1 Samuel 16:14 – Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrorized him.

This is a difficult passage in that it conveys the thought that both the Spirit of God and an evil spirit were sent from the Lord to Saul. God put His Spirit on Saul when he was anointed as King of Israel. Saul even prophesied when he was among the prophets. Saul turned from the Lord’s commands to his own plans during his reign. His heart became cold and selfish. The Lord withdrew His Spirit because Saul chose to do evil before the Lord. Afterwards, the Lord sent an evil spirit to terrorize Saul.

The God of Heaven is in control of both the good and the evil. Satan and his kingdom of darkness have restrictions placed on them by the Lord. They are confined to the earth in their ability to have influence. As believers, we wrestle against these powers (Ephesians 6:12). Satan and the kingdom of darkness have already been judged by Jesus according to John 16:11 declaring that “the ruler of this world has been judged.” Many Christians are still in bondage to the kingdom of darkness because their hearts have not been fully cleansed and released (1 John 1:5-10). The Spirit of God comes to convince of sin (John 16:8). He also comes to produce righteousness (John 16:10).

Many of God’s people battle continually with evil spirits because they refuse to allow the Holy Spirit complete control in their lives. They remain king of their own circumstances, rather than allowing the Holy Spirit His rightful place of rule in their hearts. Unforgiveness is one of the main bondages giving the enemy a right to control, confuse, and bind up our walk with Christ and our relationship with others. Jesus addresses this in the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:21-35). The King was angry that the servant He had forgiven failed to forgive a fellow servant a much smaller debt. The King turned over the unforgiving servant to the tormentors in jail until the debt was fully paid. Jesus stated in Matthew 18:35, “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from the heart.” The tormentors are evil spirits. The debt can only be paid through forgiveness from the heart.

Today, ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and reveal to you any unforgiveness that would give Satan’s demonic tormentors rights in your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a heart of forgiveness for anyone who has hurt you. Ask God for grace to forgive anyone He shows you. Then bind the evil one and be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God has come to fully establish God’s kingdom reign through the Lord Jesus Christ in each of our hearts today and every day.