I drove up to the main building of the ministry in North Carolina where I worked at and before I got out of the car I smelled the strong odor of Lysol. I was a good 50 feet away from the building and yet it was unmistakable. It wasn’t a Lysol spill. It wasn’t a practical joke. It was a yet-to-be nurse determined to stop the plague in its tracks.
Sometimes the difficult times seem to just stack one on top of another. This was one of those seasons. For more than 9 months now our 20 member ministry had been plagued with non-stop illness. The flu and other bugs were just being passed round and round and round. Nobody was getting better. Thus the attack via Lysol (thank you Marykay).
But it wasn’t just sickness. It seemed like about every other problem that could happen was happening. The ministry was really struggling with finances and trying to keep in the black. One of the family members of one in the ministry had a deadly tumor on his brain stem and there were many questions how to deal with it. The constant sickness meant everyone was tired and touchy. But the worst was that it just didn’t seem to end.
The final straw happened to one of the senior members of our staff. He was going down our long driveway up the hill when his wheel slipped off the pavement. His car flipped over and he was left hanging upside down by his seat belt.
Thankfully some other staff members came by and they were able to help get him out of his predicament. He was ok but enough was enough.
The leadership of the ministry decided to hold a special prayer meeting. I’m glad for this as being the “mature” Christian I was, I didn’t even think to pray.
We gathered together and began to pray for this situation. We were just seeking God asking about what to do and stopping the nonsense.
After the prayer time one of the founders of the ministry began to talk about how when she was in a far away land that 5 times per day there were proclamations over the land. She noticed that during those calls to prayer that there seemed to spiritual heaviness and changes in the atmosphere.
As she was describing this scenario, it popped into my mind that we should do a Bible proclamation off our back porch area overlooking the valley. And why not? The valley that our building looked into was a literal spiritual battlefield.
Directly across the road from the ministry was a witchery. Driving down the road on the left side one saw a sign for the Christian Training Center, and on the right side a sign for the witchcraft and witchery services.
Also somewhere in the valley someone had a Shofar that they blew from time to time. We never knew who it was.
But on a given night one could hear the woo-wooing coming from the witchery, and on another end of the valley on another night a Shofar blowing.
So when the idea popped into my mind about a Bible proclamation, I spoke it in the meeting and it immediately resonated, a good sign that God was in this. I believed this was God’s strategy given to us.
So we set up a schedule for 5 days of reading, 30 minutes per slot. But I felt from the Lord it wasn’t just to be a “reading” but a proclamation. An act of spiritual warfare in a sense.
Starting at 5 am each morning the Bible proclamation began. We read over the valley the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The heroics of Gideon, David, Samuel and others. It was such a powerful time.
At one point the man with the brain tumor began to read. We were all sitting in the dining area watching him through the window, feeling strongly the presence of God. He was to go to surgery the next day.
Sometime later our director was reading and ironically he was in the section dealing with witchcraft and foreign gods. Fired up, he loudly proclaimed the gospel, directing God’s Word toward the witchery across the road which considering our location on top of a hill, it was a solid ¼ mile away. But it was no subtle act of warfare in the heavens.
Person after person proclaimed the Word. We were walking in the obedience of God’s strategies and God was clearly with us.
At the end of the 5 days we gathered together for the final reading of Revelation. And together we celebrated with worship, songs and joy in our hearts. It truly was a powerful week.
Not surprisingly there soon followed breakthrough from heaven. The man with the brain tumor almost died in surgery, but he was rescued and to this day is alive and well. The financial situation of the ministry began to change and new life poured in. The sickness suddenly stopped, although it admittedly could have been because of the Lysol bomb. It was such a relief.
Yet the momentum didn’t stop. Some time later we decided to do another proclamation again, this time on the other side of the valley on top of a mountain. The Bible proclamation was just as powerful as the Word was proclaimed in the heavens in the valley.
By this time I had left the ministry and heading back to my home area. Feeling like God wasn’t finished just yet, I brought the idea to our local leadership. They responded immediately and this time, we decided to gather the churches together to proclaim the Word over our area.
That first year nine churches took turns reading the Word over our town and county—the Catholics, the Baptists, the Methodists, the Community Church and more. It was amazing the level of enthusiasm. Especially when we were outside and the temperature was 20 degrees. We were literally bundled head to toe with fire in barrels to keep us warm. It was amazing to see the dedication.
For the next five years the Bible reading and proclamation continued in our area. Many people were engaging in the Word, building relationships and strengthening our unity in the area. It was amazing. But it was about to get better.
One day a friend came through town where I was working and she happened to be familiar with the ministry I was at in North Carolina where the Bible proclamation had began for us. We were chatting along when she mentioned something in passing.
“The witchery isn’t there anymore. They closed down.”
I was floored. They had been there 11 years.
“What?!”, I asked, “Are you sure?!”
“Yes,” she replied. It had shut down not long after our proclamation.
I was later to witness in person that it had indeed closed down.
We hadn’t protested on their doorsteps. We didn’t work to cause problems. We tried to only speak love to them. And they knew nothing of our proclamation of the Word over the valley.
But God had seen fit to win over the powers of darkness.
His was the victory.
And today that witchery is now a dog kennel.