Spiritual warfare is very real. The demonic is very real. Alemu, an evangelist here in Ethiopia, experienced spiritual warfare in an amazing way. It all happened when he went to a region of Western Ethiopia to share the gospel amongst a Muslim tribe. He was staying in one small village, but he had an opportunity to share Christ with one family in another village. He journeyed to the other village and shared with the family about Jesus. That day six people in the family accepted Jesus. He was overjoyed as he walked the few hours walk back to the village he was staying in.
Then as he walked, in a desert region, a song from the Lord came over him. It was partially in Amharic and partly in another language. He sung joyously as he walked in the bright sun. The only thing he carried in his hand was a Bible. Unknown to him a huge snake, some four to five meters in length was waiting for him. As he ignorantly walked closer to the snake lying by the path, it was poised to strike. It reared up, nearly a meter off the ground. Suddenly, his heavenly song was interrupted. The snake launched at him. As it struck at him he saw a glimpse of the snake and just screamed and ducked down. He screamed the words “Mighty Jesus help me!” The snake missed him. He tried to get up and the snake shot at him again. It knocked him to the ground. Again he screamed, “Mighty Jesus help me!” What seemed like an eternity a battle continued between the snake and Alemu. He just kept swinging his Bible and screaming out, “Mighty Jesus help me!” Suddenly, out of the heavens a huge eagle swooped down. It grabbed the giant snake in its claws and shot back into the heavens.
Alemu tried to pick himself up off the ground. He was stunned and trembling. He trembled for days after that attack. Never had he ever seen such a snake before. It resembled what pictures of Pythons look like, but in the desert in Ethiopia? The eagle he had also never seen before. It was large, several meters across in its wing span. It had a white breast and the rest of the top and the head were a brownish color. He is convinced the eagle swooped in from heaven to help him. He only saw it fly away into the heavens with the snake as well. This was a real spiritual attack, and a real spiritual victory.
Though he was still trembling, he had to continue to his house. He continued to give praise to God every step of the way.
Suddenly, he heard the audible voice of God, or an angel. He is not sure which. It said to him, “There is a snake in your home lying on your bed ready to kill you.” Now he was trembling even more. As he approached his home, he prayed fervently, but quietly. He peaked into the window and sure enough, a huge black snake was lying across his bed. Slowly, he opened the door and crouched close to the bed, undetected by the snake. He placed his Bible near the snake and walked out. The snake did not move. Outside the house again, he grabbed a wood stick and went back inside. The snake did not move with the Bible on the bed, though it was looking at him. He beat it to death and drug it out of his home. He continued to tremble for many more hours with all that had transpired that day.
Oh, but that is not the end of the story. A few days later he returned to the home of family of six which had just accepted Christ. He recounted the story of the snake to them. When they heard about the snake they told him, “It is the snake that our family worshipped.” Though they were Muslim, they were involved in the worship of demonic spirits, and their family had worshipped the Python spirit. The family invited other families nearby to come and listen to Alemu share what had happened. That day twenty-two more people came to Christ. In that area, there are now six new churches of believers in Jesus.
Alemu said that since that day Psalm 91 has special meaning for him.
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”