One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit that enabled her to tell the future. She earned a lot of money for her masters by telling fortunes. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.” This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her.
Acts 16:16-18 NLT

Like a lot of stories in the book to Acts, this is a crazy story! Wow, what authority and power the apostles walked in. But it also seems a little incomprehensible and might leave you wondering, what does this story mean? 

God brought up this moment in Paul’s life while I was praying recently. I was really frustrated and bothered by something happening in my life, so much so that it was consuming my daily thoughts and emotion. While I was praying, I felt like God revealed, “it’s a spirit” and I thought of this moment in the bible and went back to it. 

Here is the story: Paul and his companions came across a slave girl, who was being not only used by men to make money, but manipulated in her gifting, as the Bible says she was telling fortunes. It’s a bad situation all around. Once she saw Paul and his crew, she began following them. I wonder if she started doing this because she saw and understood the authority they were walking in and it drew her in. So she began following them around, which isn’t in and of itself a bad thing. Just like Jesus had many people follow him around, I am sure Paul, Silas and others did as well. But while she was following them, she began to yell out about the identity of these men and their purpose. Another thing that in and of itself isn’t bad. Again, there are stories of people who encountered Jesus declaring his true identity. But she kept yelling it constantly and incessantly, going on and on, day in and day out.

When I first read this story, I honestly had a thought, “well what’s bad with that?” I wonder if Paul’s other companions, while annoyed and bothered by this girl, had those same thoughts, because the Bible doesn’t say anything about their reaction. They might have thought, well this girl knows who we are and is telling other people so it must be okay. But not Paul. At some point, he could have had the same epiphany I had–that this is a spirit, from the devil sent to distract and torment them. The Bible says, exasperated, Paul spoke to the demon to get out. Paul got fed up with what was being allowed to go on and in authority rebuked it. Remember, WE have the authority, not the other way around. 

This is a great example to learn what we are and are not allowing in our lives. I know more than once have I allowed something to go on in my life, wreaking havoc when in reality it’s really a spirit sent to distract me and something that I must use authority over. Another take away to learn from this story (if I may be so bold) is that the spirit manifested declaring their identity, just like in the Gospels, int the presence of Jesus, spirits can not do anything else than to declare the identity of Jesus. (and don’t get it wrong, the presence of Jesus was with Paul as much as He is with us too) So since spirits are stuck only able to do that when around godly men and women, they try to manipulate subtly, to try to get away with their real intent, to distract people from encountering the Living God manifest in their lives. 

So my friend, we must open our eyes to the realities of the spiritual world and start seeing things how they really are. What is trying to distract you, trying to mask itself as a “good” thing, where in reality it causing havoc and discord in your life? Things that at first might look “good” in reality is the enemy distorting it, veiling it to look okay when really it is his devious workings trying to take us away from God. The spirit of God creates peace where He dwells and if there is somewhere were that is not happening, I would challenge you to pray and open your eyes to the unseen realities of this world to see what really is happening. Because what might at first looks good, is the works of the enemy veiled in disguise. 

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