In this day and age, Christians are constantly at war with their struggles and find it hard to deal with the baggage they carry. When we think of demons, we usually adopt Hollywood’s image of possession. In reality, Christians cannot be possessed by a demon, but we can fall under the influence or oppression of a demon.
Think about everything in your life that you have been able to overcome. Be it recovering from an abused childhood, parental divorce, or drug addiction, God delivered you from it all. However, do you sometimes find yourself still struggling with bondage or slipping right back into temptation? Do you promise God that you’ll never do it again, even thought you said the same thing to Him two weeks ago? Think of your struggles you are currently facing. If you feel comfortable enough, share them openly with your group.
We as Christians must realize that there is another force at work…something dark and terrible. In order to be free as God intends for us, (John 8:36) we must understand the following:
1.) There really are demons. One-third of the angels fell from heaven with Satan when he rebelled against God. These fallen angels are demons.
2.) Demons really do enter people. Demons come only to steal, kill and destroy.
3.) Jesus really does cast out demons. Jesus cast out demons when He ministered to people. He has given us authority as believers to do the same.
ENCOUNTERING GOD THROUGH BIBLE STUDY:
1. Before this message, what was your preconception of demons? Why was it this way?
Read John 8:32, 8:36
2. In John 8:32, it says: “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” What is
the “truth” being talked about here? How can it set you free? Free from what?
Read John 10:10
3. The Bible also compares demons to a thief. Why do you think this is? Think about how a thief comes unwelcomed into your home, taking as he pleases, leaving you with nothing.
Read Mark 5:1-6
4. As we deal with our struggles and bondage, in what other ways are we like this man?
5. In Mark 5:6, the man runs to Jesus. What do you think would have happened if the man ran away from Jesus?
Read Mark 5:7-13
6. As you read the story of the demon-possessed man pay attention to the turning
point in the story. What did the man do to be set free? What did Jesus do?
7. In Mark 5:14-17, the people are afraid and tell Jesus to leave. Why do you think they have this reaction?
8. In Luke 10:17, one of Jesus’ disciples says: “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!” What does this say about the power in the Lord’s name?
Read 2 Corinthians 10:4
9. Discuss having a weakness versus being oppressed. What is wrong with calling our struggles “weaknesses”?
Read Ephesians 5:11
10. What difficulties might you have with exposing your struggles, or breaking away from that bondage?
11. Have you ever been set free from demonic influence in your life? Was it an
immediate healing, or did God take you through a process? If you are willing, tell
your story to the group.
12. What are some indications we might be under the influence of a demon?
13. Pastor Chris talks about a door being opened and our house being a vulnerable “Open House.” Before this message, did you even know there was a door? After reflection with your group and understanding what is sneaking in your life through this door, what are you prepared to do?
4. As you read Mark 5, pay attention to the first description of the man under oppression of a demon. The Bible says “No one was strong enough to subdue him. Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.” No one was strong enough to subdue him, rather, this man could not be cured by another man — it took an act of Jesus.
8. See these scriptures also for reference (Matthew 8:16; 9:32–33; 17:18; Mark 3:14–15; 6:12–13; 16:17).
9. Calling your struggles a weakness is a bad idea 2 Corin. 10:4 says: “we use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.” If you consider your struggles and bondage to be a weakness, are you going to a.) deal with it effectively by prayer and progress or b.) suppress what you feel and pretend it isn’t a problem.
10. This verse tells us to “not take part in evil acts or deeds,” but instead to expose them to world, away from you. Remember, if it were easy, we wouldn’t need Jesus.
13. Jesus sets us free from all bondage when we humble ourselves and come to Him
for help. Pay attention to what your door is open to.