I remember some time ago reading how Loren Cunningham, founder of YWAM (Youth with a Mission), had his people deal with the various types of spirits that were out there. For example, if he encountered a situation whereby there was a tendency for the people to be greedy, in order to “overcome” this spirit, and tendency, he would have the people do things that were exactly opposite to this spirit: a day would be chosen, for example, in which everyone was to be “unusally” generous (perhaps they each chose one or more items to give away). In this way, the power of that spirit would be broken in that general area, and God’s purposes would be fulfilled. A story might come in about how someone was dramatically “set free” from some type of oppression that day, because, literally, powers in the heavenly realm were combatted. Now we’re not just talking about tendencies here, but very real spirits: demonic spirits — spirits that influence people, groups, even entire cultures.
Now not long ago, I was driving along and I distinctly felt the pull of a spirit of rejection in my soul. I mean, I could feel it, and it was not just a “feeling”: I knew that I was being affected by a spirit of rejection. Aware of Loren Cunningham’s teaching, I knew that one way to overcome the power that this spirit was exercising on me was to show acceptance, and love. At that precise moment, before heading home for the evening (and it was a little after the dinner hour), I decided to pull into a couple of fast food places and pick up some stuff for my beloved wife: she had actually probably not had such an overwhelmingly positive day as she had to stay home the whole day, and even miss church on account of taking care of a baby as well as our sick daughter. “This was just the thing”, something seemed to be saying to me, “to bring a blessing into the home, to overcome that spirit that is attacking you, and who knows that it might bless your sick daughter as well.”
By the grace and mercy of God, I bought those items, and — while I was at one of those fast food places (Wendy’s), struck up a conversation with the cashier. It was all about, of course, God. There was a definite peace, and opening, to share the gospel with this young woman. I shared and shared and shared. And there were two others, too, who seemed to be listening in. At one point, the woman said to me, “Well, I don’t believe in that, because I’m a pagan.” And then, in a polite (not arrogant) way, she described to me what (to her) “pagan” meant. There was still plenty of clearing (in the spirit realm) and no one was really behind me pushing me to get out of the way, and I just felt that openess to be able to share with her freely, so I went on and on an on with her, explaining to her that even if she didn’t believe in God, God still believed in her (a line that I picked up somewhere, but which is obviously quite true). Our time together was not in vain: those two other people were by now literally glued to the conversation and did not venture to do anything else as long as I was sharing with her: they showed a genuine interest, and wanted to hear what I had to say.
At last, when it was clear that it was now “time to move on”, I did just that. I left the whole thing in God’s hands, confident of the fact that something wonderful had been done: three, no four, no five, no six, seven, and eight, and hundreds of other lives were affected by that simple act of obedience to step into that fast food restaurant to pick something up for my wife, in order to counter that spirit of rejection. You see, those three woman were blessed: what was shared may well be used by God to bring them into a state of eternal salvation with him, as they learn to put their faith in Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins (I emphasized the fact that God LOVES them and wants to enter into a RELATIONSHIP with them). A fourth person was blessed: my wife. Two other people were blessed: my two older children (7 and 5) whom I was able to share some of what I brought home. A sixth person was blessed, our youngest (new born) daughter, who could feel the effects of the small “blessing” that had just come into the home. Many other people are blessed, too, as I am now able to tell this story to you. And of course, I was, and am very blessed in being able to share it.
And, about that spirit of rejection that was so clearly bearing down upon me? Well, it’s gone! Through submission and obedience to his will, God has done awesome things in our midst this evening, and I know he will continue to do greater and greater things still!
“And [the people] were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.” (Mark 7:37)