Today's Scripture reading:
Mark Chapter 1: 14-27
Jesus Announces the Good News
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
Jesus Calls His First Disciples
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
Jesus Drives Out an Impure Spirit
21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
The Queen of Heaven
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes of bread for the Queen of Heaven" (Jer 7:18).
If you want to change the spiritual climate of your city you must address the principalities that rule that city. Such was the case for the apostle Paul when he went to the city of Ephesus. There was a territorial principality that was worshipped by the people of Ephesus named Diana of the Ephesians (also known by her Greek name, Artemis). The people gave money to this false god and it strongly influenced the economy because of this. The city was also the center for magic and the occult.
Her temple in Ephesus was listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - the most outstanding and opulent example of architecture in the whole city. Her followers called her "magnificent," "great goddess," "savior," and "Queen of Heaven."
Paul preached in Asia for two years and had great success confronting this territorial principality. Paul began to neutralize the Queen of Heaven's power so much by the gospel that the common people began to notice. They not only stopped worshipping and sacrificing to her, the silversmith's who were manufacturing idols were going out of business, so they staged a public riot. They filled the huge amphitheater and shouted for two hours, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians" (Acts 19:34).
Many who were converted burned all of the idols and magic books. "When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power" (Acts 19:20). Based on the U.S. economy today, the pile of magic paraphernalia that was burned would have been worth four million dollars!*
In order for you to impact your city you must identify and break down the ruling principalities that may be hindering the gospel there. The more common principalities in the western world would include the religious spirit, the spirit of mammon, pride, and freemasonry to name a few.
Ask God for wisdom and discernment as you prepare to deal with your local and regional principalities.
Adapted from Confronting the Queen of Heaven, C. Peter Wagner, Wagner Books, 11005 N. Highway 83, Colorado Springs, CO p. 14-17 2001
Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders