Wednesday, August 26th, 2015
Deliverance (Part 17)
Without God's Authority
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?' Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
Acts 19:13-16 (NIV)
If you desire to learn more about deliverance, then let me confess: I need to learn a lot more, too. I've witnessed deep and remarkable transformations: sincere believers who were freed from bad spirits. But God's wisdom and anointing are essential.
Because to enter the spirit realm unprepared is like jumping into a snake pit naked. No person in his right mind would want to go there. You've got to be trained, dressed, armed and called to the job.
Yes, the Name of Jesus is surpassingly strong, but so was the atomic bomb in World War II. Neither power should be handled in ignorance.
Consider the preparation of His first disciples. Day and night for three full years, they understudied Jesus. They saw Him preach, teach, pray, heal and cast out many demons. They learned directly from the Top and went on practice runs.
Relative to them, how can we be as prepared? Here's how: Jesus left His Play Book and a perfect Teacher. We must read, listen, learn and seek godly mentors.
So if we're in this fight, let's confirm God's blessing. Otherwise, we engage dark spirits unequipped. One more thing: If we're not fully submitted to God, we cannot carry His authority. 'Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you' (James 4:7).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Deliverance series.