What does the phrase, “in Jesus name” mean to you? Does it mean, “I’m doing this for Jesus,” or “this is in remembrance of Him?” Or are you saying, “These words and actions are backed by the very powers of Heaven?”

My first public job was working on the construction of Interstate 40, through Knoxville, TN. It began one morning in the Spring of 1961 at what is now the “Papermill Road” exit. There was nothing there but the outline of what would become the new Interstate.

My first assignment was to take a water truck down to the big curve, now known as the I-75/I-40 split, about 14 miles to where the rest of the machinery was parked. At the time, no excavation had been done to indicate there would also be an I-75.

Having grown up on a farm, I could operate nearly all the big farm equipment, but had never seen machines as large as these. Some of the excavators had enormous engines on each end and weighed approximately 200 tons. The tires were much taller than a man, 3 feet wide, and cost more than a new Cadillac.

Working around these machines, and occasionally hitching a ride, was quite an experience for an 18-year-old farm boy.

My job was to operate the water truck and to help the excavators by keeping the top of the “blue top stakes visible.” (These stakes established the lay of the highway).

I worked with these men every day, and would often tease them during our lunch hour. For instance, 5 minutes before time to go back to work, I might playfully say, “I’m the boss, and I think it’s time to get back to work.” Perhaps even worse I would quote something I had overheard the boss say, “Hopefully we can get a little more done than we have the past few days.”

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This would usually bring a big dirt clod zinging by, or more often than not, one of them would get up and chase me; most of the time they couldn’t catch me, but when they did would just wrestle me to the ground. But it was all in fun, and I would do it again at the next opportunity.

One morning a new boss showed up. He was a construction engineer awaiting an assignment that was soon to open in South America. In the meanwhile, he would help out on this job, and I was to be his, “helper.”

Most of my new duties consisted of running errands in his truck, (sometimes to get him a cold drink or a candy bar at the nearest store). We became friends, and he invited me to go with him to work on the upcoming job in South America, but at the age of 18, I had other things in mind.

So what does this have to do with the phrase, “in Jesus name?”

As completion time drew near, the work schedule became very intense. One morning the Federal Highway Inspectors discovered an error in the grade level several miles back. It was still only dirt but was scheduled to be paved shortly, so the mistake had to be corrected right away.

The boss called me over and told me that he could not leave what he was doing and that I was to take his truck and go to where the heavy equipment operators were working. I was to tell them to stop their work immediately and hurry to this designated area, (about three miles away); that there would be engineers waiting there to explain what needed to be done.

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“Sure,” I said, “I know exactly where they are.” However, along the way I began to wonder, would they listen to the youngest employee on the payroll, so young he wasn’t allowed even to drive their machines, the one they had tossed mud-clods at, and teased?

After all, these types of moves were usually planned days, and sometimes weeks in advance, and were very expensive.

Still struggling with these thoughts, I found the crew and delivered the message. To my surprise they didn’t tease, jokingly throw anything at me, or even ask questions; they just got on their machines and roared off to their new assignment.

In less than 5 minutes from my arrival, they were almost out of sight. There, in the midst of the dust, diesel smoke, and fading rumble of the engines, I began to understand.

They had listened because I was driving the bosses’ personal truck, with his name written on the side. I was delivering the message “in his name.” His power and authority were behind my every word and action.

So it is when we act in Jesus name because He is our Lord and Master. His name is above every name; His power and authority are above every other power and authority in Heaven, and on earth.

When acting and speaking in the name of my boss I was in the physical world. When we act and speak in the name of Jesus, we are operating in the supernatural spiritual world, where the Holy Spirit and all the powers of Heaven are available to back our prayers, words, and actions.

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Samuel Mills