The Desert is Gone
One of the most intriguing bible verses that I have read to date is what Jesus says in John 14:12. It challenges my faith to the core and makes me question if I truly believe:
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.
The following is my personal journal entry from January 22nd. I had hoped to have been able to share this sooner, but alas I have been unable to:
Today I preached on God’s sovereignty and as I was finishing up, a man came forward from the street. He was drunk. I invited him to sit down and Jorge (the pastor) sat him down and started praying for him. I sat down and then went to the bathroom, put my bible and other things in the car, and returned to my seat in the church next to my wife.
The man began yelling out “I want to kill!” in Spanish. The thought crossed my mind, “spirit of murder.”
Shirley (the pastor’s wife) began reading Scriptures to the congregation about what it means to be a true leader and true follower of Christ and I felt compelled to go pray for the man with Jorge. Jorge invited him to kneel down and ask God for forgiveness. I kept my hand on him and followed him to the floor. I was kind of nervous and apprehensive that I was right about this spirit but prayed anyway. I asked for God to show me and to release this man from the spirit. They got up and sat down again and I returned to my seat a few rows back. After a while, Jorge ushered the man to the back of the church and I thought the man was leaving, but Jorge continued praying with him.
I looked back and once again felt a compulsion to help Jorge pray but it was stronger and more purposed this time. I hesitated. “No harm in praying,” I thought. As soon as I laid hands on the man he began shouting and cursing me saying he didn’t want me there. I told him ( feeling as if someone was speaking for me, even though it was coming out of my mouth) I don’t care what he wants, but I’m not subject to him. I knew immediately that this was a spirit.
When asking for him to tell us his name, he kept giving different ones. Jorge counted 5 and when we finished, there were only 3 left. The strongman (main spirit which controlled the others) was murder, accompanied by lies and deceit. Desert was one of them, which had left. There was another that was related to the sun, but the name I cannot remember. We continued asking who we were talking to and trying to find out if the spirits were still with him. When Jorge asked, “where is the desert?” the man replied, “Oh, he left. He isn’t with us anymore. The desert is gone.”
It was interesting to note the he responded to my English commands. Silence, out, questions I would ask, etc. when I started praying in tongues, he responded with another tongue neither me nor Jorge understood. In fact, when the man heard me praying in my prayer language, he responded by saying in Spanish, “oh, you understand my language!” Unfortunately neither of us knew what he was speaking. The man, even though drunk, had various moments where he was talking to us instead of the spirits. He said, “It’s not my fault that I kill! This spirit (whom he referred to as god) had me kill and then told me to stop.” The spirit sometimes became threatening and tried to intimidate us but thankfully it didn’t work.
Missy was also called to pray for protection over us while we worked with the man. She felt a strong conviction while sitting in her seat to come over and pray over Jorge and I for protection from whatever was going on. Even though she initially resisted (as I did) she complied to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. It was pretty awesome to have my wife back me up in prayer as I battled these demons with my fellow soldier in Christ.
It was hard, but we had to let him go even though there were 3 left in him. They seemed to have the strongest grip on him and we would have been there all day long working on them. Jorge encouraged the man to come back next Sunday and be sober so we can use his internal will to cast out the rest.
It was also interesting how much the spirits were twisting scripture and trying to trap us. At one point Murder said, “I am the Holy Spirit. He asked for the Holy Spirit but I came instead so now I am the Holy Spirit.” We rebuked him and he didn’t say it again.
Unfortunately, we have not seen the man since. I have used this experience to reflect upon more of the sovereignty of God and how He wants to use each and every one of us to demonstrate it here on this earth. This was a breakthrough moment for me spiritually because it is something I have been wanting to experience and learn from for over 2 years now.
Our pastor in the States tells us that one of the greatest tricks the devil pulls on us is that he convinces us that we are not in a battle. I know it might be hard to believe in some of these things without experiencing them first hand, but friends, the battle is real. We must recognize not only that it exists, but that we are right in the middle of it.