Dwight Fletcher | Freedom - The authority of the believer
Last week, we confirmed that every person who believes in their heart and declares with their mouth that Jesus is Lord is a believer.
As Christians, we have "spiritual authority" through Jesus Christ who imparted divine authority to us to defeat all the power of the enemy. Spiritual authority belongs to all of the children of God. But knowing you have spiritual authority is not enough. You have to learn how to use it. It is knowledge that is acted upon that will bring about results.
As Christians, our spiritual authority is enforced in the name of Jesus Christ "... these signs will accompany those who believe: In My Name they will drive out demons ..." Mark 16:17 NIV. The name of Jesus is POWERFUL. Here is what the Bible says: "... at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:10-11 NKJV
Authority is "... the power or right to give orders and make others obey or to take specific action." Jesus has given us the authority to command the devil to remove his hand from us, and the devil has to obey us. In the name of Jesus, we can become bold as by faith, we exercise our spiritual authority.
James 4:7 NIV tells us: "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." To flee means to run away in terror! Can you imagine the devil running away from us in terror? Well, that is exactly what happens when we exercise our authority in Christ. Remember that "greater is Jesus within you than the devil that's in the world."
Many things exist in the lives of God's children because they permit them to exist or they don't know that they can do something to change the situation. But God's Word gives us the power and responsibility to do something about situations we want changed.
Authority is also exercised through our spoken word ... "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Proverbs 18:21 NIV.
AUTHORITY AND MATURITY
But authority is not a gift. As Christians, our authority comes through our relationship with Jesus Christ. What I do with that relationship determines the level of my authority. So every time I submit to Satan instead of God, I reduce my authority. To operate with great authority, I must walk in a close relationship with God.
The Bible speaks of the Sons of Sceva who had no relationship with God and were overpowered by the enemy ... "Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, 'In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.' 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, 'Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?' 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding." Acts 19:13-16 NIV
For us to have a good relationship with God, we must obey him ... "Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them." John 14:21 NIV. Obedience opens the door for a greater relationship and greater authority. We also need to spend quality time with God, reading the Word, in praying and worshipping, so that we can have more authority.
As Christians, we can then face the enemy without fear or hesitation. "I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven." (Matthew 18:18 NLT)
CONFESSIONS WITH SCRIPTURE
You have Jesus within you, and He has given you authority over the power of Satan. Go in Jesus' name and take back your authority. Use it against the devil and make him run away from you in terror!
Today, if you need to take authority over a particular area in your life, then start.
According to Colossians 1:13-14, I have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness and now belong to the kingdom of God. I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus, and Satan has no hold on my life. Because the blood of Jesus was shed for me, I am completely forgiven of all of my sins. Therefore, I declare that all the power of the enemy against me, including (specify the issue) is null and void. In Christ, I have been given authority over every evil spirit (Luke 10:19-20), and no demon will harm me. Therefore, I trample on all of the works of the devil and cancel their effect in my life because of the finished work of Jesus.