The story of Frank Abagnale was made famous by the 2002 film called Catch Me If You Can, which was based on Abagnale’s personal memoirs written in 1980. Perhaps the greatest conman of all time, Frank was able to manipulate his way into air travel and free hotels as a pilot. Additionally, his fraudulent career included a season as a lawyer, who gained employment for the Louisiana Attorney General’s office, and even as a doctor in Georgia.
His masterful and fake lifestyle ended in imprisonment and an eventual deal with the FBI, who exchanged his freedom for help in solving fraudulent crimes. This bizarre, yet true, story sounds unbelievable. It is also a reminder of how we can be tempted to live our life as a fake, and even work to borrow someone else’s identity of faith.
Acts 19:11-16 describes the sons of Sceva, who was a High Priest. These men were so enamored by the power of God at work in Paul that they tried to copy his acts of signs and wonders. The account of Scripture tells us that this didn’t work, given they were working in the name of Paul, rather than the name of Christ. As they ran off naked and ashamed, we reflect and make some powerful observations.
So often, people live on borrowed faith. At times, it is a child who lives off the faith of his or her parent or a husband who lives through the faith of his wife. Perhaps it manifests in a congregant living off the faith of his or her pastor. The reality is that faith cannot be borrowed; it must be personal and owned.
For the sons of Sceva, they acted by “the Jesus that Paul proclaims”, rather than Jesus who has rescued their souls. We are called to live in submission to Christ’s authority and with our identity found in Him. This act of true repentance and response to the Gospel will enable us to live in faith that is a personal experience with a personal God.
Matthew 25:1-12 is a parable told by Jesus of ten virgins, who were waiting on their wedding party. Five of them were unprepared and thought they could simply borrow oil from others and be ready. When they learned that borrowing oil was not an option, they left and missed their opportunity.
Similarly, we must choose to be ready for Christ’s return. We cannot hope to be ready by borrowing someone else’s faith. We must allow God to make us new and change our hearts. This great exchange, made possible by the rescue mission of Jesus, will secure our hope for eternity and give us peace and purpose today.
Your ultimate desire of peace, pleasure, and purpose can only be found in Christ and cannot be borrowed or transferred. A personal God wants you to know Him personally, and the beautiful story of God’s grace is that you can. To learn more, click here: https://calvaryga.com/its-all-about-jesus/