Day 112: Jesus is the Greater Power

Acts 19:11-20 :

God worked special miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and the evil spirits went out. But some of the itinerant Jews, exorcists, took on themselves to invoke over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” There were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did this.

The evil spirit answered, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” The man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived at Ephesus. Fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. Many also of those who had believed came, confessing, and declaring their deeds. Many of those who practiced magical arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. They counted their price, and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord was growing and becoming mighty.

It is clearly not a good idea for anyone to “take it on themselves” to start casting out demons without first knowing the risk. The Bible makes it clear that it isn’t wise for any man who is not a Christian to come near to demonic activity. On the other hand, if a person is a Christian and in the power of the Holy Spirit, a demon is no match at all for them.

There are two common errors that I see. There are those who try to ignore the demonic world even though it is very real and active today, and there are those who try to get involved with it without God. The spiritual world is not a good thing for a mere human to play around with. The spiritual forces are much stronger than humans are. We are no match for them and Satan is well aware of this. A single angel can destroy a thousand men.

Although the angelic powers are limited in what they can do, their power is far greater than ours. God’s power, on the other hand, is limitless. There is absolutely nothing that God cannot overpower and the Holy Spirit is God. The Holy Spirit doesn’t like it when people play around with magic, however, and these people realized that their magic practice was bad. It appears that the Bible isn’t against book burning either. Notice that it was the people bringing their own books to be burned and that it wasn’t the government burning the books of the people. There may have been some pretty angry magicians in other cities when they heard of this. Perhaps they thought that these people were evil for burning their books. The act of book burning isn’t evil but the act of opposing Jesus Christ the Messiah is and that is what these people were probably concerned about.

Our God is the maker of both the natural and the supernatural. He expects us to be interested in the correct level of each as He has defined in His word. We should not avoid the supernatural or attempt to get involved in a way that God has not approved of.