Sunday, April 13, 2008

Engaging the gates of the enemy

It was a spiritual struggle and warfare. Everything looked normal on the surface, but something was triggered in the spiritual realm. The Bible says...

13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Cor 2:13-16(NKJV)

I am referring to our recent mission trip to Banggi Island on the 29-30th March 2008. As much as we looked forward to the trip, we were fully aware that it was entering into the "unknown" (most of us had never been there before) and that we need to be extra careful physically and spiritually..

Some 17 years ago, one of us had been to the island. His team of 5 managed to enter after three months spiritual preparation of fasting and prayers. They went in trekking the island for 10 days with the help of a lady tour guide, eating tapioca and drinking coconut juice most of the time. There were earlier attempts from the SIB church but were not successful. I was told that even the former President of SIB himself was rejected at the jetty of the island and was asked to go back. In those days the islanders were known for their animistic belief and practices. You can find shamans and witchdoctors in the island quite easily. I am also told that they still have their high places and secret places of worship similar to the pagan worship in the Old Testament times to this very day. It is believed that this is one of the main reason for the slow growth and advancement of the church on the island. They said that a challenge was given to the Christian to go to these "sacred places" and if they can come back alive, the islanders will then believe in the Gospel of our Lord. That was only 17 years ago.

So this time 23 of us went in. All were rookies to the island except for that one friend. I had to really persuade this brother to come along. I told him that compare to us he is like John Rambo (Rambo I, II, III, IV), and the rest of us are mere army rookies.

God was good! God is good! He is always is! He answered our prayers for fine weather to and fro.
By the way, for another angle for this trip, please read Kristine's at, thanks Christine!

I cant forget praying for an elderly lady on Sunday morning. She is the mother of a local evangelist. We were told that this lady was an intercessor. She related to the pastor that one day while walking, she suddenly fainted for no reason at all. When we were praying for her, she was quite thin and weak. It was difficult for her to move around and to do work. Suddenly I sensed the spiritual power of darkness that was oppressing her. The intend was to silence her witness. I announced it to the team and asked each member to be on their guard and pray for protection for each one as well as for their family members back home. The enemy will retaliate when disturbed. Example, Paul was attacked after he prayed healing for the sick (Acts 14: 19-20), and after he had engaged the gates of the enemy many times over, a snake tried to bite him (Acts 28:3-5), but the Lord was there beside him. In the spiritual realm, the enemy must had been very busy trying to take him down. With this knowledge, I asked the team to really pray for protection.

We had two young ladies whom accepted Jesus for salvation that Sunday morning and prayed for two other ladies that have demonic oppressions in their lives. But the most touching moment was when my friend met up with the man he baptized 17 years ago. The first ever! They hugged each other for some time. That was a very encouraging moment to be in. Praise be to God for He is still doing His works of salvation everywhere and that He is faithful to bring into completion that He had started until the day of our Lord Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6)

We went back at around 11.30 am. 45 minutes of dusty and bumpy road to the jetty. One of us said the ride remind him of "Dirty Dozens". Upon reaching the jetty, we took the tongkang (Kristine says its a jongkong).. Mana yang betul aa? (Which one is correct?).

It was drizzling when I was asked to pray for God to stop the rain. And yes, He stopped the rain from coming. What followed after was for me a pure enjoyment of 3 hours on sea under the sun! Feeling jealous already? Dont have to be at the Carribean lol! Cheap cheap only!

All of us reached Kota Kinabalu safely the evening of the same day, feeling tired and having stories to tell.... "Been there ,done this ,done that..."

But consider what happened to some of us in the following week

1. The rear tyre of one of the team member's truck pulled off and hit a Kancil. It was driven by the wife sending their youngest to Kindergarten. Thank God nobody was hurt.

2. On Saturday night an accident took place right in front of the gate of the house of the Ministry Leader of our Mission Department.

3. On Sunday morning, Sarah ( always there together praying for the sick and oppressed while in Banggi) who was to give testimony on the Banggi trip, her Kancil was rammed by another car at Jalan Tuaran in front of the Shell Petrol Station. Her car went spinning and overturned. Her son was thrown out of the car in the process. Thank God nobody was seriously hurt. Her son-despite the momentum- landed on the roadside and suffered only a broken teeth. His friend got his forehead knocked but otherwise okay. The two were running around with my youngest during and after the Sunday service.

We dont believe that these incidents were coincidental. These were the backlashes of the enemy. And they are real. We thank God because God does protect His own. We concluded that we must have touched something in the spirit realm while in Banggi that these things happened to us. This is telling us that we need to go there again. Jesus is the Messiah. He is Lord. Upon this confession, upon the rock of our confession, He will build His church, and the gates of hades will not overcome it (Matthew 16: 18)

Any takers for Banggi? Can you hear the trumpet calls?