Bad Intentions

I led an outreach of 200 students from Christ for the Nations Institute to Mardi Gras in 1979. We focused most of our ministry on Bourbon Street, where the biggest portion of the partying occurs. I have seen few places where darkness rules so dominantly as it does at this continuous celebration of evil.

We had many hours of prayer and preparation before going on this outreach, and were assured in our hearts that we had established victory in the Spirit. The light had preceded us. We felt we were going physically only to reap the spoils. We saw dozens of people come to Christ and experienced many dramatic events as time and time again light triumphed over darkness. It was not without its tests, however. One of the events that impacted me greatly was an encounter we had with a demonized man who intended to do some of us bodily harm-kill us.

I spent most of my time walking the length of Bourbon Street interceding for the "troops" as they witnessed and prayed with folks. One evening my partner and I crossed the street to speak with two of our students, who happened to be carrying a sign that read, "God Loves You!"

As we stood talking, a giant of a man, whom we'll call Goliath, came at us seemingly out of nowhere. He was about 10 feet tall (at least 6'6"), weighed 500 pounds (at least 260 pounds). He was dressed from head to toe as a Roman soldier-or maybe as a Philistine soldier-and carried a long whip he was cracking as he came up to us. His lips were covered with bloody froth and blood was trickling out of the corners of his mouth.

He approached us cracking the whip and growling like a mad dog. The area around us cleared as people backed off and watched. Goliath then began to shout in a deep, raspy voice, "God is love, huh? I'm gonna kill you!"

This is not good, I perceived quickly, being the astute man I am. I wanted to speak some powerful Scripture as a sword, but the only verse that came to mind was, To live is Christ; to die is gain. It just didn't seem like the one I wanted!

As I stood wondering why one of the other three team members didn't do something, the reason suddenly occurred to me-I was the leader! Being the wise leader that I am, I shouted, "Every man for himself." Then to myself I added, Legs, don't fail me now! I felt more like the butterfly anointing than the lightning anointing.

Of course, I didn't really say and do those things, but there was a strong fear that tried to rise up in me. What did I actually do? I PAGA'ed-big time paga! And when I glanced at the other three, their lips were silently moving. They were paga'n too!

It was paga times four. Magnifying glass don't fail me now! As we stood and bound the powers of darkness in this man in the name of Jesus, within seconds he began to change. His countenance changed, his voice changed and his attitude changed. The demons controlling him had been overcome. Light prevailed. The man actually appeared confused. He looked at us with a strange expression, muttered something about going ahead with what we were doing and walked away slowly as the crowd watched in amazement.

Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets, p.188-189. 1996, Gospel Light/Regal Books, Ventura, CA 93003. Used by Permission

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