When It’s Good To Be A Pest
Normally when we call someone a pest we don’t mean it as a compliment. A troublesome child is a pest. A nagging spouse is a pest. A neighbor’s incessantly barking dog is a pest. Telemarketers are pests. Flies that buzz around your picnic dinner are pests. Pests are bad things.
I want to be a pest. I want to be the same kind of pest described here: For we have found this man a real pest and a fellow who stirs up dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. Acts 24:5
When I hear Paul described as a pest in this verse, I want to stand up and cheer. What a compliment! May we all be as pesky as Paul.
The man talking about Paul was an attorney for the Jewish leaders. He was arguing before the Jewish ruling governor. The Jews wanted Paul silenced, jailed, shipped off to Siberia, sentenced to hard labor–anything that would remove him from their religious landscape. He had proven to be a pest indeed.
Everywhere Paul went he taught about a crucified Jew who had been raised from the dead and was God’s promised Messiah. Everywhere he went he saw huge numbers respond to and embrace his message; and he saw huge crowds violently oppose it. Find a mob in intense debate, and the Jewish leaders could be sure that Paul was right in the middle of it. To those forces that were trying to silence the message of Jesus, Paul was more than a pest–he was public enemy number one.
And so should we be. There are spiritual forces in this world that strongly oppose Jesus. They usually show up in the form of hostile people, but those people are not the real enemies. The demons that have duped them are. The devil and his spiritual henchmen have a well-organized and powerful system of opposition to anything having to do with Jesus. To them, we need to be real pests. More than that, we need to be real threats.
Does Satan know your name? He knew Paul’s. If we live the kind of lives that God calls us to, then we’ll be equally known to the enemy. Trouble will no doubt come, but so will the satisfaction of knowing that we have created enough chaos in the realms of darkness to warrant Satan’s attention.
So, here’s to be being pests today!
©2012 Wil Davis Jr. Originally posted on Sept 18, 2012 at www.willdavisjr.com.