There are two sides to the coin of supernatural power!

Previous to Philip’s arrival, a certain Simon had practiced magic in the city, posing as a famous man and dazzling all the Samaritans with his wizardry. He had them all, from little children to old men, eating out of his hand. They all thought he had supernatural powers, and called him “the Great Wizard.” He had been around a long time and everyone was more or less in awe of him. Acts 8:9-11 (The Message)

We have seen them on documentaries, Shamen, Witch Doctors, and holy men, who hold people in awe. Some use spiritual terror tactics while others manipulate others needs. If they practice the occult then there can be an appearance of supernatural power that is frightening and controlling to ordinary folk. The work of God, through the power of his Holy Spirit, never works in that way. Keeping people under control and manipulating them emotionally is never the work of God.

It is the responsibility of Christian ‘ministers’ and all those who seek to influence others toward Jesus to act responsibly. Preaching, prayer, pastoring, and witnessing need to be about liberating people and empowering their lives through Christ. If conforming to a religious standard, or getting people to support a cause, is the motive then it isn’t the work of God. Jesus works in order to bring people into God’s kingdom and create a work of grace in their lives. So should his followers! Opposing those who seek to apply personal control and manipulate people and situations is the work of God. Giving people the opportunity and freedom to choose, while seeking the kingdom come, is the purpose of every believer. Once we own the liberty then it is for us to share it freely.

May today be filled with the freedom of the Spirit and the liberty of the saints of God so that we may share that which is beyond price, that which we can not buy. Amen.