Acts 19: 13 – 16: “Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, ‘In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.’ Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, ‘Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?’ Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.”
This passage is a very good teaching on the consequences of not being real. We have all had experience with ‘name droppers’; people who want to enhance their own image and status by mentioning the names of people with more status and accomplishment than they have. With a discerning group, name dropping never works and the name dropper ends up loosing more than he or she hopes to gain. The seven sons of Sceva took their beating and humiliation for dropping the name of Jesus. They weren’t interested in the man’s suffering – they only wanted to show every one how ‘good’ they were. They ended up looking like pathetic fools.
If you want to have authority based on His name you have to follow Him. You have to walk the talk and pay the price. Jesus gave his disciples this authority; “… He called His twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases. And He sent them to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. And He said unto them, ‘Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor pack, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.’ ” (Luke 9:1-3) Are you willing to depend completely on His provision for the journey. Can you walk with that kind of faith? Can I?
Jesus advised all to count the cost of discipleship. What a sobering excercise; ” … , whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple. ‘Salt is good; but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned?’ ” (Luke 14:33,34) Paul left all that he had and followed Jesus wholeheartedly. And Paul had the authority. Authority comes with a price – the demons know this.