A Spiritual Confrontation at my Gate

“Which prayer?” I wondered to myself. “I have so many prayers. Which prayer is this man addressing?”

At that moment, the beggar who stood before me at our gate began to curse me.

He commanded me to look into his eyes. His eyes widened and flashed. Then, he proclaimed, “God sent me to your gate. God told me to come to you. Because you do not believe me, the prayer that you have prayed for years – that door will close forever.”

“Wait,” I interrupted.

“I will not allow you to curse me. I am a missionary. God sent me to South Africa. I won’t accept and I won’t receive your curse,” I countered.

The beggar pressed, “I tell you that unless you help me, God will make you….”

I would not let him finish.

Instead, I prayed for the beggar.

Moments earlier, I had collected a food parcel for him. When I handed the packet to him, he failed to say ‘thank you.’ Instead, he was upset that I questioned his need. He had embellished his story with one tale of misfortune after another after I had informed the man that we did not give money at our gate. We offered food, if he wanted it. He continued to share his woes – one, after another, after another.  It became difficult for me to determine which story to believe.

When I shared that I struggled to believe his stories, he became angry.

I asked if he wanted food or not, he finally said, “Yes.”

When I returned to the gate, the man was livid. As I handed him the packet of food, he began to curse me.

It was then that I prayed, “I refuse what you say. In the name of Jesus Christ, you must stop. Instead, I pray a blessing for your wife, your children and you. I pray that the physical healing that your wife needs will come in the name of Jesus Christ. I pray that your children will not go hungry. I pray that your needs will be met through the power of my Lord and Savior Jesus. And I rebuke any curse you attempt to hurl at me in the name of Jesus Christ as well.”

The beggar ceased his cursing and looked at me and said, “Thank you, Madam.” Then, he turned and left our gate with his food parcel in hand.

I will be honest. This encounter unsettled me.

Since this confrontation occurred a few days ago, I have reflected upon this moment. A few questions have surfaced in my mind.

First, who is this man’s god?

This god cannot be mine.

To me, if the Lord had really been speaking to this man, I would have observed a spirit of love, strength, wisdom, and dignity in him. I would have seen a thankful spirit instead of a demanding one. In my experience, anyone who has devoted their life to Jesus Christ is known for their gratitude. People of Christ are a forgiving, gracious people as well. They forgive because they have been forgiven. Honestly, it was difficult to observe any of these qualities in this man as he cursed me.

Second, why did I rebuke his curse?

I wasn’t about to allow any of my long-standing prayers to be affected by this man’s words. I pray for so many people. I do. I couldn’t identify which prayer this man was trying to address. That confusion allowed me to recognize that this man was not speaking on behalf of my Lord.

Third, where did my confidence come from?

Earlier that day, I had read these words:

But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and hope of salvation as a helmet.

New International Version, 1 Thessalonians 5:8

That helmet of salvation is positioned upon my head for one, life-saving purpose; to protect and to save. The helmet of salvation provides me with the hope of Jesus Christ to shield my mind from anything that would seek to harm, disorient or destroy me. As it guards my head, its well-founded hope preserves me in the day of spiritual conflict.

Wham!

I had no idea that hours later, a beggar would attempt to invoke a curse against me. However, my God was preparing me with His powerful and mighty Word.

But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and hope of salvation as a helmet.

My head was covered and shielded from harm by the helmet of salvation because I chose to take and receive its protection. I had the covering of the hope and confidence of Jesus Christ when I really needed it.

What have I learned from this encounter?
Be prepared for spiritual conflict – even at our gate.
Take, receive and accept the helmet of salvation of Jesus Christ each day.
Be calm and self-controlled in moments of difficulty.
Share the faith, love, and hope of Christ at every opportunity.
Be generous and forgiving.

As I shared, I do not know if this man has a relationship with Jesus Christ or not. His manipulative words didn’t give me any insights in that regard. However, that doesn’t mean that he can’t know Jesus. This is my prayer. I pray this man has a transformative encounter with Jesus Christ and He will take the hope of salvation found in Jesus Christ for himself.

This is my prayer for us all as we don our breastplates of faith and love and our helmets of hope of salvation in order to share the true, generous and amazing love of Christ with others.

We never know who will come to our gate and who will most need an invitation to know Jesus Christ.

I believe this beggar did – and that is why I will keep going out to our gate.

 

2 Comments

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  1. OH my…all these years I have read that scripture, and for the first time I realized someone actually used the armor.💞

    • Thanks for your note, Nancy. The helmet of salvation which protects our head and mind helps keep our sights on the hope and power offered us in Christ. I was grateful to read 1 Thessalonians 5: 8 and see its words come to life. Take care, heather

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