i don’t think it’s a coincidence that since our church leaders have challenged us to pursue God in prayer this month, the youth leaders have experienced spiritual attack.
we’ve been studying the book of Acts as a church and we are seeing a pattern that has also been true historically in the life of the people of God: there is a crisis or gaping need, there is desperate prayer, there is a visitation of power, and there is transformation. Our church elders sensed God leading our church to seek Him more earnestly for transformation in our lives and community. In the lent season of 40 days leading to Easter we have been challenged to join in on at least one of the prayer meetings happening every day of the week (except fri.) and to fast from something in order to have our “hunger” filled by Him.
it is hard enough to not turn to the things that we usually do, things that do not fully satisfy us, to cope or escape from worries of this life. fasting and prayer forces us to deal with the hunger in our souls…to turn to God. but satan doesn’t want us to do that. he tries to make this pursuit of God even harder.
our youth leader team has experienced that this past month. the week the elders presented this challenge to the leadership team, all sorts of spiritual attack broke out. all 7 of our youth leaders, as well as the pastor of the youth leaders, experienced unusual and disruptive occurrences (demonic near possession of a family member, demonic paralysis and disturbing visions, very distorted and disturbing dreams, relationship strife-standstills, and crazy night time diarrhea for me before my first big church fundraising push). then the sunday the prayer push announcement was made to our whole church, the youth leaders happened to have a meeting. there was an abnormal and uncharacteristic amount of tension throughout the meeting. we couldn’t seem to agree on how to apply this prayer push to the youth. even after some prayer the meeting still ended with a sense of division. our team members felt a mixture of frustration, confusion, hurt, and anger.
after some conversations we realized our youth group leader team was under spiritual attack, with things happening in our own lives largely outside of our control. the youth leaders started a prayer chain throughout the week. we asked various people to pray for our next youth leader meeting.
that youth leader meeting happened a couple days ago. I thought I had an idea of how it would go down. I was wrong.
i thought we would be ready to hit the ground running. but we weren’t ready. there was still some hurt, confusion, tension…a block. I had to let go of my own plans. after listening to each other share and some personal prayer time to little avail, we had to come together and ask God what was blocking us from uniting. then God started revealing scriptures to the team and, one by one, us youth leaders began confessing and dealing with stuff we weren’t really seeing clearly before. the tension began to clear, the fog started to lift. we asked God to show us where He wanted to guide the group. then God started showing us various visions, images, senses, and words. we shared out what God had revealed to us. and lo and behold, each of us had a piece of the puzzle that came together to make a picture of where God wants to lead the youth next. the creative juices were flowing and a general plan came together within minutes. it was awesome. God led our meeting and I don’t know how it couldn’t have come out better. we closed our meeting worshipping God.
we are back on track as a team. the battle is won, but not yet finished. we are hungry and we’ve taken some hits. but we know God can fill us if we turn to Him.