Acts 19 covers a few years of time and is centered primarily in Ephesus. The chapter looks at the various forces that can rule us from within. We see people who have a mental knowledge of Christ but who have not known the Holy Spirit until Paul introduces them. We see Paul used by God to perform miracles of healing by the Holy Spirit. But we also see people trying to misuse the Spirit as they see God's power and covet Paul's influence. Sorcerers try to copy the genuine power of God and are dispatched by demons. We see an entire city following the false goddess Diana and we see people flying into confusion and rage when they feel that Paul and other believers threaten the influence of this manmade idol. But we also see the Church grow across the entire known world as the word and power of the living God convince many to trust and to follow. We like to think that we control the forces that rule us. But we are reminded that spiritual power can be larger than our minds and stronger than we imagine. There are forces that seek to rule us today as well. There is the power of popular thinking...waves of influence that we may not realize that carry us like driftwood. There are forces that keep our vision near-sighted and that try to block us from considering our eternal destiny...just keep thinking about what we have here...what we do here...looking for satisfaction in shallow places. We like to think that we are a modern and advanced people, but we are not so different from the people of Ephesus. There are great forces that swirl around and seek to control us. There is only one Force that not only can fill us...it can lift us above self and see beyond this life's short horizon to Heaven. The only Holy power is the Holy Spirit, sent by the Holy God who not only seeks to fill us...He longs to know us, now and forever. It is good to consider the forces that rule us. We are not as independent as we might think.
Acts 19:2 ..."Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?' They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."