“And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” Acts 19:15 (New King James Version)
The text you just read is in reference to man named Sceva and his seven sons. They were called exorcists. They weren’t really followers of Jesus, they were just simply using the Name of Jesus to accomplish their objectives. They didn’t know Jesus, but they had witness Paul work in his gifts and utilize the name of Jesus. They decided to just copy what Paul was doing. I would say that this text, along with other texts in the Bible, clearly gives a warning about trying to accomplish anything spiritual utilizing another’s call or anointing. For instance, in Exodus 30, the law states specifically that if anyone duplicated the compound of the holy anointing oil, he would be cut off from the people (Exodus 30:33). If you want to see your ministry, your effectiveness, or your testimony derailed, follow the example of these seven sons of Sceva. Our modern version of this is, “I’ll copy that person. I’ll wear the same clothes they wear, speak the same words they speak, do the same things they do. They’re successful in ministry, and I will be too.” As seen in Acts 16:15, it won’t work.
Jesus was known, Paul was known, the ones faking till they made it weren’t known and they paid a dear price for it. The evil spirit asked, “Who are you?” A lot of disruption and destruction comes from trying to be someone we are not. If we would put as much effort into finding out who we are as we do into trying to be somebody else, we’d be so much better off. How many people have destroyed themselves trying to make their real-life line up to someone else’s fake life?
Therefore, who are you?
Who are you naturally?
Who are you spiritually?
Melissa and I had to take a journey of self-awareness many years ago. We were on a path. It was a known path for both of us. In August of 2003, we were sitting on a balcony in Cancun, Mexico. For the first time in our short, three-year marriage, we actually had a serious heart to heart conversation, about our beliefs, callings, anointing, and our dreams. Afterward, for five years, we openly discussed the questions that arose from that night. We were figuring out who we were. We couldn’t be what others wanted us to be! We couldn’t be what others thought we should be. We made a choice to find out who WE were! We came to the conclusion that what God wanted us to be was far more important than anything else.
I can honestly tell you, had we not had that conversation, I’m not sure we would have remained in our marriage. It would’ve been a shame too, because once we sat down and spoke honestly, openly, and became vulnerable with each other, we realized that we were both on the same page, when we thought we were on the opposite page. Deep down in our hearts we knew who we were! We were just conditioned to be something else. Having been conditioned to live in fear of what God called us to be and do is exactly where we were.
What you see today between Melissa and me is a product of that one conversation that happened in 2003. It saved our marriage, catapulted us into our dreams and into our destiny of pastoring here at SIWC.
You need to sit down and dig into who you are. What has made you into the person you are right now? Don’t file into the conditioned mindset of being like everybody else. Does it scare you? Are you being talked out of it by others?
Let me just say it like this: We’ve had enough sons of Sceva and not nearly enough Paul’s! Paul was different, radical, passionate, sold out, and revolutionary. How about you find out who you are? Then, when the enemy comes around, he’ll know too!