Not all evangelists can be trusted!

Not all evangelists can be trusted!

Acts 16:17

“She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”

The slave girl follows Paul and his team. Under normal circumstances this would be a noble and good thing to do perhaps, but not if you are carrying a spirit of fortune-telling.

The slave girl announces that the team are servants not of Apollos or Python but of the Most High God, the Almighty God and everyone knew this was the God the Jews proclaimed. Again this is absolutely true and the crowds needed to know this Almighty God but not presented by a demonic girl.

The girl is shouting that the team’s message is about salvation. Salvation was here, this is what everyone needed and desired, it would save them from the burdens of this world. It still is but we don’t need the enemy to tell everyone our message.

Why did she do it?

Luke doesn’t say.

But the possible responses from the Jews and Gentiles may help us to understand. The Jews saw the demonic with all of its magic and dark activity as abhorrence to God and them.  To see this fortune-telling slave girl with an evil spirit aligning her to the gospel workers would undermine the gospel in their eyes. The Gentiles however would see their python spirit mixed in with this new gospel message and believe the whole of religion is any way is a good way and that no one needs to change or repent which is of course what the gospel message demands.

If the enemy of your life cannot stop you he will join you to frustrate you. He will try to render your voice powerless. He will undermine your authority. He will cause people to accuse you wrongly. He will water down your efforts so that you lose your sharp edge and you become mundane. He will try to remove your influence. And how does he do this? Is it through some seismic event in your life? Not necessarily. It could simply be the annoyance of a slave girl shouting the truth of what you are doing.  But the persistence and the pursuit of this slave girl was for the intention of slowing the team down and ultimately shutting them up.

On first reading and in isolation this verse looks okay. The enemy of your life likes to look inconspicuous. He doesn’t want you to notice anything is wrong but he is in hot pursuit of you and is persistently wearing you down.

You are going to have to deal with him if you are going to succeed in this life.

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