You’ve probably fallen victim to malicious gossip through the lips of another Christian. But physical assault gives a literal meaning to wrestling principalities and powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12).
Indeed, when a demon physically attacks you through a believer, a wrestling match with the flesh and blood that’s hosting the foul spirit can ensue.
I’ve had several “wrestling matches” with people seeking deliverance and I’ve witnessed many more. Some of these precious people manifested with strength that far surpassed their human stature. On one occasion, a spirit of fear manifested so strongly through a 110-pound woman that it took five people—including two full-grown men—to restrain her while commanding the spirit to bow in the name of Jesus (Phil. 2:10).
Despite many years of participating in deliverance ministry, though, I’ve never experienced anything quite like what I’m about to share.
We were holding a special event. The atmosphere was charged with God’s presence. The service was bathed in prayer and worship. The leadership—from several different ministries—was in perfect harmony. Every gift was in its place and the anointing was flowing. We all expected a great move of God. Of course, when God begins moving demons often begin manifesting. We expected that, but not in the way it panned out.
Wild-Eyed, Demonic Prayer
I was scheduled to preach in a few minutes when I noticed a wild-eyed person praying in what sounded like a demonic language and laying hands on a visiting leader from another nation.* I looked around hoping to dispatch an usher break up the incident but everyone was deep in worship—and no one in the young church had been in this type of situation before. They were stunned. I walked over and gently nudged the wild-eyed person, who was widely known among the congregation, and asked them to sit down. This person was not assigned to the altar and had no authority to lay hands on people.
When the wild-eyed one refused to loosen the strong grip on the visiting minister, I began to pull them away with more force. The person held tight and refused to let go. I would not relent, in the name of Jesus. That’s when the person suddenly lunged toward me, smacked me in the head and began spewing forth curses and releasing witchcraft. It was a literal wrestling match at the altar! Although it was intense, it only lasted seconds because the demon has to bow at the name of Jesus. But it still caused quite a stir.
Jesus cast out devils everywhere he went and some of them caused violent reactions in the person carrying them before they came out at His command. When Jesus cast an unclean spirit out of a man in the synagogue, the spirit convulsed his human host and cried out with a loud voice first (Mark 1:24). On another occasion, a demon was throwing a boy down and convulsing him (Luke 9:42). Still another time, a demon threw the man down before finally coming out (Luke 4:33-35).
Breaking Demonic Curses
When you encounter these types of demonic attacks, you have to think quick on your feet. “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn” (Isaiah 54:17). But sometimes you have to break word curses demon-inspired people release at you in the midst of the battle. I was completely covered in witchcraft after the encounter I mentioned, and yet had to step into the pulpit in minutes. Two leaders were savvy enough to recognize the attack and break off the assignment quickly.
By the same token, the visiting minister who was the initial target of the demonic attack soon began experiencing head, neck and back pain from whatever assignment the wild-eyed, demonized person unleashed against her. We broke that assignment off and the pain left. After leaving the service for some time, the wild-eyed person returned to the sanctuary and started releasing word curses against me as I preached. One leader literally saw the fiery darts in the spirit coming against me. We had intercessors stationed around the sanctuary to combat the onslaught. Again, no weapon formed against you can prosper. But that doesn't mean you ignore the fiery darts flying toward you. And it doesn't mean you wrestle solo.
Of course, God prevailed. Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). I delivered a prophetic message despite the warfare. The enemy created a disturbance in hopes of robbing people in the room of their faith to receive the message. And, truth be known, the demonized person’s attacks did scare some in the congregation who had never seen an outpouring of the Spirit of God, much less demonic resistance to the movement.
But nothing is too hard for God (Jer. 32:27). At the name of Jesus, every knee must bow—and every knee did. When we made the altar call, many were filled with the Spirit, many received prophetic words, and many were delivered from hurts and wounds. Indeed, many experienced a touch from God they had never experienced before. The demonized person chose not to participate in the altar call, but was treated with love, kindness and forgiveness—and offered counseling.
I said all that to say this: When you move in the things of the Spirit you can expect resistance. You can expect manifestations. You can expect full-blown attacks. You might not anticipate how or when—or through whom—the attack will come, but ultimately you can take authority over it in the name of Jesus, even if the demon does cause a stir before it bows. Don’t let the commotion distract you from what God has in mind for His people. God is there in the midst of the resistance, the manifestations and the full-blown attacks to set the captives free. Your job is to walk in love and authority and refuse to let the enemy’s shenanigans rob from the people God has called you to serve. Amen.
*I changed some insignificant details to protect the identity of the people involved.