Summary: It is not wise to presume to use the authority of Jesus without knowing you are in His will
Why It Is Not a Good Idea to Presume to Use the Name of Jesus Without His Authority
1. Why do you suppose that some people try to get things accomplished for Jesus without the backing of His authority? Many people, consciously or unconsciously, presume to do seemingly good things without being obedient to the Lord’s orders. Dr. Luke wrote,
“The Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” The exorcists were promptly exposed and punished for trying to deceptively profit by the name of Jesus because they lacked His authoritative directive.
Application: Do not presume to do anything unless you are sure it is with the full authority, support and design of God. Trust the Lord to help you to remain open to correcting any false presumptive thought, attitude or activity.
2. Be careful of the sin of presumption that tries to take upon oneself something without permission or authority.
Illustration: Recently we have seen many venture capitalists pour $1.4 trillion dollars into the initial public offerings of internet start up companies. In April of 2000, these stocks plummeted to less than $600 billion in worth – less than half of what people had presumed would be a big pay-off. God has principles of obedience that applies in every field.
Application: The Lord wants us to guard against the sin of presumption in our economics, employment, relationships, politics, lifestyle, sociology, education, philosophy and religion. Trust the Lord to help you avoid presuming too much unless you are acting under the authority, command or clear will of God.
3. Be careful that you do not imply something to be true when you know better. Perhaps, the exorcists thought they could get away with a little white lie. They should have known better.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you to avoid any kind of presumptive deception with your family, others or in your relationship with God.
4. The exorcists thought they could conveniently substitute Christ’s name and authority with their phony authority, but were exposed. Be sure that any sin of presumption will be found out.
Application: Trust God to help you avoid trying to substitute Christ’s authority for your own desires to please others or profit from them.
5. Many of the sins of presumption are rooted in the love of money. When we are able to be content with what God gives us we will be less apt to commit sins of presumption.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you to follow the advice of Paul,
“But Godliness with contentment is great gain…having food and clothing let us therewith be content.” (I Tim. 6:6-8)
6. Often those who are caught in presumptive sins are punished in the eyes of the public. These exorcists were beaten and were stripped naked. God wants to send a powerful warning to anyone who is dishonest and presumes they can get away with it.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you to fear the Lord more than men.
7. The punishment of presumptive sins brought positive effects. Dr. Luke wrote, “This became known to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus and fear fell on them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.” (Acts 19:17)
Application: Teach people how to become better from God’s corrections rather than bitter.
8. The evil of the world, the flesh and the devil is often waiting to control those who are ready to presume to use religion for selfish reasons.
Application: Many religious people have fallen in to terrible tragedies because they presumed upon God’s good authority. Trust the Lord to help you remain humble and obedient to only what He directs you to do – no more and no less.