And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. (Acts 19:15, 16)
Violence erupted when several unbelievers attempted to profit by driving out evil spirits in the name of Jesus Christ. Unexpectedly, the devil turned on the frauds and knocked them silly. It’s probably safe to presume that they watched what they said from that point on. They weren’t punished so much for their sins as by their sins.
We hear God’s name used most every day. It’s used on the loading dock, at the hair stylist, in the factory, and in the store. We hear it on the radio and TV and in school hallways. God’s name even pervades our pastimes—on the golf course, in the fishing boat, at the card party, and at the ball games. Would that God were really so popular!
Of course, we realize that God’s name is used in two ways. As demonstrated by the unbelieving hypocrites, there is the profane way of calling on Him. Unfortunately, this seems the most common use of His name. Worse, misusing God’s name is acceptable and even expected in some circles.
When misuse of God’s name is so common, isn’t it frustrating that proper use invites derision? To utter “Jesus Christ” when something goes wrong seems more acceptable than proclaiming the same name in public prayer, thanksgiving, or words of forgiveness.
God must be used to hearing His name mentioned so often. But He always sticks around to listen. Those who call Him in the name of Jesus Christ out of true faith receive power to overcome evil. They can live peacefully with the knowledge that God is good and that He is in charge of every minute of their lives.
You’re entitled to use God’s name freely. Just watch your language. Let others watch it too, for in speaking in the name of Jesus Christ, you speak the language of truth, peace, and love.