The enemy back in town
Acts 14:19 “Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.”
It is amazing to think you can move from being worshipped as a god to being stoned to near-death. How did that happen? It came from the enemies of Pauls past.
Your enemy will chase you down, he never gives up on you.
In 2001 I was taken to an employment tribunal by a member of my church staff, which in the end we won with no case to answer. The story was complex laden with layers of accusations and threats. Though we won, the experience nearly finished me off in ministry. The enemy played havoc with me. It was certainly the dark night of my soul. That was 16 years ago. Yesterday, someone came into my office and simply gave me a piece of information that I have never known before about the case. It was 16 years ago but by the time they had left my office all those feelings of anxiety were suddenly there. The enemy was back. It was a difficult couple of hours.
Somehow word got back to Antioch (over 100 miles away) and Iconium what was happening in Lystra and before long the religious leaders had arrived from those cities. The enemy was back.
I can imagine the conversation. Antioch would have said, “Yes we drove them from our city eventually.” Iconium would have said, “We plotted to stone them to death.” It was enough to convince the crowd to do what Antioch and Iconium had wanted to do. It is amazing how easy it is to convince a crowd to do whatever you would want it to do when the individuals in that crowd would never do it as an individual.
Even the leading Apostle was not immune from the attacks of the enemy. Unless you have had the terrible opportunity to see a stoning then there is no way of knowing the barbaric pain and torture that being stoned to death is for the individual. Today, stoning is still practiced in 15 countries of the world!
A past traumatic event, a bereavement, a failure, a regret, an abuse and a brokenness may lay far away from you today. But be aware unless you put on your daily armour as Paul would later command us to do then today could be the day when the enemy comes back. Protect your today.