Let me give you a typical example of what the enemy’s pushback can look like for me. One day I went to lunch at a Mexican restaurant with my friend Paul. We were just hanging out, eating chips and salsa, talking about life and minding our own business. I noticed a couple come into the restaurant. They were very beautiful and healthy looking. They looked like they could be personal trainers. But when I looked at the man, a picture came through my mind about a ministry encounter I had before. The memory of a word of knowledge I had about a guy’s back at a restaurant popped back into my mind. This memory came as a fleeting, still small voice while I was eating my chips and dip. I knew from experience that God was giving me a word of knowledge for this man about a problem in his back.
Immediately after this, a barrage of dark thoughts came to my mind. You’re just making this up. You’re just trying to show off in front of Paul. If you get up and share this, the guy is just going to laugh at you and you’re going to feel embarrassed. Other thoughts, condemning thoughts, kept pelting my mind. All I was doing was hanging out with my friend, enjoying my chips and dip, and the thought came to me about this guy’s back. My initial thought, though faint, was clear and filled me with faith and curiosity. But then came the onslaught of fiery darts pelting my mind—accusations and disqualifications along with a good dose of fear and intimidation.
Oftentimes, when there is an opportunity to advance the kingdom of God, some kind of internal conflict like this arises which we must push through. The enemy’s agenda is to keep us from stepping out to release the presence and power of the kingdom. He will try to question and pervert what God is speaking to us. Here is how we can often recognize the difference between his voice and the voice of the Spirit: when the Spirit of God is speaking, it is often a still, small voice. It is almost like a fleeting thought, but there is faith and excitement in it. The enemy’s voice, on the other hand, is filled with harassment and bullying thoughts that accuse and condemn and attempt to put fear in us.
On the outside, my friend Paul probably never knew about this spiritual battle going on inside me. I had two options. I could either go with the first impression I had received, or I could shut down and listen to these other thoughts. This is what I did in that moment: I simply prayed, Holy Spirit, I believe you were speaking to me about this guy’s back, but I have all this other stuff going on. Can you please give me some other information as a sign that this is you?
I thought it was kind of funny when the waiter sat the couple right behind me so that the man’s back was right up against my back. Even as I felt the Lord was assuring me with this sign, the thoughts from the enemy didn’t let up. In fact, they increased more.
I simply asked, Holy Spirit, would you give me another sign? This time, I felt a pain shoot up and down my back. Again, the harassment and fear came: You’re going to look stupid now. You are going to embarrass yourself and your friend. This persisted, so I asked the Lord to give me more information about this man and the woman with him. Then I felt like I started getting information about their character and who they were. Again, the onslaught of the enemy came on even stronger. Fear was rising up, but I was determined to press through it.
I said to Paul, “Excuse me for a second. I think God might be speaking to me about these people.” I turned and went to their table.
“I’m sorry to interrupt your lunch, but sometimes God speaks to me and gives me pictures and impressions about people. Do you mind if I take a minute to share what I got?”
They both looked at one another with that “this is weird” look I have come to expect. Then they said “Okay.”
I just began to share with the man the things I saw as attributes and characteristics of his life. I asked if it made sense, and he said yes. So then I turned to the lady and began to tell her that she was very business-minded and had a tenacious personality. I told her that she had an entrepreneurial spirit. I asked if this made sense, and she said it did. I also told her that she had been having trouble sleeping at night, and she was having problems with depression, very up and down feelings. I also pointed out that she was having female problems, and she had been concerned for some time. She nervously looked at her friend and said all of this was correct.
Then I turned to the man and told him, “You have been having problems in your back for some time now. It happened because of a sporting accident a long time ago. Is that true?” He said he had been having back problems ever since he was injured it as a young boy playing football. They both looked at each other and then at me with that “this is really weird” look. I said, “May I simply pray for you? I know we are at the restaurant, and I don’t want to embarrass you. But God wouldn’t speak to me about these things if He didn’t want to do something about them.”
It’s always funny when this happens, because you never know what the reaction of the people will be. I guess this couple now thought they were in church because they reverently closed their eyes and bowed their heads and allowed me to pray for them.
After I prayed, I simply said, “The reason Jesus showed this to me was because He wants you to know that He is actively pursuing you. He knows exactly where you are in life, and His love is extended toward you.” I didn’t feel like I needed to go any further. I felt like that was all I needed to share. Normally I would give an invitation for them to be born again and give their lives to Jesus, but, for some reason, I felt that was all I was to say. I thanked them for allowing me to interrupt their lunch, and Paul and I grabbed our ticket and left.
Right after this encounter I said, Lord thank you for speaking and allowing me to give this message to this couple. Immediately, warfare began to pelt my mind once again. I can’t believe you didn’t lead that guy to Jesus. You messed the whole thing up. You’re a loser. The Lord showed me that day that the enemy works to abort the movement of the Spirit from the beginning, the middle, and the end. He comes to steal, and he wants to kill you and me in the process.
Brian Blount - From the Sanctuary to the Streets - Kindle Edition.