Chicago Fire: Jesus and a Church Known By the Lord
We need Holy Spirit power and the authority of Jesus to drive out evil because we are facing down demonic powers on a daily basis. You may see the enemy binding people in your city, your home, your workplace or even your own soul. God wants to deliver. Christ came to destroy the works of the devil to set you, people, cities and nations free by the power of the cross and God’s resurrection gospel. He has called his people to usher in this freedom.
It’s Not About What You Know, It’s Who You Know
And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.
Desire to grow in the authority of Christ.
People say, “But I feel so weak, so I’ll-equipped, so unworthy...”
“The biblical model is that God deliberately chooses imperfect vessels - those who have been wounded, those with physical or emotional limitations. Then he prepares them to serve and sends them out with their weaknesses still evident, so that his strength can be made perfect in that weakness.”
- Christine Caine
Our culture suffers today because of the idolatry of self and independent calling. Many are whipped by the devil like the sons of Sceva because they are both formulaic in their ministry rather than relational, and disconnected from the body of Christ from which we are to derive the Lord’s strength.
The only way to walk in the power of God exemplified in Acts is to first have an intimate walk with Jesus and be full of the Holy Spirit. The believers were baptized in the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. They were then filled repeatedly with joy, boldness to be witnesses, skill to reap a harvest of souls and authority to push back the Kingdom of darkness in their everyday lives (Acts 4:8, 31; 7:55; 13:45, 52...).
What does it look like to be this in tune with Jesus?
Devote yourself to being close to Jesus.
And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons.
It is not a matter of time so much as a matter of heart; if you have the heart to pray, you will find the time.
- Charles Spurgeon
*Don’t get used to footholds of the enemy in your life from which God wants to deliver you.
You will never know the fullness of Christ until you know the emptiness of everything but Christ.
- Charles Spurgeon
It’s Not About Who You Think You Know, It’s Who Knows You
Determine to be known by God.
1 Corinthians 8:1-3
Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.
Knowledge has its limits (Deuteronomy 29:29; I Corinthians 13:8-13). Faith, hope, love and obedience can be ever increasing.
Satan can fill your heart as surely as God the Holy Spirit can (John 13:27; Acts 5:3). You must be on guard. Walk in the ways of God with and through your local church body.
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
You are known by God when you repent of your sin, walk with Jesus, love him and obey his commands. This is proven when you are knit together and serve Christ faithfully in and through his church. This is when you come into alignment with God’s will, increase in his authority and become known to the enemy because you join Christ and his people in his Kingdom advance. In Christ, we are always led in triumphal procession (II Corinthians 2:12-16) and have the eternal victory by his resurrection from the dead.
Second City Church - Chicago Fire - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019