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. ~Acts 16:18
One of our Western idioms that we use to express dissatisfaction or exasperation with someone or something is, “Good grief!” Grief is the sorrowing within our heart and spirit over a loss, devastation, disaster, death, or an injustice. When we grieve, we can be moved to tears. When we grieve, we are touched with someone else’s predicament. We are told that Paul was grieved in the spirit. This morning, let us examine the nature of good grief.
We see a hellish STRANGLEHOLD.
“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.” A teenaged young woman was demon-possessed and manipulated by certain men to give false prophecies for their financial profit. This demonic possession is described as a spirit of divination. The word for “divination” is the word “python,” which is the same idea as the serpent of the same name. A python wraps its strong body like a coil around its victim, and chokes it to death before consuming it. This young woman was under the stranglehold of the devil and evil men who took advantage of her. What a poor, miserable situation this young teen was in. Satan seeks to control and dominate the human race by applying a stranglehold through many devious means.
We see the heated STIRRING.
“But Paul, being grieved…” One day, this woman had an encounter with the Apostle Paul. Deep within her heart, she knew she could find salvation and deliverance through the Christ that Paul preached about. After calling out to Paul for many consecutive days, Paul was grieved in his spirit. Paul was grieved to see the power of sin dominate this woman. Paul was grieved that the power of Satan brought her captive as his slave. Paul was grieved that evil men were making merchandise of her. Unlike many people who become accustomed to seeing and hearing the same thing, Paul was grieved. Being grieved is having a heated stirring. You are bothered about this matter and are determined to do something about it. Are you grieved that souls without Christ are going to hell? Are you grieved that our society is passing laws that are going the opposite direction of what is moral and right? Are you stirred that the devil is working hard against the cause of Christ?
We see the holy STIMULUS.
The stirring in Paul led to him doing something about this young woman’s plight. In the power of Jesus’ name, Paul commanded the demon to come out of her. Immediately, the Lord’s power expelled the demon and set this young woman free. It’s one thing to be stirred: it’s another thing to do something about what you are stirred about. What he did next was not a personal objective or a momentary movement. What he did was the result of a holy stimulus. “And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh,” Jude 22-23. Paul and Silas paid a great price for doing something for this young woman. They were severely humiliated and punished. Yet, they knew as they languished in that prison that God had a supreme reason behind this. That same stimulus propelled them to pray and sing praises in that prison at midnight, and literally opened the door for them to lead the prison keeper and his family to Christ! Be a Christian who is moved by the power of a holy