True Church Stories - #3
I went out to the foyer and introduced myself. She told me she was a member of Rodney Howard Browne's church (here in Tampa) but that she lived right around the corner from our church.
She said, "I need prayer, so I came here." I said, "Okay, that's fine, but I am curious as to why you didn't just go to your own church where you are a member." She said, "It's too far away. This was quicker."
I said, "M'am, what can I help you with?"
She asked me to step outside with her, to her vehicle. It was a van, parked right outside our office. I tentatively stepped outside with her and said, "What's the issue?"
She said, "Satan is in my van." [you can't make this stuff up...]
I said, "really?"
She said, "yes, and I want him out!"
I could feel the eyes of the children's pastor and youth pastor upon me. They were peering out the office window, snickering at the sight of us out there. They knew what I was facing...yeah...I coulda wrung their necks!!!
So I'm out there pondering this situation and I said, "M'am, am I to understand you that you have come here for prayer because Satan is in your van and you want him out?"
"Yes" she said, "get him out. I'm tired of riding around with him in there."
I realized I had nothing to lose by just telling this lady like it was so I just said, "no, I really don't want to do that."
"Why not?!" she said.
"Well, you're actually doing the world a favor..." I said.
"How's that?" she asked.
"I'm not really sure how much of the bible you've read, or what your pastor teaches, but let me inform you that Satan is not omnipresent. Meaning that unlike God, he can only be in one place at a time. Therefore, if you have Satan trapped in a 1993 Dodge van in Tampa, you have just done the world a great service because if he's sequestered in your van, he's not picking on somebody else. Therefore I think it's best to just leave him in there."
"No! No! No! She shrieked! You can't do that. I'm sick of living this way. You've got to command him to come out. I need a man or woman of God to take care of this for me!"
Why, why, why couldn't Rodney Howard Browne have the honor of dealing with this? It's always pastors like me and my friends that get these type of cases.
She told me she wasn't leaving until I got the devil out of the van.
I could have stood there and argued the point. But I had a lot of work to do in my office. I was so over it. I took a look at the youth and children's pastors through the window and shot them a look like, "I'm gonna kill you guys later..." and said, "okay M'am, let's get this over with..." and although I knew very well there was absolutely NOTHING in her van, I started praying.
She quickly interrupted..."Stop, stop..."
"What's wrong?" I said.
"You're doing it with the door closed. You have to open it up and let him out."
"Seriously?" I said.
Taking a deep breath (of exasperation, not fear) I opened the door.
She said, "tell him to come out."
The only thing I was secretly afraid of was that I was being taped for a hidden camera show and was going to look like a buffoon on national TV or something. But I opened the door and said...."come out."
Of course nothing came out, but she breathed a sigh of relief as I said "come out" and started praying.
I prayed a quick prayer for about 30 seconds to a minute, mostly asking God to give the lady peace.
When the amen was said she thanked me and I said, "good to go?" She said, "Oh yes, thank you so much!!!"
And she got in her van and drove away.
For some reason the children and youth pastors were hiding from me the rest of the day.