I want to sound a note of caution about the widespread practice of binding spirits.

Some people are deeply attached to it—simply for pragmatic reasons, that is, they consider it to be good because it works. Yet they’ve never inquired of the Lord whether He wants them to operate this way. They’re just following the role-modelling of others.

Nowhere in Scripture do we see or hear of any instance of Jesus or His disciples binding a spirit through a spoken declaration. It just isn’t there. They cast out plenty of demonic entities but they don’t speak words of binding. At least that we know of.

On the other hand, one place we do find copious references to binding as a word of power is in the books of spells and sorcery that circulated through society in the first century. Binding was a well-attested occult practice. So this was probably a very good reason for the followers of Christ to steer well clear of it.

I can hear the protests already. ‘But it works!’ people say to me, as if that validates it and means it has a God-assured seal of approval. Well, of course it works. Do you think magic doesn’t?

Magic is simply the use of God’s own power against Him. It’s misuse of the creative authority He invested in the spoken word, for our own ends. It’s abusing the redemptive power He infused into blood, for our own purposes.

Unless we ask God if we can speak words of binding over an entity and have received His permission to do so, we run the risk of operating in our own fleshly strength, or worse, through occult mechanisms. It should be noted that we are unlikely ever to receive such permission for threshold spirits. We are told in the book of Jude to ask the Lord to rebuke them.

Now Jesus, I’m sure many readers are already thinking, talked about binding. Yes, indeed He did. He did so in reference to the ‘strong man’ and also to the authority He gave His church. In Matthew 16:19 BSB, He says:

‘I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’

The word He used for binding here is legal terminology. It refers to taking out a judicial injunction against a person or a spirit.

The very same word is used in Matthew 12:29 NKJV:

How can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

This translation makes it sound like binding refers to simply tying someone up so you can rob his house. But it’s actually about getting a judicial writ so that you have the unassailable right to seize someone’s possessions. In this particular instance, it’s about what the satan has stolen from you. Now you don’t just make up the legal papers for this as you go along. To take out a legal injunction, there is a process of application. You have to consult with a representative who will apply to the court for you. This would, of course, be your Advocate-at-law, your Paraclete, the Holy Spirit. Without His go-ahead, any action you take may well be more than out of line, it may be counter-productive.

Why should we be so cautious about this? Because if we are comfortable with binding, we will eventually be comfortable with being bound. We reap what we sow. If we bind, bind, bind, we will in time be ever more securely bound.

Won’t we notice this? Most likely, yes. But we’ll probably never connect it to all the spiritual binding we’ve done where we didn’t consult the Lord at any time before we launched in. Any reviling, abusing or insulting of spirits is not only grounds for retaliation, but it takes us right out into the open, away from God’s covering. Check out the dire consequences of dishonouring fallen spirits in the book of Jude.

Now Jude actually mentions the worst-case scenario—and don’t think for a moment that it never happens. I’ve known a situation that played out exactly as he outlines—with fatal consequences.

But I want to look at what happens when it’s not quite that serious. So many people get to a point in life where they feel bound down, tied up, unable to move.

I’m not talking about being stuck in the sense of feeling staked or nailed to the spot. I’m talking about stuck in the sense of being paralysed, trapped. Yet I’m not talking about constriction—the squeezing and pressure of the spirit of Python. Rather I’m talking about constraint—the uncomfortable, but paradoxically comforting, position of not being able to move forward. I’m talking about putting yourself into the hands of the spirit of wasting, about deliberate complicity with Rachab.

Why on earth would anyone unconsciously, but still intentionally, put themselves into bondage like this? Why would anyone create a false refuge that puts them into long-term spiritual captivity?

Simple. Because even a single step further into the calling of God will bring them to a place of such naked vulnerability that even the thought of it is utterly terrifying and absolutely intolerable.

This is Grace Drops and I’m Anne Hamilton. May both your Paracletes grant you Their wisdom today.

Thank you to Lorna Skinner of www.riversofmusic.co.uk for the background music.

To deal with the spirit of wasting, you first need to be able to overcome the spirit of rejection. To learn how to master it, see Dealing with Azazel: Spirit of Rejection is available as a paperback.In addition, understanding false refuges is the single most important step towards dealing with the obstacles barring you from coming into your calling. Hidden in the Cleft explains false refuges in more detail and is available as a paperback or an ebook.