“As we were on our way to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who was possessed by a spirit of divination [claiming to foretell future events and to discover hidden knowledge], and she brought her owners much gain by her fortunetelling. She kept following Paul and [the rest of] us, shouting loudly, These men are the servants of the Most High God! They announce to you the way of salvation! And she did this for many days. Then Paul, being sorely annoyed and worn out, turned and said to the spirit within her, I charge you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her! And it came out that very moment (Ac 16:16-18; AMP)
Recently I had to pray for a young woman who attends our church. She is about 25 years old, not yet married. Her mother, a widow has three other children. She complained to me that her daughter is very rude, stubborn and lazy. Each time they quarrel, she runs away from home. The last time she ran to Cotonou and stayed there alone, in a hotel for a month. I confronted her and she agreed that it is so. She told me that herself and the mum they are like ‘cat and rat’. She said that the reason for this longstanding quarrel is the fact that her mum refuses to say who her real father is. She was brought up by the foster father who died two years ago. She said that until she knows the identity of her father she will not stop fighting her mum. Every word from her mouth was bitter and harsh.
Suddenly I got angry, ready for ‘battle’. I told her that she has a demon. The search for the identity of her real father is not a good excuse to be so violent. I told her that if she is not willing to be delivered, I will send her away from the church. She suddenly started laughing loudly and choking in the same time. I then commanded the evil spirit to leave her and go away! She fell to the floor and started vomiting in my office. I did not want to become emotionally involved with her. I continued to quietly pray in tongues. Then I told her to call the name of Jesus. She struggled. Her mouth was shut. After a while she whispered the name “Jesus…” The battle went on for about half an hour. Finally she collapsed on the floor, tired, sweating and yes, free! Her face changed…that hardness and proud look became soft. Her voice became gentle. She started weeping with gratitude for the grace that set her free. She now called the name of Jesus again in again in worship and love. That day the devil lost another follower. All glory goes to the Lamb upon the throne who died that sinners may live!
In the passage above, Paul was ‘met’ by this girl on his way to the place of prayer. The word ‘met’ means an encounter coming from the opposite direction. This describes an enemy. It is like a snake that suddenly pounces on its victim, ready to kill. I pray that you may ‘see’ this: There is a radical difference when you encounter an evil spirit or you meet the Holy Spirit. The evil spirits may come friendly, with flatter or emotional bribe. But all these are deceptions. Observe the direction from where they are coming to you! Spiritually, they attack from the ‘opposite direction’, which is hell! They are agents of your enemy, the devil who plans to take control over your mind so that you too rebel against God. This evil spirit of python attacked Paul and his friends. He came thru this slave girl (‘house girl’). He came from the opposite direction with evil intent. Once Paul was sure of the truth, he confronted and ‘killed the snake’. The evil spirit left the girl and she was delivered instantly.
Below are some scientific guidelines on how to kill a python if it attacks you. This is wisdom to survive in the natural, but we can apply the lessons to the spiritual realm:
*Killing a snake is dangerous. It is not a joke. You have to be prepared to do it!
*Keep four to six feet away from it!
*Keep your eye on the snake, especially its head!
*Use the shovel or stick to hit hard the snake on top of its head as many times as necessary, to cause damage!
*After that, approach the snake slowly; it may be dead, but you will need to cut its head off to be sure!
*Use the tip of the shovel to severe the head from the body!
These are some spiritual applications: The devil is real. Spiritual warfare is real. Watch and pray! You may need to fast and pray preparing for deliverance. You need to study the Word of God! You need to be filled with the Holy Spirit! Like David and Goliath, you need just a sling of prayer and a stone of the Spirit to damage the enemy’s head. Put on the whole armor of God! Learn to be skillful with the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God! Be mentored by ‘old soldiers’ of Christ! You need to attack and defeat the enemy with a single blow of faith! Deliverance is possible! God will give you the victory! At the name of Jesus every knee must bow! Be humble! Always give all the glory to God!
In Christ I declare:
I am a child of God!
I study the Word of God!
I watch and pray!
The python is dead!
I am free!
In Jesus name