Worldly power always attracts the darkness; darkness and righteousness cannot co-exist.
We see this played out in Cyprus, the place of Barnabas and Saul’s assignment.
Sergius Paulus, the governor of Cyprus, has summoned Barnabas and Saul, wanting to hear what they have to say.
But they are soon opposed by an attendant to the governor called Elymas.
Elymas is a Jewish sorcerer, a false prophet and an agent of Satan.
There is an instantaneous power encounter. Saul, now called Paul, immediately confronts the sorcerer. “… Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right!”
Evil’s aim is to pervert and destroy the individual or the culture that hosts it. It begins by undermining the moral mindsets of the people. Its fruit is soon evident.
“…sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition,dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. "
Paul’s righteous anger confronts the spirit operating in Elymas.
“You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. “
“Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? “
“Will you never stop?” Elymas knew the truth.
Evil is usually obvious to discern; it distorts and corrupts, beguiling and capturing the hearts of the unwary, thoughtless and unbelieving.
Scripture warns us:
“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12
Paul is not finished. His words must also display power.
“Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.”
“Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.”
Because Barnabas and Paul were assigned by the Holy Spirit to Cyprus they were also fully equipped to handle all the enemy could throw at them, and do so quickly.
“…because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.” 1 Thessalonians. 1:5
When we are assigned, we carry truth and power and are assured of victory.
“When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.”
“Lord, make your word strong in me, that I may through Your Spirit, set the captive free.”