Today I want to share a truth with you that Kenneth Hagin called “...the mightiest working of God for the believer”. The Apostle Paul thought it was a pretty big deal too; he prayed that we would receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation to see and understand it. What is it? It’s the authority that every believer has been given to exercise here on earth. The reason it’s so significant is: when we know and act in our authority, it affects the way we see and react to things in this life. In fact it changes the ‘game plan’, so to speak, to where we do more of the action and less of the reaction! It’s where we move from a place where life just happens to us, to where life actually comes from us. That’s very powerful!
First, let’s agree with what the Word says: we have an enemy, the devil, who is determined to prevent us from living free and victorious in this life. Ephesians 6:12 tells us our enemy is not flesh and blood, but principalities and powers of darkness. 1 Peter 5:8 says our enemy, the devil, goes around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to seize upon and devour. But, because of the finished work of the cross, this happened: Colossians 2:15, “[God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them...” Even though Jesus destroyed the power of the enemy over God’s children, we have to stand our ground and enforce his defeat.
You see, the devil knows that while you are ignorant of the authority you have over him, and the power of God that is in you to back it, you will never stand your ground against him. So he will reap havoc in every area of your life that you stand back and allow him free reign in. But the moment you understand and have a revelation of who you are in Christ, you can exercise your authority and cause great damage to his kingdom – while you live the best life possible here on earth.
So, let’s take a look at the authority you have in Christ Jesus. In Matthew 28:18, Jesus said that all power and authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. Then, He immediately transferred that authority to us. The Bible says that the power invested in the Name of Jesus and obtained by Him, through His overcoming the enemy, belongs to the church. Ephesians 2:5-6 says that even when we were dead in sin, He quickened us by His resurrection power and raised us up to be seated with Him in heavenly places – the place of authority. Moreover, Ephesians 1:22 tells us that all things were put under His feet, under His authority! That scripture goes on to say how Christ has become the head of the church. He is the Head, we are the body, and all things are under our feet. Hallelujah!
Listen to this: when God raised Jesus, the Head of the church, from the dead, He also raised us, the body. The head and the body are one! The authority was conferred to the head and the body together. When it comes to exercising authority on this earth, the head and body work inseparably together!
Look at what Jesus said in Luke 10:19, “Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.”
Then, in Ephesians 6:10-11 Paul says: “In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. Put on God’s whole armour [the armour of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.”
1 John 4:4 says, “Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world.”
Having said that, it is really important for us to understand the difference between authority and power...I actually heard Kenneth Hagin explain it this way:
He spoke about a small framed policeman boldly standing in front of a stream of traffic with his hand held out, signalling them to stop. Now there is no possible way that policeman has the power to stretch out both hands and, with his physical strength and might, hold back those vehicles. The only thing that is stopping that man from becoming road-kill is the fact that the drivers of those vehicles recognise his authority! They know that that policeman has the full power of the law backing him and, if they don’t obey, the consequences are more than what they care to deal with.
Just the same: when we understand the full force of the power of God that is in us, ready to back us, our authority becomes a terrifying signal to the devil. He recognises authority; more importantly, he recognises when a believer knows and acts in his authority – and he is powerless against that.
Anything the Word of God says is ours, through the finished work of the cross, we have been given the authority to take a hold of, by faith. So when the devil puts the symptoms of sickness, lack, worry, fear of failure, or any devilish thing on you, don’t stand for it. Know who you are in Christ and the power of God that is in you to back your authority. Then kick the devil right out of your life – and out of everything that concerns you!
James 4:7 says, “So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.”
Next week we will learn how to grow in our confidence to use our God-given authority! Until then, stand strong in the Lord and don’t let the devil push you around!
Love you dearly,