Slightly Obsessed #129: Do Heaven and Hell Know You?
This is the highest praise that earth or hell affords—to be classified by the enemy as one with Jesus.
– Leonard Ravenhill
Visiting a big church for the first time is nerve-wracking.
Once you get past the cheery greeters just inside the doors, you seem to disappear. As you make your way to the sanctuary, people brush by without even making eye contact. You suddenly feel very insignificant. But it’s not surprising.
No one here knows you.
Don’t you hate the sense of powerlessness that comes with being lost in a crowd? We want to be noticed and valued. That’s normal. The danger is when we try to be someone we’re not in order to raise our star power.
During the time of the early church, seven sons of a Jewish chief priest traveled around Israel performing exorcisms. When they heard Paul was performing miracles in the name of Jesus, they decided to use His name for their own benefit. They found a man possessed by evil spirits and attempted to cast out the demons with these words: “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” (Acts 19:13)
That didn’t cut it. The demon knew the Spirit of God wasn’t present in them. It answered back, saying, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” The possessed man then attacked them, humiliating them so thoroughly they ran from the house wounded and naked.
Like these exorcists, some people try to appropriate the kingdom of heaven by doing good works with His name, instead of doing them in His name. Jesus has promised to turn away all imposters.
Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
– Matthew 7:22-23
Like the sons of Sceva, what we do in Jesus’ name still doesn’t cut it. It’s not about what words we say or how we say them. It’s not how much good we do that gets us noticed by the devil and accepted by God.
Do you want to enter the kingdom of God? Do you desire power in your walk and authority over evil in your daily life?
Don’t try to fake it or copy others. Make sure you have given your life over to God and you are in His family. He recognizes His own children. Then the word will get around, and both heaven and hell both will be acquainted with you.
It’s not about who you know. All that matters is that the right Person knows you.