Many times it is not clear whether there is demonic oppression present in someone’s life. The most important indication one way or the other is the voice of the Holy Spirit, giving you a ‘nudge’ to be careful and pay attention. In addition, there are other clues that can help us, and we can discuss some of the most important ones here.
We often see compulsive or disorderly thoughts, feelings, habits or words. These can involve addictions, or a state of being confused, double minded or unfocused. Many times the person has trouble reading the Bible or praying, staying in the Spirit or staying clear of things that hinder the Spirit.
Another sort of oppression that we are seeing more and more consists of people (mostly males between the ages of 20 and 40) becoming convinced that God is telling them that they have lost their salvation, committed the unforgivable sin, and are now rejected by God. We believe that these situations, when seen in someone who desires to be free and become close to Christ, usually represents the efforts of the enemy to send strong delusions of condemnation. We will deal with this in more depth elsewhere.
Other common feelings include restlessness, agitation, or mysterious pains, afflictions and infirmities. Feelings of rejection, unworthiness, insecurity or mental sluggishness are often seen. Sometimes there will be the presence of a death wish, chronic illness, sleep disturbances, sexual dreams, hearing voices and some symptoms commonly seen in mental illness.
Any or all of these symptoms can affect anyone, even someone who is born again and desires freedom. Experienced deliverance practitioners see all of this and more, even in those who have walked closely with Christ in the past. Those with spiritual discernment can often sense that something is not right, or that the person is not their usual self.
In general, if these symptoms appear, and they are not responsive to repeated prayer, counseling or medical evaluations, it can be wise to consider a demonic component to the person’s experience and to discuss the need for deliverance.