Summary: We must beware of the lesson that the 7 sons of Sceva learned the hard way - that we can’t play around with God’s anointing. Make sure that God is in your miracle.
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Pastor James May
IS GOD IN YOUR MIRACLE?
Acts 19:11-17, "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified."
Do you believe in miracles, signs and wonders? Do you believe in the casting out devils and deliverance to those held in bondage by the powers of darkness? Do you believe that the name of Jesus has all power over every sickness, disease, trouble, trial and even over the power of death, hell and the grave?
I certainly hope you believe in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit and in the operations of the Gifts of the Spirit in the church. I certainly do!
Tonight I want to bring a message that will either encourage you or maybe, in some ways, discourage you as well. Whether you are encouraged or discouraged from allowing the Holy Spirit to use you will depend upon how much spiritual discernment you have and whether you really know the voice of the Lord or not.
I want you to notice that Paul had special miracles happen as a part of his ministry. Paul would wear certain articles of outer clothing which, after he had ministered in them, were taken and given to those who were sick, possessed or diseased and the power of God in those clothes, anointed by the Holy Spirit, drove out the evil spirits, healed the diseased bodies and set people free from all sorts of maladies.
Today we see whole ministries whose doctrine is based on “healing cloths”. Is the modern day use of a “prayer cloth” or a “healing cloth” contrary to the Word of God. Of course it isn’t. God is no respecter of persons and what he did for Paul he will do for anyone whom God desires to use in that fashion. But God doesn’t bless every prayer cloth that we can cut from an old pair of pants or a shirt. God doesn’t make a whole ministry out of prayer cloths. Those are “special miracles” and not something that is a constant ongoing thing that works under every circumstance.
One church that I know of uses these “prayer cloths” occasionally and God has done some great miracles as a result. We cannot discredit the reality of the mighty power of God to work in any fashion he desires.
Another example of this type of “spiritual manifestation” or faith object, if you want to call it that, was in use for a number of years and may still be used by certain ministries. There was a “Faith Nail” that you could order. The nail was free and when you got the nail you were to write down all of your prayer requests on a piece of paper, push the nail through the paper, then enclose your best offering and send it in.
Do you suppose that the nail made any difference? Were prayers answered that were “nailed to the paper”? I’m sure they were, but I believe that those prayers would have been answered without nailing them. The answer was due to faith in God, not some nail. The nail was mainly a method of getting people to send in their offerings so the ministry could keep sending out more nails and stay on the air.