• Steve Derenge

Breaking Soul Ties

“And God spoke all these words, saying, ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. ‘You shall have no other gods before me. ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

Exodus 20:1-6 ESV

Globally, pop iconic musical artists are sometimes referred to as “idols,” as in the TV show “American Idol.” How might such identification with idols be interconnected with the spiritual realm?

Let’s say that some fans identify a famous pop artist--living or dead--as their “idol.” In other words, they love and respect this musical artist and his/her music to such an extent that their identity is shaped by how much they value the musical artist. To be sure, many (if not all) musical artists and their music bear some admirable qualities, as the artists were made in the image of God to enhance His glory through the good gifts, talents, and qualities with which God designed and blessed them.

Idolatry occurs when a “good thing” becomes a “god thing.” For example, fire is a good thing when it’s in the proper context of the fireplace to provide warmth and comfort to a family in winter. However, if you remove the fire outside the fireplace and onto the floor, it can cause death and destruction as it burns the house down. Likewise, sex is a good thing God created, but if you remove it from the designated context of a loving, monogamous, heterosexual covenant marriage relationship, then it will run an increased likelihood of heartbreak, disappointment, destruction, lack of intimacy, anxiety, relational dysfunction, depression, and even death.

Thus, the pop artist may have many admirable qualities, but if a person takes this artist into his/her heart as an idol, then there is a danger also known as a “soul tie.” Despite the pop artist’s good, attractive qualities, after a soul tie is formed, then any evil spirits or negative qualities residing in the soul of the musical artist have legal access to his/her devoted fan. For example, let’s say that a famous musical artist had an estranged relationship with his father. His father didn’t properly show him the love, affection, and positive affirmation that he desperately longed to receive. Consequently, the incredibly gifted musical star develops self-hatred and later turns to lust and sexual immorality in attempts to fill the relational void in his heart.

After the artist’s fan idolizes the artist and thereby unwittingly forms a soul tie with him, those same dysfunctional qualities in the artist’s life have legal access to invade the fan’s life. After all, the artist’s musical lyrics will likely promote sexual immorality, since from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (or sings). (1) Consequently, having formed such a relational bond and connection with the musical artist, his fans will develop the same worldview and relational dysfunctions as their beloved artist.   

Here’s another situation where a soul tie may need to be broken. The founder of a world religion or sect may have received their revelation from a source from the kingdom of darkness (satan and evil spirits) rather than from the kingdom of heaven/God (where Jesus is the king). Take Joseph Smith, Jr. for example. Having participated in occult practices like divination, one day an angel appeared to him in a cave and gave him some new “scriptures” which he later penned down.

This is not to dishonor the founders of false religions like Mormonism. Like the pop musical icons, they even had many admirable, honorable qualities and leadership abilities. In fact, this is what made them the perfect target for the kingdom of darkness, since they could have otherwise been a great threat to satan’s kingdom. I refer to this as “the Harvey Dent Principle.” (2) Nevertheless, many may need to sever the soul tie with the founder of the false religion in order for Jesus Christ to set them free indeed from all evil spirits who gained access to their souls through the soul tie with that founder of the false religion.  

How, then, can a soul bond or tie be broken? How can the idol in one’s heart be removed?

“And [Jesus] said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” Matthew 22:37 ESV

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 ESV

The following is a suggested prayer for breaking the soul tie with a musical artist, a founder of a false religion, a person like an ex- with whom you have had a long-term relationship but with negative lingering after-effects, etc. Read it aloud if it expresses the desire of your heart:

Father God,

I want to know you on a deep, personal level. I want to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength(s). I acknowledge that the thief (evil spirits of satan’s kingdom) come only to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came so that I could have life and have it to the full. So I confess to you that I took idols into my heart; I loved other people and things more than You. I thank you that the reason Jesus Christ came was to destroy the works of the devil by saving me from my sin. Thank You that this happened on the cross, where like a lamb led to the slaughter, the innocent, pure, and blameless Jesus Christ died in my place, so that You could legally remove my guilty, impure, unrighteous deeds and attitudes. Thank you for forgiving and erasing my sins and my defiled conscience and attitudes through the blood sacrifice of Jesus. I confess with my mouth that “Jesus is Lord” and believe in my heart that You raised him from the dead.  Thank you for saving me and for adopting me into your honored family, into which I have been born again as a completely new person. The old has passed away and all things in my life have become new, as I receive the fullness of Jesus into my life.

Thank you, Lord, that “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Using the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, I now sever my soul tie with [name of person] in the name of Jesus Christ. [If this person is still living, you might be led to pray, “I forgive this person for any ways I was hurt in the relationship, releasing myself of all bitterness; and I ask You, Lord, to bless this person by drawing him/her to repent of their sins as You invite him/her into a relationship with You.”]

Father, I thank You for defeating every evil spirit through Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead, by which you crushed satan’s head. I believe that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus, who now lives in me. By the authority of Christ, I wage war against every evil spirit lingering in my soul, overcoming them by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) and the word of my testimony [story about God’s saving power in my life]. Therefore, I put to death what is earthly [demonic] in me: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. As I repent of these sins, I thank You for filling me with Your Holy Spirit, whose fire right now purifies my heart and soul as all demons and heart idols burn to ashes by the fire of God’s wrath towards sin.

As You now fill me with your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control by the power of your Holy Spirit whom You promised to those who repent and are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, thank You for making me more and more like Jesus.

In Jesus’ name,


See Matthew 22:37, John 10:10; Ezekiel 14:3-7; 1 John 3:8; Matthew 1:21; Isaiah 53; John 1:29ff; Hebrews 9:13f; Romans 10:9f; Ephesians 1-2; John 3:3; 1 Peter 1:3ff; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17; 4:27,30-32; Romans 12:14ff; Colossians 2:15; Genesis 3:15; Matthew 28:18ff; Colossians 2:9f; Galatians 2:20; John 1:12; 1 Peter 2:11; Revelation 12:11; Colossians 3:5f; Ezekiel 28:18; Malachi 4; Galatians 2:22f; Acts 2:38; Romans 8:29ff.

  1. c.f. Matthew 12:34b.

  2. See Deuteronomy 18:9:ff; Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.


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