My Journey of Prayer and Intercession
As I start, I just want to add some words of caution. Each of us were created different and unique by our heavenly Father, therefore the way that He trains and teaches us will also be different and unique. Please don't let my journey become a burden and a pressure for you, but instead look unto the lessons that the Holy Spirit taught me during this journey. God bless you all as you read my testimony!
I work as our company accountant and as such, I spend a lot of my time alone working on the computer. After I became a Christian, I asked the Holy Spirit for the gift of prayer and intercession. I offered myself to Him and told Him that He can disrupt my work anytime if there is something that He desires for me to pray about. This was the start of my unique curriculum in prayer and intercession.
From time to time, I began to sense the Holy Spirit show me the faces of people and the scenes happening to them and around them. It is like watching a movie in your mind. When I ask the Holy Spirit how I must proceed, books and verses from the Bible will be impressed to me. After searching for all these verses, I will write them down and give that message to the concerned brethren. To my surprise, these LOGOS (written Word) that were given to me, become RHEMA (spoken word) to the recipient.
Later on, the Holy Spirit expanded my ministry avenue. I began receiving messages which I felt to share to groups of people. This led me to another avenue of ministry which was the internet. He opened the way for me to meet wonderful brethren in the Lord who mentored me and guided me in this new ministry. I began to send words for posting to Christian Prophetic websites on the internet. I was blessed beyond words by the confirmations that I received from those who have read the messages and were touched by the Holy Spirit.
Because of this ministry, I began to meet brethren from around the world. And at times, there would even be some brethren who would ask my permission to translate these messages into their own native language. Those times were such wonderful experiences for me. I was like a little child exploring a new toy.
Learning Spiritual Warfare
Then around three years ago, the Holy Spirit impressed to me these words: "Let us start another journey, another lesson, and another type of training. This time, you will be learning about spiritual warfare."
When I heard the words "spiritual warfare," I had flashes of images from the stories of the Gospels and the book of Acts. I thought of Jesus and His disciples and how they were casting out demons and healing those bound by them. My first reaction was, "Wow, it's action time."
But then as I began to seek the Holy Spirit, as to how we are to go about this new lesson on spiritual warfare, He impressed to me the stories of Hosea marrying a harlot (Hosea chapter 1, 3), of Ezekiel lying on his sides, being tied up with ropes, cooking his food using cow manure (Ezekiel chapter 4), and of Isaiah walking around naked and barefoot (Isaiah 20:2-3).
"Those that appear to be soft and gentle could hide a rebellious and hard heart. And those who look tough outwardly can actually possess a very gentle and teachable heart."
I was dumbfounded because I did not understand what all these visions meant. Slowly the Holy Spirit explained to me that what He would teach me would be another kind of spiritual warfare. It would not be a word warfare, nor face-to-face combat, but rather it will be a non-verbal, obedience warfare.
I was reminded about the story of Jericho and how God instructed the Israelites to walk around the wall for 6 days without making any noise, and on the 7th day, God caused the walls to collapse (Joshua chapter 6). I realized that this would be another unique journey for me.
As I prepared myself for this time, the Holy Spirit began to remind me of how satan and his hordes have taken control over nations and established his strongholds. He has done it through our eye gates, ear gates and mind gates. He accomplished this by using various mediums like the internet, TV, movies, games, various media publications, and even places where people gathered (yes, these are used for the good in many ways, but the Lord was showing me how satan uses these too).
The Holy Spirit told me to observe the contents of all these places. Many of them are geared toward worldly matters dealing with ungodly wealth and power, violence, lust, the demonic and more. Through constant exposure to them, our thoughts and feelings will slowly become affected. If we are not discerning or careful, our hearts will begin to harden and become calloused. Slowly, we will find ourselves not being able to grieve over matters that will grieve God's heart.
1 John 2:15-16 warns us, "Do not love the world or anything in the world...For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world."
Then the Holy Spirit challenged me, "Are you ready for your new journey and training in spiritual warfare?"
Thus began a new chapter in my journey in spiritual warfare. The Holy Spirit impressed to me that it will be a silent obedience warfare. This obedience will be the key to destroying the stronghold that we are targeting.
He showed me a circle which started as a dot, then it grew into a small circle, and as it moved outwardly, the circle became bigger and bigger. He called it, "The Circle of Influence." (Photo via Flickr)
The Holy Spirit explained to me that as a person begins to submit and obey His leading, the power of darkness that surrounds that person, his/her family, the place where he/she lives, city and even country, will begin to dissipate and the light of God will start to be made manifest. The hold and control of the enemy over that person's sphere will be destroyed, and then it will move outward to the family sphere, and move further to the city sphere and even national sphere.
1st Target – Craving of Possessions
In Matthew 6:33 Jesus gave this command and promise, "But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things (food, clothing, shelter which the pagans run after) will be given to you."
Practical application: The Holy Spirit challenged me to look at my personal possessions and told me to separate those things that I really needed for daily living and those that I just kept because I liked them. This was a difficult assignment for me as I love to go bulk buying for supplies (especially when there is a SALE). On special occasions, I go out with my daughter and my daughter-in-law. We called this time, "Ladies Day Out." We eat, shop, go to the parlor and do all sorts of things that we all enjoy. At the end of that day, we come home with packages of things that we saw and liked and bought.
The Holy Spirit then impressed to me these words, "This is not just a hobby. Oftentimes, this can become a bondage – and you have to break this in your life. When you are set free, then this bondage will also be destroyed. You cannot have spiritual authority over those areas that you have not conquered."
I began my journey in non-verbal obedience. When I would go to the store, my attention would be drawn to the many things that are there as if they were calling to me saying, "Buy me, buy me please." Many times I picked things without really thinking about them. It was a very slow process and after many mistakes, it slowly became a habit. I am now able to go to the stores and not be distracted by other things and just focus on buying what I really need. I feel a certain freedom that I can't explain. It feels like some invincible chain that was binding me in the past was finally broken.
2nd Target – Eye Activities
The Holy Spirit impressed to check on my eye activities. Meaning, notice how much time I spent working, watching TV, reading my Bible, and other activities that involved using my eyes. When I tried to measure up my daily eye activities, I discovered where my heart was really resting.
I love watching Korean or Chinese drama series and oftentimes I can spend almost a whole day watching them, especially when the storyline becomes more thrilling. Then I checked the time that I spent reading my Bible and praying. I was struck by the wide margin of difference for both activities. At that moment, I felt as if a sword pierced my heart. Oh, how much I have neglected the most important Person in my life – the One I should be spending more time with!
And so the next lesson began...
I tried to start spending more time reading my Bible and praying. I would find a quiet place to read, close my eyes, and sometimes even go down on my knees for my prayer time. But lo and behold, I discovered that I couldn't do it. So many thoughts tried to distract me, and many times I was overcome by sleepiness. So finally, I cried out to the Holy Spirit for help and instruction.
I sensed the Holy Spirit gently impressing these words to me: "There are many ways to spend quality time with the Father and Jesus and Me. It doesn't have to be in a quiet and silent mode. I will design a regimen for you. Try it and see how this works."
I used to be involved in many recycling projects. One of them was using all kinds of waste papers to make into paper briquettes used as replacement for wood charcoal. To do this, I'd have to collect waste papers, waste plastics for molders, and waste plastic strings for drying. The Holy Spirit instructed me to take up that activity again. While I was at it, I could use that time to speak to Him. So I started to obey.
I realized that when my hands were busy, my mind was less distracted and the sleepiness would disappear. So while my hands were working, my mind would be communing with Holy Spirit in prayer.
"And slowly the Holy Spirit explained to me that what He would teach me would be another kind of spiritual warfare."
I was reminded by all those parables that Jesus loved to share with the people during His ministry. I felt that the Holy Spirit was using the same strategy with me.
I was surprised at the many spiritual insights and lessons that I learned from this activity.
I found out that there are so many kinds of papers. Some look fragile and gentle in appearance but in reality they are so tough and hard to shred. Some are thick and look so tough, but when they are soaked in water, they become pliable and so easy to shred. People's natures are also like that – truly we cannot judge them by outward appearances. Those that appear to be soft and gentle could hide a rebellious and hard heart. And those who look tough outwardly can actually possess a very gentle and teachable heart.
When I looked at all the types of paper in my soaking basin, they all looked so disorganized and ugly. But after I would shred them into small pieces and mold them together, the different colors of the papers resulted in a very pretty looking paper briquette.
From this, I learned that God's Church is similar. Separately we may not look attractive, but with each person together in the hands of our Heavenly Potter, we can be transformed into a beautiful vessel useful for His Kingdom. My appreciation for the individual uniqueness and the beauty of allowing God to place us where we fit in the Body of Christ became stronger. To me, the most important lesson I learned from this exercise was the symbolic and prophetic meaning of these elements. God has indeed used my simple, ordinary and mundane training in this area to teach me wonderful, spiritual truths.
3rd Target – Understanding Heart Motivation
After some time, I sensed the Holy Spirit telling me that He would be adding another dimension to my training. This time, we would be targeting another area. The Holy Spirit brought to my mind two stories. First, was the story of the mother of John and James (the sons of Zebedee). She requested that Jesus would grant that her 2 sons sit at Jesus' right and left side in His Kingdom (Matthew 20:20-21). Second was the story of Jonah's reactions and attitudes after God decided not to destroy Nineveh, when He saw their repentance. He was greatly displeased and became angry towards God (Jonah 4:1). He was acting like a child who was angry with his father because he did not get what he wanted.
Then gently, I sensed the Holy Spirit asking me these challenging questions:
"Child, I want you to review and check your heart. What do you feel when you see the Father blessing the family and children of people that you don't like? What do you like to talk about with others when talking about your business, children and grandchildren?
"Do you like to compare accomplishments of your family with others? What do you feel when something bad happens to the people who have offended you? What do you feel when I bless other people ahead of you? I want you to tell me what you honestly feel during those times."
I thought that I was quite a generous, good-hearted person; but when I looked deep into my heart, what I was honestly thinking and feeling when I encountered these situations, I found out I could be selfish, self-righteous, proud, vain and judgmental in my heart.
I was actually no different than the mother of James and John and also of Jonah.
My understanding of these commands and admonitions from the Bible hit me so hard. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
"The heart is deceitful above all above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." (Philippians 2:3)
"Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn His wrath away from him." (Proverbs 24:17-18)
These were some of the lessons that the Holy Spirit taught me during my wilderness season. It has been painful and difficult at times to obey, but in the end it produces something in my heart that no other method will do.
Brethren, my life is a work in progress and I know God is not finished with me yet. I do not know what is going on with your lives and if you are going through difficult times now. REJOICE for God is not punishing you but PURIFYING you to become more and more like JESUS.
GLORY BE TO GOD. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
Ching Co is married to Harry Co and they live in Cebu City, Philippines. They are engaged in various business ventures, but also actively serve in their local church WORD FOR THE WORLD CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP. Harry is part of the church elders, while Ching is part of the church intercessory group.
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