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Neighborhood Warfare

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Many of us have answered a knock at the door only to find people from cults hoping to engage us in a spiritual conversation or leave some literature. To my shame, I have seen them as mere nuisances. Recently, God reminded me that He loves them and that they need Jesus, too.

One day I was in the driveway, getting ready to walk our dog, when two young women pulled their car up in front of our house. I had seen the green Toyota before and knew which organization they represented. God prompted me, and rather than turning away to be spared the inconvenience, I stood there and prayed for my neighbors’ protection and that these young people would not gain a foothold in any of their homes. Also, I prayed for the young missionaries, asking that they would have an encounter with the gospel.

Although I was standing no more than 20 feet from them, the women did not seem to be aware of my presence. They walked toward my neighbor’s home but were at the doorstep for only a few seconds before being turned away. As they walked back to the car, I played with our friendly golden retriever, but still they did not approach me. The two young ladies got back in their car and started praying as well.

A mother walked by, pulling two toddlers in a wagon. One of the missionaries stayed in the car and prayed while the other ran after the family. “Ma’am,” she called out, “may I talk with you? Please, ma’am, may I talk with you for just a few minutes? Please?” The mother picked up her pace and never turned back. As she walked away I prayed for her and her children.

In an almost a comical scene, the driver in the green car started the engine, drove quickly down the block, picked up her partner and exited the neighborhood. They appeared fearful or at least very frustrated.

A second episode happened about a month later. My wife and I were cleaning our garage when the same green car parked in front of our house. The occupants were not the ones I had seen earlier. One young woman got out of the car, stood in the middle of the intersection and looked up as though in prayer. I began praying, too. Again my supplications were for my neighbors and for these young people. I thought that if they would talk with me, the Holy Spirit might open doors for me to share the gospel.

The cult members tried two houses and were turned away from both. They made several passes through our neighborhood and then left. As before, it was as though they could not even see me.

What happened? I believe God was frustrating their plans and protecting our friends, but also I wondered if perhaps the enemy was keeping them from encountering me.

I thought these two events encompassed each of the following Alliance core values:

  • Lost people matter to God. He wants them found.
  • Prayer is the primary work of the people of God.
  • Completing the Great Commission will require the mobilization of every fully devoted disciple.
  • Without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, we can accomplish nothing.
  • Achieving God’s purposes involves taking faith-filled risks. This always involves change.

I know that God cares for my neighbors and for the young people who are trying to turn them toward false beliefs. I know that this experience was far different for me because of prayer. I know that God expected me to do something, and I know the Holy Spirit was guiding me. And doing spiritual warfare in my driveway involved change—in my attitude and in my willingness to engage a broken world. May we take hold of these opportunities for His glory!

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