Saturday, 22 April 2023
“And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them….” -Acts 19:6
The transformed life of Paul was witness to his total surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit working in him. It was evidenced by the way God used him mightily. Confessing with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believing in our hearts that HE is our Saviour is only the beginning and the continuance of our Christian life is all about our relationship with Jesus Christ. In order to be an effective tool in the hand of the Master set aside for His purpose, to be identified and recognized as an ambassador of our Master on earth we must know: 1. Who we are 2. How we have been commissioned.
Trying to step out into the world as a non-commissioned ambassador for the Lord is like stepping out into a war arena as an untrained and unequipped soldier. In our text study for today, we see that some Jews tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus to stand against the operations and activities of evil spirits. These particular Jews were just itinerant exorcists who took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits. They had no relationship with our Lord and Master, but wanted to represent Him by quoting His authority in the presence of evil spirits. The seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, thought that God’s authority can be used to their advantage. But the outcome speaks volumes of how the wrong use of power can backfire. And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” (v.15). They were overpowered and battered by the evil spirit.
The Lord Jesus Christ knows His own people and they carry the seal of His authority both in the face of the natural and supernatural. Paul boldly preached and taught the Word of God. The expressions of Paul and the display and endorsement of the Lord’s authority in his life and service as the Lord’s Ambassador, made even evil spirit know who Paul is. The power of the Holy Spirit at work in his life was seen by the unusual miracles done by the hand of Paul (Vs.11-12)- the sick were healed, evil spirits left people.
Knowing who we are in the Lord, being baptized in water and baptized in the Holy Spirit are all very important for our service and commission for the Lord’s mission in His ambassadorial appointment upon this earth. We are the Lord’s possession, bought with a price, set aside for His purpose, we do not own ourselves. [1 Corinthians 6:19-20,1 Chronicles 29:14]. Paul was fully aware of this when said: “For I am the least of all the apostles. I do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted God's church. But by God's grace I am what I am, and the grace that he gave me was not without effect. On the contrary, I have worked harder than any of the other apostles, although it was not really my own doing, but God's grace working with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:9-10). Yes it was truly the power and grace of God at work through the transformed life of Paul. Can the same be said of us who are called by the Lord into His Kingdom?
PRAYER: “Lord Jesus, may my life be submitted to Your authority so that You can use me effectively for Your Kingdom. Amen”