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My friend Scotty, his wife Carol, and I were setting up to preach the gospel in our usual spot at Huntington Beach. It was a warm Saturday afternoon, with a lot of people milling around. As we were doing so, a street performer, who ate fire and hammered nails into his nose, (a hard act to follow) came across for a friendly chat. He smiled as he suggested that we wait until he had done his act, before we spoke. He said it was in our best interest. I wasn't too happy to do that, but he said that he would only be fifteen minutes, maybe twenty, and that we could preach after he had finished. I knew that he had a much longer act, so I told him that I would think about it. He was very congenial, friendly, kind, and very accommodating. He just wanted the best for us, and for him.
After he left, I suggested that we pray about the situation. We didn't want to upset him, but we didn't want to stand there for an hour, waiting for him to finish. We didn't have an "act," but the message of everlasting life.
I then walked across to my kind and accommodating friend. As I approached him I said, "We have decided to give you twenty minutes, and then we will begin." His facial expression changed. He gritted his teach and hissed, "Don't you tell me what to do!" Then he railed at me. Suddenly I saw that I was dealing with more than just flesh and blood. Fire didn't just go into his mouth.
We went ahead and preached. Our fire-eating-nose-nailing friend had his crowd, and we had ours. It was a good day, and many heard the words of everlasting life.
It's so easy to forget that our battle isn't against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. It's against a subtle demonic world. So be careful to never allow anyone to stop you from sharing your faith, no matter how nice and reasoning they may be. Shake off their subtle poison, and read the Book of Acts. See how the disciples refused to obey those who tried to stop their mouths. Stay in righteousness, be loving, be kind, be as gentle as a dove, and stubborn as a mule. Remember that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a mule. Be lowly of heart, be obstinate in purpose, and carry Jesus of Nazareth to the unsaved. Listen to His voice, not the voice of the crowd. They will cry "Hosanna" one moment, and "Crucify Him" the next.