4 Barnabas and Saul were sent on their way by the Holy Spirit. They went down to Seleucia. From there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 They arrived at Salamis. There they preached God’s word in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper. 6 They traveled all across the island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jew named Bar-Jesus. He was an evil magician and a false prophet. 7 He was an attendant of Sergius Paulus, the governor. Paulus was a man of understanding. He sent for Barnabas and Saul. He wanted to hear God’s word. 8 But Elymas, the evil magician, opposed them. The name Elymas means “magician.” He tried to keep the governor from becoming a believer. 9 Saul was also known as Paul. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. He looked straight at Elymas. He said to him, 10 “You are a child of the devil! You are an enemy of everything that is right! You cheat people. You use all kinds of tricks. Won’t you ever stop twisting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the Lord’s hand is against you. You are going to go blind. You won’t be able to see the light of the sun for a while.” Right away mist and darkness came over him. He tried to feel his way around. He wanted to find someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the governor saw what had happened, he believed. He was amazed at what Paul was teaching about the Lord.
“Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit”, totally turns the deception and powers of Elymas back on the man. Even the most powerful and accepted sorcery and false prophecy on the Island is no match for the power and revelation of the Holy Spirit.
minds me as I read this that there is no match between God and the Devil, between Good and Evil, between Light and Dark, between the Holy Spirit and the sorceries of man. God wins. God is far more powerful. God has all Authority.
Where I find a
clash between the powers of God and the powers of the Enemy, I am reminded that I must be under no illusions. No matter how fierce or impressive someone’s powers and credentials are – Elymas was an attendant of the Isle of Paphos proconsul, a powerful man with powerful allies – if they oppose the work of God in a city or community, they will not stand.
Walking in and being filled with the Holy Spirit – these are my responsibilities.
Lord, I choose to walk led by your Holy Spirit, and ask that you would graciously and continually re-fill me with your Holy Spirit, so I will be empowered for whatever each day brings.
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh