SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, GERMANY – 1 JUNE 1995…
There it was standing before me, like Goliath before David. Taunting me to take it on. I studied my challenger and found the Spirit of the Lord revealing the strategy to me. The monthly calendar in the recreation center took up half the wall; and there it was on Sunday, twice in one month – Dungeons and Dragons. The warfare was about to begin.
I was to arrive at the place of battle the day before the scheduled event. My mission, if I chose to accept it, was to pray for Guardians of the Lord to occupy the room and not allow any evil to be where the game was scheduled to be played.
3 Jun 1995…
Finishing my dinner I prepared myself for the evening mission. Walking past the North side of the building to get to the front door I rounded the corner, 6:05 p.m. – CLOSED! Through my inexperience I had overlooked a basic logistical factor – closing time! My lack of understanding was about to take me for another surprise. Not feeling defeated, I found myself thinking, “I’ll just get it next time.” Blowing off, being the rookie I was, I headed for the South side of the building. Unknowingly this took me past the ballroom with its large floor to ceiling glass windows; the place where they would play Dungeons and Dragons. Halfway past the Spirit of the Lord came upon me; stopping I gave my full attention. The voice was not audible as one who was standing next to me. More like a voice inside my head (we all have one. When we talk/think to ourselves) except the voice wasn’t mine.
“Place your hand on the glass and pray what I tell you.”
I took a couple steps over with only brief concern for what others would think (there was a Burger King drive thru lane some 50 feet within view).
I prayed, “Lord, let Your Holy Spirit occupy this place tomorrow and not allow any evil to be where the game was scheduled to be played.” I thought to myself, “That was it”. My duty for the evening was over. Locked doors cannot keep the Spirit of the Lord from engaging the enemy.
4 Jun 1995…
The following day, of course, was Sunday worship. I found myself excited for the service to end that I might learn of the battles outcome. Service ended, I was dashing out of the Chapel, heading for the Recreation Center. It was only three blocks away so I was there in about five minutes.
Approaching the counter with the lone attendant I asked, “Did they play Dungeons and Dragons here today?”
“No”, came the nonchalant reply. "The leader got sick and they didn't play."
I muttered a barely audible, “Good.” Turned and left.
Not twenty feet out the door I found myself thinking, “I wonder if she thought I meant good that the leader was sick?” I turned to make right the improper impression I may have left.
Returning to the counter I said, “By the way, I wasn’t saying, “Good” because he was sick; it was because they didn’t play.”
“That’s okay honey. I think they’re all a little nuts.”
Back in the dorm room I praised my Commander for such an overwhelming victory and reveled in my being called upon to serve as a soldier of the Lord. After a while I found myself realizing our enemy, the devil, is not likely to take this lying down. There will be recourse. But in what form?
“Wait! I need to verify this and rule out circumstantial factors. I’ll ask Jerry.”
Later that night I went to the dayroom where I found Jerry watching TV. He used to play Dungeons and Dragons before he accepted Jesus as his Savior.
“I have a question about Dungeons and Dragons I’d like to ask you.” I thought I saw an eyebrow go up.
“If a group’s going to get together and play then the leader gets sick, would that keep them from playing?”
Without hesitation Jerry replied, “No, they would play anyway. Why’d you ask?”
I briefed him on the recent events that led to this initial conflict. His interest peaked so much that he wanted to take part in the next fight along with his wife, Rebecca. This was incredible – recruits; without even asking. The Lord provides.
My naiveté advertised itself throughout the week by way of not doing anything to prepare for the coming conflict two weeks away. Oh sure, I was reading the Bible, praying my prayers, fellowshipping with other believers, but there was no intentional prep work towards the battle itself.
17 Jun 95…
I met up with Jerry and Rebecca in the dayroom and we headed out to our target area. Having learned from the previous logistic snafu I had gone to the Rec Center yesterday to confirm what room they were scheduled to play. It was the ballroom – again. Rather tenacious of our opponent to pick the same area twice in a row. We arrived at 5:15 p.m.; it was quiet. We proceeded to the ballroom and wasted no time engaging in battle through prayer.
18 Jun 95…
Like last week I was eager to learn of the results of the battle. Probably more so since it was successful before. Worship service ended and I shot out the door. Only about three blocks away it didn’t take long for me to reach the information counter at the Rec Center.
“Excuse me, did they play Dungeons and Dragons today?”
Puzzled, I found myself asking, “Did they play in the ballroom?”
“No, they were moved to one of the smaller game rooms.”
Smiling, I thanked the person and turned away, “It worked!”
24 Jun 95…
The Singles Group met Saturday mornings for Bible study. No one was ever in a hurry to leave when the study was done (a testimony to the presence of the Holy Spirit). I was conversing with Darren and shared with him the events that had taken place in the Rec Center and the outcome of the spiritual fight. This seemed to capture his attention and he expressed interest in joining us. I told him as soon as get the intel on the next meeting for July I’d let him know. Another recruit, without even asking! Go God!
1 Jul 95…
Once again I met Jerry and Rebecca in the Dayroom; we were to meet Darren at the Rec Center. Darren had dropped off some cassette tapes during the week with praise music that emphasized spiritual warfare. I had listened to them during the week. As a result, I found myself getting kind of “pump up” about this endeavor. Not the naďve, puppy dog kind of excitement, but realizing there is prep work involved in doing battle. That this is a real mission from God. There was now four of us warring against the principalities of darkness; those responsible for blinding people and keeping their minds veiled from the Lord. The prayers were getting intense; praying that those who were playing would be freed from their bondage. We had up’d the ante.
2 Jul 95…
I was kind of getting used to the excitement of learning the outcome of the Sunday afternoon spiritual smackdown. I was now praying during the worship service knowing what was going on in the Rec Center. With service concluded, off I went to the Rec Center.
Arriving at the information counter, I made what was becoming my usual inquiry, “Did they play Dungeons and Dragons today?”
The shocking reply came, “Yea, they’re still in there if you want to join them.”
Stunned and bewildered, I forced myself over to the room. Must verify. Six of them. I felt defeated (I had come across the verse of scripture, “The battle belongs to the Lord,” but had not yet come to understand it’s application. This encounter was to give me training to deepen my understanding of that scripture). I spent the night in my dorm room pouring over what we did. Trying to understand what didn’t work. I was listening to praise and worship music, another had joined our group, I was praying during the service at the time they were playing, logistical matters were covered. “What was I overlooking?”
8 Jul 95…
It was time for Saturday morning Bible study. I had a serious decision to make concerning this “Top Secret” mission. Is it possible the enemy had simply brought to bear more of their forces than what we showed up with? I would have to drop this to a “Secret” classification and bring in more troops. Who would the Lord call this time. At the Bible study I shared how things had unfolded up to now. Lukewarm interest is all I received. Later that day, while having lunch I spoke with one of the guys from the Bible study, Tom.
“I didn’t quiet catch the whole story of how you got started on this.”
“Well, Tom, I was in the Rec Center minding my own business looking at the monthly calendar. I noticed that Dungeons and Dragons was scheduled for Sunday, twice in the month of June. I found myself wanting to pray against it. Now, I personally could care less whether or not they play so the only thing I can figure is the Lord is wanting me to do this. Well, the following Saturday I head off to the Rec Center to pray, figuring I’d go pray in the ballroom where they were scheduled to play. When I get there it’s closed! I thought I had blown it and figured I’d just get it the next time they played. Well I go around the other side of the building heading back to the dorm, thinking I’d just pray there. Next thing I know I find myself hearing that I should put my hand on the window and pray! Tom, I don’t normally go putting my hands on buildings praying for evil spirits to leave!”
“Wow!” Tom replied, “I see your point. And you say they didn’t play because the leader got sick.”
“Yea. I checked it out with Jerry and he says that shouldn’t have stopped them from playing. So what do ya think? Are you in? And what about your roommate?”
Tom was interested now, “James said he was interested too; he just wanted to know more about it. When’s the next time everyone’s meeting?”
“The next time they play is 16 Jul so we’ll meet Sat afternoon at 5 p.m.”
“Count us in.”
This was a tremendous development! Tom and James; the “Click and Clack” of Bible knowledge have joined in. The Lord continues to provide.
15 Jul 95…
With our forces in place we commenced the operation of expelling the enemy. The prayers were fervent. Over the course of this operation we had come to know some of the names of the players and were praying for them and their souls. We covered as much spiritual ground as we could, it was intense work. That night as I was going to sleep I remember feeling exhausted.
16 Jul 95…
While still eager to find out what happened, there wasn’t the level of intensity to go find out the results of our work. Was I losing interest? Maybe the reality that there’s a “win/lose” column in spiritual warfare. I stayed at Chapel for a little while for fellowship then headed out to the Rec Center. I walked in heading straight for the counter. I had been informed that they played. I started walking for the door.
“Maybe I’m losing interest; this didn’t seem to shock me. Maybe it’s over.”
Passing “Goliath,” the monthly calendar board it caught my eye, somehow. Victory comes in different forms, and there it was. The month of August and they were scheduled to play only once! My understanding was expanded, my faith deepened.
The next clash was set for the 13th. My own personal preparation included listening to praise music, praying with others, doing some reading on spiritual warfare, even fasting. One or two others expressed interest in joining our squad the Saturday evening before the day of the conflict. Our battle plan remained the same; we hadn’t heard different from our Commander. On the afternoon of the 12th there were nine of us ready to face-off with the forces of evil. Having done everything to stand firm; we stood firm. We praised the Lord and acknowledged His holiness. We submitted ourselves before His throne acknowledging the battle was His. We addressed the forces of wickedness on the authority of Jesus Christ, commanding their departure. We lifted up those in bondage to the enemies deception praying for their redemption. We fought the good fight and pressed every corner laid upon our hearts. The results of our engagement with the adversary yielded an extra bonus. For the month of September “Goliath” didn’t have Dungeons and Dragons anywhere on him. This information was reported back to my fellow warriors. There was not much fanfare, no party, or celebration. You see, there were other pressing matters at hand – other battles to fight. The war was not over; never will be until our King comes back to claim us for a better place. Then we celebrate.