In last week’s post we talked about the promise of scripture that the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him. When we fear the Lord, our eyes are opened to see from his perspective, so that we can hear his voice and partner with him in the way he has for us to be delivered. We also mentioned how Paul talked about the Lord delivering him through the prayers of other believers.
Here are a few personal stories of experiencing God’s deliverance from violence through prayer or hearing his voice. Although they are not nearly as dramatic as some of the stories that I will share in future posts, I think they are worth sharing and that they highlight some of the points I am talking about. I think it is quite likely that I have experienced the Lord’s protection many more times than in these instances. I have traveled to dangerous places and lived in the inner city. I’ve had a murder in front of one house and there was a big gang fight down the street from another. I do know that my housemates told me about angels in both houses where I lived in the US, and I may have no idea what schemes of violent men have been diverted by the Lord.
Warning In Russia
On my second trip to Russia, I experienced a greater time of walking in the glory of the Lord than I ever had before. I was speaking God’s word and sharing testimonies with great boldness, and it felt like currents of power and love were coming from my mouth. I often felt the love of God so strongly that I could sense it tangibly in my body. People were being healed, and gold dust was even appearing inexplicably.
One morning I had a vivid dream. A Russian police officer stopped me in the dream and said very sternly and angrily “What are you doing here?” He was very intimidating and he cursed or threatened me using some Russian word that I didn’t know, but which I thought was profanity.
I woke up and felt that there was a spirit of fear and intimidation in the dream. It seemed that this was a direct threat from Satan, who didn’t like what the Lord was doing in Russia. So I reaffirmed my commitment to follow the Lord even if it meant facing danger, and I began to thank the Lord, speak scripture, and rebuke the spirit of intimidation.
Then I left the apartment and went to go somewhere by metro. As I was walking by Park Pobedy (In St. Petersburg) I saw a gang of about 20 young men. They were very rowdy and it looked like they were up to no good. One of them came up to me and started to demand money in Russian. It also sounded like he used the same word that the Russian police officer had spoken to me in my dream. Even though it wasn’t a police officer, it felt like the same spirit that had threatened me in the dream.
I stayed calm and pretended not to understand everything he was saying. I talked to him in a friendly way, as if I didn’t understand that I was being threatened. He finally said in English “Money, money!” I responded “Oh, I don’t have money”. He walked back to the gang, and I went on my way.
“He Doesn’t Have A Gun”
Robberies on the highway are very common in Rio De Janeiro. Once my wife was the front car in a bunch of cars that were stopped by criminals. A man with a gun was standing in front of her and pointing it at the car. She freaked out, went in reverse, and escaped! That’s not usually a good idea, but thank God that he didn’t shoot at her!
Another time she was in the traffic jam, a young guy stopped her with his hand in his shirt like he was holding a gun, and demanded to get into her car. He could have hurt her and would probably have taken her car. But she says that the Holy Spirit told her “He doesn’t have a gun. He is bluffing.” She told him to get in the other side, and as he went to do so, she sped off. If he did have a gun, this would have been a very dangerous thing to do.
Lying Bloody On The Street
When I was 15 years old, I went on a trip with my uncle Burt which was very significant for me. My uncle felt like the Lord spoke to him about going to Washington D.C., carrying a wooden cross through the city in both directions, and praying. This wasn’t primarily to be an evangelistic trip, but a prayer trip. He needed someone to go with him.
My parents felt a lot of apprehension about this from the beginning, as if God was warning them of possible danger. But they felt like the Lord was saying that they needed to let me go.
This trip challenged and encouraged me in many ways. When Jesus sent out the disciples to minister, he told them not to bring a purse (Luke 10:4), because the worker was worthy of his wages. My uncle took this seriously, as he had on his trips in Africa. We went with not even enough money in our wallets for gas to get home. Burt said that we wouldn’t mention any need to anybody. But throughout the trip, people handed us $20 bills and took us out for dinner, and we returned with more money than we had left with! I also personally met three people who had been raised from the dead on that trip, received prophetic words about missions from a prayer group, and saw other believers minister healing to my uncle.
We started on a Thursday and went through the city one way that day. I think it was 15 miles. But we were delayed the next day, got a late start, and only got less than halfway through on Friday. There was a gay pride rally planned for Saturday in the center of DC, so the city would be full with hundreds of thousands of people. We called home to let our families know that we were going to take one more day to finish our trip.
Uncle Burt had been a missionary in South Africa and had gone to some of the surrounding countries doing evangelism. His wife is Afrikaans. She was not used to fretting about him, even though he had often gone to very dangerous places in Africa. She’s not a worrywort. But she had a vision of both of us laying dead on the street, with blood all around. She called my mom, and my mom felt the same urgent concern in her spirit.
I do believe that the Lord was warning them of possible danger. There was one time when my family lost our housing in a day, unexpectedly, and had to move immediately. My mom had already packed a month before that, because the Lord showed her that we were going to move before there was any natural sign of it.
My aunt and my mom began to pray fervently for the Lord to deliver us from evil. They contacted many people they knew, telling them about the vision and asking them to pray for us.
The next day the city was packed, and several city blocks were closed off by the police. My uncle tried to go through on the sidewalk beside the fence, but the Police wouldn’t let him. He tried to reason with them like a good African, but this wasn’t Africa! The only way to go through was to get tickets into the event. I suggested going a few blocks out of the way and going around it, but Uncle Burt was convinced that our mission, as the Lord had spoken to him, was to go through the center of the city. So he finally bought tickets. I think we waited for about 4 hours just to get into the event.
It was very interesting talking to people around us. There were lots of TV cameras. I remember a lady who was hiding from the camera because she was very embarrassed to be seen at the event. We ended up getting seen on TV with the big 6′ by 12′ wooden cross.
There were people who were very angry at our presence. Some of them mocked us. I suppose that they thought we had come to protest the event. They didn’t realize that we were just there because our trip had been delayed! Others assumed that we were there to promote the compatibility of homosexuality and Christianity. A lady hosting a booth was really happy when she saw us and tried to give us “Gay for God” stickers. When my uncle politely explained that we weren’t homosexuals, she was quite taken aback and upset!
We didn’t spend a lot of time in the event, because we were just passing through on our prayer mission. We spent more time waiting to get in. But the rest of the city was still filled with people who were there to attend the event. Although we encountered some people who were very angry and aggressive towards us, nothing happened. I am convinced that the Lord sent angels to calm the anger of people who may have harmed us, and to prevent them from acting on it.
Next week, we will talk about overcoming evil with good and I will begin to share some amazing testimonies that I have heard of God’s protection, along with their biblical parallels.