by Tom Brown
hot sun from Macedonia would have been much easier to bear had Paul's
journey there been more fruitful. He felt compelled to go to this region
as a result of a vision from God. Macedonia was the gateway to Europe.
Little did Paul know that God would use him to open the door to Europe
for the spread of Christianity.
At the time, though, few seemed
interested in Paul's message. Paul had been meeting with a small group
of Jews by the river. Since there was not enough men to form a complete
synagogue, some Jews would meet at a river to worship God. Paul felt
this would be a good place to launch the message of the Messiah, Jesus.
One day, as he headed to this
small group of Jews, a Gentile woman, who had a demon, began to cry out
to all the people. Pointing her skinny finger at Paul and his companion,
Silas, she shouted, "These men are servants of the Most High God,,
who are telling you the way to be saved" (Acts 16:17). The testimony
would have been welcomed had it come from a good person. She was
anything but good. As a slave, she was used by her owners to scam large
sums of money for her predictions.
Every time Paul and Silas would
walk past her, she would continue the same mantra: "These are servants
of the most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." Could
she have been mocking them? We do not know. But Paul became agitated at
having a demon-possessed girl testify about God. He could take it no
more. "He turned around and said to the spirit, 'In the name of Jesus
Christ I command you to come out of her!" (v 18). Paul had the last
word. The demon left her; she was freed.
It is interesting to note that
the word "spirit" used in this passage is the Greek word "puthos."
Puthos was the name of the region where Delphi, the seat of the famous
oracle, was located. No doubt the author intentionally used this word to
describe the kind of demon that possessed this girl.
The word also is where we get the
word python. Python is the largest known snake. Satan, of course, is
described as a serpent. Luke, the author of the Book of Acts, wanted to
convey both the kind of spirit that possessed the woman and
the way spirits work to possess people.
A python does not quickly kill
its victim. Rather, a python, slowly makes its way to the victim.
Through fear, many animals and people become frozen. They become
immovable. It is then that the python makes its way around the body of
its prey. Slowly, but surely, it begins to squeeze the life out of its
victim. In time, the sufferer can breathe no more. It suffocates.
Demons do not come quickly into a
person's life to destroy him. Like a python, the work of demons is slow
but meticulous. Very rarely does someone wake up to find demons ruining
their lives. Rather, demons slowly work on people, until,
little-by-little, they are completely controlled by demons.
A python wants your breath. A
spirit wants your spiritual breath. In the beginning God breathed into
man the breath of life. Satan wants your breath. Breath speaks of your
spiritual life. The devil will work in trying to take away your
Do you feel the devil working at
trying to destroy your spiritual life? How does he do it? He begins with
God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and
of a sound mind" (2 Tim 1:7, KJV). You don't have to wonder where
fear comes from, because the Bible calls fear a "spirit." The
devil will throw trials at you in the hope that you become paralyzed
with fear. When you are in fear, you become frozen, and cold in your
walk with God.
Instead of resisting him, you
become afraid of him. You become obsessed with your problems. You cannot
think of anything else but your troubles. Satan is trying to get you
from moving forward in your walk with God.
It is at this point that the
python spirit begins to move slowly around your life. He begins to
squeeze a little here and there. At first, it does nothing to your
breath. But then he finds a sensitive spot. He begins to squeeze, and
you have trouble breathing. Your spiritual life is starting to wane.
The fist thing to suffer is your
Bible reading. You see, the Bible is "God-breathed" (2 Tim
3:16). Without the scriptures, you cannot continue to breathe. Your
spiritual life is dependant on the Holy Scriptures. A first sign that
the python spirit is squeezing you is when your Bible reading
When a person is sick, they lose
their appetite. When a person is spiritually sick they lose their
spiritual appetite. You are under satanic attack if you have lost your
appetite for the Word of God. The Word of God is our "daily bread." You
can live without lunch, but you cannot live without the Word of God.
If you have no desire to go to
church to hear the Word preached, if you have no desire to read your
Bible, if you have no desire to read Christian books or watch Christian
TV, it is a sign your are spiritually sick.
You did not get there overnight.
Something happened in your life to put you on your sick bed. Satan
throws temptations, trials, cares, pressures and burdens on your life.
It becomes too much to carry. As you try to carry these problems on your
own, it wears you out. You soon become sick through exhaustion.
It is amazing though, that you
are reading this article. It is because God is giving you supernatural
strength to read this message that will free you from the coil of
"The one who received the seed
that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the
worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it
unfruitful" (Matt 13:22). The thorns "choked" the man who had
received the Word. Like a python, the man is choked. The thorns are
"the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth."
Not only does worry and fear
choke a man from hearing and doing the Word of God, but the "deceitfulness
of wealth" does the trick, too.
Satan will bring a lack attack in
your life. Have you been in a place where it seems that the money has
dried up? I have! What is the temptation at that time? It is to get you
worried and obsessed with how you can get more money.
You are vulnerable at this point.
With little money, you can easily fall for temptation.
I was shocked to see a pastor
friend of mine being arrested, because he had involved his congregation
in a pyramid scheme. The pastor's church had not been growing. Money was
scarce. So he came up with an illegal and immoral scheme to get money
for his church and his members. Under good conditions, my pastor friend
would not have succumb to this awful temptation. Make no mistake about
it, the devil uses lack of money to tempt you.
There are two times in your life
when you are especially vulnerable to temptation: when you have nothing
and when you have everything.
Some are tempted with just the
opposite. They have all the money they need, so why bother with God? The
rich begin to think that reading the Bible is unnecessary, going to
church is a bore, and giving to God is throwing good money away. Satan
knows each person's weakness. If it is lack, he will stop the money from
coming to you. If it is riches, he will let you prosper so long as you
In the end, God is the giver. No
matter the lack in your life, trust God to bring the blessings in your
life. Don't compromise to get money. Rebuke the devil. Tell him to get
his hands off of your blessings. He will have to back off. Blessings
Satan will also squeeze the life
out of your dreams. Hopelessness is a symptom of a spiritual attack.
Pharaoh had surrounded God's people. They had no apparent way of escape
from Pharaoh's brutal hands. This is how it feels when you are under
attack. You feel like your circumstances are too great. You see no light
at the end of the tunnel. No way out.
But remember God's promise, "No
temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is
faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But
when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can
stand up under it" (1 Cor 10:13). It may seem that the temptation
and trials are beyond what you can bear, but they are not. You are
stronger than you think.
There may seem no "way out"
of your problems. But there is. As you stand on God's Holy Word, the way
of escape from your trials will be made known. For Israel, the way out
was through the Red Sea. It seem improbable that they could go through
the sea, but God split the waters so God's people could walk on dry
God will do whatever it takes to
get you through your problems. But don't drown your sorrows with
Two sailors were drinking heavily
at a bar. After several hours of drinking, one of the sailors mumbled to
the other, "Look," pointing to two other sailors across the bar from
them. "That is going to us in 30 years." His friend looked closely at
those two sailors and then said, "Hey, that is us. You're looking in a
That will be you in a few years,
if you choose the wrong way to handle your stress. Trust God that your
dreams will come true. Don't quit!
Right now, you may feel like you
are under spiritual attack. What do you do?
Get back to church! The Jewish
believers were discouraged over the cruel attacks for becoming
Christians. Some had their homes and property confiscated. Others were
removed from their parents will. Some were thrown into prison with
trumped-up charges. And even some had lost family and friends in death
as a result of their Christian faith.
The Hebrew writer saw the toil
being taken on the new believers. Some had quit attending church. So he
writes, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the
habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as
you see the Day approaching" (Heb 10:25). Some wonder why they need
to go to church when they already know the Bible. They already took
communion before. They can pray at home. So what does the church offer
that they need?
The church offers a community of
believers living for the Lord. We are creatures that need encouragement.
We do not do the right thing simply because, years ago, we learned what
is right and what is wrong. We need a continual reminder to live for
Think how difficult it is to lose
weight and get into shape without group support. Few people will get in
shape unless they join with other like-minded people who have the same
goals. That's why they go to the gym instead of working out alone in
Why do we need others? It is the
way God made us. "It is not good for the man to be alone" (Gen
2:18). We are social creatures. It is our genetic makeup.
It's not possible to be as good a
Christian alone at home; you need to be part of a group of like-minded
believers wanting to grow in Christ. Jesus established the church for a
reason. He knew you needed bishops, pastors and priests to help you grow
in Christ. You need other sincere Christians to fellowship with so they
can lift you up when you fall. "If one falls down, his friend can
help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!"
I receive many calls from people
around the world asking me to cast out the demons from their lives. They
have seen me on national television or watched my ministry of
deliverance. So they call, hoping for help.
The first question I usually ask
people who call for help, "What church do you attend?" The normal
response is, "No where." They often make excuses why they don't go to
These people are falling for
Satan's lies. Satan knows, in order to devour a believer, he needs to
isolate him from the "pack." A lion can't defeat the whole pack. He
simply attacks the pack and then looks for one lonely animal that
departs from the heard. It is this animal that becomes his prey.
Today, as you read this article,
it is no accident that God guided you to read what I have to write. Take
this message as God's direct word to you: Go back to church.
Surrender your life to Christ
right now! Read the Bible everyday. Set a time and place to pray
everyday. Start fellowshipping with other believers. You will see your
life's problems diminish as you focus more on the Deliverer and on
what's really important: Eternity!
Prayer to Surrender Your Life To Christ
Dear God, I come to you in the name of Jesus.
Forgive me for allowing the devil to squeeze out my spiritual life. I
want to come back to you now. I renounce the devil and all his
temptations. I renounce the world and all it has to offer. I renounce
the flesh and all its lust. I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior and
Lord. I accept Him into my life. Be my Lord! Amen
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