Summary: What would the enemy say about you?
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:
God gave Paul the power to work great miracles. People even took handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched Paul’s body, and they carried them to everyone who was sick. all of the sick people were healed, and the evil spirits went out.
Some Jewish men started going around trying to force out evil spirits by using the name of the Lord Jesus. They said to the spirits, "Come out in the name of that same Jesus that Paul preaches about!"
Seven sons of a high priest named Sceva were doing this, when an evil spirit said to them, "I know Jesus! And I have heard about Paul. But who are you?" Then the man with the evil spirit jumped on them and beat them up. They ran out of the house, naked and bruised.
When the Jews and Gentiles in Ephesus heard about this, 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.
Acts 19:11-20 (CEV)
God is always the one who gives the power. In fact the Bible tells us that power is the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence.
"But the Holy Spirit will come upon you and give you power. Then you will tell everyone about me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world."
Acts 1:8 (CEV)
Power reveals God’s presense to a lost and dying world. Power draws attention to God and away from men. Look at Acts 5:15-16 as we see God’s power working through Peter without his knowledge.
"Then sick people were brought out to the road and placed on cots and mats. It was hoped that Peter would walk by, and his shadow would fall on them and heal them. A lot of people living in the towns near Jerusalem brough those who were sick or troubled by evil spirits, and they were all healed."
Acts 5:15-16 (CEV)
It’s very easy to talk the talk. Great moves of God draw people’s attention. Unfortunately man is always looking for attnetion and the world is full of imitators.
Simon noticed that the Spirit was given only when the apostles placed their hands on the people. So he brought money and said to Peter and John, "Let me have this power too! Then anyone I place my hands on will also be given the Holy Spirit."
Acts 8:18-19 (CEV)
Have the demons heard of you? The demons know Jesus and fear Him.
After Jesus had crossed the lake, He came to the shore near the town of Gadara and started down the road. Two men with demons in them came to Him from the tombs. They were so fierce that no one could travel that way. Suddenly they shouted, "Jesus, Son of God, what do you want this us? Have you come to punish us before our time?"
Matthew 8:28-29 (CEV)
The demons know of those God uses and must yield their authority in Christ.
"Many people with evil spirits were healed, and the spirits went out of them with a shout."
Acts 8:7 (CEV)
God wil expose false pretenses. 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 ultimately be exposed and brought down.
When it comes to spiritual matters, name recognition is key. The enemy worries about those who live in power:
pray with power
witness wth power
minister with power
worship with power
disciple with power
Look at what happened when God’s power was flowing freely.
"So the Lord’s message spread and became even more powerful"
Acts 19:20 (CEV)
The question for you today. Does your reputation preced you?