Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, and rulers of the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:11-12
Satan doesn’t want Christians to make an impact on the world, and he wants to oppress us any way he can. Chester and Betsy Kylstra have developed an integrated approach to consider when demonic oppression is suspected.
They begin with generational sins and curses, the sins of the fathers mentioned in Exodus 20:1-6. Since Jesus died for my sins, I had not thought that the generational sins and curses applied to present-day Christians. However, the authors define “curses” as patterns of sins in families. They claim that the ancestors’ sins are “like an ‘outstanding’ debt … impacting the man’s descendants (and most likely also others) until it is addressed through confession and cleared out. … The “confessor” is effectively ‘standing in the gap,’ identifying with the family and confessing on its behalf.”
Christians are then to “appropriate” what the work of Jesus on the cross accomplished.
The Kylstras are quick to point out that Christians aren’t forced to sin because of the sins of the fathers and that we choose to sin. However, there is a tendency to certain sins. Parents teach their children through their good and bad choices. I can see a trend in my family as well as in the Biblical stories.
“Families are belief-shapers without even realizing this truth!”
Once the sins of the fathers and our present-day sins are dealt with, the Kylstras recommend that ungodly beliefs be addressed. These beliefs can range from lies about the nature of God to negative self-talk. For example, “I will always be lonely.” The authors point out that Jesus is always with believers.
Internal soul/spiritual hurts need to be mended through going “inside the memory” and “waiting upon The Lord” to bring healing and to hear from the Holy Spirit.
A hefty 67 pages were spent on demonic oppression. Demons of “shock,” “trauma,” “depression,” “accident” and even one demon named “Workout,” as in “pumping iron,” were mentioned. While I believe that we are oppressed by messengers of Satan as Paul was buffeted, I don’t believe that there is a demon of “accident” or “workout.”
The authors wrote of numerous demons coming out of the believers who they ministered to. They were quick to point out that Christians cannot be possessed by demons, but that they can be oppressed by demons.
As with any book on Christianity, we are to search the Scriptures and weigh what we are reading by the whole counsel of God. Many Scriptures were listed, and there was much to think about in this book. Also, there were Scriptures taken out of context or referenced but not written within the text.
We do have ungodly beliefs that we need to correct. We do learn from our parents. We do have emotional hurts that only God can heal. We are oppressed by Satan’s messengers during periods in our lives.
When Peter stepped out onto the water, his eyes were on Jesus. When Peter’s eyes looked at the storm, he sank.
When I looked at the pain of my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, I defined myself by that pain and distress. When I looked at the promises of God and told Him that I wanted more of Him, whether or not He healed me, He gave me more of Him AND healing, almost four years ago.
Instead of dwelling on the negative, ourselves and our terrible plight, we need to dwell on the power of God, the beauty of God,
the promises of God and possess His great and precious promises for us.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Chosen Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review.
My prayer for you:
Thank you, Lord, for the Kylstras and their ministry to You and to Your people. Holy Spirit, lead them in Your perfect wisdom. Protect them and fill them with a double portion of Your Spirit. Guide us all in Your wisdom and bless us we pray. We love You, Lord, and give our bodies, our minds, our spirits to You to renew and transform. Thank You for saving us through Your own dear Son while we were still sinners and helpless to do any good work.