You are a child of the Devil and an enemy of everything that is right! (Acts 13:10).
I've been in a bit of a funk lately. I can't put my finger on anything tangible that would cause it. I have had a couple of disappointments about some things that didn't pan out the way I would have liked, but I don't think that is the source. I think maybe Wormtongue has gotten to me. You have to be a Tolkien fanboy to know what that means, so let me explain. Wormtongue is a character in The Lord of the Rings. When we first meet King Theoden in the epic story, he is under Wormtongue's spell. For years, this sorcerer has been whispering in the King's ear lies that have resulted in immobilizing the King.
Today's text is taken from a similar situation in the Book of Acts. Paul and Barnabas have traveled to Cyprus on what theologians call "Paul's First Missionary Trip". I like to think of it as "Paul's First Great Adventure". He has headed out to tell the non-Jewish world about Jesus. Over the next few years Paul will travel over 25,000 miles...mostly on foot...to achieve his God-given calling. On Cyprus, he gets an audience with Sergius Paulus, the Roman governor of Cyprus. This man occupied the same position on Cyprus that Pontius Pilate did in Judea at the time of Jesus.
Paul begins to tell Sergius Paulus about Jesus. He has actually been invited by the Governor to speak about "the word of God." But as Paul shares the good news, Elymas the Sorcerer takes on the role of Wormtongue and tries to keep the Roman from believing. Paul (by the way, it is at this point that Saul takes on the name Paul - and some believe it is in honor of the Governor) finally has enough and gets the signal from the Holy Spirit to stop the interruptions. Today's text is the opening line of Paul's rebuke. He goes on to say that God is going to blind Elymas for a season to thwart his lies. Elymas goes blind. The Governor sees the power of God and becomes a believer. Paul and Barnabas sail from Cyprus, and the adventure continues.
How are you feeling today? I hope a bit better than I am. But I must say simply writing this has helped. "Away from me Wormtongue!" Our enemy - the devil - loves it when we listen to his voice of discouragement. He also loves it when we don't realize what is happening that is causing the funk. Awareness becomes the first step to a solution. Put a "W" on your hand today. When you are feeling down, look at it and say, "Away from me Satan!" You probably will notice a difference immediately.