TO HAVE AUTHORITY
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Matt 8:9 "For I, too, am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, 'Go!' and he goes, and to another, 'Come!' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this!' and he does it.” NASB
Authority is divine power. When you have authority in life, it is characterized by power in your words. Like the case of the Lord Jesus in the context quoted from above, when He issued forth His words, healing virtue responded and went to the home of the Roman Centurion. When He spoke to the tree in Mark 11, the tree withered.
The Centurion here understood something that the Lord Jesus was impressed with; the man understood that Jesus had the authority. He understood the flow of power and authority. He knew that the release of power was tied to receiving authority from a higher authority. It is very important we note this fact of flow from a higher authority.
HOW DOES ONE RECEIVE AUTHORITY?
Authority comes to you when you are effectively under authority. You can only have things subject to you when you are effectively subject to the higher power. Many people want to have authority without being under authority. Please pay attention to what this Roman said. He started with the fact that he was under authority, and then that he also had authority over some people. It is good we notice the order. Your being under authority is first before authority can be conferred upon you. The amount of authority you have is determined by how much of divine authority is present over your life. The amount of authority you have in life is expressed by how much life responds to your words,
Let us for a moment look at the life of the Lord Jesus.
“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” John 10:17-18 NASB
Notice here that the Lord had authority over death and resurrection. But it must not escape our notice that He received this as a result of a commandment from the Father. The Father was the authority He was under, and as a result of this the authority of God over life and death flowed into Him. Friends, the way of flow of authority is towards those who are under it. You cannot have authority in life except you are under a form of authority.
The first authority we must all be under is that of the Lord Jesus and the word of God. We must be subject to the authority of the Lord daily in our lives; without it we lose the power to control the things of life. What Satan did to steal authority from Adam was to take him away from under the authority of God.
Let me quickly explain how that was accomplished.
Eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was a symbolic thing. It said to God that “I will make my decisions, I will decide what is good and evil.” Later, after Man fell, God acknowledged that Satan was right in that Man became like one of the ‘Gods’ (remember that that was what Satan said would be the result of taking the fruit). Man was now the authority over himself. He had become ‘like one of Us.’ He was no longer under the authority of the Lord who placed him in the garden. That was where things went wrong. The result of this was that the power of the Almighty to control the earth could no longer flow through this Man.
“They do not know nor do they understand;
“They walk about in darkness;
“All the foundations of the earth are shaken.
“I said, ‘You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High.’
"Nevertheless you will die like men,
“And fall like any one of the princes." Ps 82:5-7
This portion of the Psalms demonstrates clearly what happened to Adam and Eve. They refused to remain under the Most High, and as a result all the issues of life were shaken. They lost control over life.
What the Lord said to them began to fail. The Lord had said at the beginning, ‘have dominion.’ But it was no longer going to be so easy. The reason was because the flow of authority had been disconnected. See, even though God promises something, it is still possible not to have what God said one should have. When the Lord says something, to Him it is done, but you have to ensure that the thing becomes real in your life. In every promise or word from God, there is an implicit condition (see 1 Sam 2:30), so that when He said to man, ‘have dominion,’ it was implicit in it that to experience that dominion of God Man had to stay under His authority. The day Man decided against being under the authority of God, He lost dominion. He could only retain it if He remained under authority.
This was how Adam lost the garden, and control over the forces of nature. The plan of God was that Adam would rule the earth by his words, and not by the sweat of his brow. We see the power of sonship in the life of the Lord Jesus millennia later. Trees responded to Him. Storms and waves did the same, and these things were not because He was anointed but because He was shown to be the son of God through the training of the Father and the trials of life. That was why the Father said in effect, “This is my beloved Son; My authority now resides in Him.”
Jesus had become totally subject to the Father through all the years of His natural life. He had learned obedience and had become the Son of God in reality, not just by birth, but by going through the fires of life.
“Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 9 And having been made perfect…” Heb 5:8-9 NASB
Power flows through being under authority. That is the channel.
Satan is still playing the same card today. He tempts people to rebel against the authority of God in their lives. What they do not know as they follow the suggestion of Satan is that they are losing control of life. They are losing control of their families. They are losing control of their businesses and even their health. What Man should control with words, he now tries to negotiate with and regulate with research, self-discipline, diet, etc. This is what is meant by eating from the sweat of the brows (Gen 3:19).
Our words of authority were designed to control every sphere of life. Our bodies were meant to behave according to what we say. The climate was meant to be controlled by the inhabitants of the earth through words. But what do we have? Man lost control.
Once you argue with the precepts of God and decide to do things the way that seems good to you and so go against the way the Lord says, you lose control in life.
THE BAD FRUIT
What we see in life today as we pursue our own way is confusion. The world wants science to make decisions on everything after much research. There is a total rejection of the word of God. God says sexual perversion is bad and an abomination, but they prefer the verdict of researchers. A pervert of a man, a biologist called Alfred Kinsey, did some so-called research and decided that adultery, promiscuity, homosexuality, etc. (all which he is reported to have practised), are normal because they are common, and he is said to have, by his publications, laid the ground work for the sexual revolution (which is more like corruption). The result of these practices include broken homes, murders, diseases, etc., but the world turns a blind eye to the cause. The Bible calls these things the corruption that is in the world because of lust. Science as a way of deciding right and wrong is so unfortunate. It only produces bad fruit.
Science researches and one day it comes forth with some degree of knowledge; after a while researchers declare that knowledge to be false. Researchers change their minds over and over again without discovering the truth. Books are written and re-written again and again. What was previously considered bad for humans, according to medical science, is suddenly discovered to be good, and this is after decades of teaching the whole world that it is bad; and what was previously good is the new villain. One that particularly made me shake my head was how the medical world for decades told men to screen for cancers of the prostate from their middle ages with a particular test. After decades and billions of dollars of doing this, it was discovered that overall they had probably done more harm than good in early detection of prostate cancer and treatment. The man who invented the test said it has been one of the most colossal in the waste of public funds for health ever, that doing the test was not better than tossing a coin.
I call things like this the bad fruit. People rejected God and now they are in confusion. Occasionally God shows mercy and science seems to know what it is doing and so brings forth some good things. These things are actually products of divine direction which came through those who listened to Him. But unfortunately, because men hate God, such blessings only build idolatrous trust in human efforts in their hearts. Men refuse to acknowledge God and so move into confusion. All the time the Lord says, ‘O that you would harken unto me…’
“If only you had listened to my commands! Then blessings would have flowed for you like a stream that never goes dry. Victory would have come to you like the waves that roll on the shore.” Is 48:18 GNB
If we will regain control in life, we will have to become fully subject to the Father through our faith in the Son. We will have to subject every thought and imaginations of our hearts to the lordship of God through obedience to His word. Once we do this, automatically authority will flow into our lives again, and the Father will also utter that declaration of sonship over us.
The effect of this is that our words become powerful when we speak. You will speak to your body and it will listen. You will speak to health and it will come to you and to your children. You will discover that you struggle less to get things done but you learn to utter words. ‘It will not rain during the ceremony’ was all you said, and the clouds cleared. ‘My children will do well,’ and their grades improve. ‘Customers will come,’ and sales multiply for the day. This is what happens when you fight your flesh, put your body under, and compel your soul to obey the word of God rather than how you feel.
Another point we must learn is this: In every sphere of life, there is a structure of authority that was designed to keep the power/authority flowing. It is part of being under the authority of God to recognize the visible authorities he has placed you under.
Let us take the home as an example.
The man has authority over his home as He is subject to the authority of Christ. The wife has authority over her home only as she is subject to her husband, and the children have power to reign in life only as they are subject to their parents. That is divine order. A home where the man is not actively subject to the authority of Christ is a home without a proper flow of power. When the woman does not actively subject herself to the authority of her husband, she create spiritual chaos so that the children disobey God and the parents. As a consequence these disobedient children lose control of life. This is deep truth to ponder.
In everything you do in life, recognize the authority as the Lord ordained it (not as man ordained it); follow it and you would have opened the flow of divine power through and into your life. Being a person under authority, you will have spiritual soldiers do every bidding of yours.