In the last session, we finished with the thought that most believers assume faith overcomes Python. That’s a mistake, sometimes a tragic one. Because we become tempted to demonstrate our faith in risky ventures, rather cling to the faith of Jesus as He intercedes on our behalf.
When it comes to overcoming Python, most believers fail to recognise its legal right to test our choices. Instead, for anyone involved in deliverance ministry today, the almost universal approach is to bind and cast it out.
For over a decade, I’ve kept my eye out, looking for the origin of binding as it’s currently practised. Who promoted it first? You see, I can’t find it in Scripture. I can find recommendations against it regarding Leviathan; and cautions in Jude and Peter against anything other than asking God to rebuke the satan. I can look at Jesus’ ministry and fail to find it. He casts out, certainly, but there’s no story where He binds a demon. On the contrary, He lets some go into pigs; He volleys verses with the devil; He prays for Simon Peter as he’s about to be sifted as wheat; He rebukes demons as well as people influenced by demons; but, as for binding, I can’t see a single instance.
I think there’s good reason for this. At the time, using a power declaration to ‘bind’ a spirit was recognised as part of the occult arts. It would have been considered sorcery.
Now Jesus, of course, mentions binding but, in both cases, the Greek word that’s been translated into English as bind is also a word for legal restraint. What are legal constraints when it comes to demons, and also higher level spiritual powers like Python and Leviathan?
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Look at the words. It’s conditional and legal. Lack of forgiveness is a legal right for affliction by demons; forgiveness on the other hand is a legal restraint to curtail them.
Repentance is a legal restraint, as is renunciation of complicity and covenant with the powers that our ancestors worshipped or aligned themselves with.
It’s much easier to say, ‘I bind you, Python, in Jesus’ name,’ than it is to sit with Jesus and do the hard yards of uncovering our deeds of treachery against God and collaboration with the enemy. Laziness and shame are the real reasons behind so many theological justifications for not repenting, and for not even needing to repent.
So, instead, we try a workaround to pass Python’s test and cross the threshold. One common one is to dip our toes, all unknowing, into occult practices.
Been there, done that. I used to ‘twirl’ on the spot to get relief from anxiety. It was only many years after I stopped that I discovered its magical overtones. If you’ve been binding, talk to Jesus about it. Don’t assume it’s harmless, don’t assume it’s harmful either. Ask.
This is Grace Drops and I’m Anne Hamilton. May you know the Shepherd voice of Jesus today.
Thank you to Lorna Skinner of www.riversofmusic.co.uk for the background music.