A couple weeks ago, I was able to eat lunch with Pak Nando and his wife. As we were eating, they told me a story of something that had happened in their village. The people in the village, although formally professing Islam as their religion, are more animistic than Islamic. They live in fear of evil spirits and have strange rituals which aim to appease them. In one such ritual, after many in the village had fallen sick, the entire community came together to mindlessly flail their limbs and dance in the street. In villages like this one, the person with the most authority is usually the dukun, or shaman. Recently, the dukun in Nando's village (out of hatred and animosity) cast some sort of black spell to harm Nando and his wife. Since Nando is gaining credibility with the people in the village, the dukun realized he was losing influence.
In an effort to harm Nando and reassert his authority, he called upon the help of evil spirits. Afterwards, people throughout the village were stopping Nando and his wife, asking, "Anything wrong?" At first Nando and wife had no idea about what was going on, but then something remarkable happened. Rather than Nando and his wife being harmed, the dukun was struck with a sickness that was excruciatingly painful and conspicuous. It was then that he requested Nando to come and pray for him. As Nando sat at his bedside, praying for him, he confessed everything that he had done, saying, "I called upon the spirits to harm you, but nothing happened. Instead I became sick. Your God is more powerful!"
While this story may sound a bit odd to many living in a Western context, it is not so foreign to the pages of Scripture. Howard Marshall once wrote, "There is a quite helpful classification saying that actions in the New Testament have three aspects: doxological (glorifying God), antagonistic (opposing and overcoming evil) and soteriological (saving the lost)."  The book of Acts clearly illustrates many antagonistic actions in the context of mission and evangelism. Gospel messengers were often confronted with the enemy's power. When this happened, they were given the opportunity to show Christ's superior power to people who were still in darkness.
In his death and resurrection, Jesus destroyed the works of the devil (1 John 3:8), and freed God's people from Satan's claims (Rev. 12:10-11). This is certainly one of manifold accomplishments of Christ's redemptive work. Jesus prefaced the words, "Go, therefore, and make disciples," with the reality that all authority both in heaven and on earth had been given to him. He will reign, to use the Apostle's words, until he has put all his enemies under his feet (1 Corinthians 15:25). Through the gospel's message, Christ's rule makes its appeal on the consciences of men and women in darkness. When this happens, there will inevitably be conflict between their functional lord - be it demonic spirits or materialistic idolatry - and Christ's lordship. These conflicts are sometimes called, "power encounters," and are particularly imbued with reference to the demonic in places where evil spirits still play a culturally significant role in day to day life; Christ's victory and power are made tangibly known when the spirits are proven powerless before Christ's people.
Through this incident, as well as many other acts kindness, God is giving Nando and his wife favor and influence in people's eyes. They are seeing visible evidence of Christ's rule coming to a place where it's never been known before. Please pray that these things would soften the people's hearts to see beyond Nando and see the God and gospel behind him, sustaining him. Victory in a spiritual conflict like the one mentioned above is not enough. The source of Nando's victory must be explained and received. About this, Howard Marshall appropriately wrote that "the antagonistic motif is clearly of great importance, in that the powers of evil and death must be overcome if humanity is to be rescued, but this victory is not an end in itself: the triumph of the crucified must be proclaimed to humankind and become a reality for them."  Pray that Christ's triumphant victory in the gospel would be embraced by these spiritually needy people in Nando's village.
 Marshall, I. Howard. A Concise New Testament Theology. Kindle Loc 110.
 Ibid., Kindle Loc 116.