Now that’s a strange question you may think. What does it matter if the devil knows your name? Why would you want the devil to know your name? Why even think about what the devil knows or doesn’t know?
I stopped and asked myself this question while reading about what happened tosome Jewish exorcists in Acts 19. There were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chiefpriest, who had heard how God was working through Paul. They tried to use thename of Jesus as Paul was doing to drive out an evil spirit and had an interestingconversation with a demon. In verse 15 it says: One day, the evil spiritanswered them, Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you? Theevil spirit beat up all seven and they ran away naked and bleeding. Can you understandthe importance of this question now?
Is your life with Christ known by demons? They knew about Paul, but they didn’tknow these sons of a Jewish priest at all. You would think that evil spiritswould be aware of the names of exorcists from all religions. I’m not sureif they had any real success as exorcists in the past; maybe this was the firsttime they were up against a real demon. The point of this story for me is thatI hope the demons do know my name. I hope they know that I am walking with Godand that they would want to avoid walking in my path. I hope they dread thinkingof all the trouble I am causing for their side because of the way I teach othersabout Jesus. I hope they know my name and the work that God is able to accomplishthrough me.
I know we don’t like to think of evil spirits and their work on this earth.Ephesians 6:12 reminds us: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this darkworld and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. C.S.Lewis wrote a parable about this struggle in his book The Screwtape Letters.I also enjoyed Frank Pereti’s modern tales in This Present Darkness and Piercingthe Darkness. Though they are fiction, they portray in the author’simagination the reality that we are not alone. There are others, unseen forcesat work in this world. As I read from Acts today, I was reminded of what is goingon and it made me stop and consider my life. This evil spirit knew Jesus, ofcourse; he knew Paul for sure; but his question to the seven brothers was, whoare you? I don’t want to live my life with Christ in such a way that thedemons don’t know my name.
Donna Partow spoke at our women’s retreat this year and she challengedeach of us to be the kind of woman of whom, we wake up each morning and our feethit the ground, the demons say, "Oh no, she’s awake!" Does yourspiritual life challenge the demons? What do they know about you from the wayyou live in Christ?