Acts 19: 13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
The church was moving forward and the devil was fighting hard. The only way for victory was for the Christians to magnify the Lord by putting him first and letting his size dwarf their size. The more open we are with our testimony the more the devil will work on us. That didn’t stop the church in Acts. In spite of the Roman Empire and the paganism surrounding them, they magnified God. They realized the true enemy was the devil; that’s still true today. He faces us every day. You can’t avoid him or hide from him. It we profess our Christianity he’ll be after us.
Sceva must have been a converted Jew who followed the Lord. He magnified the Lord and had victory over evil. His seven sons saw his success as well as that of Paul and the others. They thought they could do the same things their father did just because they were his sons. Do you and I feel strong enough to take on the devil? Their problem is shown in verse 13. They took it upon themselves. They were kin to Christian people. There were Christian people around them. They had only a shallow trust in God. They boasted in themselves of what they could do instead of what God could do through them.
The devil knows the Bible. Many lost people know the Bible, some more than Christians do. It’s a shame when those who don’t know the Lord know more. Many know it from a historical perspective, but they don’t know it from a spiritual perspective. The devil will use them to get to us. We might have time to call in reinforcements when things happen, but most times we won’t. Don’t over estimate your own skills and talents and think you are able to deal with the devil. You and I are no match for the devil. Look how quickly the demon-possessed man jumped on the sons. The evil spirit said Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
The devil needs to know who we are. They need to see Jesus in our lives. These men messed up trying to do it on their own. When we magnify ourselves we’ll get into trouble. We must back up what we say prayerfully and scripturally. We can handle the devil when we magnify the Lord.
The fear of God came upon the people. That’s what’s missing. When the fear is gone we reduce God and the devil looms around us. We shrink the devil by magnifying the Lord. The people magnified God and many believed. The people brought their un-surrendered things to the Lord and so mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
This is the only way to survive the attacks of the devil and stay right with God. Let him be truly God and Lord. Let him be the size he needs to be for our daily battles. The devil comes in all shapes and sizes. We can’t shrink God. We need to reduce our size so God can be his size and put the devil where he needs to be—defeated.
What size is God? We know he’s bigger than anything. What size are we? It’s time to shrink ourselves and let God be what he is.