Abba is such a good Dad! He wants us to learn our authority and how to use it for Kingdom purposes.
Occasionally he invites his sons into experiences and encounters that both teach and encourage us as he helps us mature (become more like Jesus)! One such experience 20 years ago taught me a huge lesson about not only our authority, but also about Abba’s passion to “set us up” for success in exercising that authority.
Before my first mission trip to East Africa (to Mwanza, Tanzania) in 2002, most of the 30 volunteer members of the team were like me: clueless about what to expect. I, along with the other novices, tried to prepare well by asking the few “experienced” mission team members many questions. Among them, “What should we do about the mosquitos?” [I personally had visions of mosquitos as big as bats!]
The advice that came back to us over the email channels was to get the best mosquito repellant possible, with the highest concentration of DEET. Moreover, we were advised to get a special repellant spray to use on our clothes before packing, letting the fabric soak in the (probably toxic!) chemicals and allowing at least four hours of drying before packing. All the novices (including me) were grateful for the advice and most heeded it in the hope of warding off the little critters as effectively as possible.
I had one problem, however. I forgot the advice until the morning of my final packing for the trip! I had only one hour left before departure for the airport when I realized I had not procured any repellant. I did manage to find a small, half-full spray canister (from an ancient hike) buried in a drawer in my frantic search for some defense, and I threw it in my suitcase. But I didn’t have any of the 4-hour stuff and had no time left to buy any, let alone do the necessary spray treatment.
So, I did what many of us do in the face of personal failure – I blame-shifted! In an exasperated tone, I complained to the Father that he was the one who made mosquitos and I should not have to deal with this issue! No, a lightning bolt did not strike me dead because of my petulant, disrespectful attitude. Instead, he immediately said to me:
“What are you going to do about it, son?”
My face brightened instantly; I realized that Abba was encouraging me! His question implied that I could do something about the mosquitos, and that he wanted me to take responsibility for dealing with them. Wow! This was one of the first few times, with many to follow, that Abba made it clear to me that my maturation as a son of God involves learning my authority and exercising it, instead of expecting Abba to do everything!
With newly realized empowerment from Abba’s challenge, I stood in my bedroom in Torrance, California, and pointed in the direction of Africa and issued a strong, authoritative command:
“In the name of Jesus, as a son of God, I command every mosquito in Africa to stay away from me!”
That was it! I finished packing, went to the airport and flew on more than one plane to get to Nairobi, Kenya, where the team had a one-night layover before flying on the next day to Mwanza, Tanzania. While the team was relaxing in our hotel lobby before dinner in Nairobi, the television monitors caught the attention of several team members with an urgent news flash on the BBC channel: “Giant mosquito swarm in Mwanza, Tanzania!” That was the very city we were to fly to the next morning. It must have been a doozy of a swarm, since mosquitos are not generally news in Africa!
The team was “abuzz” with that news (pun intended). I hadn’t seen the news flash, but some team members relayed the “scary” news to me and declared how glad they were that they had prepared themselves with repellant and clothes appropriately treated. One of them in the group asked me, “Did you bring repellant, Steve?” I answered with what must have seemed a very strange retort: “The mosquito swarm will not be there when we arrive in Mwanza!”
As the team members walked away from me with eyeballs rolling, and the surety that I was “whacko,” I just smiled and rested in my confidence that the mosquitos had to “stay away from me.” Sure enough, when we landed in Mwanza the next day, there was no mosquito swarm! And during the next 6 days in Mwanza, and our subsequent safari across the Serengeti Plain, I did not see or hear even one mosquito, nor did my ministry squad of 6 that was with me most of the time on the trip.
The mosquitos went missing! They somehow obeyed my command even though they were 9,000 miles away from Torrance, and that command was in English, not Kiswahili! ☺ Abba mysteriously enforced my command as one of his sons. He will do the same for you, if you know your authority and exercise it according to his will.
I later found a passage in Scripture that gave me additional assurance that we have a lot more dominion over the creatures than most of us realize. Genesis 9:1-2 relates a key promise given to Noah and his sons after the flood:
1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. 2 The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands.” [Genesis 9:1-2]
As present-day sons (descendants) of Noah, we are heirs to this same promise! You can command or swat – the choice is yours.
[There is an epilogue to this story, but this is just a Glimpse (albeit a long one already) so I’ll save it for another time.]
© 2022 The Father’s Touch Ministries