“And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.
And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy” (Acts 21:9 KJV).
In the first century church, Philip was chosen, amongst 6 others, to look after the Greek widows in the church in Jerusalem but, following the martyrdom of Stephen and the subsequent persecution of Christians, he fled to Caesarea, just south of modern day Haifa.
Philip’s 4 daughters voluntarily followed their father into a life of ministry. Philip had gone from being an administrator to an evangelist but his daughters had received the gift of prophecy. The gifts of the Spirit have been given to every person since the first century primarily to empower the saints (Joel 2:28, I Cor. 12:7). The gift of prophecy, however, was deemed the most desirable (I Cor. 14:1) because it edified, exhorted and comforted the church (I Cor. 14:3, 4).
These 4 daughters who had dedicated themselves to being workers for Jesus were leaders in building the early church. They were actively involved in fortifying the saints against the inroads of the Enemy and ensuring the faithfulness of the members in the face of persecution.
Such messages of comfort, edification and exhortation have rung throughout the Bible to reassure us that God is with us and that no matter how threatening the enemy is, we have a greater power with us. We don’t stand alone for God fights our battles.
In the midst of building and fortifying the walls of Jerusalem against the Assyrian army, Hezekiah encouraged his people with:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said” (2 Chron. 32:7-8 NIV).
In the difficulties of the present time and facing battles bigger than any of us could have envisaged 20 years ago, let us be confident that our God is with us and that He is bigger than any battle we are facing. Listen to the prophets that have spoken yesterday and that still speak today.