We must understand that we are fighting three enemies simultaneously: the devil (invisible enemy), the flesh (inward enemy), and the world (visible enemy). The spiritual enemy, the devil, is overcome by repentance, renouncing, resistance, and/or deliverance. The inward enemy, our flesh, is overcome by crucifixion, self-denial, or in other words personal discipline. The world is the ungodly organized system controlled by the devil which operates through people who are opposed to God. This enemy is overcome by fleeing. We are told not to love the world (1 John 2:15-17), or as the psalmist says, “...Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful” (Psalms 1:1).
You can’t cast out the flesh and crucify the devil. When a demon has control of a part of your life it will affect your character by creating dysfunction in that area. Usually, the area that demons control is the area you do not control. For example, anger. When you become angry, you lose control over your temper, or with pornography, you lose control over your eyes.
Demons are cast out through deliverance. Once you are delivered, you get control back, but deliverance alone doesn’t fix your character or lifestyle. Character is a result of taking responsibility for your actions by remaining in the Holy Spirit and that character is called the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit is developed slowly and naturally.
An example is illustrated in King David’s life when “Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel” (1 Chronicles 21:1). The devil prompted David to do something not good and David did it. It brought the judgment of God upon him and Israel. When the prophet Gad came to rebuke David, his response was one of humility which revealed good character in him. “And David said to Gad, ‘I am in great distress. Please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man’ ” (1 Chronicles 21:13).
When David saw the angel of the Lord punishing the people, he fell on his face and wept. He took responsibility for his actions and the consequences; he didn’t blame the devil. He went on to offer up an offering and refused to do it for free. David was a man of character and principle. Getting delivered doesn’t fix your character, your blame game, rebellious attitude, pride, or greed. All these need to be regularly crucified since they are works of the flesh. You can’t cast them out; you have to crucify them.
Compare Adam and David. Both men were moved by the devil to commit sin. But Adam blamed his wife; David took responsibility. Adam lost paradise; David remained a king.