“Then the governor believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord” (Ac 13:12)
The governor of Cyprus called Paul because he wanted to hear the Word of God (Ac 13:1-12). This desire is good but it is not enough to save a man. Paul and Barnabas came to preach the Gospel to the him. But there was a hindrance, an agent of the devil blocking the way of the servants of God. There was man there, a false prophet called Bar-Jesus or Elymas. He was the Governor’s friend and religious adviser. He was also a wizard! Yes! A worker skilled in using the powers of darkness was on the government’s payroll!
Lesson: God uses people to bless us and the devil uses his agents to block our blessings! To be blessed is not easy! You must fight for that ‘title’! The devil has his agents around the ‘big men’, politicians, famous entertainers and wealthy business men. The devil’s agents are their ‘body-guards’. In case you did not know, foolish fame must be ‘protected’. The devil has his own plans for each unbeliever, how to stop that one to hear the Word of God and so to be saved. You must know the truth before you can be set free!
Elymas, the sorcerer, opposed the servants of God. Paul confronted him saying that ‘he perverted the right ways of the Lord’. This is the truth: God’s ways are straight and full of light. Christianity is simple. The way of the Cross is simple: become one with Jesus! Follow Jesus! But men with occult power confuse the unbelievers by making simple ways become crooked. In this way Christianity becomes confusing! Religion is always complicated! To pray sounds difficult. When coming to God, their minds wander into different directions and true worship becomes impossible. You must fight for your soul! You must do warfare before you witness to the unbelievers! You must ‘clear the ground’ with the cutlass before planting the seeds!
Apostle Paul ‘looked intently’ at this agent of the devil!. Child of God, you must do the same! When you worship God, you may close your eyes. But when you do warfare, open your eyes ‘well-well’! pray that your eyes become spiritual ‘X-ray eyes’. I pray that you see the true enemy, hiding behind the cover of fake smiles, cheap greetings, fashionable clothes and glittering gold. Never admire rich unbelievers! I pray that you have to courage to stand for Jesus in the presence of ‘big men’. I pray that you are bold! Move forward and defeat that liar who is deceiving the ‘big man’ you minister to.
Paul fought and defeated his own ‘Goliath’. The wicked Elymas became blind and impotent for a season. This is God’s judgement and warning to a spiritual criminal. God is also merciful. Elymas could have died but God gave him another chance to repent of his wicked ways. It is a dangerous thing to resist a true servant of God sent on an errand for the work of the Kingdom. It is extremely dangerous to fight God! You can never win that fight!
Please note that this is the first miracle that Apostle Paul does as a man of God. It is not a miracle of making money! It is a miracle of victory in spiritual warfare!! Lesson: first of all, to experience breakthrough and freedom, you must confront the devil who tries to block your way! Don’t beg the devil! Don’t be sorry for the devil! Taking the whole armor of God, resist him until he runs away from you! The gates of hell cannot prevail against the church, or against a servant of God! The devil ‘holding the padlock’ must run away before the gate opens for you! You are praying for healing, for a life partner, for a baby or for finances! That is good! But these things do not always come easy. You need to engage the spiritual enemy in battle! Enter and occupy new territories for the kingdom. That work is highly rewarded by the Captain of our salvation. In case you have forgotten, all soldiers of Christ are healthy, wealthy, happy, wise and strong. Their benefits are great beyond words! Give glory our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of the only Living God! Shout Hallelujah! Glory to God!