Monday, September 16, 2013

Does It Still Happen?

I know this is a touchy subject in some Christian circles and seen as craziness by those who are not Christians, but I'll share on it anyways.

The past two weeks were truly an amazing time of ministry.  Firstly, God did a lot to soften this hard heart of mine.  If I'm honest, I think that I was getting a little burned out.  And I'll share a little about that in a later post, but I wanted to process on blog, some other things that God impressed upon me on this trip.  The following story is coming from me, a Christian who traditionally is more reformed in my theology, who believes in the demonic, but if I'm honest, equates much more of this world's and my problems/ailments to cause and effect or a battle against our sin-filled human desires.

So, without further adue...

This past week, in the fishing village of Nakatundu, while we were sharing and teaching, I noticed a young man in the back who had been there the previous year.  In fact, God had done a lot in his life during that trip.  So, I was eager to find out how he had been doing.  But when I looked at him, he wouldn't make eye contact and quickly disappeared after the first visit.  During our second visit, we asked if anyone needed prayer and he was one of the last to come forward, still having a somber look on his face.  I asked him how he had been doing and how we could pray for him and the only thing that he said was that he had a pain in his chest.  I sensed something was not quite right with him, but didn't know what it was, until we prayed.

As my friend Shaun and I layed our hands on his chest to pray for him, I experienced something that I haven't experienced before.  His chest began to move underneath the skin, like something was trapped and was trying to escape.  And it wasn't the type of movement that a person could do on their own.  This thing was literally crawling and jumping underneath the skin.  I've seen people opressed and possessed by demons before, but have never had one manifest as I was praying for someone.  Well, this demon was manifesting.

And the way it was happening was in such a way that the young man we were praying for could not have been faking it!  It wasn't happening before we laid our hands on him.  Immediately, when we laid our hands on him, it happened and continued for a short time.  Then, through the authority that we have in Jesus, Shaun and I told it to leave this young man and it did.  The movement stopped and the pain in his chest went away!  We didn't scream or struggle against it (as you see happen in some movies).  We just said in a quiet and calm voice to leave.

As I stood there processing what had just happened, God reinforced a truth that I had known for many years:  It was as if God himself was telling me, again, that I am His son, a son of the King!  And, as such, I carry His authority.  He has literally given me authority in this world.  Not because of anything of myself, but because of Jesus in me!

He was also showing me that a lot of the problems that I would chalk up to the explainable, might be caused more by the unexplainable or the demonic.  Now, don't hear what I'm not saying.  I'm not saying that all sickness, disease, hardships, etc, are caused by the demonic.  I'm just saying that maybe more of them can be attributed to the demonic than I admit.

And if that's true, how does that change how I minister to people?  How does it change my dependence on the Holy Spirit to get to the root causes of problems instead of just dealing with the surface?

I try to imagine what the solution would have been if this same young man came to me in the States and said he was suffering from chest pains.  What would I have done?  Would I have even dared to pray for him first before offering advice?  Would I attribute the cause of his issues to the natural or at least consider that they might be attributed to the supernatural?

These are just some of the kinds of questions that God has me asking myself from this experience.  Maybe He's asking you some of the same?

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