(Every year I spend 3 to 5 weeks in India leading pastors’ conferences and ministering to people and churches. I teach about spiritual warfare, which is very real in India, as this blog shows. Prayers for my ministry there would be greatly appreciated. For more information see India.ChristianTrainingOnline.org) Spiritual Warfare in India 7
When I started pastoring 40 years ago I never imagined I’d have a ministry in spiritual warfare. I didn’t even know what spiritual warfare was until about 25 years ago. I knew some Christians who struggled with sin and didn’t seem to have victory no matter how hard they tried or how much they trusted God. No amount of counseling helped. It seemed like something greater than them was controlling them. One of my own children was being influenced by something evil. God in his mercy brought some men into my life who taught me about spiritual warfare and deliverance from demonizing.
Paul says “we are not ignorant of Satan’s devices” (2Corinthians 2:5-11) but I was very ignorant. Since that time I have been ministering to those in need of spiritual warfare counseling. I have many books and talked to lots of people. God has been teaching me and helping me learn how to help those who are attacked by Satan and his forces.
As I learned about and ministered in spiritual warfare and deliverance over the years I never imagined that God was preparing and training me to be able to share what I have learned with pastors in India. Clearly He had that in mind all along. Spiritual warfare ministry and training has always been part of my pastors’ conferences in India, but this past year it took on a major role. I led several 1 and 2 day spiritual warfare conferences and spent half a day on it in each of my 16 pastors’ conferences. It was challenging, draining but very rewarding.
We (Nancy, my wife, was with me) spent the first week in northern India where the darkness and demonic are very strong. We had a one-day and a two-day spiritual warfare conference there and prayed with those present for deliverance at the end. We were all expecting some demonic manifestations, something to get stirred up or fight back – but nothing happened. Perhaps it will take more work there before God’s power really breaks through. The hold of darkness is very great.
From there we spent a few days in Andhra Pradesh and taught on spiritual warfare again, then went to another town for pastors’ conferences and to minister. After the second week Nancy left and then things started happening there. For the first of many times, I felt a believer start to shake almost uncontrollably when I put my hands on their head and prayed for them. The person would often try to pull back from me but I held them in place and prayed against whatever was causing this until they calmed down. This happened to a young man and a young woman in the same church. They I learned to expect it wherever I went. I prayed for about 1000 people individually this way during the 5 weeks there and experienced this shaking about a dozen times.
After traveling to a few different towns and villages we went back to a place I had spent almost a week on my previous trip to India. It was very good to be reunited with many believers to whom I had grown very close during my first visit. I had taught on spiritual warfare and led them in a prayer for deliverance last time and did so again this time as well. Here is where the first overt manifestation took place.
After the session on spiritual warfare, as everyone was leaving to take a break, an elderly pastor in the back started shaking and moaning. Some men near him helped him lay down on the floor so he wouldn’t hurt himself falling. He was shaking, yelling and moaning. Those near him knelt by him and started praying for him. They knew it was a demon and had seen this happen many times before. Now they knew they could exercise their authority in Jesus. The man would be OK for a while then start shaking and yelling again and we’d pray for him some more. After several episodes of this he finally stopped.
Later in the day he came to me and asked me to lay hands on him and pray for deliverance and of course I did so. The whole episode reminded me of the first time Jesus taught in the synagogue when a demonized man shouted and shook (Luke 4:31-37).
There was a young pastor and his wife there whom I got to know well last time. We have been praying for them because there was a demonic issue of abuse that was destroying their marriage and ministry. God has intervened and they have moved beyond that. It was good to see them together and doing well. Spiritual warfare can be done from half way around the world – God’s power knows no limits! This was a full, draining but exciting day. Little did I know that it would be nothing compared to what the next day would bring! (Monday, March 7, 2011)
2 Corinthians 2:9-11 The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10 If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven — if there was anything to forgive — I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
We don’t want to focus on Satan or demons, nor do we want to give them any unwanted attention, but we must be aware of their tactics and work so we can defeat them and move on to victory. We can’t blame them for our own sins of the flesh, but must know the subtle tricks and traps they use to capture us. What ‘schemes’ does Satan use against you, your family and your church? What must you do to not be defeated? Pray for wisdom, strength and faithfulness.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available for free.)