On Tuesday, in “Harnessing Our Authority in Christ, Part 1”, we saw that there are some important prerequisites to being able to access Christ’s promised authority. These included being completely submitted to God, believing in the power of Jesus, and being prepared by covering ourselves in Jesus’ Salvation and righteousness, properly grounded in Truth, in God’s peace and in the promises of God’s Word, properly surrounded by impenetrable faith.
The Bible gives us other clues as to how we can access Jesus’ authority. Check out these verses:
“Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” (Luke 10:20 NASB). Notice that we are not told to rejoice in the authority we have over the demonic forces. Rather, we are told to rejoice in our Salvation. Could it be that one of the reasons we are not successful in our attempts at showing authority over the devil and his forces is because … we take joy in casting them out? Are we in some way taking credit ourselves?
This idea is further hinted at in Jesus’ instructions to His disciples before sending them out: “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8 NASB). In the final words, “free you received, freely give”, is stated the idea that we are to give these things without expecting anything in return!
Could it be that one of the reasons our intercessory prayers don’t seem to reach the ceiling is because we are expecting something in return? It all boils down to one word: Humility. When we utilize the authority we have been given in Christ, we need to do so with a humble heart, pouring out our love to those we are trying to help without taking the credit and without expecting anything in return!
“Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach…” (1 Tim. 5:14 NASB).
This text would suggest that improper conduct will give the enemy an advantage; thereby suggesting that proper conduct will put the enemy at a disadvantage!
This is further outlined in Ephesians 4:25-27: “Therefore, ridding yourselves of falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor … Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” (NASB).
Thus, when we do not conduct ourselves properly, we are giving the devil an opportunity! And believe me, he WILL take it!
In summary then, in order to prepare ourselves to be able to take the authority we have in Christ:
— We must submit ourselves to Christ;
— We need to prepare ourselves by donning the full armour of God;
— We need to believe in the authority given to us by Christ;
— We need to be humble, pouring out God’s love to other without taking credit or expecting anything in return; and
— We need to conduct ourselves properly.
There is just one piece still missing. Let’s take a look at the topic itself: How do we harness our authority in Christ? Notice the second to last word: “in”. It doesn’t talk about harnessing our authority from Christ; rather, our authority in Him!
Is this just some fancy play on words to illustrate my point?
Let’s take a look at one of the more familiar passages of Scripture, the Great Commission: ”And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:18-20 NASB).
Notice that Jesus doesn’t say here, “I give you My authority”. Rather, He says that He has been given the authority (See vs. 18). How, then, can He expect us to do what He has asked us to do? That’s summed up in the final verse: “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (vs. 20)
Could it be that we are trying to use that authority as if it is our own? I am certainly guilty of that! Rather than seeing it as our authority, we need to see it as His authority that He chooses to manifest through us!
This all sounds theoretically correct and sound. But how can we remember all of this? How can we possibly apply it to our Spiritual lives so that our intercessory prayers are powerful and effective? So that the devil doesn’t just turn around, as Billy did in the introductory story, and say, “Why? Says who? In a minute maybe, but first I’m going to …”?
Join us on Saturday for the conclusion of “Harnessing Our Authority in Christ, Part 3”!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart
Associate Director, Moderator, Answers2Prayer Ministries
(To access the entire “Harnessing Our God-Given Authority” mini-series, please click here.)