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Harnessing Our God-Given Authority: Part 1

by | Apr 28, 2023 | Authority, Harnessing Our God-Given Authority, Intercession, Prayer, Victory

It happened so often when my boys were young that I can’t recall one specific incident; but it usually went something like this:

Me: “Johnny, go tell Billy it’s time to put away the toys.”

A few moments later, I would over hear this conversation from the next room:

Johnny: “Billy, we have to put away the toys.”

Billy: “Why?”

Johnny: “Because.”

Billy: “Who says?”

Johnny: “Mom says!”

There would be a bit of silence then, but absolutely no sound of toys being put away. Then,

Johnny: “Come on Billy! Mom says we have to put away the toys!”

Billy: “Okay.”

More silence.

Johnny: “Billy! Mom said!”

Billy: (angry now) “I will! In a minute!”

What was Johnny’s problem?

He had absolutely no authority to make Billy do what I wanted him to do…

No authority… Is this why our attempts at intercession so often fail?

God has been placing this message on my heart for several days now. I don’t know about you, but I am often frustrated by the lack of effect my intercessory prayers seem to have. We are told we have authority in Christ to cast out demons, heal the sick, escape temptation, etc.; yet it seems that our message must be pretty non-authoritative because just like Billy wouldn’t put his toys away when Johnny told him to, our own attempts at deliverance and healing appear to have no effect. But God said we do have authority! Wasn’t that one of the last things He said to His disciples? “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues…'” (Mark 16:17  NASB)? Where are we going wrong?

This is the first of a three-part mini-series entitled, “Harnessing Our God-Given Authority”. For today, we will begin looking at potential clues in Scripture as to why the demons don’t just run every time we open our mouths…

The Bible is clear: In Christ, we have authority. Check out these verses:

“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7b NASB).

It sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? We resist, he flees. Why, then, aren’t our prayers more effective? Could it be that we’ve forgotten the first half of this verse? “Submit therefore to God.” (James 4:7a NASB). In other words, in order to resist the devil, we must first submit to God!

“…you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”
(Eph. 6:11b NASB).

Once again, we have to look to the first half of the verse for the clue: “Put on the full armor of God, so that…” (Eph. 6:11a NASB). Standing firm against the devil doesn’t just come because we want it to. From this, then, we understand that in order to have authority over the devil, we must be prepared! We are wearing the full armor of God, which includes the belt of Truth, the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit, the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness and the shoes of readiness that comes from the gospel of peace!

“…in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues…” (Mark 16:17b NASB).

Again, it is the first part of the verse that gives us the clue as to how this might happen: “These signs will accompany those who have believed…” (Mark 16:17a NASB)! Notice that these “signs” aren’t just given to anyone. Rather, they will accompany … “those who have believed”! Thus, in order to be able cast out demons, etc., we need to … believe!

In summary, then, three of the prerequisites for using the authority that Christ has given us are as follows:
— We need to be completely submitted to God;
— We need to be prepared, properly covered 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; and
— We need to believe in that authority!

That is enough to digest for one day. We will dig a little deeper into this topic on Thursday for a look at what we can glean from a few more Bible verses. Please join us on Thursday for “Harnessing Our God-Given Authority, Part 2”! In the meantime, I would encourage you to prayerfully consider these points:

1. What areas of your life do you need to submit to Him? Could it be that you need to submit even the area of intercessory prayer to Him?
2. Secondly, I would encourage you to seek to cover yourselves in the armour of God. If you need a little more information on how to do this, we invite you to reference other devotionals that address this a little more specifically by clicking here!
3. Finally, it is time to take stock of your faith! Do you truly believe the demons will submit to your intercessory prayer?

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.)


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