Recognizing the Enemy

6 They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.”

Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord. Acts 13:6-12

We don’t know what happened to the sorcerer after he became blind, but we do know what happened to the proconsul. Paul and Barnabus saw the sorcerer for what he was, and dealt with it accordingly.

In any kind of ministry you are engaged in, you will have opposition from the enemy. That opposition may come in many forms: other people, things mysteriously going wrong, unexpected delays, and even blatant blockage of your goals. Being able to recognize the opposition is more than half the battle. Often we just become frustrated. But if we acknowledge that it’s a spiritual attack (even if it’s from another person), then the “way ahead” becomes much easier.

One area that I believe we all can relate to is Sunday mornings. For most people it’s a chore to do everything necessary to get to church on time. Even on the way into the church parking lot, there could be sudden outbursts and fits of rage. Normally your mornings are fine, but it’s Sunday. You have the potential for meaningful worship, but the enemy is attack. Recognize it when it happens, and your Sunday mornings should go a lot smoother.

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