DRIVE-BY WARFARE GANGING UP ON SATAN’S TURF!
BY RANDALL G. NEIGHBOUR
Randall Neighbour is the president of TOUCH Outreach Ministries and the Senior Editor of CellGroup Journal (formerly CellChurch Magazine). He and his wife live in Houston, and co-lead a cell group at Garden Oaks Baptist. His passion is helping his cell members enjoy a strong purpose in life by reaching the lost for Jesus.
My neighborhood is an eclectic weave of run down rental property, renovated bungalows and new victorian homes located near downtown Houston. Although we live in the shadows of skyscrapers, the tree-lined streets and old architecture are reminiscent of a small town.
Because this area doesn’t have the pristine look of a suburb with its deed restrictions and zoning, we are always on the watch when an entrepreneur chooses our area for a business venture. The sale of liquor was banned years ago to preserve the quality of life in this tiny community, yet the outskirts of the neighborhood are lined with many liquor stores and bars.
On my way home from work one night, I spied a foundation for a new building outside our neighborhood boundaries. As I sat at the traffic light, I wondered if it would be a bank or a new restaurant. Week after week, I watched the progress of the construction. The construction phases were fascinating to me, and each week’s progress made me eager with anticipation.
The building’s design and stucco facade told me a great deal of money was being invested into the property. All it lacked was a sign inviting me to become a patron.
A few days passed, and the business opened with signage of gigantic proportions. The owner purchased a billboard which loomed above the building. My anticipation instantly turned to disappointment and alarm when I looked up to see it was a topless nightclub called The Wolf! On opening night, businessmen from downtown Houston covered the parking lot with expensive cars like red carpet rolled out for the grand opening.
I was relieved to discover that I wasn’t the only alarmed homeowner, and my neighbors and I had something else in common. We all wanted a nice neighborhood free of adult-oriented businesses and indecent nightclubs. Talking over the fence with them, I blurted out, “God will close that business, because I’m praying over it every day when I come home from work. Just watch and see.” You can imagine the look on their faces! Tongue-in-cheek, they said they hoped I was right and that my prayers were effective. (My neighbors aren’t Christians yet and nothing of what you’d call “prayer warriors” by any stretch of the imagination.) They suggested a call to the city council, but I knew the nightclub was well within the law. If I was to see any action, I was going straight to the Man Himself!
Just as God brought down a palm reader and a cult shop a block away from my home, I knew He would bring down this stronghold of satan’s work. When I prayed against the palm reader, God’s power overcame the power of darkness in just 10 days. I expected the same results with this topless bar. As I drove by that business every day, I shouted, “satan, you have no place in my neighborhood! Take your demons and this business and leave! By the power given to me by God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, you must leave this area and go where Jesus tells you to go – never to return!” I was so focused on my mission that I didn’t care what people thought of me as they saw me screaming at a building from my car!
Months of drive-by warfare with no visible results were not easy. I found out that some demons are more stubborn than others, but I remembered an important Old Testament truth. Jericho was a sizeable city, and it took a while for the walls to crumble. Numerous times around the property and an incredible faith on the part of God’s army was necessary.
To be truthful, I was scared of the warfare arena. A friend told me stories of sudden illnesses, injuries and incredible confusion caused by satanic backlash. I knew satan would attack me when he realized what I was doing. I knew I couldn’t go into battle without reinforcements. So, I shared my warfare strategy with my cell, and they agreed to pray when they passed the building. They also prayed for protection for my household and my ministry. With the prayer support of my cell, I stood firm knowing that Christ was behind me like a big Brother on the playground after school, ready to overpower the bully if he made one move against me.
Persistence and faith paid off. I watched the business lose its liquor license and make a last ditch effort to remain open by shifting to totally nude dancing. They lowered the cover charge and posted it on a large sign. The welcome mat of new and expensive cars in the parking lot soon changed to a worn out rug of older, less conspicuous cars. God brought them down!
Today I sit at that same traffic light and praise God for the “for sale” sign and the overgrown weeds. I also praise Him that my
“preChristian” neighbors witnessed spiritual warfare and the power of God over satan. I thank Jesus that for the first time in a long time, I was not ashamed to look foolish for Him.
The next time satan decides to establish his turf in your neighborhood (and even in your own backyard), remember that your big Brother and mighty God, Jesus Christ, is right behind you with all the authority in Heaven. Feel free to shout, “Satan, you better think twice before messin’ with my neighborhood! Jesus and His angels will drive you out! This is His turf – not yours!” You may feel stupid at first, but you will see God’s victory in the end!
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:10-13)
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY TOUCH OUTREACH MINISTRIES, 2000, “CELLEBRATING” CELLCHURCH MAGAZINE”, PAGES 93-95.
THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDAY AND RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.