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Your Mission: Serve Where You Are Planted Part 3

“Do not participate in the useless deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says,
“Awake, sleeper,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.”
So then, be careful how you walk, not as unwise people but as wise,making the most of your time, because the days are evil.Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:11-17 NASB)

Friends, I have seen a lot in this world. I have lived and been in the presence of individuals who are trapped in all sorts of evil deeds and addiction. My ex-spouse, my sister, her father…childhood friends who never grew out of but went further into drug use. I’ve seen demon possessed people simply walking down the street. I’ve lived in Oakland, California and done street outreach in Over-the Rhine, the most horrible area of Cincinnati, Ohio…Yet, I cannot even begin to understand or properly describe what I see happening around me, in the city I presently reside in. Deeds of darkness abound. The face of evil is new and sinister. While I am aware that it’s dangerous to interact with these people, I am compelled in my spirit. As the title says, “Your Mission: Serve Where You Are Planted”…

What I immediately sensed here where I am planted, despite the general peacefulness, was a lot of oppression and darkness, mostly associated with addiction. Prayers for protection, wisdom and more, go up constantly in my house and when I’m walking the neighborhood with C. While this is not a “bad” area, I know C senses things. He has never shown assertion toward people the way he does here. He has, during this season I’ve been walking through, become much more protective over me than he has ever been. Frankly, I am really glad. He senses things in some of the homeless people here and will immediately react negatively if they get too close. Outwardly, just driving through, it’s not apparent.

Understand who you live amongst

In a conversation with the man who lives directly across the street from me, I discovered he is a Believer. He was telling me things he has concerns over in regard to  the neighbor I mentioned had been dragging the woman down the street. In this conversation he confided that the man told him he sees a small black demon around his house and yard. He lives in the worst house on our street; it has no running water and I’ve been told the inside is disgusting. In the past several weeks, all of these new men have been staying there. Men and a woman who are otherwise homeless. C has had negative reactions to a couple of them and one in particular I do. Today, I had a very negative interaction with the man who rents the house, this after asking him to stop someone living there from pouring dirt on the curb. I was being nice about it too. He was not, not at all. While in the moment I was okay, I realized as I walked into my house my body was trembling.

Evil in disguise

There was a man living a few houses down, as a roommate to a woman battling cancer and her part-time caregiver. What I observed was just plain odd. It wasn’t even a meth tweak it was this man in trances where he was constantly talking to the air, moving his hands and arms all about. He would stop in front of the Baptist church across the street from my house and basically curse it. He slowly rode his bicycle around at odd hours. I finally, separately, asked two neighbors if they knew what was going on with him. I didn’t know if it was in fact meth or he was schizophrenic. Both told me the same thing: he may use drugs but he admitted to worshipping satan.

A few weeks ago on a Shabbat morning (a Saturday) I was in my kitchen singing praise and worship music when I heard the Lord’s voice: he instructed me to go outside to my front porch to worship. I knew there was a reason. I knew He was about to move in some way.

That night, the police showed up at the house where the “satanist” was living. They didn’t make him leave but did talk to him. A couple of days later I asked the man across the street, who is friends with the women who live there, what happened. He said the women were trying to get that man to leave and he wasn’t. He also shared that the man had stolen quite a bit of money from the home owner. That was the night the effort to get this man to move out began and it ended a couple of weeks later with him finally relenting.

Undisguised evil

This morning I took C down to the park below my home for a walk. What I came upon was a bit unusual: there were several homeless people sleeping there. Normally they would have already been told to move on by the police or park workers. There was a man sitting on the step to one of the portable potties who was doing something really odd. I have no idea if he was in a trance or in a meth tweak. or what. This was directly across the street from the gated playground…and a couple of families were in there, seemingly nonplussed by this display. I’m sorry but what type of parents would subject their children to this? I honestly, believe people these days chose to be oblivious or they are simply numb to it.

I walked past a man getting out of an SUV and to no-one he said out loud, “More people will die tomorrow.” He was alone in that spot. (I’d heard the man who was living down the street say this as I walked past him once.) He crossed over the sidewalk in front of me, as though I didn’t exist, into the green space next to the playground. He then proceeded to stand still and move his hands and arms in  crazy ways like he was invoking something; he then lifted his arms up to the sky and began to speak in a strange “tongue”…the voice which come forth was not human. By that time I’d crossed a foot bridge across the green spaced brook and was standing next to the basketball court where there was a boy playing ball, alone, and witnessing this. He stopped playing and stood next to me (I think his parent was in a parked car across the street from the park – too far away for certain.)

I was very concerned about this man inviting, I presume, demonic activity around all of these children so I kindly asked him to stop, so he didn’t scare them. And, as one might suspect he got pretty mad and began to literally curse me to hell. The little boy jumped back a bit and said, “whoa!!” My response to the man, over and over, was that God loves him and wants a relationship with him. That is simply what came out. This angered him more and he started to say all kinds of nasty and nonsensical things. I waited a minute until he began walking the other direction, then I turned to the boy and told him to be careful because there were bad things going on.

Wake up

If you are in denial that this world is going down into darkness, as it is described across scripture, I hope this wakes you up. When people are no longer hiding their adoration of the evil one in the woods or indoors, something is very wrong. We are told that in the time of the great tribulation that evil will prevail upon the earth…if this isn’t a sign we’re getting close and closer, I don’t know what is. It is disturbing. A person who has a lot of fear and un-dealt with trauma in their lives may not be able to handle what things are to come. Friends, I’m not a fatalist but I know what scripture says in coming in the days before the wrath falls upon the earth, before the second-coming of Messiah. If you do not deal with all sin, all of the fearful responses to past sin – your own and that performed against you – you may not make it.

I beseech you to bring it all to the alter and submit to the LORD so he may deliver you so are free to be the warriors He fashioned you to be, enduring to the end (like the many who’ve come before us)…because we are called to endure the race!

“And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:39-40)

“Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let’s rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3 NASB)

Read Part 1  or Part 2


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