Opposition by Imitation

“This girl 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.’”  — Acts 16:17

She was telling the truth, for the most part. She told it to the point of being annoying, but she still pointed out Paul and his entourage accurately as servants of the Most High God. She even let everyone around her know that these men had the way of salvation. Still, she was the mouthpiece of a demonic entity. She was telling the truth in the wrong way and in the wrong spirit.

Paul rebuked the spirit within her and commanded it to come out, much in the same way that Jesus rebuked evil spirits for truthfully pointing Him out as the Son of God (Mark 1:25, 34; Luke 4:35, 41). Bothe Jesus and Paul — the Truth Incarnate and one of His greatest advocates — spent a lot of energy preaching heavenly realities to people, but they silenced demons who agreed with them. Why? Because we aren’t to get our truth from demons. It doesn’t matter how accurately the girl portrayed Paul, Silas, and Luke; she wasn’t the right spokesperson for the job. In the Kingdom of God, the source counts.

Evil masquerading as truth is a common dynamic in this Kingdom that Jesus brought us into. We live out our salvation in a hostile context, and sometimes the hostilities are very, very subtle. Satan doesn’t always us a frontal assault. He sends his own prophets — teachers who tell almost all of the truth, mixed with a little error and a lot of confusion. What they say isn’t as important as the spirit in which they say it.

We have to understand the spirits of the age. We are citizens of an invincible Kingdom, but we are at its foreign outposts, surrounded by a hostile culture. The new life we have in Christ will be contested. The message we share will be counterfeited. The contaminated and twisted versions of God’s true Gospel will be subtle and dangerous.
The most important thing we can do today — and everyday is to arm ourselves with the truth and live in the true Spirit of the Living God. Boldness and purpose must be demonstrated by those who desire that the message be heard above the shouts of the imitators.


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Filed under Bible Devotions, Christian Devotions, Daily Devotions

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