For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. — 1 John 3:8
Multitudes of people in this world today are held hostage in their minds by the devil. They are incarcerated, locked up, and caged in their minds and emotions, held like slaves, prisoners, or detainees who are under arrest and live at the mercy of their conqueror.
In my lifetime, I have met many who fit that description. Although they might belong to Jesus and legally have every right to freedom, they remain in spiritual bondage, at least in some measure, in certain areas of their lives. Whether they persisted in a particular sin or failed to do something they should have done (such as read the Word, pray, or stay in fellowship with other saints), their minds were pried open wide enough for satan to find an open door and take that part of their mind captive.
Many years ago now, we began having small gatherings at our home. One evening during a time when we were singing to the Lord, a very disturbed young man was thrown to the kitchen floor. There he was squirming, foaming from the mouth, and shouting who knows what. No one, not one of us knew what to do! People looked to me and said, "Dianne do something". I sat on the young man's legs to try to stop him from banging and flaying on the tile floor. Pray, I said, Pray in tongues! Then I shouted, "Get out of him in the name of Jesus." All became silent; the young man stood up and thanked us for praying! A troubled young man bound in satan's camp was set free that night! Praise God.
I believe the mind is the primary area satan seeks to attack. He knows once he succeeds in planting a stronghold of deception in some area of a person's mind, from that lofty position he can then begin to control and manipulate that person. The Bible calls this kind of deception in the mind a "stronghold" (2 Corinthians 10:4). It is a "stronghold" because once a lie is planted in someone's head it is very hard to remove!
However, 1 John 3:8 says that Jesus came into the world "that he might destroy the works of the devil"! I want you to notice the word "destroy" in this verse meaning being delivered, released, or freed from difficulties, burdens, or needs.
Luke 3:16, when John the Baptist says, "I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire
In other words, 1 John 3:8 tells us that when Jesus Christ came into the world, He came to untie and unloose satan's binding power over us. His objective was to disentangle us from satan's control; to unfasten us from the demonic shackles that held us captive; to unravel the chains satan used to keep us in his grip; and to break and destroy all the fetters satan had used to hold us hostage. This is the purpose the Son of God, Jesus, came to earth. If it was Jesus' purpose, should it be ours also?
So many people in this world today are incarcerated, locked up, and caged in their minds and emotions. They are held like slaves or prisoners, living at the mercy of their conqueror. Therefore, it is time for you to learn how to recognize the devil's strategies in other people's minds and lives. Jesus came to set people free, and God wants to use you (us) to take the delivering power of the resurrection to them so the works of the devil can be destroyed in their lives.
The mind may be the devil's preferred battlefield, but you can make sure he loses every skirmish! Just determine today to be a willing vessel. God can use all of us to free spiritual hostages from demonic oppression!