Authority of the Believer - by Sharon Gakin
Understanding 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…
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.