6 They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 who was an attendant of the proconsul,Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 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. 12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.
Power encounters. Demonic manifestations and casting out demons, things we love to experience. It is what I call manifest gifts. I have had several encounters with demonized people and with all the encounters I have, I never looked for them, they just manifested.
I think there is no issue on who is more powerful or not. Jesus is the name above every name and demons bow before the name of Jesus. I love that truth!!! We are already victors even before the battle started.
What I am wary about sometimes is how some Christians act like Ghost Busters. They try to chase the demonized people. They act like Sherlock Holmes – wanting to solve every problem by casting out demons. They are always in the hunt for the next demon to send to a herd of pigs.
Once again, I have nothing against casting out demons. I still do that but not every issue is meant for us to cast out demons. I don’t know if you know anyone who delegates everything to a demon.
Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit rebuked Elymas and the demon behind his schemes because he was hindering the work of God. Paul wasn’t hunting down demons. He was busy advancing God’s kingdom by the preaching of the gospel and when Elymas opposed them, Paul had to cast out and address the demon.
I remember a story that happened in the mission field. Some missionary friends casting out demons without any prompting from the Spirit. What happened next was for the movies. Every night demons would come and oppressed the missionaries. They would wake up with scratches on their skin and experience nightmares. The group was clueless on how to deal with such strong demonic manifestation. One of our more experienced missionary then asked God what was happening. She then sensed that they moved in pride when they casted out strongholds and demons that the Lord had not specifically told them to.