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Does the Devil Know Your Name? -Acts 19:15

Does the Devil Know Your Name? Acts 19:15

Does the Devil Know Your Name?

If you’re a Christian the simple answer is yes.

But for a deeper explanation let’s read Acts 19 and uncover the meaning of this scripture…

 

But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.”                     

And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”

                                                                                    Acts 19:13;15

The devil may seem like a strange topic for us to study. In our society, you just don’t talk about Satan and his demons, unless you want people to point at you and call you crazy.

That being said, the devil and his demons are very real and they are out to take down Christians any way they can.

As Christians, there is an important lesson for us to take away from this verse from Acts 19:14. Its meaning plays an extraordinary role in our lives as Christians.

The words spoken by the evil spirit are very interesting. And they lead us to three very important conclusions.

 

Jesus

First, the demon says he recognizes Jesus.

Satan and his demons were once angels and had direct access to God. (Revelation 12:9) They don’t dispute the fact that Jesus is the Son of God because they know that it is true. They know exactly who Jesus is and what He has done for humanity.

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The Apostle Paul

Second, the demon knows about Paul.

Paul was on fire for Jesus! Everywhere he went he was preaching the gospel and winning people to the kingdom of God. The devil and his demons were very aware of this. If we back up a bit and look at Acts 19:11-12 we can see exactly what Paul was doing.

And God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.

As Paul was traveling through Ephesus God was allowing him to perform miracles and cast out evil spirits because of his faith in the Lord Jesus.

When we think of the city of Ephesus, we usually think of the very inspiring book of Ephesians written by the Apostle Paul. But during Biblical times, Ephesus was known as a place full of false magicians and wizards who would use incantations.

When the people of Ephesus saw the miracles that Paul was able to perform in the name of Jesus, they started talking about it and word caught on to what he was doing. Some men (the exorcists in verse 13) decided that they would do the same thing for their own purposes, probably to make money. But they had a problem, they didn’t know Jesus so they couldn’t perform the same miracles that Paul did. They didn’t understand that it was God and the name of Jesus that had the power, not Paul.

 For more about Satan in the Bible read, How to Resist the Devil.

Christians

Third, the evil spirit asks, “Who are you?”

This is the part I would like for us to focus on because it pertains to us too. These men didn’t have a good answer ready for the evil spirit, but as Christians we do! We know Jesus! That’s who we are!

So, back to the question, “Does the devil know your name?” I’m confident that he knows mine! He loves to come around and torment me with my past mistakes. He likes to put doubt in my mind and tell me that I’m no good. And he likes to distract me from the things God would have me to do.

Growing up I was afraid of Satan. Isn’t that what we’re taught? Satan is the bad guy and we’re supposed to fear him. But over the years I’ve developed a new outlook.

I think Satan should fear me! Like Paul, I’m on fire for Jesus and I hope you are too! My goal in life is to lift the name of Jesus high so that everyone will know Him as their Savior.

That might get me brownie points in heaven, but it puts a target on my back with Satan and his demons. But that’s okay with me because no matter what Satan does to me, I will always belong to Jesus. I know that I am forgiven for the things in my past I’ve done wrong, and I will be with Jesus in heaven someday.

Let’s be clear, Satan is actively seeking to destroy us. (1 Peter 5:8) If he can’t destroy us, then he’ll try to cause us to become ineffective Christians. As long as we don’t tell other people about Jesus or do the good works of the church, Satan will leave us alone. But as soon as we decide that we are going to live for Jesus one hundred percent, you can bet that he will know our name.

Because here’s the thing, there’s another word for the devil we should address… accuser.

Satan the Accuser has many tricks up his sleeve, and he will use every one of them to try to hurt us. He knows exactly which buttons to push. For some of us, it’s doubt, or illness, or reminding us of our past failures and sins. For others, like myself, it’s distraction. No matter which trick he pulls, you can always count on Satan to knock you down and kick you in the teeth when you least expect it. That’s what he does best, and he relishes in seeing Christians suffer.

While the devil is our accuser, Jesus is our advocate. He is on our side and fighting our battles every day. He is greater than any enemy we face. And Satan and his demons are no match for Jesus. He is already victorious over the powers of darkness! And because we are saved, we share in that victory.

As believers, we don’t need to fear the devil or listen to his accusations, because Jesus has already defeated him. There is nothing that Satan can do to us that will ever change the fact that we belong to Jesus, and he knows it.

Christians are called to be outspoken about our faith in Jesus Christ. If we speak up and show up for Jesus, the world will hate us just as they hated Him. And the devil will hate us too.

But really, what does it matter if someone as small and insignificant as Satan hates us? Jesus is the Son of God, our Redeemer, and the Savior of the world.

At this point you may be asking… does the devil know my name?

If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the answer is yes! But you don’t need to be scared of the devil or his demons. They are easy to control with one simple word, the name of Jesus!

Satan cowers in fear and hides at the name of Jesus, the name above all names. So, when Satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future. You know, that whole “lake of fire” thing, where the devil, his demons, and everything they’ve done will be burned to a crisp. (Revelation 20:10)

What would I say if I was asked the question, Does the devil know your name today? My answer would simply be this, “I’m the girl that knows Jesus by heart and I’m the girl He died for!” That answer alone is enough to send the devil and all of his demons running scared.

What would your answer be? Let me know in the comments below.

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A Promise of Hope in Uncertain Times

A Promise of Hope in Uncertain Times

Last year God gave me a challenge.

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

                                                       2 Peter 3:18 

In January, I thought this challenge to grow in grace meant spending more time reading my Bible and more time praying and connecting with God. It seemed straight forward enough.

But by mid-March, our world was turned upside down. And along with it, this seemly simple challenge from God was too.

Truthfully, I totally forgot about it while we were reeling from the impact of coronavirus on our lives. But as we moved through the beginning stages of the pandemic, I realized exactly what God had challenged me to do.

It was bigger than simply reading my Bible and praying more. It was about seeing God for who He truly is. And how no matter what terrible thing comes my way, He is still in control!

This challenge forced me to stretch farther than ever before. And it changed me in ways I never could have dreamed of.

After everything we’ve endured this past year, you’re probably feeling the same way. 2020 gave us a new perspective on life and more importantly on our relationship with the One True God.

If you missed this challenge, don’t worry, you can still read it and take part in it by reading the Bible Study 3 Ways to Grow In Grace.

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Now it’s a new year and a new opportunity to grow closer to God!

This year, God is doing something new. Instead of a challenge, He’s given us a promise.

A Promise of Hope in Uncertain Times!

Here’s the Bible Verse God has placed on my heart for this year…

 

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

                                                                                                                      Romans 8:28

 

You might have noticed, the word “hope” doesn’t appear in this verse. But it’s there. Loud and clear.

Within it, there’s a promise of hope in uncertain times. Because that’s exactly what we’re living through.

We have no idea what tomorrow will look like or how long our lives will be this way. So right now, the future seems like a hazy faraway dream. It’s a stark contrast to how we saw the future this time last year. Back then we thought we knew exactly how our lives would play out. We could see it so clearly and plan accordingly.

But even though our lives are in limbo right now, this promise laid out in Romans 8:28 gives us hope that everything we’re going through will turn around. Because that’s what hope is… an expectation that our current circumstances will change for the better.

So even with a hazy future looming over us, one thing is certain… God is offering us hope during the difficult parts of our life and for a brighter future to come.

So, let’s break down this verse and look at each part of this amazing promise of hope in uncertain times…

 

we know…

This verse starts us off on the right foot with a statement, a fact, that we know with absolute certainty who holds our future in His hand.

If we possess this knowledge, then we can have complete confidence that the One who saved us will see us through this hardship.

He reached down and rescued us from the miry pit. (Psalm 40:2) So why do we wonder if He’ll do it again?

all things…

When we read this verse, we usually think of all the good things that happen in our lives. It’s pretty natural to want to focus on the positive and put all of the bad stuff out on our minds. And it’s true, God will use all of the good stuff to bring about His plan for us.

But this phrase “all things” actually refers to suffering. It means the “suffering of the present time”. And if there’s anything we can relate to during a global pandemic, it’s suffering in our present time.

With that said, God doesn’t cause us to suffer needlessly or without reason. There’s always a reason and it’s found in the next part of the scripture.

work together for good…

God’s hand is always working behind the scenes of our lives, putting the pieces of the bigger picture together, and doing it all for our good.

Sometimes we can see what He’s up to and have an idea of what the picture will look like once it’s put together. But most of the time, we can’t.

Instead, we rely on faith, knowing that hope and faith go together like PB&J. We have hope, confidence, that God is on our side. And we have faith, believing without seeing, that God is doing what He said He would, working it all out for our good.

And we don’t need to look any farther than the Bible stories of both Joseph and Job to see this in action. They both suffered greatly. And they both had faith that God would see them through it. (Joseph’s story is found in Genesis 37-45 and Job’s in found in, well… the book of Job)

As we read their stories, it’s good to remember that they only represent a brief moment in their lives. The hardship they suffered didn’t last forever. At some point, God’s hand came into view as He put the pieces together for them.

And believe me, He is going to do the same in our lives! This moment of suffering won’t last. We will get to the other side of this hardship and God’s hand will come shining through in the end!

to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose…

This promise of hope isn’t for everyone. It’s only for Christians. Those who God has called and those who have accepted His offer of grace.

Unfortunately, not everyone will accept this offer. Jesus said… narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:14

But if God has called you into a relationship with Him, and you have accepted His invitation, then this promise for hope in uncertain times belongs to you!

And you have been given more than just hope, you have been called to a purpose. A purpose that is bigger and greater than yourself. God’s purpose, His perfect plan.

All of those plans we made at the beginning of 2020, they were our plans, not God’s. They failed because we were focused on the here and now. And because we couldn’t see the bigger picture the way God does. Now, I’m not saying our plans were bad. I know all of mine weren’t, and I’m sure yours weren’t either. But God has a bigger purpose for us than simply getting by.

He wants us to join Him in His kingdom plan. You know the one, right?…

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.

                                                                                                           Matthew 28:19-20

This our purpose and our God-given mission. To take the name of Jesus to those who haven’t accepted the call yet. To show them the love He’s offering. And to see the hand of God putting those pieces together for them, and for us, as He works all things for our good.

If you’re struggling in this present time to see His hand at work in your life, take heart. One thing is this crazy upside-down world is certain… A promise of hope in uncertain times is yours! All you need to do is accept it. Then sit back and watch God’s hand orchestrate it all!

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