Difference between Demonic Oppression and Possession

And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself  (Lk. 13:11 KJV)

Demonic possession or oppression showing a demon with spear

Jesus was teaching one day and saw a woman who had a severe form of spinal arthritis that had severely deformed her shape. The scripture says the woman “had a spirit of infirmity.”  Jesus explains this  spirit of infirmity  in verse 16 and says “and ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?” (Lk. 13:16 KJV). We, therefore, know for sure that this woman’s disease was not natural but clearly demonic. The question then becomes “was this woman possessed or oppressed by demonic spirits”? 

The difference between demonic possession and oppression is not merely one of semantics. This distinction requires us to make the difference between spiritual BEINGS  and spiritual POWER. When an evil spirit lives or dwells within a person, that is what is called demonic possession. It is a spirit BEING  DWELLING in a person as his house. However, when a demonic spirit being uses  its POWER to inflict pain in some way without LIVING in that individual, it is what we generally call oppression. Get this truth clearly in your heart. Satan can oppress people without possessing them. This was likely the case with this woman. We are not sure, but the clue we get is that Jesus did not cast out any spirits. He healed the woman, just as He did with natural diseases, suggesting she was not possessed but was clearly oppressed by Satan.

This devotional explains why many demonic activities in the lives of people go unnoticed because many still think about Satan only when they see someone possessed. Be sensitive to the Spirit, to distinguish the natural from the supernatural in the events of your life. 


Can you articulate the difference between demonic possession and demonic oppression? 


Do you think Satan is still doing what he did to this woman today? Can you see why medical science will have a hard time dealing with many diseases that seemingly have “natural explanations”? Believers, you are the light of the world. You have the wisdom to know these things and have been given authority to destroy the activities of these wicked entities in your life and those around you. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that you do not respond to supernatural events in your life using natural means.


Ask the Spirit to help you grow in discernment to distinguish the natural from the supernatural in your life.

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