Spiritual Warfare | Ocean’s Edge Ministry
By Melissa New | Ocean’s Edge Intern “There will be extreme spiritual warfare on the mission field.”
Josh’s face became serious. He leaned forward and lowered his voice.
“I don’t want to scare you, but you need to be aware of it.”
Little did I know, I was about to experience this spiritual warfare.
It began two weeks after I arrived in Jaco, when awoke in the middle of the night, terrified. I can’t put my finger on it, but I felt a presence of evil that kept me awake. The next day I poured through the scriptures, looking for passages to remind myself that God is in control and not to let fear paralyze me. My team also prayed against the spiritual warfare and I was able to sleep soundly. That is, until the following week when my eyes shot open from a bizarre dream.
I was walking around Jaco, late at night and I came across two women leaning side by side against a wall on a dimly-lit side street. I didn’t know the first woman was, but I recognized the second woman, Sarah*, as someone I have regularly seen around town. As I began walking towards them, I could sense the growing presence of evil. Starting in the pit of my stomach, a fear began to rise up into my throat and then out over the rest of my body. I knew I was no match for this evil, so I began to pray, soft at first and gradually growing louder and louder until I was shouting “Devil, in the name of Jesus, I command you to leave Sarah!” As I said it, the woman next to Sarah turned towards me and looked me dead in the eyes. It’s hard to explain, but as I got louder, she began to grow angrier and her eyes grew larger until I got swallowed up by them and woke up. Sound creepy? Believe me, it was!
Sarah is a slender Costarican woman who is in her mid-thirties. She regularly walks around in nothing more than a t-shirt and underwear, mumbles incoherently to herself and is hostile towards Christians. A few girls on my team recall a time when they felt spiritual warfare as they passed her in town because she threw small rocks as well as spit and cursed at them. After talking with a few of the locals, I learned that Sarah used to be quite “normal”, but after multiple drug addictions, she has become mentally unstable.
I believe wholehearted that the devil is preying on Sarah’s mind. If you think that sounds crazy, I would encourage you to read Mark 5:2-10, Luke 4:33-36 and Luke 9:37-42. These passages talk about the reality of demons and how Jesus is able to cast them out through prayer. I feel like God is putting Sarah on my heart so that I will pray for her. As a result, I see her almost every time I ride my bike around Jaco.
According to God’s Word, we have an enemy and his name is Satan. He is constantly “prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He wants nothing more than to destroy us and represents everything that is “bad” in the world. When we try to do the “right” thing according to God’s word, we are actively fighting against Satan. The Bible says “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Since this is not a physical battle, we need to wage war and prayer is one weapon we can use to fight (Psalm 54, Acts 16:16-18).
If I’m honest, I do feel a sense of fear whenever I come around Sarah, and I know that is not of God, but of the devil (2 Timothy 1:7). I am learning to stand firm, even in my fear, because the devil is not patient. The Bible promises that when we stand firm and resist the devil, he will flee from us (James 4:7). Remembering this promise has helped me to be consistent in prayer against the devil and bold in prayer for Sarah.
*Name has been changed