Have you felt as though you have been easily distracted from your purpose and vision? Have you felt worn out and beaten down in recent months? You started off the year strong, but somewhere along the way it felt as though the wind was knocked from you—either through circumstances or just feeling weary and exhausted with no explanation of why?
This accurately describes our own (mine and Nate's) experience in the past few months. I believe the Holy Spirit led me to the story in Acts 16:16-40 to give me the right tools for the opposition that has come against us, and I want to share them with you. I believe that many in the body of Christ have been facing resistance from the spirit of Python. Acts 16:16 in The Passion Translation (TPT) tells it like this: "One day, as we were going to the house of prayer, we encountered a young slave girl who had an evil spirit of divination, the spirit of Python. She had earned great profits for her owners by being a fortune-teller."
This verse, and those to follow, tell us a lot about the effects of Python. I want to give you a brief outline of what Python is; but the emphasis of this word is not on Python itself, but on the supernatural tools and strategies from these verses that God has given us to overcome and break free from this demonic oppression.
Paul and Silas were on their way to the house of prayer but were sidetracked in their path by this slave girl. The spirit of Python seeks to distract and then enslave. Its objective is to distract those on their way to prayer; those who are on their way to their calling. It wants to keep you out of the secret place through annoyances and disturbances. It will throw circumstances and diversions your way to have you focused on the "noise," and in turn, draw you away from going to the Father in prayer. Python operates through false prophecy and counterfeits. Verse 17 (TPT) says: "She kept following us, shouting, 'These men are servants of the Great High God, and they're telling us how to be saved!'"
At first glance, this statement seems a little confusing because it appears to be truth, but let's be clear: The enemy will contort the Word of God for his own purposes, to mock and taunt, which is exactly what was happening here. The ambitions of Python are to wear you down through mockery. It will scorn you personally; it will mock the call of God on your life and have you question if the dreams in your heart are possible. It will shout over you relentlessly until, just like Paul, you become weary and greatly frustrated. It will accuse you in the public forum, and it will have people surround you with lies and judgments.
Python will also seek to expose you, strip you and beat you until you are raw (see Acts 16:22). Its intention is to rob you and divert you from your destiny; coiling its lies around your heart until finally you are enslaved in its chains. But you do not need to fear! For greater is He within you than he who is in this world (see 1 John 4:4).
Keys to Victory Over Python
1. Speak Your Authority
Many of us, when faced with opposition, have a tendency to run from confrontation rather than face the fear head on. Refrain from speaking negatively about the circumstances around you. Don't be distracted by the noise. This only weakens you. Instead, focus on who you are in Christ and declare your victory through His name. Paul showed us how to firmly turn toward the attack (see Acts 16:18) and ultimately away from the distraction; commanding it to leave in the name of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 12:11 (MEV) says, "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony ..." One of your greatest weapons is the word of your testimony. By declaring the name of Jesus, His blood makes you (as a son or daughter of the Most High God) inherently victorious over the enemy every single time, but you need to speak your authority.
2. Lift Up Your Victory Song!
If you have been beaten down and the coils of despair have been strangling the life out of your dreams and hopes, it is time to sing. Despite what circumstances have come against you, your song of worship to the Father is a warfare tool of heaven to burst through the atmosphere of heaviness.
In Acts 16:24, we see Paul and Silas in the after-throes of their battle with Python, bound by their hands and feet in prison. Yet The Passion Translation says they were "undaunted." They began to sing, and it was their songs of worship that captivated an entire jail of prisoners. In verse 26, it tells us: "Suddenly, a great earthquake shook the foundations of the prison. All at once every prison door flung open and all the chains of all the prisoners came loose."
Your song of victory before the breakthrough comes literally shakes the foundations of the ground and sky; causing every chain that has restrained you to come unstuck and every door that has confined you to come unlocked. Psalm 108:2 (TPT) says, "Awake, O my soul, with the music of His splendor. Arise my soul and sing His praises! I will awaken the dawn with my worship, greeting the daybreak with my songs of light!" Your song will cause the light to burst through the night.
3. Shake It Off
I believe the earthquake was a supernatural sign of shaking off the spirit of Python. In Acts 28:3, Paul encounters another snake, but this time a physical one. As he was gathering a pile of brushwood for the fire, a venomous snake latched onto his hand. In verse 5 it says, "But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed."
Among the very few natural predators of a python is an eagle. They have distinct ways of attacking the snake—especially if it is in pursuit of eaglets in their nest. They will shake it vehemently or drop it from a great height. They show the snake no mercy—and neither should you!
The question is, how do you shake it off? Do you recall Paul and Silas were on their way to pray before they encountered this opposition? Acts 4:31 gives us an amazing account of the manifestations of what prayer can do: "After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly" (emphasis mine). Prayer literally shakes off the attacks from your life and drops the snake into the fires of God.
Lastly, let's not forget the incredible miracle breakthroughs that are promised to you on the other side of this opposition. All of the prisoners that were with Paul and Silas that day were set free; along with the jailer and his entire family who gave their hearts to Jesus. Your breakthrough is not just for you, but for others. Those around you who have been in captivity and are lost are meant to be freed through your breakthrough as well.
Mighty ones, it is time to speak to the problem, turn your affections towards the Father and command Python to leave in the name of Jesus! As you pray and lift your songs of worship, you will see a breaking through of the night season and the shaking off of all that has been opposing you.
Christy Johnston was born and raised in Australia. After living the majority of her life plagued with insecurity and fear, she came to learn the power of her identity in Christ. She now lives with the mandate to breathe fresh hope and life into God's sons and daughters through her passion of writing, uncovering the truths of living in grace and freedom through our identity in Christ. Nate and Christy have two daughters, Charlotte and Sophie, and currently live on the Gold Coast in Australia.
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