Fakin’ It Till You Make It Never Works

Acts 19:13-20 says, “13Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds. 19Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.”

I have heard some people say in the church that they can “fake it till they make it,” but that theory never works. In fact, it only deteriorates your faith spiritually! These men in this text tried that, but they could not fool the devil. You may have a form of godliness and fool a multitude of people, but when your faith is tested and tried, you will not trick God or even the devil because in that moment you will deny the power thereof!

These vagabond Jews were the sons of Sceva, who was a chief of the priests. He was one of the head men of the religious order of that day, and they were so caught up in themselves that they thought they had the power to be exorcists, or cast out any devil that could come by their way. However, you cannot fake it till you make it, living off the coattail of someone else’s anointing, knowledge or prayer life. It will not buy you victory over your adversary, but you must work out your own salvation with fear and trembling! They went in their believing they had some type of magic formula, seeking to cast out these demons by the “Jesus in whom Paul preaches.” First of all, they were depending upon the message Paul preached to conquer these devils. They heard the message, but they did not live out the message! There is a huge difference! Secondly, they did not walk in the authority of Jesus Christ, but they tried to “borrow” His name to fulfill their own purpose and make themselves look huge. They heard of Jesus, but they did not know Him on a personal level. The name of Jesus Christ only holds power to a believer, not a counterfeit! The authentic will only be refined in the fire, but the counterfeit will always melt. Obtain a relationship with God for yourself and never try to be a cheap copy of an original!

Now, the evil spirit responded to these men saying, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” If you are truly a child of the King, not only will God know your name, but the devil will also, fearing you beyond your wildest imagination. I would say that evil spirit made chill bumps run up and down their spine, striking a fear inside of them like they never had before. It pays to be strong in God rather than in yourself when you are standing face to face to the devil! Your identity should not be questionable, but rather steadfast in the LORD. It comes through cultivating that relationship with Jesus Christ!

You cannot fight a devil with physical strength, but only by the precious Holy Spirit. That is why this one man who was possessed by a devil beat up these seven men. They bore no anointing, and they were defeated. The scripture says that the evil spirit leaped upon them, overcame them and prevailed against them. This is the way many people act and feel in the church today. It seems like the devil leaps on them, knocks them down and completely annihilates them through things like depression, loneliness and grief. When you are not a “son of Sceva”, but rather an authentic, genuine child of the King, then this should not be happening. We should be taking authority over the devil as he knows who we are in Christ Jesus! People should not be walking into church with their head hung low like they are defeated, but they should be putting the devil in his rightful position:  under our feet!

When the sons of Sceva escaped from this “haunted house”, they left there naked and wounded. That is the way many people feel in the body of Christ. They feel beat up by the devil all of the time, stripped from all love, joy and peace in the LORD! If we are God’s people, we should be “clothed and in our right mind.” The devil would love nothing more than to humiliate us and destroy us, but we have the right to choose what kind of life to live. We can walk around defeated, or we can have victory. The choice is ours.

Regardless of which way you look at it, the name of the LORD Jesus was magnified. Although the sons of Sceva were completely embarrassed, God was exalted above every name because the devil bowed down to his name, recognizing who truly is King of Kings and LORD of LORDS. Revival came in the land of Ephesus, as witches, wizards, palm readers, psychics, fortune tellers and all of these demonically possessed and influenced people gave up all of their Satanic books and rituals to be burned. They did not pass it down or give it to other people because they grew weary of it, but they burned it because it was trash. You do not give somebody trash, but you burn it! When God delivers you, you do not hide the pornography magazines, the Satanic books or the Rock CD’s, but you burn it. When the fire of the Holy Ghost consumes you, it will also consume everything surrounding you, birthing a new desire in you for righteousness and a hate for worldly things. In fact, the total amount of what these “curious arts” were worth was about fifty thousand pieces of silver. According to Finis Dake’s Commentary in the Dake’s Annotated and Reference Bible, this totaled to almost $32,000. Now that is revival! Would it not be awesome to see God bring such an a revival and awakening across America that drug dealers come in and lay their stash on the altar, or witches come in and lay down all of their Satanic books and possession in the fire? God has not changed, but we have changed!

It boils down to this one thing:  we must magnify the name of the LORD again! Everyday of our life, we must seek His face, as well as seek to show His love and power both in word and deed. There are so many people hurting, broken and confused, being led astray by counterfeit things, but in Jesus, there is hope beyond the scope of limitation. He brings salvation, healing, strength and deliverance like only He can. God is ready for us to just be real with Him and people, give up anything that can separate us from His love and presence, and strive to do His will everyday of our lives! You cannot fake it till you make it, so you might as well not try. Open yourself up to the presence of the LORD, and see what He will do in you and through your life!