An icy chill overcame him, consuming him, burning yet freezing him from the inside out. All the way to his very soul.
He stumbled over his words. "I...adjure you by the name of Jesus...who Paul proclaims." How mighty he sounded! Stuttering like a child facing an army of giants. But that was kind of what he was doing, wasn't it? He looked at his companions, and could tell that they felt the same knee-shaking sensation.
The evil, lilting voice spoke. "Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?"
A shudder moved through his body. His heart was hammering. His mouth was open, but no words came out? Who was he? Who was he to command evil spirits? He just thought he'd try this.... He had seen other people speak the name of Jesus. It had worked for them! So why not him?
And it knew! That evil spirit knew.
He didn't have time to think of anything else. Just then the possessed man lunged forward, colliding with him. Together they fell into a heap on the ground as the deranged man clawed and shrieked at him. He could hear the cries of his comrades. They hadn't fooled him.
Based on Acts 19:13-17
"Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, 'I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.' Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, 'Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?' And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled." Acts 19:13-17
This story is kind of rough for me. I have this terrible problem with compassion - I have to much of it. I just feel so bad for those men who, to my innocent way of thinking and hoping, were just trying to help and serve. However, there's another reason this story hits hard. Because it's a hard hitting message.
The enemy knows when we are faking it.
"You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!" James 2:19
The rest of the world may not know when we are faking it. Our friends and family may not know. The church may not be able to stare into our soul. Maybe we don't even know when we are faking it. However, not only does God know ( as if that wasn't bad enough ), the enemy can tell, too. The enemy can tell if we are just repeating mantras and waving our arms. He can tell if we are truly dedicated. The enemy can spot a God-fearing, God-serving, devoted Christian a mile away.
The question is...
What does he see, when he looks at you and me? Does he see someone who's faking it? Or does he see the Lord's secret weapon?
V. Joy Palmer