When I preach deliverance and inner healing, I often mention a verse that I have come to refer to as, “the Formula for Freedom.” This verse sums up, in God’s perfect way, the process of spiritual freedom.
The verse is James 4:7.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
It consists of three parts, or steps:
- Submit to God
- Resist the devil
- The devil will then flee
In the first part of this verse, the Apostle James exhorts us to submit every part of our lives to Jesus. Of course this would include our relationships, our finances, our families and everything else in our lives.
And on the level of spiritual warfare, this “everything else” would include our spiritual “junk” also. Our spiritual junk consists of our generational sin (the curses that we inherited) and it would also include the demons that torment us.
What does “submit” mean? I teach that a good working definition of “submit” is: to give something to the Holy Spirit in order for Him to deal with something or heal something in our lives.
Next, this verse tells us to “resist the devil.” This is the part where we use the authority and power that we have as followers of Jesus to break the hold of the enemy. This refers to declaring that the devil can’t have us or operate in our territory. It also means the intentional breaking of curses and the expelling of unclean spirits—in the name of Jesus.
The final step in the Formula for Freedom is a spiritual law of God. This law states that if we submit to Him and then re resist the devil, then the devil has no choice except to go. He doesn’t have an option. It is analogous to a prisoner who has no choice but to obey the sentence of the judge who has ordered him to go to prison.
If you watch me minister to people who are oppressed by unclean spirits, you will notice that I often lead them in a prayer of declaration that basically restates James 4:7. I will have them repeat something like the following: “I submit everything to you Heavenly Father. I submit the abuse that I suffered [or whatever is relevant to that person’s life story]. I submit every torment to You. And I resist the devil in the name of Jesus! I take authority over the enemy and command him to leave me now. The devil must go!”
No matter who you are or what you’ve been through, the Formula for Freedom is a spiritual pattern that you can follow right now. It is powerful and God-ordained. It brings us into the presence of the Lord and it states a spiritual law that cannot be violated by the enemy—in the name of Jesus!