Because of its length, I've decided to split this story over three days. You can find Part 1 on Monday's post and Part 2 on yesterday's post. Today we have the conclusion. Thanks for coming back for day three.
As I approached Paul looked at me. His shoulder’s slumped a bit as I approached. Then, I think he noticed I was limping, favoring the leg that had not been pummeled.
I started my torturous chant.
“These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.”
He looked at me. He looked into me. There was a flash in his eyes and a wave of recognition washed across his face.
As I started to speak,
He put his finger to my lips to hush me. In a stern and powerful voice he said,
“I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.”
The spirit in me started to speak again,
“These men are…”
“Come out!” he repeated.
Then my mind—my heart—flew into turmoil. I felt anger, fear, frustration, humiliation, shame, and then fear again. All of this raging within as the voice wanted to scream. But for the first time since my mother gave me her ‘gift’ I was able to keep quiet when it wanted to talk.
And then it was gone. It was over. The spirits obeyed this stranger. I felt them run up my spine and out the top of my head. Gone. Completely gone.
I crumbled to the floor in front of him.
“Thank you.” I was crying again, but this time they were tears of relief.
Then I thought about my master.
Silas, who was standing near by, saw my expression change, and said,
“What is it, daughter?”
“My master will kill me when he learns that I’ve lost the gift. You can see the way he beat me for the two days I’ve been with you. Now that my seeing is gone, he’ll just kill me.”
“Let me introduce you to a new master,” he said with the compassion of a father. “His name is Jesus Christ, the Messiah. He’s the one who set you free today, and He'll save you. If you will open your heart to Him, He will come in and fill the void left by the evil He drove out.
“As to your old master, we’ll go with you to tell him about your freedom. Don’t be afraid of him. Once the Lord is on your side, there is nothing man can do to enslave you. Every slave in Christ, is a free man. The bonds may remain, but they know freedom on the inside.
“I’m sure Lydia will let you stay here in her home, while you figure out what comes next.”
From the door where she’d been standing, Lydia came to my side and surrounded me with her arms. I felt like a little girl in my momma’s embrace, free and safe.
I prayed, “Lord Jesus, if you will have me, I want to be Yours. You've freed me from the master that held me. Will you come in and be my Master now?”
As I said these words a new freedom swept over me. The shame that haunted me lifted. The fear left too. I was crying again, but this time it was joy streaming down my face. I heard the laughter of others around me. Lydia helped me to my feet, and the women swarmed me with a great hug as the men stood back and clapped their hands, and shouted praise to Jesus.
They taught me a song of praise, and we sang together. Then Paul and Silas took me by the hand and we headed back to my master’s home.
When he saw me with these two men, his face darkened with anger.
“These had better be paying customers, or last night will seem like a stroll through the market,” he threatened. He reached for me, but Paul wedged himself between the master and me.
“Sir,” Paul started, “Jesus Christ delivered this young girl from the demonic oppression that has plagued her these many years. I’m sure you will rejoice with us at her new-found freedom.”
“Delivered? Freedom!” He was almost barking.
“You’ve ruined my livelihood! You’ve robbed me of my income! You’ve stolen my most valuable asset!” His anger grew with each accusation. Now passers-by were stopping to see what was happening.
Again he tried to reach me, but Silas managed to fill the gap as well.
He looked past them and found my eyes.
“You can’t see?” he shouted.
“No, but I can still cook or clean. I can still serve you.”
“What good is that? I don’t need a cook or a maid. I need a seer—I need your gift. Without that gift, you’re nothing—worthless. Go and don’t let me see you back here again. Don’t bother coming for your things. I’ll sell them to make up for what you’ve stolen from me. Get out!”
With his dismissal, he slammed his door in our faces.
Paul and Silas turned to me to see if I was alright. When they did they saw my relief and my brand new joy.
I was completely free.
The chains that held my insides, the chains that kept me in this house and with this man, all broken. Jesus set me free, and my new brothers—fathers—stood with me to face my old life.
Lydia did set me up with a cot in her room. She became a sister and mother to me. We laughed together. I hadn’t laughed since my mother died. She taught me to pray, and taught me of Christ and His ways. She taught me her trade, and paid me to work in her shop.
Today, I am free.
To read the original story, see Acts 16:16-18
I hope you have enjoyed this story. It's part of my upcoming book, Encounters With the Holy Spirit.
To read more first person encounters check out my new book Encounters With Jesus. It's a collection of forty stories from the life of Jesus through the eyes of those He touched. Available now in paperback or kindle editions.
See you tomorrow,