We are beginning to see a pattern in the early church and it’s still true today; where there is real revival there is persecution and riots but GREATER is the ONE WE SERVE. A spirit of revival stirs up spirits of religious tradition. Too many times people want what used to be instead of what Father God is doing today and that’s the way it was in the early church. Father God was doing something new and those bound in traditions were not able to accept the new so they persecuted those who were willing to move with the Spirit of the Lord. Watch it again today in this devotion:
Acts 19:23 About that time, serious trouble developed in Ephesus concerning the Way. 24 It began with Demetrius, a silversmith who had a large business manufacturing silver shrines of the Greek goddess Artemis. He kept many craftsmen busy.
So we see the trouble started when the move of the Spirit started affecting people personally (personal agenda and influence) and many times it may be influential people whether it’s a church, community, or family etc. The enemy always has a desire to stir confusion in families so he desires to use people with influence and in this story he is using a business man named Demetrius who employs a lot of people in his region and probably is well thought of. He has a business of building worship shrines to the Greek goddess Artemis.
A little history concerning Aremis (Nelson’s Dictionary) Diana
(Acts 19:24,27-28,34-35), in Roman mythology, was the goddess of the moon, hunting, wild animals, and virginity. Diana is the same as the Greek goddess Artemis, virgin goddess of the hunt and the moon. When Paul preached in Ephesus, the Ephesians were in an uproar because the gospel threatened to destroy the profit of the artisans who crafted silver shrines of Diana.
25 He called them together, along with others employed in similar trades, and addressed them as follows: "Gentlemen, you know that our wealth comes from this business. 26 But as you have seen and heard, this man Paul has persuaded many people that handmade gods aren't really gods at all. And he's done this not only here in Ephesus but throughout the entire province!
I’ve learned over a few years of ministry when the enemy starts to use someone to cause division they always find others to join in on their personal crusade and justify why they are doing what they are doing. Over the years I’ve watched it in families, in businesses and in many different churches so one way I check myself is this, am I talking to anyone about anything that would cause division in my personal family, our church or our region (because I want to sow good so I can reap good). Notice his wording, “you know OUR wealth and as you have seen and heard”, notice how manipulative his wording is. Then the accusations stated that, “Paul had persuaded”, but the truth was, the Holy Spirit persuaded people they were wrong in their beliefs. Let’s read on.
27 Of course, I'm not just talking about the loss of public respect for our business. I'm also concerned that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will lose its influence and that Artemis—this magnificent goddess worshiped throughout the province of Asia and all around the world—will be robbed of her great prestige!"
Hopefully you can see more manipulation, which is the spirit of Jezebel, because now he turns his reason for the upheaval on not just losing his personal influence and finance but supposedly protecting the temple of the great goddess. He knows he is making the god they worship so I’m sure he knows Artemis is not a great god but it gives him more leverage.
28 At this their anger boiled, and they began shouting, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" 29 Soon the whole city was filled with confusion. Everyone rushed to the amphitheater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, who were Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia.
Now we see the riot started against those contending for revival. They are now mad over things that have been twisted and notice the whole city is filled with confusion. We know the Bible plainly says Father God is not the author of confusion. They are to the point of physical violence, but God still has a plan. Remember friends, when in conflict never forget the God you serve.
Prayer Points: Father God search my heart, know my thoughts and if there is anything in my heart that would hinder revival in this region, in my family, or in my church please reveal it & remove it from me in Jesus Name!