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A Healthy Connection
2/20/2014

Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. Acts 19:13-16 (NKJV)

Have you ever seen one of those scenes in a movie where someone tries to use the name of another person to gain access into some exclusive club or event?  They attempt to pass themselves off as good friends of the person whose name they are using, when suddenly the person guarding the door tells them, “Sorry, I know who you are talking about, but I don’t know you, nor is your name on the list.”

This is the very same thing transpiring here in Acts 19, where we see the seven sons of Sceva—a Jewish chief priest—attempting to exercise a demon out of a man.  These men had just witnessed the Apostle Paul doing some amazing miracles including the exorcism of evil spirits, and so they decided they were going to do the same thing.  But as they called out to the demon they soon found out they didn’t have the power to accomplish what they were attempting to do.

Q:         So what went wrong?  Why were these men unsuccessful in exercising the demon?

These men didn’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ personally. The demon acknowledged Jesus, but knew these men didn’t belong to Him, and therefore they had no authority. They had heard of Jesus, and they had seen others use His name, but they really didn’t know Jesus.  Instead of being able to access the power of the Holy Spirit through a relationship with Him, they chose to attempt to try exercise the demon “by the Jesus who Paul preaches.”

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." John 15:5 (NKJV)

We can learn a lot from this story, as we too will fail miserably when we try to fight the enemy in our own strength in our day-to-day battles with temptation.   We need to be plugged into a relationship with Jesus, which includes reading our Bibles daily and praying continuously (1 Thess. 5:17; cf. Matt. 26:41).  When we are plugged in this way we will have ample power to shut down those temptations and be able to resist the devil (James 4:7).

I want to encourage you today to continue to foster your relationship with God, and to encourage others to do the same.  Let’s stay plugged in.

STUDY QUESTION: According to John 15:5 what is required of us to be able to be fruitful in our Christian walk?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Is it your heart's desire to have an abiding relationship with the Lord – one producing great power and an abundance of fruit?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Seek the Lord through the reading of your Bible and through prayer to Him today.

LET’S PRAY: Father, thank You for allowing us access to meet with You, and to have a relationship through Your Son Jesus.  Father, we confess, apart from You, we can do nothing.  We seek to submit to Your will today.  As we read Your Word, will You open our eyes, mind and heart to everything You want us to see, know, and receive.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be blessed, Pastor Scott

 

 

 

 

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000