Recently in a sermon I read a rendition I wrote of Paul's poem from Philippians 2:5-11.

This small piece of scripture was written as a poem and should, I think, be read as one:

As we look at our identity as The Children of God it’s really important to understand our authority and to be able to exercise it. Sharon Gakin wrote a great article explaining her experience exercising her spiritual authority over demons (see below). 
Jesus encountered demons, and so will we. They are active all over the world, but we don’t have to fear them; Jesus gave us authority over them: Mark 16:17 "And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
 
But we must each have our own authority from Christ. Acts 19 tells the story of the Sons of Sceva who tried to cast out demons “in the name of Jesus whom Paul teaches about”. That didn’t turn out very well for them. We are saved directly by Christ, we are individually baptized into and by the Holy Spirit of God. We have a direct link, a relationship with God Himself. We also each have an identification and an authority directly from Jesus Christ. 
If you knocked on a door saying “Police! Open up!” you must have the identification that goes along with that claim. When the occupant asks for identification, it’s no good if your answer is, “well, I know a cop.” No, if you are a believer your authority identification comes to you directly from Jesus Christ, your Messiah. There is no demon that can stand against that name and that authority.
 
Thanks Sharon for sharing your experience with us!
 
Alan
 
 
Authority of the Believer - by Sharon Gakin
Authority1b1Understanding the gift and use of the authority of the believer came very late in my Christian walk. No sermons were preached, no Bible studies done, and no discussions ever came up. Somehow I sensed it had something to do with power over Satan but I wanted nothing to do with Satan. I knew he worked in our lives but I figured as long as I avoided evil, I was safe.
Wrong. That first sermon on authority opened my eyes to the power, necessity, and ease of its use. The battle before time even began centered on authority: who is in charge? God or Satan. Of course Satan lost that battle but retained an earthly domain where he could work for a short time.
That hardly seems fair to us weak humans, but Christ did not leave us defenseless. First, He limited Satan and his cohorts to work ONLY by permission. If God draws a boundary, he cannot cross it. The problem comes when we fail to recognize the permission we’ve granted by default through our ignorance, apathy or sin. 
As joint heirs with Christ,  we receive what He has: authority over heaven and earth. The disciples received this authority early on (Luke 10: 17, 19; Mk 16:17; Luke 10), therefore as disciples, we can receive this also. 

There are certain cycles of behavior in my life that I am continually repeating. The biggest one is trying to control my time. The world is screaming about efficiency and productivity. My human need to control everything in my world grabs onto it.

It starts with one little thing. First, it’s a simple plan for the day. That plan then begins to grow, and I turn it into a to-do list. That to-do list turns into a schedule so I can make sure I get everything done on time. I look around, and I see more things I am not getting around to that I wish I could, and so I add to my plate until it’s overflowing. Before I know it, I’m staring at a day without enough time in it, a pile of things I can’t get to, and I’m living in a stressed and frazzled state of hurry and rush and pressure. My failed plan tells me that I am not enough. I don’t do enough. I’m a failure. I’m a mess. I’m a bad wife, mother, grandmother, friend…

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This is an image that God gave me about 10 years ago. It is a picture of what we would find in America, spiritually and relationally. A dry desertscape. 

Yet God has sent us, all of us, equipped with His Spirit, flowing from us like water on a thirsty ground. To bring life, hope and healing.

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