Feature

The Enemy’s Fury

Stopped by a stronger God

By

All I could hear was my screeching brakes and the sickening thud of metal hitting a mass of flesh. In the midnight darkness I felt an unseen force sweep me backward off my motorcycle. I landed on my back about 15 meters behind my bike.

According to the laws of physics, when my motorcycle, going 60 kilometers per hour, hit the obstacle, I should have flown forward and crashed into it with a greater impact than my bike. I should have been gravely injured or even killed.

I heard hoofbeats of large horses galloping away and then silence. Panting for breath, I crawled to my bike—which was twisted to ugliness—and instinctively I tried to lift it. The only pain I felt was on my finger. How did I survive? I wondered.

“Sir, we have to take you to the hospital!” a male voice said. I realized that a number of people were gathering around me.

“I am alright,” I managed to say. “I do not feel I have any major injuries.”

“But it is wise to have a doctor check you, sir,” the teenager said. He spoke compellingly, and he led me to a van parked beside the road. Six young boys were inside, and chatting with them on the way to the hospital helped relieve my shock.

“Sir,” one of them said, “we think it is a miracle you are still alive.”

I had been on my way home from an evangelistic meeting where I witnessed a confrontation between God and Satan. I shouldn’t have been surprised that my life had just been miraculously spared.

Soul Opportunity

I had told Pastor Toto Cuarte, “If you can arrange for a meeting in two or three villages in your area, I will bring my equipment to conduct evangelistic outreaches with you.”

“Yes!” he said, beaming. Cuarte, a church planter, is doing pioneer work under The Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches of the Philippines. “I have a village in mind already!”

Cuarte chose Maria Kristina because it is a haven for witchcraft in the area, and he felt burdened for the souls of the people there.

As a staff evangelist of Ambassadors for Christ–Philippines, I knew that these areas are some of the hardest to reach with the gospel because of their dominant non-Protestant population. I, too, had made this place a priority concern.

Breaking In

Maria Kristina can be reached only by motorcycle, so we took three habal-habals—long motorcycles that can seat up to six passengers—to carry in our equipment.

When we reached the village, we found it to be a tranquil, beautiful place surrounded by rocky mountains and hills. However, behind the peaceful façade, we could discern the shadowy presence of demonic strongholds.

We chose a basketball court with a stage beside it for our evangelistic meeting. As we prepared the equipment, people assembled and eyed us suspiciously. No one offered to lend a hand as we secured our heavy generator and movie projector.

Past experience with similar situations told me to gather my team together to pray before we started the meeting. Then, although this is not a typical practice, we anointed the four corners of the basketball court with oil, sealing it with the power and control of the Holy Spirit.

“If we make an altar call tonight, many of these people will hesitate to come forward out of fear that they will be ostracized by their fellow villagers,” I said to Cuarte. “We will let them follow us in praying the prayer of acceptance without leaving their seats. This will give everyone the opportunity to submit to the Lordship of Jesus.”

We knew that Christ’s presence in the villagers’ hearts would loosen the stronghold of the forces of darkness in this place. Then the doors would open for Cuarte to evangelize the whole community.

Power Struggle

As soon as darkness fell, we started our meeting by singing praises to God. Then we played a Christian movie. Suddenly a man wearing a white shirt and denim shorts appeared and began marching around the court, his mouth moving as if he were casting a spell.

We ignored him and continued the movie; then I preached the message of salvation. The man continued to circle the court, and as I spoke, I could feel strong demonic resistance. I finished and invited everyone to accept Jesus Christ as Savior. When I led them in prayer, calling on the name of the Lord, the enemy reacted with fury.

A strong wind came up, furiously shaking the coconut trees around us, sending palm leaves and branches flying in all directions. The crowd was disturbed, and with the roaring noise of the wind, my prayer could not be heard anymore, even though I was using a microphone. I was left with no choice but to stop praying.

When I opened my eyes, I saw one of my companions trying to hold onto the 30-pound movie projector and keep it on the table. I shouted at the people to pray with me, and we yelled the words.

The man in the white shirt continued marching around the basketball court as if oblivious to what was going on. But when we neared the end of our prayer, he suddenly weakened. His knees buckled under him and he collapsed, unconscious. It seemed he had been struck by an unseen force. Then the wind stopped.

We resumed the meeting and continued for an hour with no further disturbance. The villagers were joyful, and some asked Cuarte if they could visit his church. Afterward our team packed our equipment and left, feeling victorious in Jesus.

The spiritual confrontation had not ended for me. After I took Cuarte to his church in the city, I asked him to pray for my safety as I traveled the 14 kilometers to my home. Overwhelmed with gratitude to the Master, I sang praises all the way—until the stray horses ran into me.

Cover artwork for October 2005 October 2005

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