THE DISCOVERY OF THE GROUND
While we can say with certainty that a believer can give ground to evil spirits, we need to ask what the ground is. Before a believer asks what ground he has inside, he should first study what is a ground. Otherwise, he will consider demon-possession to be something that it is not, or something that is not demon-possession to be demon-possession. Perhaps he will confuse his daily spiritual warfare with the dark authority with warfare for the freedom from demon-possession. By doing this, he will afford convenience for evil spirits to do their work.
In addition to the matter of sins, a believer should realize that he allows his will to become passive whenever he accepts the counterfeit of evil spirits, and he gives ground to evil spirits whenever he believes in their injected thoughts. (This point has been discussed in the previous chapter.) Presently our attention is on passivity. Being passive is allowing one’s own mind or body to fall into a state of complete inactivity—stopping the use of all one’s faculties. It is stopping all conscious effort to control the mind and use the will, conscience, and memory. Through passivity crucial ground is surrendered. Among the believers, the degree of passivity varies. The depth of passivity dictates the depth of one’s possession. Nevertheless, no matter to what degree of passivity the believer has fallen, he should remove this ground as long as there is passivity. A believer should resolutely, definitely, and steadfastly oppose evil spirits from gaining any ground in him. He should particularly oppose them in the areas where he was deceived. It is very important for a deceived believer to know the ground he has given up and claim back the ground.
A common thought concerning the matter of demon- possession is that one only needs to cast the demons out by the name of the Lord. But this method is not adequate when it comes to demon-possession in the believers, because there is a difference between possession in believers and possession in heathens. Heathens are possessed through their sins, while believers are possessed through deception. Hence, the way for deliverance is to be deceived no longer. If the cause of possession is deception, and we only order the demons to depart, we are only dealing with the effect and not the cause. This may work for a while, but one will not gain lasting freedom. Unless one deals with the cause of demon-possession, which has to do with the ground, the demons may obey and leave for a while, but they will come back through the ground they still occupy. This is not a theory. This is what the Lord meant in Matthew 12:43-45. If a "house" in which demons previously lived is not torn down, they may leave for a while, but they will soon come back, and the condition of the man will be worse than before. This "house" is the ground which man gives to evil spirits.
Hence, while it is important to cast out the demons, it is indispensable that one deals with the matter of the ground. Casting out demons is useless if the ground is not dealt with, because the demons will still come back. This is why many believers cannot secure a lasting freedom for themselves or others after casting out the demons in the name of the Lord. While demons can be cast away, the ground cannot be cast away; rather, the ground needs to be reclaimed. Unless one specifically and continuously reclaims the deceived and passive ground, there will not be lasting freedom.
(Spiritual Man, The (3 volume set), Chapter 38, by Watchman Nee)