Here are three more important lessons from the seven sons of Sceva:
(1) Those around you aren’t necessarily with you. Just because somebody hangs out with you, admires you, and tries to emulate you, doesn’t mean they’re with you. These men followed Paul, studying his every move and trying to do what he did. But they had the wrong motives. They were never ‘with’ him at all! Are you concerned about losing certain people? Are you always trying to keep them happy? Do you wonder if you can make it in life without them? John writes, ‘They went out from us, but they were not of us.’ (1 John 2:19 NKJV) When God removes a person who doesn’t belong in your life, trust Him; He knows what’s best.
(2) Greater numbers don’t always mean greater effectiveness. These seven men together couldn’t do what one Spirit-empowered apostle did. And remember, their father was a chief priest, so they knew how to ‘do church’. They fulfilled the Scripture: ‘Having a form of godliness, but denying its power.’
(3) Success isn’t as easy as it looks. Sceva’s sons showed up towards the end of Paul’s career. They weren’t there in the beginning when he was humbled on the Damascus Road, or trained for three-and-a-half years in the Arabian Desert. These guys were looking for shortcuts. Just because someone writes a book about success, doesn’t mean you can achieve overnight what took years of life experience on the part of the author. It’s not that God can’t give you instant success; it’s that you need time, training, and in some cases a major overhaul to prepare you for it.