Why Not Instant Deliverance?


“If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches” (Rom. 11:16, ESV).

I have observed two kinds of deliverance from destructive patterns in the lives of my fellow believers. One is instantaneous, and the other is rather gradual. I believe there is an important place for both, as we all grow up in Him.

The instantaneous kind is rather easy to understand. How exciting, for example, are the testimonies of drug addicts that came into contact with the raw power of the Holy Spirit! Instantly, the shackles fall off. For the rest of their lives, many going through this kind of deliverance experience no further attraction to formerly addictive substances. Obviously, these are instances of God’s sovereign, sudden mercy on display in a stunning way.

In many other cases, I have watched as His kids walk through a process that takes years. Now, it’s important to note, these are kids of His that are earnestly seeking Him wholeheartedly. And yet, deliverance is not immediate, but rather quite slow in comparison to the instantaneous type. Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair to have to go through a long process, when others get free in an instant. Holy Spirit was talking to my heart today about this, explaining it to me.

He showed me a picture of an extensive root system. Sometimes, when there is a major sin problem in our lives, this is what our heart looks like in spirit. The issue is like a tree with a substantial system of roots that fills up a whole lot of space in the soil of our souls.

Holy Spirit invites us onto a journey to deal with the problem. One by one, in cooperation with us, He takes His ax to each individual root. Since there are so many and they are so far reaching into the depths of our soul, this is a huge undertaking. Patiently, He works with us for the long haul to gradually pull out every last bit of the root system.

Why would He choose to do it this way instead of in one fell swoop? As something comparable, think about someone who has been in a near fatal car accident. It’s impossible to mend their body with just one surgery. They need many, many reconstructive surgeries to bring them to a place of full functioning once again. If the doctor attempted to repair it all in one go, the patient would not survive.

God knows how much of His raw power our system can stand at one time. In His infinite wisdom and measureless love, He applies just the right amount to our hearts. There are certain altar calls and ministry moments where He will remove a huge chunk of the root system all at once. However, there are other parts of it still there, still needing further addressing, all in His perfect timing.

Additionally, He invites us to partner with Him in this process. There are appetites and habits that He will ask us to die to. There are defense mechanisms that He will ask us to lay aside because they are no longer helpful. There are very real moments of crucifixion that we will need to submit to.

Putting to death the desires of the flesh is an essential component on the journey as we walk forward into more and more wholeness in Him. The way He shapes us as we submit to His gradual process of sanctification benefits us in ways that an instantaneous deliverance would never be able to accomplish.

As we get up on His surgical table for what may seem like the millionth time, we can be sure of this. The Master Surgeon knows exactly what He is doing. He has an immaculate, brilliant plan. And it’s all based on an immeasurable depth of love for us. His heart is pure goodness. There is no shadow of turning in Him.

So go ahead, dear one, climb up. The One who loves you more than His life is standing by in tender readiness. He is eager to take you to the next level of your freedom. Trust His masterful hands and His beautiful heart.


Have you, like me, sometimes wished God’s process went faster? Do you have a story to share about coming to see in retrospect why He chose to do it the way He did?


20 thoughts on “Why Not Instant Deliverance?

  1. Retrospect, has been my life, Jennifer. Saying that speaks loudly to why I am in the SLOW process with the Father. It seems to take months and years for me to come to the full realization of being off the “path” and then HIS process of restoration does seem to take a long time. len wisniewski

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everyone grows at a different rate, Len, and that’s completely okay! Just like my four kids have all developed in different ways at different rates, and I never worried about it at all, because the important thing is that they are actually learning and growing; not the speed. I saw a picture of a turtle crawling forward on Instagram not long ago that said, “Speed doesn’t matter. Forward is forward.” I liked that 🙂


    2. yes dear brother. It surely is not ‘instant’ in most lives. The speed for some in 2018 is because times are speeding up. The bride is being made ready for the Bridegroom. (just a thought). Ongoing work in us ALL.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve come to believe that as long as we are breathing, there is something to learn. I must never fall into complacency or arrogance and think I am the perfect follower of Christ. Every day gives me the chance to improve, to be more, to be better as a disciple. We have the chance only because of His grace. And it is exciting to grasp the opportunity!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A beautiful and graphic picture when looked at spiritually. Thank you. I read only a minute ago a testimony from an Arab man born in Tel Aviv. His whole life he hated ‘jews’ and was atheistic in all his beliefs. He met Jesus Christ on the beach one morning. He said it was such an outpouring of the Holy Spirit he was driven to his knees. Now his life in 2018 is very different. He sees Himself as part of Christ’s root system and now no longer sees his ‘identity’ as other than found in Him. He loves his jewish neighbours and prays for them to come to the CROSS. His family is still reeling from his dramatic life change. Such is the power of the Holy Spirit to bring change.

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  4. Yes I do and it’s all for His glory! For instant deliverance, I take you to the small treatment room in the alcohol detox center I was in a little more than 27 years ago. Feeling as sick as any human ever did, I glanced at the 12 Step materials that were on the table. I instantly knew that the ‘Higher Power’ they spoke of was Jesus Christ. I had heard about Him all through my childhood every Sunday, but until that moment I hadn’t known Him. His Spirit came over me in that instant, and I have been sober ever since. Again, all praise, glory and honor to Him!
    I have also experienced the more gradual type of deliverance in many ways as well; quitting smoking some 5 years after becoming sober for one. Also, as He continued to work on me, I have come to know over time how precious the time given us is, and I use it much more wisely now that I used to.
    Blessings to you and this wonder blog,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Chuck, reading this just blessed me so very much! Thank you, truly, for sharing the riches of your experience with us. It’s extremely edifying. “And they overcame him with the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony…” I am grateful! Thank you also so very much for the kind words about my blog! The richest of blessings to you as well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What scripture did God give to show that some have to go through long processes to get free and others don’t. I’m trying to find examples in the Bible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sure appreciate your question, Pamela! All of the deliverance that Jesus ministered was instant and I believe that is what God prefers as ideal. But so many times we have obstacles in the way of receiving what He wants to give us. This is a profoundly complex subject that would require at least a whole book to delve into but one Scripture that comes to mind about the gradual process He takes us through is this: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
      ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭3:17-18‬ ‭NIV‬‬


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