In today’s world there is so much competition to be popular or to become well known among those with influence. Someone is always wanting to rub elbows with someone of importance. Once in a while someone will name drop hoping that will get them noticed. It is such a shallow way of making oneself feel important.
There is a story in the Acts of the Apostles in chapter 19 that proved to be pretty disastrous when a group of Jews tried name dropping while practicing their exorcisms. Verses 11-16 tells part of the story. “God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles. When handkerchiefs or aprons that had merely touched his skin were place on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and evil spirits were expelled. A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casing out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” The man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered.”
That is quite a story! These Jews were traveling around casting out evil spirits. We have no knowledge of previous successes but we do have evidence that during this encounter they certainly were not. I wonder if they were successful at all because we find that in Philippians chapter 2:9-11 the Word declares something about Jesus and His authority. “Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” The authority over evil spirits comes from Jesus not from our ability alone.
We cannot be successful just because we have a particular skill or can drop a name to make ourselves seem important. Our success is from Jesus alone. It is He that equips us, it is He that empowers us, it is He and our intimate relationship with Him that causes people to take note of our lives and makes evil spirits to obey us. If we boast in anything we boast in the Lord!
All of us who know Jesus intimately can make an impact on the world around us. You can touch lives as effectively as Paul. It is not so much what you know but Who you know. God has given each of us as Christians His spirit to touch lives, to minister to those who are sick, oppressed, or brokenhearted. We can pray for healing and deliverance in the powerful name of Jesus. Without it we are only name dropping and we will find ourselves naked and powerless.
Living by the brook,