Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:
Acts 19:13-16 (NLT)
A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. 15 But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered.
C.S. Lewis says, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.” Over the years I have seen this take many different forms. There are those that seem to find demons under every rock. Once I had a missionary come and speak to the church I was pastoring at the time (not New Life), and in his sermon he insisted that Christian Rock music was demonic. Since most of my congregation knew that I was saved at a Christian Rock concert (Phil Keaggy) this presented me with a problem. After church I had to pull him aside and insist that he never say that from my pulpit again. However, I have also encountered those from the other side of this slippery slope. Those that see no problem with astrology, spiritism, psychics, and yes, Pokemon cards. Lewis is correct in his assumption that Satan is pleased with either side of this fence. He is pleased with those who pay too much attention to his activities, as well as those who don’t pay enough attention to him. Furthermore, there is another aspect of this discussion that we must address, and that is how we deal with him. We can take him too lightly, like the Sons of Sceva in Acts 19, and find out that we are dealing with someone who has great power. In which case we will be overwhelmed and endanger ourselves and others. Yet we must never put him on the same level as our Lord. His power does not compare to that of God’s, and when we deal with him in God’s power we have nothing to fear. As Paul said in his letter to the Ephesians, “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil” (Eph 6:10-11, NLT). Be strong, but be strong in the Lord!