Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
MEMORIZE: “And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know and Paul I know; but who are ye? (Acts 19:15).
READ: Acts 19:13-17
A messenger of God can only enjoy divine backing for his spiritual office when he remains under the authority of the One who sent him. The moment you stray out of His commands, you are on your own. Also, demons, like the centurion in Matthew 8:5-10, know what it means to be under authority. For example, in Acts 19:13-17, when some religionists tried to cast out demons, the demons plainly told these seven exorcists, ‘you lack the authority’. In that same encounter, the demons recognized Jesus and His servant Paul. Are you living in secret sin? Demons are watching you. They are the ones who whispered into your ears prompting you to do in secret what you could not do in the light. They know that when you fall victim of their evil suggestions, you, at that moment, lose the right to order them around. If you dare, they can disgrace you, or even inflict you with physical injuries like that they dealt the sons of Sceva. Before you exercise authority over any situation, first confirm that you are still under authority yourself, or else you would get into big trouble.
Mark 16:17 says believers shall cast out devils in Jesus name. However, subtly, there is a shift of focus: Some ministers who have experienced a level of God’s power are gradually drifting into Satan’s deception. These are now empowered to heal and work miracles on their own or by the agency of devils. They may say, ‘Come to me and I will heal you in Jesus name’. The emphasis in their statement is “I” not “Jesus”. The moment you begin to rub shoulders with the One who sent you, you are no more under His authority. The moment you begin to feel bad that your name was not mentioned as the vessel through which a miracle was delivered to the testifier, you are already sharing in God’s glory and therefore no more under His authority. Sometimes ago, I was told a brother resolved not to pay his tithe to his pastor because the latter was disobeying instructions from a higher spiritual authority. The brother decided to keep his tithe until he met the General Overseer. Are you breaking the ranks? Are you still under His authority? If you have drifted out of God’s authority, return in humility and repentance. Return all the glory you have stolen and submit yourself completely under His authority. Be governed by His Word in all you do. Like John the Baptist, seek to make Him known while you give yourself no mention at all.
To avoid embarrassment, before you issue commands to demons, situations and circumstances, first determine if you are still under Christ’s authority.
Bible in One year: 1 Pet. 4-5