Understanding Acts | Battles | Acts 16.16-18 | Movementministriesblog.com

by | Feb 16, 2023

“Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.” Acts 16.16-18 

I pray this finds you full of grace and the Holy Spirit. I just took a phone call from my good friend and brother in Christ, Brandon Shook, who gave a first hand account of the Asbury Revival. I’ve known “Shook,” as we call him, for fifteen years and we have been in ministry together for much of that time. He is one of our Revive Board Members (revivetexas.org) and is now a pastor at the Woodlands Methodist Church.

Shook gave a wonderful account about what God is doing in Wilmore. Not only did he affirm the genuine and peaceful moving of God’s Holy Spirit, primarily among Gen Z, 18 to 26 year olds, but the he showed up as a part of the “calvary” to help mature workers on the ground lead, pray and shepherd the movement.

At one point in the conversation, Shook said that a part of his role was to simply sit and pray, pick up trash, and help protect the space in case a crazy revivalist or even, god-forbid, a gunman were to come into the room. Shook was a guardian for the Lord, an angel in the flesh, for those hundreds of students doing life-changing business with God.

Now when I read this passage in Acts 16, and hear about the demon possessed woman who kept following the disciples and distracting the work by saying, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved,” I think of Shooks’ experience. At one point, the apostle Paul is fed up and says to the evil spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her” and God set her free.

We find many lessons in this passage but the one I am focused on is spiritual battles. Whenever God moves mightily and unexpectedly, like in the Asbury Revival, the devil stirs up trouble. On a related note, I read recently how the Church of Satan is settling up a call-in abortion clinic! (https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253547/the-satanic-temple-to-open-free-abortion-clinic-in-new-mexico) Could it be any more obvious how the devil is trying to combat the work of the Lord?

My point is this, just as Shook was a defender for the Lord in Hughes Auditorium in Wilmore, KY, so Paul was a defender in first century Israel. When the devil shows his ugly and ungodly head, we who are warriors for the Lord, both men and women, are the first to keep him at bay and to cast him back into the depths of Hell. And we do so in Jesus’ name.

Paul writes in Galatians 6.9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” This is my prayer today. Will you pray with me? Will you pray for strength for the Asbury Revival to spread across the nation? Will you bind Satan in Jesus name? Will you pray for Revive, for the Truett Wesley House of Studies, for our local churches and for every work that the Lord is about? For our battle is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6).

Jesus has won the victory. Let’s join him in making disciples and making his glory known!

“O Lord God, I sense your Spirit moving. I thank you for the way in which you reveal yourself to humanity. We are a part of your story. We ARE your story! You love us deeply and desire for us to be saved. You are doing a bold work in Wilmore as you are in Waco and elsewhere in the world. Come now, Holy Spirit, find us willing and able to pray, to seek and to ask. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen