DELIVERANCE AND HEALING
By Petal Barclay-Smith
Jesus said that He will send a counselor, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth to be with us always. In the book of Acts, we see that Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit. He had such great wisdom that when he delivered his speech to the high priests they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. They covered their ear, yelling at the top of their voices and then they stoned him to death.
After Stephen’s death, there was great persecution in the church at Jerusalem. The Christians scattered throughout Judea and Samaria, except for the apostles. Saul, the greatest blasphemer and persecutor added to the destruction of the church as he went house to house and dragged out men and women to put them in prison. But what man meant for evil, God will always turn it around for His good and glory.
We read in Acts, Chapter 8, verses 4 to 8 that while Philip was in Samaria, he preached Jesus Christ. Philip was one of the seven disciples, who was full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom that was chosen to overlook the daily distribution of food among the Grecian Jews and the Hebraic Jews.
While in Samaria, the crowds heard and saw the miraculous signs Philip did and they paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many and many paralytics and cripples were healed. There was great joy in the city.
Philip had the anointing of God upon his life. We read in verses 26-40, an angel of the Lord gave Philip directions to go to Gaza from Jerusalem. He obeyed and went on his journey. On his way, he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. He went to Jerusalem to worship and on his way home was, he was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah, the prophet.
Philip, being led by the Holy Spirit, ran up to the chariot and heard him reading, but the Ethiopian had no understanding of the scripture. Philip explained the passage of scripture and told him about the good news of Jesus Christ. He believed the word of God and was later baptized by Philip. He went on his way rejoicing.
Brothers and sisters, it is imperative that we follow God’s direction for our lives every step of the way. We may have to go through some dry, desert places, we may be persecuted and disliked, but when the Holy Spirit is our guide, when He speaks we must obey at all cost. When Peter and the apostles were instructed by the priests not to proclaim the name of Jesus, they replied, “We must obey God, rather than men!”
God chose Philip, the Evangelist to go and proclaim Christ to the Ethiopian eunuch and because of his obedience, a soul was saved for the Kingdom. Believers, it is only God who calls us, ordains us and commissions us to do the work that He commands us to do. We read in Acts Chapter 13 that while the teachers and prophets at the church at Antioch were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
When God sets us apart for service, He endows us with power from high to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world. Acts 1:8 tells us, “ But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” Today, if you hear the voice of the Lord telling you to go, you must go, for God promises to never leave us nor forsake us. He will be with us even unto the end of the world.
When we obey the leading of the Holy Spirit, we do make an impact on the lives of others. Like Philip, he impacted the lives of many people. Peter and the other apostles did great work for the Lord because they were obedient.
God is calling many today to go and spread the Gospel of Jesus around the world. You can start at your workplace, in your home or in your community. When God sees we are faithful with little, He blesses us with more. He promises us that our gift will make room for us and will bring us before great men. He promises us that the doors He will open for us, no man can shut them.
So I encourage us today to be faithful to God. God’s number one priority is for souls to be saved and He will use us as His vessels to accomplish His work here on earth. Let us follow God’s direction and let us continue to be led by the Holy Spirit as we make a difference in the lives of many people for the Kingdom of God. Amen