SCRIPTURE FROM: Acts 13:9-12 (ERV)
TEXT: 9 But Saul (also known as Paul), filled with the Holy Spirit, looked hard at Elymas 10 and said, “You son of the devil, full of lies and all kinds of evil tricks! You are an enemy of everything that is right. Will you never stop trying to change the Lord’s truths into lies? 11 Now the Lord will touch you and you will be blind. For a time you will not be able to see anything—not even the light from the sun.” Then everything became dark for Elymas. He walked around lost. He was trying to find someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the governor saw this, he believed. He was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.
OBSERVATION: Earlier in this chapter we read about how Paul and Barnabas were send out under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Being divinely inspired and empowered, I believe they were keenly aware of any that were opposed to the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, as evident with their intolerance with Elymas. There is no doubt that the church today faces some who are just like Elymas. The big questions is whether we should seek to save them, or seek to silence them. Let’s pursue this.
APPLICATION: I believe that most churches today are faced with enemies of God that sneak in to the church to kill, steal or destroy the child of God or His church as a whole. Think about this, how often have you heard about church members already serving as Elders, Deacons, Teachers, Church workers and/or faithful members being convicted of their sin and then finally surrendering their lives totally to the Lord Jesus Christ at a late stage in their lives? So friends, what kind of decisions do you suppose they made while sitting on committees during their years of pretense, or what type of Bible truths do you suppose they delivered as they taught Sunday School? So just for a moment today, stop and put yourself in the shoes of Paul and/or Silas: for now you might be faced with the challenge of what may have tricked your own church leader into thinking they were saved while they served your church. Handled like many church leaders may tend to do, and you may see a church split over the disciplinary action taken. However, when this is handled in God’s way, like Paul did, churches could stand to be effective in reaching others, as in the case of the governor mentioned in verse 12. I believe there are two things at work here, and the results would be impacted based on which one is used. If Paul had barreled into the church with every intent to correct the wrongs in his way, he probably would have had Elymas persecuted – after all that was Paul’s (Saul’s) background experience. However, Paul was Spirit led and directed, and He wanted to handle this situation in total obedience to God. Like Paul, I am convinced that when we depend on God’s wisdom, leadership and direction, God will work His all powerful hand in the scenario we are facing, and as we act in obedience to Him, His perfect will would result in bringing glory to God. May we learn from the best, and be obedient to His instructions in our everyday cases, even ones like Elymas.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I acknowledge again today that You are Lord over everything, especially over Your church, and over the ones who have surrendered and committed their lives to You. Please help us to be sensitive to the evil affecting our churches, and please give us Spirit-led leaders willing to deal with the Elymas’ of our day, but leaders who will first wait first for your Spirit to lead in ways that will ultimately please You and draw others to You. Lord, we want to see Your church flourish, even when there is trouble knocking at our doors more often than we wish. Your church is for Your glory, oh Lord, but it will only survive and flourish with You as our head. Bless us our Lord, for Your sake. AMEN!
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