It happened, as we were going to prayer, that a certain girl having a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by fortune telling. Following Paul and us, she cried out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us a way of salvation!” She was doing this for many days.
But Paul, becoming greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” It came out that very hour.
When I read about what happened to Paul here, I believe that he was under an especially crafty attack from Satan. This girl wasn’t saying anything wrong. In fact, what she said was perfectly correct. Her sin was that her actions were actually troubling the delivery of the Gospel.
Clearly, she was speaking the truth, but her actions over-all ended up being disruptive. Just because we say the right things doesn’t mean we are right. Satan uses the Bible to do evil. When he tempted Jesus He quoted the Bible every time and we should not expect him to stop using this strategy today. Many people today quote the Bible from wrong motives as well. Some of them even quote it accurately like this girl did, but they don’t do it God’s way. We should not think that being annoying is a sin. Paul annoyed people almost every where he went as we have been reading! The one we shouldn’t annoy is the Holy Spirit. When we replace dependence on the Holy Spirit with our own will or another spirit, the best we can do is to annoy God, even when we say the right things.