Summary: You might be suuprised to discover that you may not be able to evangelize in every place all the time, our efforts must be Spirit led.
What is clear throughout is the fact that evangelism is the result of partnering with the Holy Spirit
Three times Luke mentions that God is leading them
Verse “the Holy Spirit”
Verse 7 “the Spirit of Jesus”
Verse 10 “called of God”
There are at least four scenes in this chapter that will help us.
Seek God for direction:
At least three times in this chapter Luke refers to God given direction for places to evangelize
In verse 6 he says Paul desired to spread the word in Asia but the Holy Spirit forbid them
In verse 7 they desired to go into Bithynia but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them
And in verses 9-10 Paul received in a vision that he must go to Macedonia to evangelize them, in verse 10 he says they were called to preach the gospel to them
As much as we would like to evangelize everywhere all the time we cannot and may not be allowed to
I The first example is the conversion of one who is of another faith
The missionary quartet (Paul, Silas, Timothy, Luke) went to the riverside on the Sabbath instead of a synagogue because there was no synagogue in Philippi.
According to Jewish tradition, there had to be a quorum of at least ten male heads of households before a synagogue could be formed.
If these requirements could not be met, the faithful were to meet under the open sky near a river or sea.
So Paul and company walked outside the city on the Sabbath, probably to the Gangites River, looking for some fellow Jews. They discovered a small group—all women—who met to recite the Shema and pray the Shemoneth Esreh and read the Law and Prophets.
They were devout, and religious, but something was missing
History says that she had wealth but something was missing
But they had not accepted Jesus Christ as savoir they were still practicing Judaism
But like last week there were spiritual realities at work, they had been divinely prepared for what was about to happen
The text says that the Lord opened her heart
The reality of evangelism is that others aren’t the only ones affected, so are you
Paul’s pharisaical prejudices, which in pre-Christian years had taught him to pray, “God, I thank you that I am not a Gentile, or a slave, or a woman,” had been sharply altered by Christ and his growth in faith.
Remember Peter’s encounter with Cornelius (Acts 10)
II The second example is the conversion of one who is demon possessed
We must always remember that God is working but so is Satan, but He is no match for God
In this second example the encounter is with a demon possessed slave girl it is believed that she had the spirit of python
According to myth or legend, Python was a snake that guarded the Temple of Apollo and was eventually killed by Apollo.
Later the word python came to mean a demon-possessed person through whom Python spoke.
In any case she was demon possessed and it allowed her to predict the future
She was being used by men for their personal gain
Paul’s next move demonstrates that you can’t play with the devil even though what he’s doing has the appearance of advancing the Kingdom