In my previous installment about casting out demons, I talked about a man who suddenly appeared in church at the end of my sermon on God’s Sovereignty and how the pastor and I delivered a man of some, but not all of his demons. Click here to read the full story.
At the end, we hoped the man would return sober and less influenced by the “strongman,” whom we identified as a spirit of murder. That was January 22nd. April 9th the man returned. Our good friend Sam was here and we were in church. He and I were sitting in the back as I was translating for him. Earlier in the week I had been explaining to him in detail what happened that day we encountered this demonized man. I went to the car to get something and as I returned, Gerson, one of my close friends in the church, was politely talking with a drunk man in the street. The voice sounded familiar but I couldn’t see his face as they were turned away. We occasionally have drunks wander in the church on Sundays and if they get too disruptive, we try to talk with them and minister to them outside instead of inside the church. As I was entering the church, I heard the man say to Gerson, “I want to kill!” A bell went off in my head.
Have you ever had that internal struggle between what you know you should do and what you feel like doing? I have been seeking God’s guidance and wisdom for a couple years now on the discernment of spirits and then when the opportunity presents itself, I balk at it! I looked at Sam and then walk past him to go to the bathroom. I was stalling. I was praying. I was wrestling with God. “Should I step up and do something?” I asked Him. “Why wouldn’t you?” God replied. Duh.
As I returned, I walked up to Sam. “Do you want to come and have fun casting out some demons?” I asked Sam bluntly. He clearly didn’t expect THAT to come out of my mouth that morning. “Sure, why not?” he replied. I instructed him to pray over us for protection, wisdom, and discernment. Sam and I stepped outside. I spoke with Gerson and let him know that this man was the one Jorge and I dealt with months ago. “Oh, ok,” he replied. Later I would learn that Gerson felt something very dark about this man. It wasn’t the usual homeless drunk wandering in Sunday service. Something else was going on but he didn’t know what. Now he was clear.
As Pastor Jorge organized the congregation into a “family circle” to preach about God the Good Father, Gerson, Sam, and myself gathered around this man. Remembering that last time he left us, there were still a few demons in him (deceit and lies and the spirit of murder at least), I decided to start by trying to figure out what was there for us to work with. Did he still have them? Did he have more? What changed since the last time we saw him? The man clearly remembered me, “Oh, you again.” “Yes, hello,” I replied with a smile.
The man was drunk like last time. After some questioning and conversation, we came to learn that only 1 spirit remained: Rafa. In Guatemala, when you ask someone their name they give you at least 4: the first 2 are what we would consider their first and middle names, the last 2 are the paternal names of their mother and father. This man, however, always says, “Rafa…just Rafa.” This is very peculiar.
We worked to command the spirit to leave. Being the “strongman” (which is what you call the demon who has the most power over a person and tends to be the ring leader if there are more than one), he is a tough nut to crack. We feel that because the man is drunk, he has very little will power and it was difficult to talk with him. Gerson and I had better luck connecting with this man than Jorge and I had months earlier. We were able to talk him into surrendering his weapon (a small phillips screwdriver which at one point he had taken into his hands and was poised in attack mode). He also broke down crying and asked us to help him because he doesn’t want to kill anymore. When speaking with the demon (who had a clearly different attitude and demeanor than this broken man), we bound and forbade him to kill anymore.
The man also decided to ask God for forgiveness, receive the Lord’s blessing, and invite Christ into his life. After I led the man through praying to receive Christ, he fell limp. He was tired and exhausted. This happens during deliverance (as I have read and seen in the past). The whole process of being seemingly at war with yourself on a constant basis is very draining. The alcohol probably didn’t help. We let him rest and got him some water. Suddenly he sprung back to life and we were talking to Rafa again. He was agitated at what we had done. At this point we continued to apply “pressure” by speaking God’s truth that the man now belongs to God’s Kingdom and Rafa began to argue with us, try to distract us by interacting with passers by, cursing at us, and even twisting biblical scriptures. We seemed to hit a brick wall. Soon, the man had to relieve himself and excused himself to the other side of the street to urinate on the curb. Gerson and I were talking and exchanging thoughts on how to proceed. The man zipped up his fly and just walked away, as if we were never there.
I relayed to Jorge what had happened so he was aware in case the man returned when I’m not there. Jorge reminded me of something, “It’s great that He received the Lord! Last time I tried to invite him to do so and he got angry and violent and didn’t want to hear anything of salvation or Jesus!” We continue praying for the man. We believe he is redeemed, although still tormented by this spirit that has held a strong grip on him. Please join us in praying that god loosen the grip of this demon and deliver him completely. We are trusting that one day he will return to be a mighty man for God’s Kingdom and his testimony will reveal to those around him of God’s awesome power and how He can change lives.