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree"—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:13-14 ESV
 "And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15 ESV
 See 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Kings 22:22; Numbers 5:30; Isaiah 61:3.
 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Exodus 19:5-6 ESV; Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV
 See the books in our Recommended Reading section under Connect. Pioneers in Inner Healing include Agnes Sanford, John and Paula Sanford, Rita Bennett, Francis and Judith McNutt, and Leanne Payne. Pioneers in deliverance include Don Basham, Derek Prince, Neil Anderson, and Rebecca Brown.