Friday, October 17, 2008

Authority -- Part One

I've been in the process of writing this post for over a week. Usually when I write, I can knock it out in an hour or less at one sitting, but I've had a hard time with this one. There is so much in my heart that I want to say, yet it's been difficult to get it out. My time to sit and write has been limited, and when I would get a little bit written my head would feel like it was going to explode and I couldn't think clearly anymore, and then I've had computer issues, too. It's interesting that the computer issues began the day I got this part written. So I've had this much written since Tuesday, but have been unable to post it until today. Somehow I doubt that is a coincidence. So, here is the first part of what God has been showing me about authority lately.

John 14:10
– Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? What I am telling you I do not say on My own authority and of My own accord; but the Father Who lives continually in Me does the (His) works (His own miracles, deeds of power). (AMP)

John 10:14-18 – 14I am the Good Shepherd; and I know and recognize My own, and My own know and recognize Me – 15Even as [truly as] the Father knows Me and I also know the Father--and I am giving My [very own] life and laying it down on behalf of the sheep…. 17For this [reason] the Father loves Me, because I lay down My [own] life – to take it back again. 18No one takes it away from Me. On the contrary, I lay it down voluntarily. [I put it from Myself.] I am authorized and have power to lay it down (to resign it) and I am authorized and have power to take it back again. These are the instructions (orders) which I have received [as My charge] from My Father. (AMP)

Jesus was able to say and do everything He did while on earth, including His death and resurrection, because He was following the orders He received from the Father. Those orders from the Father gave Christ the authority He needed to fulfill His mission on the earth. The same is true for us. When God gives you orders, or instructs you to do something, He will give you the authority needed to fulfill the task.

One of the best analogies for this I can think of is the US military. The US troops who are stationed in Iraq are there under the authority of the US government. That means that, as long as they follow proper protocol and obey the orders they have been given, they are representatives acting on behalf of the US government in Iraq. They are present in Iraq with the approval of the US government and, again, as long as they follow proper protocol, the actions they need to take to fulfill their orders are sanctioned. As far as the people of Iraq are concerned, those troops are the United States of America. (No matter your political stance concerning the war, these are the current facts about the situation.)

However, if a soldier acts outside of the orders he has been given, he ceases to act on behalf of the US government. His actions are no longer sanctioned. He is no longer acting under the authority of the US government. He is now acting under his own authority. Once his actions are discovered, legally he will be punished. The authority of the US government no longer protects him. Instead, he is subject to retribution according to US law, no excuses, no exceptions (theoretically – unfortunately, in this imperfect world that does not always happen as it should).

An unfortunate consequence of a soldier acting under his own authority is that he still wears a US military issued uniform, and carries a US military issued weapon. While his actions may not have been sanctioned by the US government, to the people of Iraq it still appears that his actions were representative of the US government. His fellow troops are then left to perform damage control, and have to work that much harder to convince the people of Iraq (and, unfortunately, even some people back home) that the United States does not desire to harm them.

Jesus said that He knows His own the same way that He is known by the Father. We are joint-heirs with Christ. The same authority that was given to Him has been given to us. Jesus knows whom He has chosen and He trusts us with His authority. Still not convinced? Consider John 1:12, “But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name” (AMP). Don’t question if you have authority. Don’t be unsure. If you have received and welcomed Christ into your life, you carry His authority in your life and in the world.

(To be continued...)

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