Monday, June 3, 2013
Break the Spell
By Odon Bulamba
Every single human being has the chance to have friends and they will either be the same as you or different to you; some have trees as their friends, some have their pets as friends and many of us have human beings as our friends. There are three categories or friends:
1. Comrades – those that come next to you not because they love you but they support what you are against. E g, if I don’t like John Key as the prime-minister, I’ll have friends join me and together we can express our anger but once we finish that mission against John Key, once he is no longer the prime-minister of NZ, our friendship is dead.
2. User friends – those that come to you just because they need something from you, for example (just an example) Ange has a nice hat, and I ask her if I can have it and once I have it, I’m not your friend anymore.
4. Confidant friend – Like David and Jonathon in the Bible, they are friends that tell you the truth and show you the right direction and will accept to die with you or for you. There are very few confidant friends in this life. Most of our friends don’t trust us and we don’t trust them. Jesus Christ who should be our confidant friend, we put Him far away and we stick on those who are not good friends. E.g. in churches, we have comrades who talk negatively about the pastor but we don’t have friends to support us in the right way.
Acts 8:9-11, “Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery.”
This man was a great man they say. This book of Acts is very often called the acts of apostles but these are actually acts of God because when the Holy Spirit came down, you see the power of God and you see all the big things that the disciples will do through the Holy Spirit. On that day the Holy Spirit came down, everybody was talking and praying and people were waiting for that promise in Jerusalem. They were not there to watch a movie or to visit great places of Jerusalem but they met there in the room to pray and if they did not pray, they could not have received the Holy Spirit. Some people will tell you that they try to pray but they don’t experience that power of the Holy Spirit in their life and they blame God but the secret is to find time to pray and that power will come on you. If you need it, seek for it. Don’t just sit and wait, seek for it and it won’t cost you anything, just have some time to pray.
Those people in the time of Acts were busy but they chose that time to leave everything behind and to pray because it was an order from God to be there and to wait there and until “I send Him to you’. In churches if you tell people to pray, people will start to count the time. E.g. today, our worship leader prayed; maybe some were complaining in their heart that Ange was praying, people maybe blame her for making the service late. The devil uses the strategy to make Christians lazy in praying and because we hate praying the Holy Spirit is going far from us.
These people in Acts gained a new strength from the Holy Spirit; they were changed. Philip who was shy, came out and talked with power telling people they need to be saved. Prayer can boost your spiritual strength and you will stand up in front of the world and they will listen to you
Sometimes we think we can see but we are blind. When you ask my son a question, he will say, “I don’t know” to any question, “where is such and such?”, “I don’t know”. “Why did you do this? “I don’t know” “Can you do this for me?” “I don’t know”. But if you say there is some food, he will ask, “Where is it?” I don’t know will be applied for important things but those that are easy and will satisfy his needs, he will want to learn about them.
The disciples at that time, they had a commitment to go to Jerusalem to pray every time. They made Jerusalem to be a monument to pray. Many Christians today want to go to Jerusalem to pray so they can become someone. The Spirit doesn’t work like that, the Spirit moves. The Spirit is not stuck in one place but in churches you hear things like, “I was baptized here, so I can’t go to any other church”, or, “my father started this church so I must belong here”.
Persecution came to this church in Acts; some were killed, and some were beaten regardless of age and status but those that ran away survived and were able to spread the gospel in other regions. Sometimes we live our lives and satan comes close to us and we see the danger but we believe we are strong enough and we will oppose that force. To run away is not a sin, run away with force. E.g. you are invited by your friend to dinner, and they bring you some alcohol, and you don’t want to drink it but they encourage you to have a sip and you will hide your faith and not have the strength to tell your friends you are a Christian and you have no strength to avoid the alcohol. When you see the sin coming, when you see the persecution coming to you; run away. Maybe there is a mission by your friends to bring you down; run from them, don’t stay.
Those people who left Jerusalem escaped death. Philip went to Samaria which is the same place where Jesus met with a Samaritan woman at the well. Philip went to run away from Saul with the Holy Spirit; he didn’t leave the Holy Spirit behind, he went with His power and started to preach the gospel and many were saved and baptized.
In this city of Samaria was Simon - the powerful man, a man who could make the entire country to be shaken because he had power of witchcraft. He could say something and politicians, judges, authorities, and lawyers would bow down. Imagine a sorcerer coming to your house, imaging they ask you for money; you will fear and give it to him believing it is better for your kids to go to school without shoes or food, than witchcraft to enter your house.
Simon called himself the great one and imposed himself over the whole city. Although Philip came and was praying for people and giving them the gospel and encouraging them to give their life to Jesus, Simon was not yet changed and continued to be the boss in that area. Usually God uses only one person. E.g. Adam, Moses, David, Jesus - always God sends one individual for a big mission. With the story of this man, who is Simon, we need to learn from this: there is a power of darkness and it continues to work regardless of our prayers and preaching.
In Samaria Philip was preaching and Simon did not fear Philip at all, he thought Philip was just a simple human being. Simon was not afraid of Philip because he had the whole of Samaria under his control. Satan too doesn’t just act in one person but will also fight for a whole territory. E.g There are some corners of Hamilton where you will go to in order to find marijuana but others areas of Hamilton, there is no marijuana. In some areas there is addiction, while in other areas you can find strippers. Satan has been planting small organisations here and there to do his business. Some countries are well known for homosexuality, and other countries are well known for cannabis, this is what we are because the spirit of satan has been controlling that area.
Samaria was controlled by satan because Simon was organising the whole area. There was this person in Mark who was possessed by satan and he lived in the cemetery, day and night and he would cut his body with stones. No one could arrest him because by chaining him, he would break the chains; he was extremely strong. This possessed man saw Jesus coming, and screamed, “please don’t harm me, don’t do anything wrong to me”. It was the power inside the man that was talking, not the man himself. That power inside him intimidated the whole city and had power to control even the educated. Jesus asked the man, the spirit inside him, “who are you?”
The spirit answered, “Legion is my name because there are many”. Legion means an army of more than 3,000 foot soldiers and 2-300 horsemen which is a big army. In every army there is rank, order and discipline and when the soldiers are walking, everything is organized. Satan does things in this way. When a soldier picks up a gun, they can use the gun to defeat the enemy but when they are simply walking around the city, they are very nice people but when the order is given to attack, even if the father of a soldier will not be able to stop his son from obeying the command.
With this legion controlling the possessed man, the spirits told Jesus, “here we are”, Jesus said, “You have to leave this person”, and they begged Him not to kick them out from this country, they wanted to stay because “this is our region”. They suggested to go into the pigs, “if not human beings, then pigs” and around 3,000 pigs were victimized that day.
Satan fights for his territory every time which can be your family, school, church, country, generation. He has a field and if you cast him out from your child, he will beg you not to leave your house because it is his territory. That influence of magic, that powerful reaction of satan shouldn’t live next to us, we have the authority from Jesus, He said we will cast demons out, but we have to know where will we cast them. E.g. in the family of king David of the Bible, he had that evil spirit of wanting sex with women although he was a man of God. Even when he was extremely old, they brought him a beautiful young woman to live next to him right before he died. Then that spirit went to his child Absolom and then later…
Another example of evil spirits claiming the territory of a family from the Bible: Rebekah was wife of Isaac and she used lies to ensure her husband blessed her son Jacob rather than Esau, she manipulated her child to lie also. Than Laban deceived Jacob and gave him Rachel instead of Leah and also manipulated his child to lie.
Satan can be afraid of you as Christians, but your territory is still controlled by that power. Today we are going to pray, to ask God to remove from my family the spirit of alcohol/drugs/sickness/anything else that you feel is in control of your family and we are going to cast it out in the name of Jesus. God uses only one person and that Philip is you, you are Philip for your family, it is you and you don’t need pastors. Tell God you have nothing or no power except from Him, tell God to intervene because my family are suffering. Who doesn’t want to see their family in heaven, or to see their family saved?
The challenge is not you, it is what surrounds you. Satan is not stupid, if he believes you are strong to not resist, he uses other ways and these ways are your family and he brings an entire legion, in front of your family, 5,000 evil spirits. What is wrong with my family, there is always something that doesn’t allow you to live a peaceful life, a life of joy. We are going to stand up and cast out the power of demons. We are going to cast out every power of darkness. Many churches will not allow you do that, to shout is not civilized. Do you have any issue in your family, your children, work, neighbours? Today is your day to pray.
In Acts 8:8, there was great joy in that city, Samaria but Simon continued to act, he wasn’t saved at that point. There can be great joy in your family, and in your heart but satan continues to do his job in your family, to continue to destroy people in your family, your area, your workplace.
Onetime as I was student in Canada, this lecture came to teach and he said something about how people do money laundering. I said, “It depends on the area because Canada is more advanced than Congo with technology so how can you explain to a man how to launder money using email when they have never even seen a computer”. My lecturer told me, “You don’t know anything and whatever you are doing is rubbish, your statements are senseless”. Sometimes you will go to your boss, colleagues and they will prove you are nothing and they will just step on you, and satan will be glorified for that, “yes, I got Shari today”. He tries to steer you so you become angry and don’t feel to pray. He will come into your family in order to make you weak but if you want the Spirit of God in your life, you need to pray. The only way to defeat the spirit of satan, the only way to break the spell is to pray, there is no other way. You can wear crosses around your neck, you can use 20 crosses all around your bedroom but that will not be the solution; the only solution is to pray and if you are too lazy to pray, this is the time to tell God, “teach me to pray and make me strong in prayer”. Pray continuously – that is a command to pray continuously and it is not only when we want to eat to say grace, or when we want to travel so we ask for protection or when we need a wife. We forget what is essential around us; your family is dying, churches are dying and they need our prayers.
In 2010, I broke one of my TVs because I was watching Larry King and he was interviewing Osten who preaches about hope. Larry King asked him a question, “Is it true, the only way to heaven is Jesus?” He said, “No it depends”. He knows millions are watching and he said, “I don’t want to offend people, others believe it is Allah, and others believe it is Buddah”. I smacked the TV with my shoe and if I had had the opportunity to go through the TV, I could fight the man. How often are you given an opportunity to talk about Jesus who did this work on the cross for you, for your family and the nations? We don’t show who we really are and satan continues to come, marching into your family and when you see a troupe of an army holding their weapons coming towards you, what will you do…run. When you run, you will shout, lock the door but the only way to defeat them is to start a fire. I was lucky this morning, I brought matches. If I want to set this house on fire, how many matches do I need? Just one. No one will ever come close to a house on fire. The fire is the Holy Spirit and your prayers are enough to start that fire. If fire is in front of the army, they will stop and change their direction. Is your life secured by fire or do you secure your life with money or something else? You need fire in your life, that is why God our God told the Israelites to leave Egypt now and He was there as a fire to guide them.
We will all stand up and pray to God, tell God to secure your family, to break the spell in the life of your family and tell God to control your entire family.