Summary: The devil really needs to know your name to be affective in your Christian walk.
Today I want to start you off with a question. If I really want to know what kind of person you are, who should I ask? Let me suggest to you that I would want to talk to your enemies. Let’s go to our scripture: Paul was going about casting out evil spirits through Jesus Christ in Ephesus and scripture uses the word “Vagabond” Jews.
"Vagabond Jews" who were either religiously corrupt, or opposed the Christian Jews, such as Paul, ... "Vagabond Jews" were persons who traveled about as professional exorcists .
An exorcists in that time period was a person who removes, or cast out or attempt the removal of an evil spirit from a person or place.
There were some religious impostors in Ephesus who pretended to have special, miracle-working powers.
Sceva, who is identified as “a Jewish chief priest” had seven sons “who went around driving out evil spirits”. Seeing the success that Paul had in getting rid of demons, these guys began using a new formula petitioning the name of Jesus. They would say to the demon, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out”
This strategy backfired on these guys one day. A demon they were trying to cast out refused, saying, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” . The demon then turned on them violently.
The demon-possessed man “jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding” They were no match for the demonic power they were toying with. The problem was they had no relationship with God.
When the Jews and Gentiles in Ephesus heard about what Paul was doing, they were so frightened that they praised the name of the Lord Jesus.
Many who were followers now, started telling everyone about the evil things they had been doing. Some who had been practicing witchcraft even brought their books and burned them in public. These books were worth about fifty thousand silver coins. So the Lord’s message spread and became even more powerful.
Things change when you come to know Christ as your personal Savior. Paul said: Old things are passed away, behold ALL things become new. It’s very easy to talk the talk. Great moves of God draw people’s attention. Unfortunately man is always looking for attention and the world is full of imitators.
God will expose false deceptions. The demon asked "Who are you?" Church attendance didn’t matter; position didn’t matter; fanfare didn’t matter. A personal relationship with Jesus is all that counts. Those living a false faith will eventually be exposed and brought down.
Please know that God and Paul had such a relationship that they were on cherished terms. And because of this relationship, while the Apostle Paul lived, the devil had no peace.
I found at least 3 Steps on how to make the devil nervous.
1. Committed Christians make the devil nervous. *Committed Christians are those who are sold out, washed in the blood, filled with the
spirit, and schooled in the word. To me, one of the most beautiful and meaningful passages is found when Paul: in essence says: "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Gal. 2:20)
Are you, Am I, ,committed to Christ as Paul was. What is Paul saying?
We Must Die!
Paul first stated, "I have been crucified with Christ." I believe that Paul has reference to his own conversion. Paul taught the Romans, "knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin." (Rom. 6:6).
The devil don’t care how many times you come to church, as long as you don’t grow in the Lord.
Christians Must Surrender All!
"It is no longer I who live,. Here I believe we can see what kind of commitment Paul had made to live for the Lord. We must understand that if we want to live as Paul lived, we must realize that we must surrender our wills to the will of Christ.
In other words, be totally committed to Christ; allowing Him to guide us in our lives. Doing and living the way He lived, following the examples that He set (1 Cor. 11:1; 1 Peter 2:21-22).
2. Praying Christians make the devil nervous. *Time you spend with the Lord is more effective than the time you spend for the Lord. *The devil would rather have you work, for work can be done in the flesh. *True prayer can only be done in the spirit. *The devil doesn’t care how many people talk Christianity, He cares how many live it on their knees. James 5:16….The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.