Lessons in Growth Meditations: 39. Exercising Authority
Rev 2:26,27 To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations ….. just as I have received authority from my Father.
Right, back to our being seated with Christ in the heavenly realms, working with him to bring in the kingdom or rule of God on the earth. Just a reminder: it is not us, it is him in control. Jesus is the one seated at his Father’s right hand. At the end of Matthew’s Gospel, we find Jesus telling his disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” (Mt 28:18,19) Note the ‘therefore’ that links him with us. We also see, “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal those who were ill.” (Lk 9:1,2).
Authority in this case is the right to operate under God’s name to bring about the rule or kingdom of God on the earth. We have the right from God to, in general terms, go and make disciples for Jesus and as he leads us, to cast out demons and bring healing. To actually do this requires faith, a positive response to his words. We speak as he speaks, we act as he prompts us to act. Much of the time we just witness, share Jesus, the Gospel, with seekers, but sometimes, especially when the enemy is clearly evident and present, we are called to exercise Jesus’ authority.
Depending on the way the Holy Spirit leads us in prayer we may:
- PROCLAIM the truth to set free (Jn 8:32)
- this often releases faith and action
- TESTIFY to the truth of the situation (see Rev 12:11)
- this overcomes the lies of the enemy
- COMMAND something to happen (see Mt 21:21)
- giving instructions by faith as led by the Spirit to remove an obstacle
- BIND the enemy (see Mt 18:18)
- to stop enemy activity we declare on earth what has been decreed in heaven
- LOOSE people or situations (see Mt 18:18)
- we release people who have been bound up by the enemy
- PRONOUNCE the name of Jesus into a situation (“in Jesus name”)
- we speak as Jesus into the situation
Let’s check each of these out. First, proclaiming. (See Jesus Lk 3:18, 7:22) Here is the person who is suffering because they have believed the lies of the enemy and yet they have come for prayer and are open to the Lord moving on them. As we pray over them, we proclaim the truth: they are a child of God, loved by Him, not condemned but loved. As we pray with authority and anointing, the Spirit takes our words and applies them to the heart of the person being prayed over and suddenly they know that is the truth and they are freed. The kingdom has come.
Second, there is testifying. (See Jesus, Jn 8:18) Again, this is declaring the truth of what has happened to us and as we so do it, the Spirit confirms it with assurance and faith is released. It tends to be that we proclaim over other people and testify for ourselves, but in both cases the Spirit affirms the truth and change is brought. The kingdom comes.
Third, there is commanding. This is declaring the authority of Jesus, as he leads, to bring about change. I was in a house group situation recently where two of the women prayed over a third woman and as the Spirit led them, one of them commanded a sickness to go – and it did. Jesus often did this with both healing and deliverance; sometimes he instructed the demon or sickness to leave, other times he instructed someone to do something. He also commanded and took control over the elements (e.g. Lk 8:29, Mt 8:3,13,26, Jn 9:7)
Fourth, there is binding. Jesus taught his disciples, “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 18:18) When we bind something (usually the enemy, often in the form of an evil spirit) we limit or restrict him. If in the process of casting out a demon, it seeks to make a lot of noise and gain publicity for the enemy and create fear, you may bind him and silence him (see Mk 1:25) and then proceed to command that he leaves. Binding is about restricting the enemy, limiting his activity, and the kingdom prevails.
Fifth, there is loosing, the exact opposite of binding, when we release someone who has been restricted or limited by the enemy. Again, Jesus did this with demonically oppressed or possessed people. (see above)
Finally, there is pronouncing, “in Jesus’ name”. Very often people use this phrase almost as a good luck talisman at the end of a prayer. When the Holy Spirit is leading us in ministry we speak that out as a declaration of the Spirit-inspired, Jesus ministry, that we ARE doing or saying what Jesus IS saying from heaven.
Remember, these things we do as we learn to let the Holy Spirit lead us by putting these things into our minds at the appropriate moments. In each case it is the WORD OF GOD, from God for us at that moment, imparted by the Spirit TO HAVE EFFECT.
When we speak out the word BY FAITH in response to the Spirit’s prompting, we may expect things to change in the heavenly realm, which in turn will change things here on earth. Remember, it is AS WE ARE LEAD BY THE SPIRIT that these words are released in us so that we may release them OUT LOUD, either to PRAY or to PROCLAIM. It is speaking them out that is the act of faith on our behalf which enables the Lord to bring change.
In this way our words act as weapons of the Spirit and the enemy is defeated and the rule of God, the kingdom, is expressed, just as it was when Jesus was on earth in a single human body. Now he is here through multiple bodies. All he looks for is his disciples who will be open to hear him, be sensitive to the leading of his Spirit, and who will speak out and become the channels of his power and authority here on the earth. Hallelujah!