“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)
Paul was attacked by an evil spirit of Python as he was going to the place of prayer. This evil spirit possessed a slave girl who met him on the way. This slave girl was a false prophetess who spoke under the inspiration of the Python spirit. Paul knew that, regarding this girl, there are only two options:
If she was sent by God, then she will be an asset to their ministry, ‘preparing the way for the Lord’. In that case, Paul was supposed to welcome, encourage and mentor her as anew believer.
But if she was an agent of the devil, she was to be rebuked or delivered. Her shout was not to proclaim the Gospel; it was not to the glory of God! Her shout was a warning to the other demons. She was telling them to run away with their ‘captives’, to prevent their salvation, healing or deliverance.
The gift of discerning the spirits is very useful in situations like these. I am sure that all this time Paul prayed in the Spirit. Because he was not sure about this girl, so he allowed her to shout. He listened not only to her words, but to the tone of her voice. Demons can be detected by their voice. After ‘few days’ he sensed that his spirit became ‘grieved’. The word means to be angry, sorely annoyed, worn out and worried. The same word also means to become poor, a beggar; to work hard for your daily bread and still starve. The Python was trying to come closer and spiritually bind his feet, his chest and his hands. The result will be slow motion, difficulty of breathing and weakness of hands. This will manifest as tiredness, inability to pray or to be led by the Holy Spirit. The weakness of hands leads to poverty. This Python evil spirit is responsible for many cases of chronic depression, fatigue, laziness, anxiety, backsliding and poverty.
The following are some guidelines on how to survive python attacks in the natural:
The best thing is to avoid an encounter by keeping alert for snakes. But if the python is attacking you, trying to coil around your body, do this:
*Wrap your non-dominant arm (left) around your ribs for stability and protection.
*Grab the snake’s head with your free hand, and pull it backwards to break its neck and to unwind the coil
*Stay calm if the snake loops around you. Struggling prompts the snake to squeeze you more
*If you have a knife, with one swift motion, thrust it though the top of the snake’s head
*ALWAYS carry your knife when going to snake territory! Keep your knife as sharp as possible: it may save your life!
Spiritually speaking this means to always watch and pray! We wrestle against principalities and power, wickedness in high places! Train yourself and be ready for warfare! Put on the whole armor of God! Do not forget your shield of faith to protect your heart! Use the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God! Pray with understanding and also pray in tongues! The Holy Spirit in you is stronger than the python! Fear not! God is with you! Jesus has defeated all demons on the Cross of Calvary! In Christ the victory is sure! Once you are free, intercede for others!
In Christ I declare:
I am a child of God!
I reject the evil spirit of fear!
I receive power love and sound mind!
I am healed and delivered!
I confront, reject and defeat the evil spirit of Python!
Led by the Holy Spirit I enter the enemy’s territory and I free the captives of the evil spirit of Python!
I saw the devil falling and running!
My family is delivered!
My victory is sure!
To the glory of God!
In Jesus name