One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Acts 19:15 (NIV)
When engaged in spiritual battle, it is vital that you know who you are in Christ. Otherwise, you will get your butt kicked.
This passage from Acts 19:13-16 tells the story of the seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish high priest. The seven sons made a name for themselves going around casting out evil spirits. They heard that Paul was preaching about the kingdom of God and, in the name of Jesus, healing people and casting out evil spirits. So they thought they would give it a try.
But when they invoked the name of Jesus, they got different results. They were not followers of Jesus. They only knew about the Jesus that “Paul preached.” They had secondhand knowledge – not a firsthand relationship. As a result, when they commanded an evil spirit to leave, the evil spirit questioned their identity and authority. “Who are you to wield such a powerful name?” the evil spirit implied.
Unfortunately, the seven sons had no answer because they didn’t have a personal faith in Jesus. Next thing they knew, the demon-possessed man attacked all seven of them. They received such a beating that they left running naked and bruised.
Though there is power in the name of Jesus, the real benefit is in having a relationship with Jesus. Our identity and authority come from knowing “whose we are.” It is our daily intimacy with Jesus that keeps us safe and gives us power to fight evil in the world.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I come to you. Show me how to walk with you today. Amen.