“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)
The slave girl in the passage above looks vulnerable, innocent, friendly and helpful. She was ‘advertising’ Paul and his ministry. These are good and truthful words but, do not forget, she is an agent of the devil. Is that possible? Yes! That is the power of deception! She was shouting on the road that Paul and the rest believers are ‘the servants of the Most High God’. In Greek, this ‘loud shout’ is like the sound of a raven. What she was saying is true but the sound of her voice had something sinister about it. The scientists say that the raven’s calls can express a wide range of emotions: tenderness, happiness, surprise or rage. Ravens can easily imitate other birds and they can even be taught the human speech. The devil’s agents are professional liars and successful manipulators!!!
She told everybody that Paul preaches’ the way of salvation’. In Greek the word means salvation, healing and deliverance. Paul was not totally sure about the motives of this girl trying to join the evangelistic team. He probably felt some anxiety concerning her appearance and especially the sound of her voice. There was something strange about it. Not quite right! Jesus said that the sheep recognize the voice of their shepherd and run away when they hear a stranger (Jn 10). This is a practical question: Do you recognize the voice of Jesus in the voice of other ‘brethren’? To be spiritually deaf is a tragedy for you may follow a hireling, a thief or an agent of the devil. Many have been deceived! When you talk to someone, wait for the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and your ears! Wait for the ‘sign of peace’ in your spirit. Without it, do not move! Do not trust! Do not follow! Wait and Pray!!!
This is standard evil strategy: The devil first attacks with deception. No demon come and ‘introduces himself’ to you saying: ‘I am a devil…’ He comes as ‘an angel of light’, thru the church or another ministry. As a believer, I am not suspicious on any stranger. But I remain watchful and calm. Long ago I prayed that my spiritual and physical reflexes should be totally under the control of the Holy Spirit. God has answered that prayer and it has been a great blessing to me. As a pastor, every day, different people come to my office for prayer or counseling. I remain calm trusting the Holy Spirit to have His way. Sometimes, the needy person looks obviously ‘fake’. I still remain calm. No need to get angry. Once the light shines, the darkness is paralyzed. But there are other times when the person looks ‘born again’ and speaks good words. Suddenly, from my spirit I get angry and put a stop to that conversation. I immediately find myself ready for ‘battle’ the whole armor in place. With the authority as an ambassador for Christ, I confront the demon hiding behind the religious grab. This is the same reaction for me when in the past, as a doctor I see an emergency. I become focused, alert, calm and active in the same time. This ‘anger’ is totally under the control of the Holy Spirit. I never lose my temper and I never regret it. I am not afraid. My words increase in intensity. They go like arrows straight to the target. Fruits of deliverance manifest immediately. So I totally identify with what the Apostle Paul experienced on that road to Philippi.
“The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done]” (1Jn 3:8; AMP)
This is my testimony, my experience, my belief and my encouragement to you: No need to fear! It is possible to be victorious in all spiritual battles! If you are a child of God then you qualify to pray for others that they may be set free! Be holy! Be strong! Let’s put the devil to shame! Enroll in the army that knows no defeat! The truth is marching on…
In Christ I declare:
I am a child of God!
I watch and pray always!
The python is dead!
The devil is a loser!
I am lead in triumphant procession as I continue to do ministry!
I get stronger and wiser every day!
I preach the Gospel of Christ Crucified!
My ministry is fruitful!
I set the captives free!
To God be all the glory!
In Jesus name