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Executive Dir., U.S. Prayer Center, Houston, TX, which networks with prayer ministries
Member, America’s National Prayer Committee, the Int’l Prayer Council, and the Int’l Strategic Prayer
Network, Mission America Coalition, etc; w/ husband Eddie, church ministers for 16 years
DELIVERING THE CAPTIVES POINTS
In the area of deliverance from bondages, Alice Smith says we need to understand deliverance from God's viewpoint. God wants His children to be delivered. When Jesus spoke to the Syrophenician woman in the Bible, He was telling her that the bread (deliverance) was for the children (God's children.)
In the 36 years Alice has been in deliverance ministry, not one person has stayed in bondage. First, Alice believes it is important to understand God's terminology. We are body, soul, and spirit. When we are saved, the spirit is redeemed and saved instantly, but we have to work on renewing the body and soul daily, like it says in Romans 12. The body and soul are subjected to the fallen world while the spirit is God's when we give our lives to Jesus. If a Christian is not actively trying to redeem their body and soul through the reading of the Bible and walking in the ways of God, it is possible for this Christian to be demonized, or possessed by demons, since the person is allowing them to have spiritual ground, which could also be defined as a stronghold.
A stronghold can also be any mindset that is contrary to God's Word. A person can allow strongholds in by thoughts or feelings. If a person has an inner pulling toward a sin and moves towards it, it can become a stronghold.
For complete deliverance, the demons must be cast out and the strongman, or the demonic leader that heads these demons, must be cast out. There is a biblical order in which this must be done. Alice says that sometimes people don't get fully delivered because the demons are bound, but the strongman is allowed to stay. The way to identify and cast out the strongman is in the Bible. Alice says that whenever one sees "the spirit of..." this is identifying what the strongman is. An example is in the passage Isaiah 61 where God promises to give the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Another example is from Romans 8, identifying the spirit of bondage to fear.
Alice received her own deliverance through prayer and she says in the area of deliverance, God works different ways. It can be godly, respectful, and non-humiliating for the person. Alice is helping people help themselves by receiving the truth about what God says about deliverance and His total freedom.
Alice Smith grew up in the church. She had older siblings and it wasn't uncommon for many young people to be in and out of their house. Unfortunately, when she was six years old she was sexually assaulted by someone whom she believes was one of the frequent household guests. This violation continued for about a year and was what Alice calls the "pillar moment" when her identity had changed – she had become a victim. Her victimization didn't end there.
At the age of 12, she had a stalker who made obscene phone calls to her family's home, until one day Alice's father blew a whistle in the phone. At 17, after she ministered at a local church with a college student aspiring to be a pastor, he offered Alice a ride in his car and he tried to grope her. When she was 18, a boy she led to Christ in the high school choir was interested in Alice as a girlfriend. She rejected his advances. Later she found out that he was watching her room in the dark. He asked her to come out and talk. Alice told him to go home. He wouldn't leave and started hurling stones at Alice's window. She woke up her father who had a stern conversation with him.
BEYOND THE LIE
Alice wondered why this sort of thing kept happening to her. Years later, she finally recognized the pattern of victimization in her life and with God's help, she overcame it. An important key she learned was: Once the door of victimization and trauma is open in your life, it remains open until you (the victim) slam it shut. No one else can do it but you. After this, you must establish the boundaries of how you will or will not allow others to treat you. One must take ownership and responsibility – acknowledge you have been victimized, and then you could talk about it and get truly healed. You have to refuse to let people abuse you again. The prevailing lie one may start to believe after being violated is "I deserved to be victimized." You have to change that mental cycle or you will always have this problem. You must decide, "I will not be victimized."
Also, you have to take some physical steps: stop procrastinating; ask God to show the pillar event, or the event that triggered the victim mentality; establish healthy boundaries and define them (examples would be a firm hand shake; square your shoulders; think of what you will say; speak in a firm, strong voice, and dressing appropriately, having a finished look). Sometimes as Christians, we have incorrect ideas of boundaries. People need to claim boundaries and set them. If someone says something inappropriate, address it – say it's inappropriate and don't cower. Don't get into power plays and don't let people be disrespectful to you. Recognize you have to toughen up. It takes a willful strategy, but you have to make the choices to change behavior.
Alice also says we should know about holy and unholy strongholds. Holy strongholds would be those things that God has claim on in our lives. Unholy strongholds are anything that holds us captive that keeps us from God's call and can be triggered by circumstances or events in our lives or what we choose to let in. Alice says we can have a house of thought that we believed that have been contrary to the Word of God and God wants to be the stronghold. We will always be a victim and stay in a cycle of distress and self abuse unless we change our thinking and the way we live. To dismantle unholy strongholds, Alice says you need to recognize the lie/event, go back to event, repent, and remove and dismantle stronghold. You must speak/command the stronghold to leave and then claim new identity in Christ.
OVERCOMING AND OWNERSHIP
You have the power and can take ownership of your life – take it back by a changed mindset.
She says victimization can be in two realms, the spiritual and the natural. We are sometimes victimized because we've embraced the cycle (natural) and sometimes there is a spirit involved (spiritual.) Life altering experiences opened the door to trauma, the predator spirit was allowed, and opened the gates of the lies that keep us victims. Holy life experiences open up the blessings of God for us.
Alice wrote the book because week after week of ministering to broken men and women at the altar she heard the same thing, people needed to be set free from thing in their pasts. She had a conviction to write the book, and it is different than other books because it has the steps to get out of unhealthy patterns. Alice found the answers and wanted to share them because people are desperate to get break through.
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.