Have you ever found yourself swiping your Jesus card to redeem Christian Rewards? I know I’ve been guilty of not spending time with Him for long periods of time and then calling on His name when I want something: payment(s) coming due and no money in the bank, health issues, etc.
Acts 19 talks about 7 sons of a high priest who were performing exorcisms. Paul had become fairly well-known because of the miracles being performed through him in the name of Jesus. These 7 sons felt they could add a little flair to their ministry if they began to evoke the names of Paul and Jesus while exercising demons. They didn’t count on the demon’s response.
But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” Acts 19:15 ESV
The demons didn’t recognize them because they weren’t known by Jesus. And there is a stark difference in the way Paul and the sons approached miracles.
And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul,… Acts 19:11 ESV
Paul was known and allowing himself to be used BY God rather than trying to use Him. The 7 sons called on Jesus’ name for what they could get from Him. We’ll always know we’re pursuing things in the right order when God benefits the most.