Confronting Spiritual Opposition To The Message
Last week I shared a message which I had recently preached. When Moses was between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea, he cried out to God. Yet God told him to stretch out his rod, using his authority to split the sea! And when Jesus’ and his disciples crossed a stormy sea, Jesus expected them not to cry out to him to save them, but to calm the sea themselves! There are some things that we do petition God about, but when it comes to healing the sick and rebuking evil, we are to use our authority.
This message has so much potential to revolutionize the lives of Christians that Satan will do anything he can to oppose it. Today’s post is a continuation from last week. This is what happened one night after I finished preaching that message.
Dealing With Spiritual Opposition To The Message
I had three words of knowledge to share with this small group. The Lord showed me physical problems which people there had, which needed to be healed. For the first two, I knew who the individual was who had the problem. For the third one I saw a vision in my mind of intestinal polyps, but I wasn’t sure who it might be who had the issue.
As I was finishing, a man was already standing up front beside me to speak! He interrupted me before I could share the words of knowledge! It was as if everything I just said had gone in one ear and out the other. He started to go on and on about crying out to God to split the water when we are in front of a Red Sea. Then he began to pray, asking God to rebuke the devil!
You might think that what he did was incredibly rude. It was! But he didn’t intend to be rude by interrupting me. I don’t think he even realized that he was saying anything different than what I had just said. I believe that he actually thought he was agreeing with me!
I have experienced this repeatedly. It is the influence of a spirit that is opposed to God’s work and has a stronghold in a person’s mind. The person is unable to hear or understand what we are saying when we talk about the spirit of Christ dwelling in believers. They interrupt and begin to pray loudly, begging God to do something and going on and on so that nobody has a chance to rebuke the sickness or oppressing spirit.
Another time, recently, I had just shared some testimonies and begun to lay hands on people. Miracles were happening. A lady began to pray very loudly “God, we know that you can heal these people in your way and in your time…” She went on and on, praying as if Jesus had never come in the flesh, as if God was far from us and we couldn’t know his will! It was extremely disruptive. The time was now, and the people were being healed now!
People who do this in church settings are usually very nice and very devout. They are well-meaning, but there is a spirit influencing their minds. It speaks lies and will do anything to take all the attention and disrupt what the Holy Spirit is doing. I am certain that when people are so unaware of what they are doing and so unable to hear what we are saying, it is the influence of a spirit.
Be As Gracious As Possible, But Be Assertive!
If you are healing the sick, some of you may have similar experiences to what I have described. The person interrupting probably doesn’t even realize what they just did. Don’t take offense!
I have learned to be as gracious as I can but to be assertive. I encourage you to do the same. We feel afraid of interrupting or being rude ourselves. But sometimes you have to interrupt, as graciously as you can! Once God gave a woman a dream telling her she needed to go talk to me. This was so that I could lead her into being born again. But when she came everyone else was talking so much and I didn’t share with her. I didn’t want to interrupt anyone. She left. However, I made a point of finding her again before I left that city, and she did give her life to the Lord!
In that meeting, I had to interrupt. I tried to do it in the best way possible. If I hadn’t, the man would have gone on and on until the meeting ended and everyone was leaving. I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to speak.
I shared the words of knowledge. I asked the first two people if they had pain in certain places. They did, and they were healed. The first one already had about half as much pain before I even prayed for her. The second was completely pain-free after hearing the word of knowledge, so she didn’t need more prayer. I also described my vision of intestinal polyps.
Guess who the third word of knowledge was for? It it was for the man who interrupted me! Of course, his condition was not immediately testable like the others were, but I believe that he was healed as well. And although he didn’t stop begging God to rebuke the devil, I believe that some of the other people there got it! There were excited and encouraged by the message.
Keep Swinging The Hammer!
I remember helping to build a hurricane shelter in Belize, in Central America. We were carving a place out of solid rock to build a septic tank. I was working with a pick and sledgehammer. It was tough work!
I could hit the rock a few times in the same place with the sledge, and it wouldn’t break much visibly. But the structure was being weakened with each blow. After a few blows, the whole area I was hitting would start to crumble.
Jeremiah 23:29 (NRSV) Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?
Remember that God’s word is like a hammer that breaks up the rock. Keep swinging the hammer. Keep speaking God’s word. Keep loving people, even when they interrupt you. Don’t be discouraged when it seems like what you say goes in one ear and out the other at first. Don’t stop because it looks like nothing has cracked yet. It can take some perseverance to begin to change religious mindsets that have become deeply ingrained in people’s thinking.
I felt the same frustration when I lived in the US. The Lord helped me to be assertive, yet gracious, in the spirit of love. With perseverance, I saw many people begin to “get it”. I saw Christians begin to break out of mindsets that hinder the church from partnering with the Holy Spirit. I saw others begin to do wonders in Jesus’ name. Now I’m in Brazil. I expect the same.
Next week, I will share more stories of overcoming spiritual opposition. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss anything!