Wait a minute. Wait a minute. WAIT A MINUTE?!?!?!?!
Would you let me say something please? Just let me talk for a minute and you’ll understand the title of this blog post. I promise. And it’s not as bad as it sounds.
I read something the other day that had been written from God’s perspective. My paraphrase of what God said is this: “Start your day with Me. Because, truth is, this day is gonna suck. But without me at the beginning of it? It’s gonna double suck.” So do you mind if I get Biblical with you this morning? Let me tell you a little story. Paint you a little picture. My daddy likes painting pictures.
Once upon a time…
There was an old boy named Paul. Now, old boy was a very powerful tool of the Holy Spirit for the Kingdom of God. And old boy would travel from town preaching the good news and performing miracles. Unfortunately, there were some folks who thought that they could do the same because they knew Paul. They didn’t know the God Paul knew…just Paul. So they were moving through one day and saw a man possessed by an evil spirit. They walked up to him and said some incantations, did a little Bible thumping, face palmed him, and said “Be gone in the name of that guy Paul talks about. Er…Jesus!”
“…the evil spirit talked back: ‘I know Jesus and I’ve heard of Paul…but who are you?’ Then the possessed man went berserk — jumped the exorcists, beat them up, and tore off their clothes. Naked and bloody, they got away as best the could.” -Acts 19:15-16 (MSG)
I love this story for multiple reasons. First of all…ain’t that just like a bunch of Christians? To put their faith in another Christian instead of the God Son who allows us to be Christians in the first place? Let me tell you what I learned yesterday. “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.” (Psalm 39:7 NIV). My hope is in Jesus Christ. My hope is not in my daddy getting better. My hope is not in the doctors. My hope is not in the prayers of the people around me. My hope is in Jesus the Christ. And because of that…I believe my daddy can get better. I believe the doctors can do everything that needs to be done to make that happen. And I KNOW the prayers of the people around me are reaching the ears of a God in whom I find my hope.
But my favorite things about this story, is it’s implication for believers. There are several instances when evil spirits talk back to great men. The legion speaking directly to Jesus, the girl who keeps following Paul and Silas around, among others. EVERY time…the evil spirit is speaking to the qualifications of the individual speaking to them. The legion knew who Jesus was, the girl followed Paul and Silas telling everyone that they were there to tell them how to be saved. But here we have a break in the pattern. Because here…we don’t have great men of God. We don’t even have great men of any kind. There just…men. Who think they’re great because they know Paul and Paul knows Jesus.
So when they see this demon possessed man, they think, “Ha! This is our opportunity to make Paul proud!” Not to further the kingdom, not to help the least of these, not to put one more nail in the gates of hell through their boldness…but just to show off. So they demand the spirits to come out. Although, in my mind I’ve always heard this as that timid demand that ends up sounding like a question. “get out of this m-m-man?” And look at what the demon says.
“Buddy. Jesus came down and whooped my butt all over the place a few years back. And old boy over here has crushed my head more times than I can count…but who…in the hell…are you?”
To catch any new people up to date, my father is fighting for his life right now in the hospital. And it isn’t looking good. But let me tell you something. For all the people praying: if something happens and my daddy never comes back home to us, let me tell you one thing right now:
The Devil Knows My Daddy.
He’s stepped on him, stepped with him, stepped on him, stepped around him, and blown his head clean off many times in his life. And for the past 6 days, we’ve had people all over the country bombarding God with the name of Mike Lowe. And God loves that name! But you know that the devil’s got his phone lines tapped. He’s listening for the big names so he knows who he needs to knock down a peg or two. So let me just assure you of something right now…the devil knows my daddy’s name. He knows it’s a good name. He knows it’s a name God loves. He knows it’s a name I love. He knows it’s a powerful name.
And if we can take positive things into our lives moving forward from this difficult time…I would dare to take this story one step farther:
Make sure the devil knows your name.
I want my name written on the palm of Jesus hand. Scripture tells me it already is. He knows me. But the person I want to know me second best is the devil. When I say “no”…I want him to tremble. When I say “get out” I want him to run away crying. And when I pound my feet and fists on the ground and tell him he can’t have my joy, or my attention, or my daddy…I want the gates of hell to dent a little bit. And I want to make. Him. Angry.
If satan has a bulletin board in his office of public enemy number one…I want to be on it.
If he’s got a fridge…I want to be on it.
If he’s Irish and has a book…I want to be in it.
If he has nightmares…I want to star in them.
I want to make sure he knows my name.
Because in the end, when I stand before Jesus, I want to be scarred and wounded. Because I want to look just like Him. I want him to look into my tear filled eyes and say, “I know you. My sweet Grace. And when I told the enemy you were on your way…he fled.”
So friends and family, know Jesus. And better still…let Jesus know you! But keep fighting, keep praying, keep moving. And make sure the devil…knows your name.