Togo, West Africa is a dark country. Over 50 percent of the population practices witchcraft or vodoo. If you were to mention that statistic too a local, they would say it is more like 90-95 percent.
The point is that it is a land gripped by Satan.
When you look back over its history you can see that its been this way for a long time. Togo was once reffered to as the "slave coast". You can see where Satan has had a tight grip here for quite sometime.
When I was in Togo last December I knew that I was going to face some sort of spiritual oppression. In my mind it was pretty much inevitable.
I mean, I was going for a vision trip where I was going to see just how I would bring the Light of Jesus to oppose the enemy himself. That's kind of like poking a snake with a stick.
So I expected it and did my best to prepare as much as I knew possible but since I had never experienced it on this level, I didn't know exactly what I was getting myself into.
I was legitimately afraid but I didn't want to tell anyone that.
As soon as I got to Togo, Satan was working.
It's not like you may think it was. Nothing crazy and supernatural was happening around me. Satan just had a pretty good idea of what some of my weaknesses are. He knew that I do not function well without sleep...
So the first night I was in country, I didn't sleep a wink.
That's alright though! I could run on adrenaline!
Then the second night came and I didn't sleep again...
Now I'm starting to get very sluggish and drifting off during conversations with the missionary that I was working with. It was hard to stay focused.
I thought for sure I would sleep the third night just from total exhaustion... nope!
Now it was very noticeable that I was not myself because of my lack of sleep. My missionary friend even made a comment and asked how I was doing. I just simply said I was tired and we moved on.
That same day we visited one of the biggest voodoo temples in that area. As we were driving up to it, we could feel this awful feeling of oppression and darkness. It is a difficult feeling to describe other than just this heaviness that weighs on your body. It makes you just want to get out of there as soon as possible.
I had never felt something like that before so it quite honestly scared me. I thought about it the rest of the day and started to fear going to sleep that night, even though that wouldn't be for another 7 hours or so.
I eventually worked up the courage to mention everything I was dealing with to my missionary friend. He simply said, "I know. You haven't been yourself since you landed. I was just waiting for you to bring it up." I was a little embarrassed that I didn't bring it up sooner. He talked with me about it and said it was spiritual oppression. He said you can't run from it, you have to face it. He walked me through what that may look like and said whenever I was ready he would be glad to battle alongside me.
I knew inside that I was going to have to battle that very evening when it was time for bed. I just didn't want to. It was scary!
After everyone went to sleep it started to get real.
Now that I knew what I was dealing with it made everything worse. At least before I just wasn't sleeping... I wasn't gripped with fear like I was now.
I started to speak scripture out loud and pray. I rebuked Satan and his rule over me in that moment. I was fighting the best I knew how.
The feeling just wasn't residing from me though. I started getting annoyed. So I went and woke up the missionary couple and told them what I was dealing with and they immediately got out of bed and came to pray and read Scripture with me.
We battled for about 20 minutes when I suddenly felt this peace and the weight had finally lifted from me. It was incredible! There was no fear anymore!
You could tell Satan was starting to take drastic measures when the power went out in that moment. Right then we all started laughing. It was a realization that that was all Satan could do.
"Really? You can turn off some lights?"
I learned two very valuable lessons during that trip...
1. Satan has very real power.
It's true! Satan really does have supernatural power. He really does attack and it really is strong... and we humans really are no match for it...
But I learned a second lesson...
2. My God is so much more powerful!
I may have experienced Satans power like never before, but I also experienced how weak he is compared to my God!
It isn't even a competition!
Satan had to get permission to attack me like he had to get permission to attack Job (Job 1 & 2) .
Even though satan has such a tight grip on Togo and darkness seems to be all over that place... the Light of Jesus is SO MUCH GREATER!
God is currently transforming hundreds of lives in Togo!
The son of a witch doctor is now a pastor going through training to pastor his very own church. My God is greater!
The second church plant of the Togo Palms ministry is right across the street from the village chief... who just so happens to be a witch doctor. We had to get permission from the village chief to be able to build a church their. This man who communicates to demons on a daily basis gave us permission to build a church that speaks the Truth of his very own enemy, right across the street. My God is greater!
The pastor of this church plant has gone into the house of this witch doctor and shared the Gospel on multiple occasions and he keeps inviting him back. As a result two of his relatives are now followers of Jesus. My God is greater!
The day before this second church plant launched a group of 40 or so individuals went to evangelize in the surrounding area. Oh yeah, It is right up the road from that massive voodoo temple I mentioned earlier. After about 2 and a half hours, 105 people gave there life to Jesus. My God is so much greater!
Satan has absolutely noting on our God! The very same satan and demons that you fear, know the very same God that you know and they run tremble (James 2:19)! Our God is so much greater!
Let the power of God be shown through you. The very same power that rose from the grave lives in you (Romans 8:11)! Lets live like we believe that.