Jun. 17, 2014

We Have Authority

What is Authority?

In an army, a commander over many (let’s say, 1000) soldiers has more authority than a commander over only a few soldiers. If we are in Christ, and we use our authority, we have all of heaven to back us up.

 

God First Created the World and then He Delegated Authority to Man

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28) 

In the beginning, God created the earth independently of man. Man had no input in how God created it. But after God had finished creating it, He then gave the earth over to Adam and Eve. God also gave them authority to have dominion over the whole earth. When they exercised their authority, then all of heaven backed them up with power. 

 

When God Gives Us Authority, He Expects Us to Use It

Often people pray to God to do something for them. But that is not quite right. If people would say “God you do it,” He would say to them, “No, you have authority. I have already given you authority. Don’t ask me to do it—use your authority!” Then, if they would use the authority that they have, all of heaven would back them up with power. 

 

God Expected Adam to Use His Authority

Let’s imagine that one day a vicious dog came to attack Adam. Adam might have said to God, “Oh God, help me quickly! Please help me! The dog is already biting my leg. Oh, no! It already hurts. Oh, God, please do something about it. Why don’t you do something....Oh, God...please....” In response, God would have told Adam, “No—you have authority. Use it!” God expected Adam to use the authority that He had given him. God expected Adam to command the dog to back off. Adam needed to command the dog by saying, “Go!” Then God would have backed Adam with all of the power of heaven. The dog would have then taken off with his legs between the tails. 

So, God has all the power, but God expected Adam to exercise his authority. If Adam used his authority, then God would back Adam up. If Adam didn’t use His authority, then it was not really God’s responsibility to act independently of Adam.

 

Adam Should Have Used His God-given Authority over the Devil in the Garden of Eden, but He Didn’t and Lost It Instead 

So, when the devil came along in the Garden of Eden, Adam should have exercised his authority over the devil. He should have commanded the devil, “Be gone”—but he didn’t. Instead, Adam sided with the devil and so lost his God-given authority.

 

Jesus Regained Adam’s Authority Over the Earth and Gave it to Us 

Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)

Let’s review. God gave Adam authority over the earth. When Adam exercised his authority, then God backed Adam up with his power. But Adam lost his authority by siding with the devil. Adam should have ordered the devil out of the Garden but he didn’t and so lost his authority. Jesus regained the authority that Adam had lost and gave it to us. So, now God expects us to use the authority that He has given us. If we exercise the authority that God has given to us, then God backs us up with His power.

 

The Disciples of Jesus Didn’t Use the Authority that Had Been Given to Them

Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8: 22-25) 

Jesus told his disciple, “Let us go over to the other side.” So from His point of view, the job was already done. But when the disciples were confronted with the storm, they didn’t use the authority that God had given to them. 

The disciples responded wrongly. They were like a person who would be attacked by a dog and then cry out for God help, instead of using the authority that God had given to him/her. So when the storm came, the disciples cried out to Jesus instead of using the authority that they had. Jesus then did what they should have done. He rebuked the storm and spoke to the storm commanding it to be still. Jesus said, “Storm, be still!” When Jesus exercised His authority, all of heaven was backing Jesus up. After Jesus had rebuked the storm, he also reprimanded his disciples saying, “Where is your faith?” Jesus expected his disciples to use the authority that was given to them, but they did not. 

We can learn a great lesson from this. Often when people that are in Christ are confronted with a problem, let’s say the symptoms of a sickness, they cry out to God and talk to God about the sickness. They might say something like this, “Oh God, please heal me! Please—I have this pain in my legs. Please take the pain away from me!” And when nothing happens, then they might go on to say, “Oh, God. I still have this pain. Why doesn’t it go away? Why do I still have this problem? Why is it getting worse?... Oh, God, please....” But these people are making a mistake. Instead of crying out to God, they should use their authority and command the sickness to go. They should speak to the symptom of the sickness, and exercise their God-given authority. 

The problem is not with God. God has already delegated authority to us. If we use the authority that God has given to us, all of God’s power is backing us up. If we don’t use the authority that God has given to us, it’s up to us. It is not God’s fault.

So instead of crying out to God and asking God to do something for us, we need to use the authority that God has given to us, and speak to the problem instead.

 

Summary 

God created the earth. Then He gave Adam and Eve authority over all the earth. When they used their authority, then God backed them up with His power. So when for instance a vicious dog came to attack Adam, God expected Adam to use his authority and command the dog to go. It would not have been right, if Adam had just cried out to God to keep the dog from attacking him. God would have said to Adam, “Why do you cry to me? I have given you my authority. Use it! Order the dog to go.” If Adam used his authority from God, then God would back him up with His power.

However, in the Garden of Eden, Adam did not exercise his authority over the devil and forfeited (lost) his authority from God. Jesus then regained the authority that Adam had lost and gave it to His disciples (us). One day Jesus’ disciples were attacked by a life-threatening storm. But instead of using their authority they cried out to Jesus. Jesus then did what they should have done in the first place and exercised his authority over the storm, commanding it to be still. 

The lesson that we can learn from this is this: God has given us his authority and expects us to use his authority instead of crying to him for help. We need to speak to the problem, for example, rebuke the symptoms of a disease, which has come to attack us, instead of crying to God about the sickness. So God has given us his authority, and now expects us to use his authority to exercise dominion over all the power of the devil. If we exercise the authority that He has given us, God will back us up with his power.