The last post was about the times when you’re spiritually in the desert. God will lead you out of that desert, and if we follow Jesus’ example, this should lead us into our ministry. This is when we need the authority that we have in Jesus. This is one of my favourite topics, although I don’t fully understand (or appreciate) the authority that I have, I think this is a common area of misunderstanding in the church today. I’m going to bring two passages of scripture to your attention today. I want to show you the authority that Jesus had, and then show you how we have it now.
The Faith of a Roman Officer
When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralysed and in terrible pain.” Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. But many Israelites—those for whom the Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour. – Matthew 8:5-13.
There is so much to take from this passage, but I just want to highlight a few things. Jesus was amazed at the man’s faith. Jesus had the authority, He didn’t even have to be in the same place. He just said the word and the person was healed. Jesus also commented that the man’s belief played a part in the healing. So what does this mean for us? Well, if we have the authority that Jesus had (which I am about to argue that we do), then we need to follow His example. What are the ‘ingredients’ in the story. Words and faith. Faith to believe that what scripture says is true and that we really do have the authority. Words to call it into being. Even God used words to create the earth, remember, let there be light. Words are important. If we could only get our words and faith to line up with scripture, we will have no limits! Jesus didn’t form a prayer committee, he didn’t wait for a Wednesday prayer meeting or a Sunday service. He said the words and the man believed. Job done. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking Sunday services or prayer meetings, I’m just making a statement as to what we should be doing.
Just in case any of you are saying that we don’t have this authority, this is for you. I know that Jesus was (and is) God, but it was the Holy Spirit that was leading Christ. The Holy Spirit is also God, and He dwells in us as He dwelled in Christ. If you’re still not convinced, and you think that maybe there is a difference between what the Son of God did, and what we as children of God can do, take a look at Matthew 28:18 which says, “Jesus came and told his disciples,“I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.” Then Luke 9:1-2 says, “One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”
We (as Christians) have the authority. We have been given the authority and responsibility. Keep believing, have faith in what God has promised, and speak it into being. Using this authority against the powers of darkness to help other people to see the glory of God, is what ministry is all about. Whether we use it to help our fellow Christians overcome strongholds in their life, or whether we use it to enable others to enter the Kingdom, it is all ministry. Don’t underestimate the Holy Spirit living inside of you. You are no longer yourself but a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), and this new creation has the Holy Spirit. This new creation has the authority in Christ Jesus!
You have the authority. Use it!