Is God restricted to move
Our friend had been one of the many Christian workers who flew to the Banda Aceh province in Indonesia after the great earthquake and ensuing tidal wave in 2004. He went there like many others to help in whatever way that he could. The devastation was unimaginable. There is nothing in the ordinary course of life that could prepare you for the damage that the tidal wave did to the Banda Aceh area. Everything was needed to stabilize and rebuild life as they had once known it. At these moments, you are both awed and humbled. Awed by the sheer force of power that nature has over the lives of mankind, and humbled by the very real need that all have for the intervention on our behalf of a power much greater than ourselves for salvation and safety.
I remember several stories coming out at the time from those devastated areas where the global tidal wave struck. Ones of how God intervened in the lives of people who prayed spiritual prayers. I remember one that we all actually watched on a big screen in church. It contained the testimony of a Christian orphanage worker who felt led to launch a boatload of orphans and himself into the ocean of waves in the moments as disaster struck. He commanded that the waves part in the name of Jesus. Somehow, and he admittedly stated that he doesn’t know how; they went right through the waves, arriving safely on the other side free of the disaster. He could not shut up about the help from his Jesus. No matter how many times CNN anchor Anderson Cooper tried to shut him down, that was until the feed was “cut off”.
Our friend’s testimonies was quite different. You must understand that they come from a seeker friendly style western church. So, sharing about angels, healing, and the power of God is not something that is necessarily talked about a lot or encouraged. Yet, that is what we did that evening as he shared his experience with God’s Kingdom in that devastated area so far away. It is one that will cause you to ponder, think, and have to come up with your own answers as to why things turn out the way they do. Because the ending isn’t a fairy taleone, or one that you would normally hope to hear about, it is nonetheless true.
While in Banda Aceh, these workers did whatever they could do to help out. They came upon one heart rending situation after another. They did what they could from body recoveries, to building shelters, to handing out food and waters supplies. As Christians, they also offered prayers on behalf of everyone they worked with to ease their daily burdens.
Here is his story. " One Sunday near the end of my time in Aceh. I went with a large group of Indonesian believers to one IDP camp that had not received support. The group brought food and games for the children. After we passed out the food, most of the group started playing games with the kids. I kind of hung back and was just walking around praying and chatting with different people. As I stopped to watch the kids playing the games, I noticed a commotion in one of the tents. I walked over to the tent and saw a young girl, about 10, on the floor in convulsions. I don't know if it was demons or a seizure, but as it was happening one of the Western ladies from our group asked the family what had happened. They said that the girl had been acting strange all day, and that when our group arrived she refused to come and eat or play with us. The lady then asked if she could pray for her in the name of Jesus.
It was at this moment that I began to see what appeared to be a group of huge men surrounding us. They looked to be wearing dark armor and holding flaming swords. Though their size was impressive, I was having a hard time seeing them. When the lady asked if she could pray in the name of Jesus, they rushed forward swinging their swords as if preparing to do battle. Just as they were about to reach the girl, the child's father stated that he would not allow for his daughter to be prayed for in the name of Jesus. The huge men stopped in their tracks, swords still ready, and then they slowly disappeared.
After all of this transpired, I was left absolutely speechless. I started to cry, knowing that this all could have ended so differently. That a true and lasting healing could have happened. But because of the Enemy's strong grip on this family, a priceless gift was rejected."
In what seemed like a very ethereal moment in our friend’s life, he got to see the Kingdom of God get ready to work. For the first time in his Christian experience saw angels. The Word says that they are ready to carry out God’s commands. (Psalm 103:19-22) They stood there solemn, and strong, radiating the sense that they were ready to be directed into action.
He turned back to hear the mom rejecting the offering of prayer by his co-workers one more time. Stunned, and in disbelief because of his worldview, he waited as they tried to coach this Muslim woman into accepting their gift. Each time my friend would glance back at the sentries of Heaven as they stood poised, yet unable to move into action. With one final emphatic rejection, the workers rose up and left the sad familial scene. Their hearts broken, their spirits weighed down with the haunting word, “Why”? It was then that he noticed that the angels had disappeared.
As I said earlier, this story doesn’t have the feel good ending as others that I have shared in the past. But, I believe it to be just as weighty and important for us to hear. You see I believe that there is true power in spiritual prayers. I believe that the authority of the believers in prayer rests in the name of Jesus. I also believe that as disciples of Christ we need to come to a deeper understanding and appreciation of those truths. Even if it means hearing real life stories of tragedy to get the point across.
As Paul said in Ephesians 6:12: ” for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of darkness, against spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places” NASB