Casting Out Demons

Hi friends,

Thanks for your continued prayers and support for the project. I’ve been working on building strategic partnerships and have had some really wonderful meetings in the past couple months. More news to come soon. For now I want to share a crazy experience I had recently.
Last month I was at a conference in Anaheim and ended up staying at the Convention Center till 1am with a group of people ministering to a guy who was manifesting a demon. This was my first time seeing anything so extreme, so it was an experience to remember to say the least. The guy’s name was Brandon and he was probably in his mid-20s. He was sitting next to me during the evening service and it was very easy to tell something was off. First of all he had cuts on every square inch of his legs and arms. Mostly scars, but some of them were still scabbing over. He had matted blonde hair and hollow eyes, and the one time I turned to say something to him, it was clear something was off.

At the end of the service, a couple people gathered to figure out what was going on with him. One lady discerned that there might be something demonic at play, and she started commanding it to come out of him. Brandon immediately leaned forward in his chair and basically passed out.

A group gathered around and several of us laid hands on him, praying and commanding the spirit to come out. At one point we laid him flat across the seats. The lady strongly rebuked the demon and Brandon started coughing, and sat up like he was going to cough something out. But then he laid back down and we knew it hadn’t left him. This basically went on for the next 2 hours. He was in and out of consciousness. Sometimes his arms would thrash around, sometimes he would speak in gibberish.

Eventually the convention staff kicked us out and we had to carry him outside. We laid him on a concrete bench and continued, even though it was cold and now it was after midnight. At one point one lady looked him right in the eyes (we were trying to figure out the status of his salvation at this point), and asked, “Is Jesus Lord?” This was the most intense part of the whole night because when she asked him that, Brandon’s face contorted into an expression of total rage and defiance, and it looked like he was about to spit in her face. One of the other ladies said “You will not spit on her!” And he obeyed. But when she asked him again, “Is Jesus Lord?” the same exact expression came over his face again.

During a moment when he was somewhat lucid, someone asked, “Brandon how are you feeling?” He paused and mumbled, “…I feel like you guys really care about me.” Everyone laughed and it was a much needed moment of comic relief. Other times when he seemed to be himself, he would say, “It’s not going to leave,” and everyone assured him that it would.

Through some spiritual warfare training we remembered that demons like a fight, and sometimes the more attention and focus you give them, the more they’ll take. So we stopped all the rebuking and just started speaking over his future and declaring God’s presence on him. I asked him, “Brandon, what do you want to do with your life?” He immediately started talking about how much he wants to help people, and he came fully into his right mind and started talking and responding normally. We talked for awhile, said a final prayer, and then Brandon stood up and said, “Let’s get outta here, huh?” We all laughed again and one guy gave him a ride to the shelter where he was staying.

You’d think this experience would give me a healthy fear of the demonic, but actually I came away with such an overwhelming sense of God’s love. There was something about seeing 10 people all stay with him till 1am, praying over him, anointing his cuts with oil, covering him with their jacket when he started shivering… some of us cradling his head, others holding him up each time he would sit up to cough… some standing off to the side, singing… one guy literally carrying his limp body in his arms when they told us to leave the building… Honestly the next morning in worship I was just crying and crying because it had been such an overwhelming picture of God’s unreserved love and grace, not just for Brandon, but for me, for us.

Jesus came “to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind” and to “heal all those oppressed by the devil.” Now we the church are his physical body on the earth, sent out to continue the work he did. Jesus is not another teacher or historical figure; he really has been elevated “to the place of highest honor and supreme authority” in the universe. (Eph. 1) That’s why demons tremble at the sound of his name. Jesus passed that authority on to his disciples and said “In solemn truth I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the miracles I have been doing.” Those of us who ministered to Brandon that night are still growing in our faith and authority, but if Jesus had been there we know the demon would have run screaming with one word.

This is really the heart behind the project—To call a whole generation to a place of greater intimacy with the Father. And we simply can’t stay in close communication with him, or exercise our spiritual authority to much effect, when we’re doing things that subvert our conscience and open doors to heartache and unhealthy spiritual ties. I believe this is they key to sexual integrity: not telling young people what they can’t and shouldn’t do. But showing them the absolutely radical life of spiritual intimacy, power, and love that is possible. 

When you realize the same Holy Spirit that lived in Peter and Paul lives in you, and that Christ wants to use your hands and feet the same way he used theirs, then there’s a reason to sacrifice, a reason to die to yourself, a reason take up your cross and live holy, whatever the cost.

Please keep “Your Love Is Strong” lifted up in prayer over the next couple months, as I continue to work to bring in the funding and launch this ministry. Also, your donations in a very tangible way facilitate trips and pay for printed materials during this stage, so if you’re in a position to support, you can make a tax-deductible donation here. So much gratitude to each and every one of you for your prayers and support! It’s been an amazing journey and it will only get better!!

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