What is Authority?
Dictionary.com defines authority as: 1. the power to determine, adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues or disputes; jurisdiction; the right to control, command, or determine; 2. a person or body of persons in whom authority is vested; 3. persons having the legal power to make and enforce the law.
Today we’ll look at 4 aspects of implementing spiritual authority…
1) Take authority over your flesh
First, you must take authority over your flesh regarding your own life, so that you manage it well: “You can’t take authority over your life if you don’t have authority over a sink full of dirty dishes or a messy garage” (Joyce Meyer). The Bible tells us to be good stewards of our time, our thoughts, our words, our choices, our gifts, our money and our bodies. In other words, we are instructed to take authority over our lives, by being good managers of our lives in these ways. How are we to do this? “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6). We are to ask the Lord for His grace, His ability, to do what He has instructed us to do. We rely on the ability of God at work on the inside of us, not our flesh. In addition, we put shoe leather to the stewardship of our lives. The Bible says (1 Corinthians 3:9) that we co-labor with Christ. In other words, we work together toward the same goals. One example of a goal is, as we get authority over our thoughts and emotions, we are less likely to be led around by them. Another is, as we get authority over our bodies, we are less likely to give way to every food craving. As the definition states, taking authority over our flesh is taking control of and having jurisdiction over it.
2) Our Mindset
Second, we often walk in defeat instead of in authority that leads to victory because of our mindset. Mindsets are like the bumpers put in the gutters of bowling lanes. If they are godly, they keep us on the straight and narrow. However, if they are not, whether because they do NOT agree with the Word or because they are simply out of season and old, they act as blinders. Instead of safety nets that surround us, they become stumbling blocks we bump into that prevent a victory. Many times, we have fixed mindsets about what we can and can’t do, what we like and don’t like, how God can and cannot use us, how God will and will not do things, what others can and can’t do. Instead, we must have a growth mindset that allows us to open ourselves to other, new ways of doing things and different belief systems that still align with the Word of God. This is why we are to be good stewards of our minds and submit to the Lord. As the definition states, here we have the authority to determine our mindset. Life is not something that happens to us; we are participants, profit participants, in fact! Our actions and choices determine many outcomes in our lives.
3) Declaring God’s Will
Third, you can declare the will of God over your life because, within the Word of God, the will of God is revealed. Whenever the will of God is known, you can agree with His Word and send it forth! The definition states that authority gives you the right to command.
Jesus is quoted in Isaiah 46:10 as saying, “…My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.” Determine that you will believe the Word of God. When you believe the Word of God, whether written, prophesied over or spoken to you, when you come into agreement with the Lord and believe His Word, you are standing on it in authority, knowing that it’s the Word of the Lord alone that stands firm in the heavens (Psalm 119:89). We can go to war with the Word of God, meaning that in His name, we can declare the Word that revealed the will of God into every situation in our lives.
Fourth, because of the authority given to us by Christ as His co-heirs, we are not subject to the enemy. Luke 10:19 says, “…I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy…” One major way you can exercise your authority over the enemy is by not agreeing with him but agreeing with the Lord instead. As the definition states, as a Christian, authority has been vested to me, and I have authority to enforce the law (the Truth, the Word, the power of Christ, in this context).
As you can see, there is power for defeat or victory in agreement. Do you remember when David came to the battlefield against Goliath? In 1 Samuel 17, David called Goliath an “…uncircumcised Philistine…” He did so because Israel, whom Goliath was coming against, had a covenant with God, symbolized by circumcision. Goliath did not have a covenant with God, hence the reference to him being uncircumcised. David knew the will of God. He knew who he and his people were to God. And, he agreed with the Word of the Lord concerning them. Upon that authority, he stood and the following story unfolded as a result, “David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.’
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face-down on the ground.
So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him” (verses 45-50).
As the definition of authority states, David settled the dispute.
If there is any dispute in your mind about the Word of the Lord, settle it! You have been given the authority to agree with and determine the course of life with it!