Brave New World 4

Read Acts 16:16-19 – As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour. But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers.

     When we admit that God exists, we open the door to believing in a realm that is much more real than the physical one we are used to. God is spirit. His presence is felt and known. His actions are experienced and seen. Just as real, though, are the actions and presence of other spirits. Sometimes the encounter is as clear and annoying as the one recorded in the above passage. Often, though, we are unaware of what’s going on because the spirits have convinced us that they aren’t real.

     We do not mean to scare anyone here, but the Bible is clear about the existence of demons as well as angels. We need to admit this, but we don’t need to give them any more power than God has allotted them. Notice that Paul, a mere man, through the authority of Jesus and the Holy Spirit that is within him gives a command to the spirit and the spirit obeys! Be encouraged by this. The same Holy Spirit is in you. Your prayers to God are heard and answered. Authority to speak life into people, to edify them and encourage them, is given to you, and when you exhort in the name of Jesus there is a response in the spiritual realm! So ask God to keep your eyes open, give you discernment to recognize when a spirit is active and then in obedience in the moment, exercise the authority you have in Christ.

Have you ever suspected the presence of a spirit that wasn’t God? What did you do?

How aware are you of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis? Pray that God would give you even more.

Read Matthew 28:18-20. How does our authority in the spiritual realm change the way you read the Great Commission?

Declare the authority of Christ in your life. Say out loud, “Jesus has all authority.” Repeat it as often as you need to to remind yourself that in every situation, it is God who has the last word.