Having been a left-brained aerospace engineer, I was not prepared to deal with the spiritual battle for people’s minds when I first went into the ministry. My education was steeped in Western rationalism and naturalism. However, I was never pre-disposed not to believe in the reality of the spiritual world even though I had little awareness of it. In my memoirs I write about some of my early exposures to the enemy’s tactics, which only heightened my curiosity. A man in our church said to me privately, “Pastor, I have this voice in my head!” I really didn’t know what that was and even if I did, I wouldn’t have known how to help him. I believed with all my heart that Christ is the answer and that truth would set people free, but how?
When the Lord called me to teach at Talbot School of Theology, I went as a Prof seeking adequate answers. I started a Masters of Theology elective on spiritual warfare, which was breaking new ground at our seminary. The first year I had 17 students, which was a very good number for an elective. The next year I had 23, then 35, then 65 students. Then I opened up the class to local leaders and the numbers swelled to 150 and 250. I started to see the lives of many students dramatically change for the better. During that six year period, I personally went through several paradigm shifts.
God was sending me a lot of hurting people and that was probably more due to the fact that I never charged for counseling than it was to my expertise. One student was an undergraduate missions major. She had been in counseling for seven years. She could supernaturally point out other students problems and would make statements like; She is using drugs and he has a sexual problem. She thought that was a gift from God. In our second time together she told me everything her counselor was going to do and say that afternoon. I noticed a slight smile and a hint of pride. I said, “You like having that power over other people don’t you?” The moment I said that another voice began to speak through her.
It was probably fortunate that I had asked my female secretary to sit in with me. The demon spoke through the young lady and said, You can’t make me go and I am not leaving. I said, I can make you go and you are leaving. When the demon said, Where will I go? My secretary said, Not here! I’m sure that was an experience she will never forget. In our next session, the co-ed jumped across my lap, grabbed a pencil and raked it across our wrists, breaking the flesh, but not drawing any blood. I thought, Dear God, there must be a better way than this, and God was about to show me that there is. More tomorrow.
For Spanish, see http://www.ficmm.org/blog