24 Feb Adversity’s role in Advancement (Part 2)
Last week, we started a 2-part series on some of the events in Acts 8. The Bible tells us that at this time Saul was wreaking havoc on the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. As result, the apostles and other believers were dispersed, and had to go to different places to preach the word.
In other words, persecution shifted them from their base, forced them out of familiar surroundings of Jerusalem to preach the gospel in various places. And Phillip headed for Samaria and preached Christ to them (Acts 8:5). When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed, or lame were healed. (Acts 8:6-7)
So those who were set free in Samaria inadvertently benefited from the havoc and chaos brought upon the church in Jerusalem by the pressure Saul, later known as Paul, put on the church. This was why Phillip relocated, at least temporarily, to Samaria. The Bible explains that Phillip’s exploits led to great joy in Samaria (Acts 8:8).
Did you notice that although there was joy in Samaria as people were delivered from all sorts of terrible spirits and were healed, joy in the city does not necessarily translate to joy in an individual’s personal situation? It wasn’t clear the point at which Simon the sorcerer was convicted by the Holy Spirit, but he must still have been deceiving a lot of people, while there was joy in the city.
Isn’t it unbelievable how believers dance, shout and rejoice in church but go home to face the same devil that has been afflicting them and their family members for generations? You heard a great sermon, Pastor gave you a word that spoke directly to your situation, an elder laid hand on you, it looked like you were at the cusp of a breakthrough. But the moment you left church, the moment you stepped into your apartment, those demons you thought you’ve shaken off got hold of you. Again.
Do you recall situations where you read in newspapers or watch on tv how good the economy is doing, how the Dow Jones industrial average is performing excellently, yet, your personal economy is going south?
But as you are reading this, God is changing your situation. There will be a joy alignment for you. In other words, as the city is rejoicing, you too will be rejoicing; that joy will permeate your home.
Will you say this out loud in your personal place of prayer. This week, it is not only about joy in the city, there will be joy in my home, in my family. I am moving on from the mountain of fear, of anxiety, of negativity to a place of joy. Every Simon the sorcerer, prowling around my neighborhood, disturbing my peace is totally defeated. I embrace the joy of God, that powerful fruit of the spirit. Today is the day of salvation, today is the day of deliverance, the devil has lost his grip upon my life.
Have a great week.