Freedom in the Holy Spirit will you victory! (Acts 16:16-24)
Here is another story of Paul and his team. When they were going to the place of prayer (Acts 16:16). A slave girl who was controlled by the evil spirit and was working for her Slave Owners. She used to predict the future for people and used to earn a lot of money for her Slave Owners. She kept on bothering Paul and Silas by following them and shouting that these men are the servants of the highest God and are telling you the way to be saved. For few days, Paul ignored her but his heart was troubled. He turned around and rebuked the evil spirit in the slave girl. He said, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment, the spirit left her (Acts 16:18).
Freedom from slavery: Freedom to pray, Freedom for people (Acts 16:16-18)
We might expect devil to come and attack straight forward. Be careful and always be alert as he is very cunning and can disguise himself in a such a way that you won’t be able to differentiate between good and evil voices. He is likened with a roaring lion who looks after anyone whom he can devour. But we also know that the lion hides behind the bush to make a sudden attack on the weakest animal. The disciple of Jesus named Peter advises Christian believers in his letter: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).” Therefore, Satan can attack you directly and suddenly when you are not alert. But he can also attack us with sweet talks trying to show that he is very much concern about you. Paul through his own experience of facing the devil advised Christian believers to be careful. He said that devil also comes as an angel of light. He wrote in his letter called 2 Corinthians 11:14, “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” Satan was created as Lucifer or the morning star and was created in perfection (Ezekiel 28:12). It was only later that this powerful angel fell from grace and was cast down from heaven. To bring freedom from slavery of any kinds such as sin, drugs and slavery of mankind, we need to command directly to the evil spirit to come out of the person, or from your life, or from your home or your situation in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. There is a victory in Jesus because he has been victorious over sin and death.
Frustrated Slave Owners: Failure to make money, Facing the authorities, False accusation (Acts 16:19-21)
Now, when such a wonderful thing happened in the life of a slave girl, the slave owners were frustrated and angry. They were not happy to know that this slave girl who lived a miserable and poor life in the bondage, has been freed from the evil spirit. They were only concerned about the money-making business. They didn’t care at all about the honour and respect of this girl. There are many evil gangs existing today in this world who traffic young girls to different countries for sex trade. They take away their passport and identity and trap them in such a way that they are not able to come out their slavery. They go to the extend to harm and kill anyone who would dare to help these girls trapped in slavery. This is exactly what happened with Paul and Silas. These slave owners dragged them to face authorities with put forward false accusation to prove that Paul and Silas have disobeyed the civil laws, their custom and disturbed the whole city. They were beaten badly and insulted in front of the whole crowd. They humiliated them by torturing them physically.
Is it the end of the story for Paul and Silas? A good start that ended up into a big disaster? Paul and team didn’t do anything wrong. They only did the good thing of bringing deliverance. Satan and his people are disturbed when there is something to do with the transformation of lives and when the income of people are effected. He can use people and the whole crowd to oppose you. You will be limited to do anything. You will be isolated and cornered. You will be shocked to know why this has happened to you? Why people are against you when you haven’t done anything wrong to them? This is exactly people did with Jesus and crucified him to suffer on the cross. But thank God that He rose again from the dead to give us eternal life.
Flogging of Paul & Silas: Fastened their feet in the Stocks (Acts 16:22-24)
The slave owners and the crowd joined in attack against Paul and Silas and brought them in front of the magistrates who ordered them to be stripped and beaten. They were severely flogged and thrown in the prison. They were put into the inner cell and their feet were fastened in the stocks.
You see when you will caste out evil spirit from the lives of people in the mighty name of Jesus, devil won’t be happy. He will go extra mile to make sure that you are completely stopped from preaching the good news of Jesus or casting out the evil spirit in the name of Jesus. Paul and Silas were put into the inner cell and even their beautiful feet that travelled and brought the good news of salvation were fastened with stocks in the prison.
Paul and Silas were physically limited to do anything for the Lord, but praise God, the beautiful thing was that the devil couldn’t bind the hearts of these men of God. Jesus had already warned his disciples that people will persecute you because of my name, you will have trouble in this world, but behold I have overcome the world. They may harm our physical body but they cannot harm our souls. Our God is an awesome God who is a God of Daniel who came out alive from the fiery furnace and from the den of lion. Paul who provided freedom to a slave girl in the name of Jesus could free Paul and Salas from the chains of prison.
Be regular in the place of prayer. That’s where you will receive power to find victory over the evil spirit in your lives and in the lives of others. Always pray with command and use the authority of the name of Jesus to caste out the evil spirit. When you face opposition, stay calm and trust God by perseverance to endure in the times of your trials and testing. Be Encouraged because God will do amazing Things through your trials & testing!