Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?”
Power is enticing. People were watching God do miracles through Paul and it was incredibly powerful! -even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick of body and mind, and they were being healed. Just like that!
It was stop-you-in-its-track power. Instant status. Instant awe from an instant audience.
In fact the whole Jesus/Paul thing seemed almost magician-like. Surely it could be learned, copied … mastered.
Worth a try
… Until it wasn’t. (Postscript: The sons of Sceva ended up getting beat up by the spirit they rebuked.)
Sometimes it seems like we’re right back in Paul’s day. We know what’s supposed to ‘work’ against evil (biblically, faith-wise) and so we ‘work up’ all the little mustard seeds we can muster to give it the ol’ revival meeting try. We shout, we proclaim… we lay hands hastily. And somewhere deep smack in the midst of all thing Holy and Powerful we forget that it all has nothing to do with us…and EVERYTHING to do with Him.
Yes. We belong to Him.
Yes. Our names are etched into the palm of His nail-pierced hand.
Yes. Our names are written in the Book of Life.
And yes, therefore, we are known and we DO have all authority because He gives it to us…
“But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 1:9)
And Jesus himself said,
“…do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)
But here’s what stopped me, and caused me to wonder this morning:… even when we think we “get” that – how often so we just wrestle harder? Wrestle to get out of the way, wrestle to “do it better”… wrestle to “get it right.”
The Truth is: “…we wrestle not against flesh and blood (even our own), but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” The Truth is: there are powers that either know us or they don’t. Powers that see the blood poured over our lives, or they don’t
…Powers that will flee
when we bend our knee.
Jesus, I bend my knee this day. I rejoice that you know my name – that I am yours. I will walk in your power and strength – and not my own. Let my life reflect you.
Watering Today: Prov 27; ps 27, 127; Acts 19-23