(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 11
In India I never once had to address the question of whether Satan or demons were real and if they could attack us or not. In this country I often spend most of my time addressing those issues. In India they have experienced the evil side of Satan, not the ‘angel of light’ side we see in the USA.
Pastors especially are attacked. They have deserted Satan’s army and are now in God’s army opposing Satan’s Kingdom. That makes them prime targets for demonic oppression. Because they are pastors they play a very key role in the growth of God’s Kingdom in India. Stopping them stops the church. They come from backgrounds of Hinduism of Islam and have generations of ancestors who worshipped these demonic gods. The places where they live and worship have been given over to demonic forces many times over in the past several thousand years so when they live or worship there these spirits rise up and fight for what has been given to them. Not surprisingly, many people around them hate Christians and the church. They have evil thoughts toward these men and their families. Their deep desire is to see them destroyed and gone from the land of India. These thoughts and desires are prayers which empower demons to act to bring them to pass. Being a pastor in India definitely puts you right on the cutting edge of the battle between God and Satan.
Having ministered to 130 men and 35 wives last time, we set our sights much higher this time. By having a different pastors’ conference in a different place day after day we could go into unreached areas and help rural pastors who have never had any opportunity to have any pastoral training. They are thrown right into the hottest part of the battle without even knowing what their weapons are, much less how to use them! Thus we were able to train over 1000 pastors and 350 wives in 18 total locations. All day every day was a pastors’ conference – 4 sessions a day.
In the morning sessions I spoke about what God expects of them as pastors – what it means to pastor God’s sheep. I also focused on the importance of their own spiritual growth. Currently I’m writing a second book for India which is about the basics of pastoring – what God expects of pastors. This will be a great way to reach many more pastors, and give them more information than in a one day conference. What we need is money to translate and print this book.
The afternoon was given over to spiritual warfare training and ministry. From Mark 5 I taught the basics of deliverance from demonic oppression and possession. I showed how God’s power is great enough to provide freedom from bondage to anything demonic. I taught them how this power and authority was available for them and how to use it in their lives as well as for their family and church (Luke 9:1; 10:17-19). I worked in numerous magic tricks to reinforce key points and these were very well received, usually with loud applause.
Needless to say, they were very motivated to learn how to have victory in these areas! I ended each afternoon the same way I did last time in India – with a group prayer for deliverance. I prayed a sentence, Moses translated it into Telugu phrase by phrase and the people repeated each phrase after him. It was the most awesome experience I can imagine! God’s power was so strong and evident each time we did it – 18 times this past trip! The walls shook with the volume and emotion of their prayers renouncing anything demonic and claiming Jesus freedom and victory. I can’t imagine a greater emotional high than I experienced each time we concluded the day that way. Each one could feel God’s presence in a very real and powerful way in the room. Arms were raised, tears streamed down cheeks and lives were changed and demonic power was broken and God’s people were set free! No wonder the demons didn’t want them to hear about that!!!
I closed by raising my arms (something I’ve never been comfortable doing, but at this point I couldn’t keep them down!) and praying for their deliverance, detail by detail. I committed them to God and prayed for them, their ministries, families and churches. I felt like I was pouring out my very soul in that prayer, that it was something God wanted me to pray because it was a prayer He was going to answer in marvelous ways.
Every day when we were finished pastors (and wives) would share a public or private testimony of how they felt God’s presence come into them, how they felt delivered from the bondage of Satan and how wonderful and glorious it was. Time after time they said that they no longer have to fear demons for they know what to do when facing them. Days and weeks later reports were still coming in from each and every place about how God used and blessed them that day. Some even took off the next day to travel great distances to come to hear the same conference again in another place!
Literally hundreds of them begged us to come to their area to teach these things to the pastors where they lived and ministered. Of course we had to turn down every one of these requests. Many asked us to set up a training center where they could come for days at a time to learn more about these things. That would be a wonderful thing to do, and if enough money is donated we will do it. Next time we will have some of these pastors conferences, but we will bring key pastor leaders we met to one or 2 locations and there teach them how to take these truths to the pastors in their area. We’ll teach them to train others so those men can go out and train still other pastors. We can’t be adding we must be multiplying. That’s the only way to reach so many very committed and gifted young pastors. How can we not do everything within out power to help them advance God’s kingdom there?
India will be a key nation in the world in not too many more years. I think it will replace the USA as the leading democracy in the world. That makes it even more important to assure that this sleeping giant wakes up to serve the Living God!
To make sure this wasn’t a one day affair that fades in their minds as time goes on we gave each participant 2 copies of my spiritual warfare handbook in their own language – one for them and one to give to another pastor. That is a great tool to help them to the next step in learning how to have victory. I kept thinking of how God will use these sessions and these books to spread His truth throughout this part of India. It’s like throwing a stone in a lake and watching the ripples go out until they hit the shore. We threw in the stone and the ripples are just starting, but they’ll keep going until Jesus returns!
You can’t imaging the thrill of being able to train, pray with and for, and equip (handbook) over a thousand young highly committed and very gifted young pastors. What a tremendous honor and privilege!!! Some of them are gifted in spiritual warfare beyond what God has gifted me. This will be the start of their developing their gifts. They will take these truths and teach them in India going way beyond anything I could imagine. What a great privilege and blessing to be part of this!
(If you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, in English, email me and I’ll send you an electronic copy. If you’d like to donate to help print more copies, for we have used up our first printing of 6,000, send your donation to me or Main Street Baptist Church. Please keep praying for India’s pastors and our ministry there.) (Wednesday, March 16, 2011)
Acts 14:23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
Write down a list of spiritual leaders you know personally. Pray for each one, that God would bless them, protect them and use them for His glory. Be sensitive as you pray, asking God specifically what to pray for concerning each man. Jot it down by their name so you can remember to pray for that for them again in the near future. Prayer is powerful and makes a great difference, don’t take it lightly or rush through it.
(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.)