Summary: Showing the power of worship with Paul and Silas
Power of Worship
Theme: Show the power of worship
Text: Acts 16:16-34 read 16:16-24
Things started out well for Paul and Silas. Being led by the Holy Spirit through a vision into the Macedonia area they soon came to Phillipi. There was no doubt that the Spirit of the Lord was with them. They were truly being led by the Lord. Upon their entrance into the city Paul carried on his usual tradition of preaching on the Sabbath. This time it was by the river side which was a place of prayer for the people. Here God brought great results. People were saved including a lady named Lydia who would play a great role in starting a church in Phillipi.
But it seems that over night things changed. As Paul and Silas began to preach in the streets they picked up a stranger. The Bible describes her as “a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination”. In other words she was a demon possessed girl. She would cry out “These men are the serve ants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation.” She not only did this once or twice but for many days she followed them. Over and over again she would proclaim, “These men are servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation.” It finally got to a point where it grieved Paul’s spirit. This is a fancy way of saying, “It got on his nerves because it irritated the spirit of God.”
Why did Paul get upset?
You may ask, “Why would Paul get so upset? She was proclaiming the praises of God.” Sure she was speaking truth but Paul was more concerned with the messenger than the message. The devil has no right to proclaim the praises of God. This is important. Paul knew that the devil was only trying to confuse people. The devil knew that if he could get people to associate Paul & Silas with this “demon possessed slave girl” then their message would be weak and unaccepted.
But let me tell you the devil always forgets the power of God and the anointing of God in those who walk in obedience to his word. The devil has been telling this world lies for along time. He has been trying to associate all kinds of trash with the work of God. He will do anything he can to discredit Gods work. It is time that we took the gall and stood up to him. It is time that we quit letting him tell us what God can’t do in our lives and start believing the impossible.
The Devil has no Power
The devil has no power. He is a toothless lion whose bark is worse than his bite. Oh he is powerful. And powerful than any human being alone but I know that “Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world”. Romans 8:31 tells us “If God be for us, who can be against us”. I know that he is a thief and a liar and only comes to “kill, steal and destroy”. I know that he has a destiny. You see I have read the end of the book and guess what the good guys win. The devil will be cast in the lake of fire. I won’t stand for the lies of the devil.
Well praise the Lord.
Paul casts out the demon
Finally, Paul looks at the girl and says, “I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ (remember that name that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess) come out of her.” And the Bible said, “And he came out the same hour or “immediately”.
One translation helps us see the force in the saying of Paul it reads, “She did this for a number of days until Paul, finally fed up with her, turned and commanded the spirit that possessed her, “Out! In the name of Jesus Christ, get out of her!” And it was gone, just like that.
When God works he works immediately.
You would think that these men would have been happy for this girl. She was set free. But in this era people believed that a person who had lost their wits were being controlled by the gods (small g). Luke here actually says this woman had a spirit a python. The idea came from the Greek mythology of the god Appollo who embodied a snake at Delphi. So you see why these men were so upset. They were using this girl for profit. They cared nothing for her welfare.
We know the story. They called a meeting of the town and brought Paul and Silas before them. The judges or magistrates of the town held a mock trial. Without a defense or anything Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into jail.