‘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. 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.” 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 16:16-19
One of the greatest tools the devil uses when it comes to Christians sharing the Gospel is distraction.
What is the Gospel? That Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead. It’s the greatest news anyone will ever hear, as it’s the key to salvation from sin and death and the beginning of an eternal relationship with God. The devil will do just about anything to keep that message from being heard.
Think about it: Anyone who’s ever shared the Gospel with a non-believer can attest to how the devil will use any kind of distraction to get that conversation sidetracked. It’s uncanny how often right in the middle of the conversation, a phone will ring or someone will walk into the room or a baby will start crying – distraction. Even personal times of prayer and Bible study aren’t immune to these attacks. Distractions like checking our phones, emails, or social media are the greatest tools the enemy uses to keep us from sharing the Gospel and walking with God.
Paul and Silas experienced this early on in their ministry. While traveling and preaching in Philippi, the Macedonia region of Greece, a young fortune teller began to follow them around and cry out, “These men are servants of the Most High God!” Now, you might think Paul and Silas would be happy with this free publicity, but after a while they became frustrated. Rather than drawing people to listen, this young woman became a distraction that kept the people from hearing the Gospel.
So, what did they do? Paul knew that divination and sorcery come from occult practices and so he commanded the spirit possessing her to leave in the name of Jesus Christ – and it did. Immediately she was healed.
Distractions are everywhere, especially when we strive to walk with or talk about God. Are you struggling with distractions when it comes to spending time with God or sharing your faith? Ask God for an opportunity this week to share the hope of the Gospel with someone in your life, and to help you stay focused on His will as you battle the distractions in your life.