Spirit-Empowered to Confront Evil

Acts 13:8-11 ESV 
But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand.

The Apostle Paul (who was involved in Stephen’s murder prior to his conversion to Christ!) was evangelizing on the island of Cyprus when an influential man opposed his gospel ministry. Elymas practiced a false religion and tried to keep others from discovering the truth and salvation found only in Jesus Christ. Notice how Paul reacted as he was “filled with the Holy Spirit”! God empowered Paul specifically to confront evil that stood in opposition to the gospel and that tried to keep other unbelievers lost. Paul’s prophetic pronouncement began with verbally confronting Elymas - first calling out his wickedness, then calling on God to physically blind him! How’s that for one of the specific “Acts of the Apostles”?

Are these words and acts we typically expect when the Holy Spirit is filling someone’s life?

Have you considered that God may fill you with His Spirit to empower you for those rare instances to fend off someone who opposes the work of the Church or who tries to persuade others not to receive the Gospel?

Contemplate: How may God expect you to identify and pray against “enemies of all righteousness” and spiritual “deceivers”? The Spirit empowers us to confront evil… in ourselves, in the church, and in evangelistic disciple-making efforts.