There were many instances growing up that ignited my belief in the supernatural. I was raised in a charismatic church so we would see and hear things that were not ordinary. It was common place at New Covenant Church in Dothan Alabama to hear people speak in tongues or see them fall under the presence of God. Every once and a while you would hear a testimony of someone who was delivered by the demonic realm or the grips of satan. In 1982 my Dad became pastor of a charismatic church New Freedom Church in Webb Alabama and what God would do in that town of 500 would shape my grid for the supernatural.
We would often see salvations as many would come to Jesus and lay down their addictions and sin. We had a remarkable time of several thousand saved in just a few years. We would see healings and often my father would lay hands on my fever ridden head as a young child and it would leave immediately. Sometimes you would hear the story of a barren woman becoming pregnant after the church prayed. But one of the things that became a staple, especially in my mothers ministry, was what would be called "deliverance". Now to me deliverance comes in salvation and healing also but this is not what Im talking about. Deliverance became so well known in our church that at one time people were making appointments all week long from all over the southeastern United States. This deliverance was from those who were oppressed by the devil in such a way that they had no control. For me it seems that demonic forces respond when Im around. Since being in San Francisco there have been a few times on the streets where people oppressed by the devil would "pick" me out. Jesus came to set "captive free". Could it be that the demon recognizes the authority upon us? Could it be that we are the ministers of deliverance to those who are bound? I say yes to both.
People find themselves in the bound condition based on three reasons. One because of what we did or do (sin). Two, because of what others did to them (hurts). Three, because of allowing an open door to demonic influence. Jesus never really tried to deal with all the theological and social implications of "why" but went about doing the works of the Father. Acts 10:38 "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." Another scripture says "if I drive out demons by the finger of God the kingdom has come upon you". It is this authority that every believer has been given in the Kingdom.
We see in the scripture that according to Revelations that "satan and his demonic forces" we will call principalities were cast out of heaven and fell to earth. Jesus said "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven". Adam and Eve created in the image of God were given authority and power on earth to multiply and subdue. This authority was relegated to satan by Adams and Eve in the original sin. Throughout history we see this picture of Gods people moving from bondage to freedom, especially in the Promised Land Adventures. God has always wanted to bring deliverance to His people. In Isaiah 60 and 61 we see this prophetic picture of deliverance by Christ. In one instance in the new testament Christ goes into the temple and reads Isaiah 61 and declares its fulfillment in His coming. Through Christ perfect life, death on the cross, burial and resurrection He defeats death, hell and the grave. Somewhere in this I see him kicking open the gates of hell and coming to a showdown with satan. Not that satan is in hell because that is where he will be one day. The Son of Man finds satan who knows his time has come and Jesus takes back what was relegated in the garden by man. After His resurrection he finds the church and says "all authority in heaven and earth I give to you" and declares our power over the forces of satan.
"When he called His disciples He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease". In Luke it says, "Then the seventy returned with joy, saying "Lord, even the demons are subject to Your name. And He said to them, "I was satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm you." Philippians 2 says "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth". Revelations 12 says "they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony". We have been given authority and power over the works of darkness in San Francisco. Its our destiny to lead our City into the promised land spiritually and bring freedom to the people. We are to make the City of San Francisco the City of our God.
How do we do this? I want to give you two words; Communion and confrontation. God has called us to be in perfect fellowship with Him. Spiritual Warfare comes with communion with God. Our deep communion with Him gives us the anointing that when we confront the works of darkness we do so with power and precision. Confrontation comes in the form of resistance against the powers of darkness not people. James says, "Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you" this is communion and confrontation.
Communion always calls for a separation unto the Lord. My wife likes double dating but she loves a date with just me. God is so in love with us that He desires this one on one communion with His beloved. Its in these times that we see the greatest rest, peace, transformation, equipping and power displayed upon our lives. So my spiritual warfare begins with communion before confrontation. I don't commune to confront but in my communion I am given the power to confront. I believe we can be more efficient and effective in spiritual warfare spending 90% in communion and 10% in confrontation. We need to increase our communion time with Him.
Confrontation is against the principalities of darkness not people. 2 Corinthian 10 "though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds....". My warfare against principalities and powers of darkness is militant but my warfare to the people is Love. Satan is our enemy not people. So in my prayer time I may radically bring declaration and confrontation against the powers of darkness with militant demeanor, but in my city among the bound its expressed through love.
Revive, we need to seek the Lord with all of our hearts and live in such communion with him that as Psalms says we become "the song of deliverance" that He is to the people of San Francisco. Let the sound of deliverance be a sweet song of freedom as we escort people from Egypt to the promised land.