Maybe. Maybe not.
What Is Authority?
When you study authority in the New Testament, you notice immediately that authority is given. You can’t faith it into existence.
The Father gave authority to Jesus.
Jesus gave authority to the Twelve and to the seventy.
Interestingly, Satan offers authority to Jesus in exchange for worship.
Does the average believer have authority? What is authority for?
Let’s define some terms. One Greek word for authority that frequently appeared in the New Testament was exousia. Two of its definitions that apply most to us are:
- The power of doing something
- Power over persons and things, dominion, rule
What has Jesus given us power to do? Over what/whom has He given us authority?
Jesus Gives Us Authority as Ambassadors
We bear His name. We are God’s children, Christ’s ambassadors.
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20 NIV, emphasis mine)
God has given us a ministry and a message for our respective corners of the world.
Exercising Your Authority
How do we exercise this authority?
God first, others next.
Loving thoughts. Loving words. Loving action. Loving requires God and impacts like nothing else. It’s guaranteed to cause change.
Do you bring the Kingdom into every place you go? Into every relationship? Into every task? Grasp the diplomatic mindset of an ambassador. You represent Jesus. Everywhere. All the time. Extend a kind word to the stressed–out mom at the store. Pay for a college student’s gas. Tell your micromanaging boss that you have their back.
Meet extreme behavior with shocking love.
And when they ask why—tell them.
Workout for the Week: Got Authority? Part 1
Memory Verse: We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20)
Meditation Passage: 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
Do It: Grasp the diplomatic mindset of an ambassador. You represent Jesus.
Spiritual Discipline for the March: Fasting Appropriate since Lent begins this month. Catherine Marshall, author of the novel Christy, spoke of a time when God called her to a twenty-four hour fast from criticism. Her hilarious observations and consequent insights can be found in Foster’s Spiritual Classics: Selected Readings on the Twelve Spiritual Disciplines.
Which would be more difficult to fast from, criticism or chocolate?