Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Slap You Nekked and Hide Your Clothes

In middle school, I had a friend who was popular. She had a cute hair cut, a cute personality, and even a cute walk, so what did I do? I got that hair cut. I imitated her personality. And I walked like she did. Instead of looking cute though, I looked like a scraggly, fake kid whose sachet looked like the waddle of a penguin.
Have you ever seen someone who was so authentic in their walk with Christ, so authentic in their worship, and so authentic in their love for God that you just wanted a piece of what they have? And have you ever tried to imitate that person? Truth is they are human beings and will have failures and will let you down, disappoint you, but it doesn’t stop people from doing it day in and day out.
Sometimes you may see once church emulate another. Maybe they are trying to model themselves after a mega church in Dallas or California. They will use the same programs, the same music, the same wording just trying to get their congregation to the where this other church is.
You know what happens when you try to emulate another person or another entity? My daddy used to say, “I’m gonna slap you nekked and hide your clothes.” It’s something like that.
In Acts 19, Paul is speaking boldly and arguing persuasively until the Jews become obstinate. So long as the Jews were willing to talk and listen, Paul stayed. When the Jews began planning riots or becoming obstinate, Paul knew there was no point in staying. Typically the reason the Jews would become upset and begin riots or become obstinate is because they became jealous or didn’t know how to defeat Paul. God was pouring himself into Paul. The Spirit was moving Paul. When Paul sweats, people were healed by touching his dirty laundry!  When the toxins that pour out of your body through sweat glands has the power to heal, to cast out demons, or to restore another person, then that has got to be some potent sweat.
That’s the power some of the Jews wanted, so some of them started casting out spirits and demons. What’s funny is they kind of went down a list of names to cast out the demon hoping one of the names would do the trick. In this instance they called on Jesus – you know, the guy Paul uses to cast out demons. All was well and good until a demon came out of a man and spoke to the seven sons of Sceva who were casting. Verse 15 says, One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?
Now put yourself in the sandals of one of those seven sons. If they didn’t have to go home and change their britches, then what happens next certainly will. Verse 16 says, 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. See I told you that you get slapped nekked and your clothes go missing!
Truth is these men were calling out names of people and deity with whom they had no personal relationship. They only way for people to be genuinely changed is to be plugged into the source which is Jesus Christ. That is the way Paul operated. The power that comes from the Spirit isn’t like rubbing a magic lamp and a genie pops out. You can’t have the authentic walk of another Christian if you aren’t connected to the One whom they worship. You can’t have an experience or church or worship like another church or person or group without being plugged into the Source. And here’s the thing…just because you get plugged in doesn’t mean your worship, your experience, your power, or your walk will be like anyone else’s. It is completely up to the Spirit to determine what is needed in your life, in your relationship, in your walk, so get your eyes focused on where they should be. Don’t compare your walk to anyone else’s. Focus on getting so close to God that you can’t imagine operating outside of what the Holy Spirit tells you to do.
As a result of these seven guys getting their behinds kicked by a demon, there was a lot of fear and reverence in the name of Jesus Christ. I mean the demons knew Jesus’ name! Many unbelievers became Christians and brought their sorcery and witchcraft items and books. They estimated the value of all these books, trinkets and things totaled millions of dollars in today’s value.
Be authentic to who God created you to be because you look ridiculous and fake when you don’t. You might as well be parading around nekked because anyone who comes into contact with you will know just how unauthentic you really are.

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