When it comes to making disciples, the goal is for each individual to begin their own vibrant, deep walk with Christ. We don’t want to keep people dependent on our spiritual expertise. While Christianity does and must exist in community and family structures, at the end of the day each individual will stand before God alone and give an answer for their life.
Approaching Spiritual Warfare
Recently, one of our disciple-makers had the opportunity to pray for a family that had been experiencing spiritual warfare. While it would have been tempting to take the apparent opportunity, especially because she had been praying for a way to reach the man for years, she recognized that the real victory would be the man coming to Christ himself.
This underscores a huge principle in spiritual warfare. While the demonic realm is certainly real, true power comes not from binding demons but from knowing Christ. He has all authority on earth and in Heaven, and when we become His, we know how to interact with the spiritual realm without giving the enemy too much credit or attention. Our lives belong to God, and relationship with Him is the very call and chief end of our lives. This is well illustrated in our disciple-maker’s story, shared below.
Hearing Strange Voices
“Recently I was at a neighborhood party. There was a family there that we had become close friends with. I’ve discipled the mother and both she and her daughter have decided to follow Jesus, but her husband has been resistant to going on the journey with them. She came to me during the party and asked if I ever pray over homes to cleanse them of evil spirits. Then she shared with me about a scary struggle that they were facing as a family. She and her husband and their children had all been hearing strange voices around the home, and she even saw a spirit in the form of a woman following her husband around the house. They had become convinced that these were evil spirits that were haunting their home. They didn’t know what to do and they were all very frightened.
While we were talking, the woman’s husband joined the conversation. Instead of being angry with her for sharing with me, he confessed to me that he desperately wanted his family to be free from this torment. He didn’t know how to make the voices stop and how to feel at peace again in his own home. He too then asked if I would come over to pray a blessing over their home and cleanse it from evil spirits.
Gaining Spiritual Authority
For several years, my disciple-making community and extended local and global prayer networks had been praying for my friend’s husband to open up to God, so I was tempted to say yes, but I didn’t want to give him easy answers. Instead, I told him, “My husband and I could come to your house and pray over your house like you want us to. However, I have an even better solution for you. I recommend that you and your wife and your children all go on a spiritual journey together to gain spiritual authority over your home. If your whole family begins following God together, it will be much more powerful than if I just come over one time and pray over your house.’
My friend’s husband had not been open to the discovery process previously, but this was a desperate moment for him. He was so scared that he asked me, ‘Can we start tomorrow?’ The following day, my husband and I went over and helped him lead his wife and children in a Bible study. We started in Genesis 1, then we sat back and watched as this husband led his family in discussion.
When we checked back in with him two weeks later, we found that they had kept on reading the stories, studying God’s Word together as a family, and putting it into practice. The husband told us, ‘Since we began doing this together as a family, we haven’t experienced any more spirits in our home. We haven’t heard any more voices. We have so much peace and we aren’t afraid anymore.’”