Are we, as believers in Jesus Christ, living with the true authority and power that Christ has given us? Living in this power and authority would not be done in a voice of arrogance or braggadocio, or in such a way to put someone else down. We are to live in the way that Jesus spoke to the people, in a respectful manner and with a quiet, yet confident spirit. We are to conduct ourselves in a way that reflects a Christlike manner. Believers are to speak with power and authority that does not come from our own abilities, but instead from God, the father, through Jesus Christ in the accomplishment of His will. God’s authority and power, to effectively work in our lives, requires obedience to His Word and actively assuming the responsibility that comes with obedience to God’s will. When we, as believers in Christ, observe the various areas in and around our lives that need to be fixed or improved, how are we to respond? In the decade of the 60s, many people responded to the various social injustices that were in existence by joining civil rights organizations and taking action. In the same way, do we, as a church, look at today’s issues with a heart for the people, or have we become numb and indifferent? As followers of Christ, in our obedience to His Word and in accord with His will, we have a responsibility to take action in our community and in our sphere of influence to make a positive difference (2 Chronicles 7:14). Unless God’s people get involved, and people see how you are working for the Lord in your service, how is God to be glorified? We are to lead by example and do more than just pray over someone’s situation or circumstances. He desires for us to act in the power and authority of Christ to offer assistance on today’s social issues, including the improvement of public education, preventing teen suicide, and counseling families who are struggling or broken, to name a few. When we fail to use our God-given power and authority, we are doing more “running away” from the problems instead of “standing” (Ephesians 6:11) or effectively moving forward in a positive manner in His service.
To choose to not stand on your authority and power is to live in the wilderness, as the nation of Israel did (Numbers 14:26-37). The moment that you make up your mind that you desire to serve the Lord, you will be able to press on and fight on behalf of His will, and in doing so, He will enable you with power and authority to accomplish it. God knows that we will not have the ability to accomplish His will on our own strength, but all that He requires is that we have the desire and drive to do the work. If we choose not to do this, we are often out of His will and we are ultimately disobedient to His Word. We will wind up battling ourselves, living in doubt and despair, failing to live up to our true potential, roles and purpose in Jesus Christ. When we operate without God’s power and authority, we render ourselves as useless…we live, in our ineffectiveness, in the wilderness.
Israel wandered for 40 years because of their unwillingness to recognize God for who He is and trust in Him for their needs. No matter what God had done for the people, He did not change the minds of the people because there were those in the midst that broke their covenant with the Lord and who were disobedient to the Lord, in spite of everything He had done for them. God had declared that those individuals, because of their transgressions, were to wander in the wilderness and eventually die off. They would not see the promised land (Numbers 14:26-35). God did not want this group to have any negative influence on those left to remain and who emerged from the wilderness. When the time was right once more to reestablish His covenant, God gave Joshua the command to circumcise those who desired to follow Him (Joshua 5:2-8).
To act in the power and authority of Christ, there must be a desire to read and study God’s Word. God had bring about a change of your heart and attitude when we believe in His Word, as His Word is trustworthy and it brings us wisdom and discernment (Psalm 19:7-8). There is joy and peace in knowing more about the Lord. When we see the world and the community around us as God sees it, we would realize and know, with confidence, that in the power and authority of Christ, that no problem is too large to solve, and that there is no circumstance or situation greater that God’s ability to change it. Do we see the things around us in such a way where it bothers us? When we see sin abounding, it should bother us (Acts 17:16).
When we do not act in the power and authority of Christ, we become lukewarm and insensitive Christians. Observe the attitude that one can have when one chooses to not use God’s power and authority. “‘Two men went up to the temple complex to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee took his stand and was praying like this: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people–greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get'” (Luke 18:11-12). In stark contrast, look at the sincerity of heart as demonstrated by the tax collector. “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, turn your wrath from me–a sinner!’ I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other; because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:13-14).
We are to guard against being too busy or to make excuses to keep us from serving the Lord (Luke 9:57-62). We are to allow God to adjust the things in your life when you focus on serving Christ and being obedient to Him. Let Him take care of the details in your life. Lukewarm Christians will inevitably put limits on what they do in service for the Lord. Put all of the earthly wisdom and riches aside and trust God in everything, for it is far greater and more valuable than earthly wisdom and riches–it is about God’s provision of eternal wisdom and wealth, which is far more than we could ever imagine (Luke 18:21-25). To be a living sacrifice means to love everyone as Christ loves everyone (Matthew 5:43-47). When we trust God in this area, He will give us the power and authority to be a living sacrifice for Him.
God also desires for us, in His power and authority, to have wisdom and insight through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:15-19). We need to seek Him to know Him better, but God graciously will give you even more than what anyone can provide as we grown in Him. We do not know how much power and authority that we have when we live in doubt and without trusting Him, but we have the ability to accomplish a great deal when we live according to His will (Ephesians 1:20-23). Everything is under your feet and you are able to act in God’s power and authority and are able to overcome Satan and all obstacles that we will face.
Understand who you are in Christ…live and speak with power and authority in all that you set out to do. You will not be in the wilderness if you are trusting God and living according to His will…you will be living a life of victory in Jesus Christ.