In the classic western, Tombstone, Wyatt Earp played by actor Kurt Russell, walks into a bar that used to have more business and a gentrified clientele to see it virtually empty and barely surviving. Customers had been chased off by a bully who sat each day at a card table issuing loud, boisterous and abusing threats to the remaining patrons. 

Earp decides to change the environment of the establishment and unarmed, he walks up to the bully and tells him to get out of his seat. No one had ever confronted the bully. The bully could not believe what he was hearing and in his normal fashion tried to bully Earp. It didn’t work. So the bully stands up and puts his hand on his revolver like he had done in the past to challenge anyone who posed a threat to his control over the business. Earp then utters one of the most classic lines in a western film, “Go ahead…Skin it! Skin that smoke wagon and see what happens!” In other words, “Go ahead…Pull your gun out of your holster and I will take your head off.” The bully had never been confronted by such a display of authority and backed down into a whimpering mess. Earp grabbed him by an ear and escorted him out of the business like a disobedient little child. After the bully was confronted and cast out, business returned and flourished.

There has never been a time when a wimpy faith has ever worked to dislodge spiritual bullies. Spiritual bullies are not people or institutions. They are the spirits behind the bullies motivating their behavior. A wimpy faith develops when we allow our faith to become only a devotional expression without ever issuing a challenge to darkness. At some point, we all need to become a spiritual version of Wyatt Earp and walk into the spiritual realm of captive relationships and cultural institutions and with the authority of Jesus Christ, declare the rule of hell is done.

An interesting note of history, Wyatt Earp was still alive in the 1920s when John Wayne was a fledgling actor. Earp was at the time an advisor to the movie industry. Young John Wayne followed Earp around movie sets and developed his screen character by copying the speech and mannerisms of Earp. If you don’t know how to walk into a tense spiritual environment and tell the devil, “Skin that smoke wagon and see what happens!” then you need to find people who live in that reality and learn how to take back the seat of authority the enemy is occupying in your life, your family and your nation. We are living in a time when bold and courageous faith is required to shift captive environments from bondage to freedom.

When our families, our cities and our nation are held hostage by dark agendas we are called to take bold action in the spiritual realm and appear just as aggressive when challenging these spirits as Wyatt Earp depicted in the film Tombstone. God has called the Church to unseat the bullies from their places of spiritual authority to install the rule of God. This is not about slapping people in the natural. It is an aggressive form of prayer that may only be seen in private that decrees an end to hell’s rule. It announces it’s time for the bully to get out of his seat and leave town.

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