What Is Authority?

By Donna Kraus

When I think of someone in authority I think of a person with a high-ranking position, like the President of the United States, a Sergeant in the Marines, a Federal judge, a Police Officer, etc. I’ve always looked at it as a position you work very hard to get by proving yourself worthy of moving up to the top, thus earning this position of power. You then have power and control over the people that work for you.

When I first started my walk with God and began reading scripture, I would read about Jesus giving His people Authority in His name. This was amazing to me! In Luke 9:1-2 “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. In Luke 10:17, “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your name.” In Acts 3:6-8 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.

Just to use somebody’s authority through their name is quite an honor! It’s like being able to go to the bank and draw out a million dollars on behalf of a wealthy businessman! Now that would be awesome!! But Notice that Peter didn’t pray for this man. It was God’s power that healed this man, but that power was under Peter’s authority. Peter went on to say in verse 16 that it was faith in the name of Jesus that had brought this miracle. But Peter didn’t ask God to heal this man. He believed the Lord had already done His part and had placed that power within him. Now it was Peter’s responsibility to release that power, and that’s just what he did. I try to imagine how they must have felt, amazing to say the least.

Jesus gave His disciples authority to carry out His will here on earth, but they weren’t the only ones. He also gave ALL believers authority to heal the sick and cast out devils as well…wait… “what”!!! At this point in my walk I am studying this and still not understanding fully that we, today in modern time, have this same authority, not just those we read about in the bible.

So in other words, since I believe then I have this same authority? Seemed to me this can’t be true, I have certainly not earned this right. How is this possible. How could I have a position of authority in Christ after I’ve lived a sinful life, how could I have any authority when I haven’t earned it and pretty much did everything to not deserve it. This hit me like a ton of bricks thinking how can this be!

Our spiritual authority is accessed by faith. There is a lot to be learned from the story told in Mark 9:17-29 about how faith allows us to access our authority. When the disciples came across an unusually strong demon that wouldn’t budge, Jesus made it clear that they lacked faith by calling them faithless. He also made it clear that some demons are so strong that a higher than usual level of faith is required to cast them out and that we can gain that higher level of faith through prayer and fasting.

In Matthew 17:20, Jesus said unto them, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

He wants us to take our authority and command His power. It’s like electricity. The power company generates the power and delivers it to your house. It’s not your power, but it’s under your control. You don’t call the power company and ask them to turn the lights on. They won’t do that. They generate the power, but it’s under your command. You simply flip the switch on the wall and command the power to work. Does this mean you are the power source? Certainly not! You can put a light bulb in your mouth and it will never come on. You aren’t the power source, but you are the one in control of what that power does. You can plead with the power company all you want, but they won’t flip the switch for you. You have to assume your authority and acknowledge the power is under your command.

That’s what the Lord was speaking of. He has already healed everyone who will ever be healed. He did it two thousand years ago when He bore our stripes on His back. Then He deposited His resurrection power inside every believer (Eph. 1:19-20). He’s done His part, and now it is up to us to do ours. We need to take the authority He has given us and become commanders instead of beggars. This is a powerful truth that works, and it’s the reason we see so many miraculous healings. We aren’t just praying for the sick; we are healing them in Jesus’ name.

I know this line of thinking raises as many questions as it does answers. When you study this matter further, God will certainly answer all questions and continue to reveal to you the TRUTH of His authority as He did to me! I am still in awe of this and continue to be amazed every day! We truly serve an Amazing God!

The Choice

By Pastor Adam

We just celebrated Easter!  2000 years ago Jesus obediently laid down His life on the cross for us! What a triumph over darkness. How amazing is God’s love for us! …That He would send His one and only son to die a gruesome horrendous death for us. What’s amazing about the story of the cross is Jesus’ willingness even though he had a choice. We can see this clearly when Jesus prayed three times for another way instead of the cross. But He says “Your will be done”. He made a choice to finish what God started long before Jesus walked the earth in the flesh. There’s always a choice!

I saw something recently while reading the story of the last supper. It’s an intimate moment for the disciples with Jesus. But then in the midst of this beautiful moment Judas is there. Judas was about to betray Jesus… Satan was about to enter Him. It had to happen to fulfill the plan God designed to free us from our sin. But did Judas have to betray Jesus? Was he blinded by God to not see who Jesus was? Hadn’t he seen the things Jesus did?  He had been with Jesus for three years of miracles. He saw Jesus walk on water. He saw Jesus heal the sick and even raise the dead. But Judas made the choice to betray Jesus. James 1:14-15 says we are drawn away by our own desires. It’s possible that there were other issues in Judas’ heart such as jealousy of Jesus, or that he didn’t like the way Jesus ran the ministry. But this is not in the scriptures. What we do see is Judas’ desire for money. He was furious when the alabaster box was broken pouring oil on Jesus’ feet. He said that it should have been sold and given to the poor. But the scriptures say it was really because he would steal from the donated money. His desire for money bypassed the miracles. And His desires led to a choice that betrayed Jesus.

So we see this contrast of light and darkness. Jesus made the choice to be obedient to the plan and purpose of God while Judas made the choice to do what would bring himself gain.

But God is a Big God… His ways are not our ways. God knew that Judas would make that choice. He knew that Satan would enter Judas. He knew that it would lead to the cross. God was not surprised by the outcome. He used it all for His Glory!

We make choices everyday. They are ours to make. We can be like Judas and choose to follow our desires. Or we can make the choice to honor God as Jesus did.

Should We Refuse Work When It’s Not Aligned with Our Beliefs?

by Janet Shaughnessy

As you may or may not know, in addition to training transcriptionists, I still transcribe myself for a lot of authors, speakers, interviewers and the like. Some of my clients are very into New Age thinking and their version of spirituality…feel the energy of those crystals, align your chakras, get in touch with your higher intelligence…blah, blah, blah. Here’s a snippet of a recent transcript:

“So, there is a guiding force in life. You could call it universe, spirit, God, Allah, whatever you want to call it, but it is guiding us towards our best outcomes. There is a higher, more intelligent part of you that exists outside of you. It exists outside of your localized expression of the divine intelligence into the world, which you call “you.” So, that other part of you, which is still somewhere in the unseen world, knows exactly what it is that you’re going to do even though you don’t know that you’re going to do it yet.”

So, I can refer to God as “universe,” “spirit,” or “Allah” and it all means the same thing? It’s just an expression of “the other part of you, which is still somewhere in the unseen world…?” Uh, no. I bought into all this personal development stuff for too long and it never led me anywhere good. And I really did work at it! I was convinced (deceived) and believed it was the way to connecting with my higher self — whatever that means. It certainly didn’t bring God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit into my life. I was never blessed with anything other than too many days of living in darkness and fear that, thank you Lord, are over.

I’m having a hard time continuing to work on these projects for clients who profess to have it all figured out and are selling this line of bull to people. I just finished the transcript from which the above quotation was taken. I almost sent it back with a note saying, “Thanks, but no thanks. My beliefs are not in alignment with yours and I’m not comfortable sending this message out into the world.” What stopped me? Is it money? Was I afraid of offending him? Or, am I just being overly concerned with something that really doesn’t matter that much?

I’d love to hear what you think. Your input and thoughts are appreciated.

Are We Really Listening?

by Lena Dickel

The other day, I saw something on a “friends” Facebook that made me question our friendship.  Then I asked myself, “Should I continue to be friends with this person, even though we have different beliefs?” I even brought up the discussion with my husband that it was on my heart and really bothering me.  That same day, after church, I checked out a book from the church library, “Jesus is _______.” , by Judah Smith. Later that afternoon, I opened up the book to a RANDOM page, and the title of the chapter read “Friend of Sinners”.  HOW AWESOME! The chapter describes Jesus’ relationship with sinners, and how he spent most of His time with the needy, sick, and broken, giving them hope. The Lord knew what was on my heart, and reminded me that he is always listening.  He answered my question (even without me asking) and provided me with useful information to make good decisions. The Lord is always listening, even when we don’t think anyone can hear us. He is always faithful! We need to listen and trust in Him.  I encourage you today to open up your hearts to Him, and listen a little more closely to what He has to say for you in your life.

Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

 Psalm 37: 4-5 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.

Lamentations 3: 22-24  The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore I will hope in Him!”.

Jesus Is All We Need

By Dawn Bennett

A few years back, I went through a time when I was tormented by extreme anxiety. My mind was constantly bombarded with fear and negativity. I would like to share a little story from one of those days, where God showed me that He was there. Even though I was filled with fear and didn’t always trust Him like I should.

At the time Levi was 3 years old, I took him to Barnes and Noble. Adam was away with the other two boys so it had just been the two for us for a few days. We walked over to the ‘religious’ section ….. I had been reading Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers (which helped me greatly). At this point I was looking for something new. I wanted another book to help with my anxiety and fear. I picked up a few books and devotionals and went upstairs so Levi could look in the children’s section. I was sitting there looking through the books the picked up, but nothing really stood out. I was looking for something to scream out into my face that everything was fine, there was no reason to fear. That wasn’t happening. Way too often during that time I was so consumed by looking for a “sign” from God that I would forget to just simply trust in Him. Over and over He had shown Himself real. But I still doubted and was always looking for another sign. He is faithful to show us. But our focus should never be in the sign, it has to be in God alone. Even with knowing that,  in that moment I asked yet again for a sign. I prayed a simple prayer for God to show me something a book, a scripture a song anything. I asked Him to lead me to the next thing I needed to get me past this struggle. The next stepping stone to freedom. As I was still praying this, I looked up and the first book I saw was called JESUS.  I didn’t even have to pick the book up to know God showed me once again the “sign” I needed. And more then that, I instantly knew I didn’t need the ‘next thing’ I didn’t need a self help book, a medical book, I didn’t need another doctor visit, I didn’t need someone else to show me the way.  I simply needed HIM. HE is the only way through the battles we face, HE is the only answer we need.  HE is all we will ever need. Too often and easily I think we run here there and everywhere trying to figure things out. When all we need to do is stop and say Jesus I trust you, help me. So instead of busying yourself with stuff (even when its good stuff) instead of letting fear get in the way, instead of figuring it all out, instead of looking for the way to go, stop for a moment and allow God into the situation and let Him take control.

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.