Acts 19:15 “And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?”
In a few days, our family will be meeting for our biannual vacation. Our children spread across the country, becoming increasingly difficult to choose a location central to all. Yet, our excitement levels are high with gathering for a week of fun, fellowship, and family.
We’ll catch up on some of the more recent news, see how the grandchildren have grown, and reconnect in a way that technology cannot provide.
It is often so easy to reconnect with those we are familiar with or have a shared history. But as humans, we also need to grow in our sphere of people and relationships as well. That growth comes from the meeting, greeting, and coming to know someone.
It is a comfort when you see someone you know. Shared memories and experiences allow for easing into a conversation to reacquaint ourselves once again.
I attended a high school reunion a few years back and found how wonderful it was to reconnect with schoolmates. Some had matured and found success in their field of work, while a few had floundered.
It wasn’t the status, or success, or even the popularity that allowed us to connect. We felt we knew and shared a part of our lives, and it was enough to try to reconnect years later.
Spiritually, it will mean everything to us to be known of God.
Without salvation, one will hear those frightful words:
Matthew 7:23 “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Salvation brings us into a relationship with the Father, and He knows us as His children. But, our passage today speaks of the enemy’s knowledge of us.
Some are fearful enough and might say, “I don’t want the devil to know who I am.”
Yet, if we do God’s will, Satan will take notice. As an adversary, he wants to know who is the greatest threat. At the time, Paul was one of his biggest concerns. His missionary journeys, establishing churches, and winning multitudes to the Lord Jesus Christ gained a high profile with the devil.
These vagabond Jews who took it upon themselves to emulate Paul by trying to cast out demons without being saved brought much hurt their way. It is noteworthy that the demons spoke of knowing Jesus – that makes perfect sense because He is the Son of God.
But for them to profess to know Paul, it should cause us to look more closely.
That evil spirit had felt the sting of the sword of the Word of God by Jesus. But, he had also felt that sting by the hand of Paul. We read in the book of Acts of the many demons that were cast out by Paul. Word spread in the demonic realm to watch out for this man Saul; they now call Paul.
What you and I do to serve God will gain some attention from the demonic realm. It is they with whom we engage in battle: the more success, the more adversity. Jesus warned us that we would have trouble.
John 15:18-19 “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
The rising hatred toward Christianity should not surprise us. As the world lives less and less moral, the rise of that which opposes it will also.
It is a comfort to know that around the world, I have brothers and sisters in Christ that I will meet one day when I reach my home in Heaven. But the greatest comfort will be that I am known of my Father in Heaven.
John 10:27-29 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”
It is what you and I do to serve our Savior to attract attention from the demonic realm. We have a saying in our faith-based addiction program, RU Recovery,
“New levels, new devils.”
This statement means that the steps one takes to get closer to God will bring more attention from the enemy. We must trust the protection promised by God. We have armor to wear and promises to trust.
Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”
The battle has, and always will, be for our mind.
Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...”
Matthew 12:34 “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”
As children of God, we should follow the guidance and lead of the Holy Spirit in us.
He leads, we encounter adversity.
The best thing is to prepare for the ensuing battle.
1 Timothy 1:18-20 “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare“
Taking with us the promise of victory, we can be confident that God will fight for us.
Deuteronomy 3:22 “Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you.”
Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
Make sure God knows you through salvation. If you need more about this most beautiful and essential decision, click here.
Those who are children of God must not fear to do all that God would ask of us. Our enemy may know us. But, the One who knows us as a child fo the King has promised to lead, guide, guard, and protect us.
Take heart, Christian. We have already overcome!