Two sessions ago, I finished with the remark that it’s not faith that overcomes the spirit of Python. Quite unexpectedly, it’s love—the particular Fruit of the Spirit called agapē. Now that might seem so unlikely, given the emphasis on faith in so many deliverance and prayer ministry settings that I need to explain it.

We tend to overlook the necessity for bringing the Fruit of the Spirit to bear in any crisis where the various threshold spirits are working overtime to cause us to stumble. Many people treat the Fruit almost as an optional extra to the Christian life—and as not particularly practical in spiritual warfare. Don’t be fooled or blinded by this attitude of detraction.

Back in the Garden of Eden, fruit was weaponised against humanity and our calling as stewards and guardians of creation. So it is that, because fruit was used against us, then conversely we can deploy Fruit against the enemy. Just as we have to reap what we have sown, so does the enemy of our souls.

Love—in the form of agapē, divine and sacrificial love—deters the spirit of Python. The apostle Paul learned this the hard way. He was no different from us: when it comes to dealing with Python, we tend to push back on its crushing, coercive, stifling pressure with a blast of power and authority. That’s what Paul did—with devastating results. Within twenty-four hours, his ministry locally was over.

It happened, as we were going to prayer, that a certain girl having a spirit of Python met us, who brought her masters much gain by fortune telling. She followed Paul and us, shouting, ‘These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the 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.’ And it came out at once.

Acts 16:16–18 NHEB

The slave girl’s owners were seriously unimpressed and had Paul arrested, beaten and locked up. Admittedly, the jailkeeper was converted overnight—but that didn’t alter the fact Paul had to leave town the next day.

Why was Philippi, which was by no means the beginning of his mission, a threshold? It was because the gospel was in the process of crossing from one continent to another. Philippi was the first city in Europe to hear the gospel proclaimed.

Now in God’s providence, Paul learned from this mistake. By the time he got to Corinth—which was just across the bay from the most famous shrine to Python in the entire ancient world—he realised what he’d done wrong.

Throughout 1 Corinthians 13, Scripture’s famous ‘love chapter’, there are allusions to Python that might be invisible to us, but would have been blatantly obvious to the people of Corinth.

Love overcomes Python: that’s Paul’s message.

This is Grace Drops and I’m Anne Hamilton. May God mature in you His Fruit of love.

Thank you to Lorna Skinner of for the background music.

More on how and why love overcomes the spirit of Python can be found in the paperback or ebook, Dealing with Python: Spirit of Constriction, Strategies for the Threshold #1.