Summary: This message deals with the importance of Prayer and Praise and the result it produces - Deliverance!!!
Deliverance: The combined effect of Prayer and Praise
I have never come across someone who does not have problems or who has never hit a low point in their life. No matter what difficult situation/mess you are stuck in or experiencing the lowest chapter in your life, if you have the right spirit and the right attitude, you can experience God’s Deliverance!!!
1. The right spirit in us - Acts 16:16-18
Let me begin with a question. How many of you believe that Jesus is the only true God? If you believe what the slave girl said is true, then why was Paul angry? You see, the demon was very sly, it was even using Biblical terminology: Most High God; the way of Salvation…
Devil is the father of all lies. Satan who masquerades as an Angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) – uses a little truth to divert you from the full truth. Remember DEMONIC FAITH – Demons also accept that Jesus is Lord and Savior.
If you said: see this girl is telling the truth and you too have to listen to what she is saying. Then, you are in approval with what she is saying – you are in approval with Satan. Paul was angry because he did not need the witness of a demon to prove that his God is the Most High God. Instead he proved that Jesus is the only true and powerful God by rebuking and delivering that woman for that evil spirit (just like Jesus did at Gerasenes – Mark5:7-8).
Remember, you are the righteous of God through Christ Jesus, the devil is under your feet. We have power over these evil spirits (Matt 10:1). Also according to John 14:12, Jesus is telling us that we can do even greater works that what Jesus did while on earth.
What kind of faith you have – Dynamic or Demonic?
And more importantly what kind of spirit are you nurturing – might not be the spirit of divination – it can also be lies, bad habits, adultery etc…
2. The right focus - Acts 16:19-24
Here we see the reaction of the demon-possessed girl’s masters. Instead of rejoicing in her deliverance they become angry know that their profits are gone. In Mark 5 also we see the same attitude as these people. Instead of rejoicing over Jesus’ deliverance of the demon-possessed maniac, they are angry at the loss of the herd of swine (Mark 5:16). They force him to leave that place.
Further, we can see in Acts 19:23-27 – they feared the spread of gospel would put them out of business.
Such is the condition of the society today and sadly of many Christians as well.
Love of money blurs spiritual perception. (1 Timothy 6:9-10). Many have wandered away from Faith…
Again read Acts 16:19-24 – seized and dragged – crowd rose up against them – tore their robes – beaten with rods – thrown into inner prison and feet fastened in the stocks.
Paul and Silas had everything going wrong that day. They were deep in problems. Stripped and beaten with rods, humiliated and punished. *Many sitting here feel the same way. They have come to a point where they question God. Why me? What did I do wrong? Already I’m in so many problems…
1 Corinthians 10:13 – “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted.”
Where do these words take you – don’t know about you but my thoughts lead me to think about Job. What if we are tempted in such a manner? How would we take it, how would we survive?
Now we all agree that what we are enduring is nothing compared to what Job has endured. Yet you think that it is not fair on God’s part to let you through all this.
1 Corinthians 10:13b – “But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
ILL: women with problems – grain of rice from a house which does not have any problems.
But when you are over this thought, when you change your mindset – then you will not focus on your circumstances rather focus on the God who can deliver you from these circumstances.
*Not in a manner you want to be delivered, but in a manner God wants to deliver.
3. The supernatural deliverance - Acts 16: 25-26
How could the two missionaries praise God under such circumstances?
They understood what many of us seem to forget – praising God does not depend on circumstances.
The key to having Joy in every circumstance in life is to be filled with the Spirit. Joy is part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). The problem with sad miserable Christians is not their circumstances but the lack of living a Spirit filled life.