Sue West


Acts 16:16-18 “And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.”

It is interesting to note in these verses the woman following Paul was rebuked even though she was using the right words. Like most church people she had implanted within her the familiar clichés such as: “Amen Brother, Come on, Preach it,” and so forth. 

This familiar terminology can serve to be nothing more than a hindrance when the wrong spirit is present. Many times in our zeal to serve the church we lose the elements of sincerity and purity in serving Christ. We try desperately to fit in with those who are esteemed more highly than ourselves. It becomes a matter of non-spiritual clicks. 

It is this desire to fit in which becomes a stumbling block for many Christians. You may learn all the good works, words and fair speeches; you may even preach and teach the Scriptures yet still not be of the right spirit. Using the right words with the wrong spirit sets us up for a stern rebuke from one who is of the right spirit. 

It is very sad in the Christian world that our discernment has grown so dull. Christian leaders want to hype up a feel-good service with little regard to the spiritual and moral condition of its congregants. We are more concerned about how we look to others in the body of Christ than how we look to the one who holds the universe in His own hand. 

It should be so in our Christian life that the desire for acceptance of others should pale in comparison to the desire of the Lord’s acceptance of us. Never try to fit in; make sure you are standing out. 

Dear church, we were not established to exist for ourselves no more than Christ existed for himself.  We were not taken from our Lord’s side to compete in a Sunday morning beauty pageant. We were birthed from His side to show forth His beauty. 

“Dearly loved friends, don’t always believe everything you hear just because someone says it is a message from God: test it first to see if it really is.” (1 John 4:1) 

“Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”(Psalm 29:2)

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