Do you believe there is darkness and in light? Do you realize there is a power struggle taking place between good and evil? Do you realize that it’s not a human thing but a spiritual thing? Do you realize that there is a battle for your soul? Do you realize that trying to make you not follow God is the goal of the evil side? Believe it or not, the battle is real and is taking place all around you.
Ephesians 6:12 puts it this way…
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
–from Ephesians 6
So allow the Spirit to let you become sensitive to what is taking place around you. Allow the Spirit to give you wisdom and discernment what is the reason for the things happening around you as well as how He would have you respond. Evil is a real thing and we need to be aware of it. God has a plan and a purpose for each of us and it is good! When we choose to receive and follow after Jesus things change. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be challenges, trials, or troubles, it means that we now have God with us to help us get through them. On the subject of challenges or trials, we can read in God’s Word…
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
–from James 1:2-4
On the subject of troubles, for those who don’t think there is troubles (possibly because of not being a threat to Satan’s plans and so he can focus on others for the moment) but realize that it says in the Bible…
45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
–from Matthew 5:45
and how Jesus encourages us when He says…
33″I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
–from John 16:33
So today do not be deceived by the lies of this dark world! Don’t be tricked into thinking there is nothing you can say and nothing you can do that will make a difference! Don’t miss out on the joy of knowing and building a relationship with Jesus! Don’t miss out on the hope and the future God desires and has planned for you! Choose Jesus and follow after Him so that in the end you will get to spend eternity with God rather than apart from God for the rest of eternity!
Power Encounters — Day 179: Bible In One Year 2017
Devotional, Psalm 78:32-39, Acts 18:9-28, Acts 19:1-13, 1 Kings 20, 1 Kings 21
Understand the nature of evil … Psalm 78:32-39
Take authority over the power of evil … Acts 18:9-19:13
Paul overcame the power of evil through the power of Jesus to perform miracles. This was part of the multifaceted way in which the Holy Spirit worked in his ministry along with:
‘He stayed another year and a half, faithfully teaching the Word of God to the Corinthians’ (18:11, MSG).
Paul spent a great deal of time ‘strengthening all the disciples’ (v.23). Priscilla and Aquila were probably amongst those that he mentored. Often those who have been mentored well become the best mentors.
For example, Priscilla and Aquila then mentored Apollos. Apollos was ‘a terrific speaker, eloquent and powerful in his preaching of the Scriptures. He was well-educated in the way of the Master and fiery in his enthusiasm’ (vv.24–25, MSG).
Priscilla and Aquila took him aside. ‘They invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately’ (v.26). He then became even more effective. ‘He was a great help to those who by grace had believed’ (v.27).
We see an example of ‘ministry’ in the power of the Holy Spirit. ‘Paul placed his hands on [the Ephesians], the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied’ (19:6). Every Alpha weekend we have the immense privilege of laying hands on people and praying for them to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Paul ‘had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus’ (v.9). The small group discussion on Alpha is perhaps the most important part of the course. It gives people the opportunity to explore, to talk through issues and to begin to find some answers to their questions.
Part of the discussion involved ‘apologetics’. This comes from the word ‘apologia’, which Paul uses at his trial when he says ‘I make my defence(apologia)’ (26:2). It means presenting a rational basis for the Christian faith against objections and misrepresentations.
Paul ‘reasoned’ with them (18:19). He argued ‘for three months [and] spoke boldly, persuading and arguing and pleading about the kingdom of God’ (19:8, AMP). He taught Apollos, who entered into public debate, ‘proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ’ (18:28).
We see here some of the different areas of ministry where we need training and that our theological colleges, training schools and discipleship of all church members need to cover.
Be prepared to confront evil … 1 Kings 20:1-21:29