Last week I began to address the difference between a grasp for power and standing in our God-given authority in life. When we remain true to what God created us to be we can know the full testimony of authority. We were created to bring life to the world and that life comes through the authority of who we are. When we grasp to be someone we were not created to be we may end up with power, but that power will produce some measure of dysfunction and death. Satan’s plan in the beginning was to take the authority of man by convincing him to make a trade. Just as Lucifer made trades in heaven in his grasp for power, Satan’s strategy with mankind was to convince them to trade their true authority for a power that was not given to them to handle. Let’s look at the fall of man.
Genesis 3:1-6 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; “but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” And the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
Man was made in God’s image and likeness to have dominion over all the earth. That dominion was not to be an act of control or manipulation. It would be the order of things and the expansion of life in all things through the truth of which mankind was created to be. It was a testimony of authority and authority is the ability to release life and to increase life in the earth. Mankind was under the authority of God and therefore they would exhibit the authority of God in all of creation. It was being under the position of God that would give man the ability to be in His image and likeness. Like the pitcher of water and the empty glass, as long as the glass remains under the pitcher it can be filled with the water of the pitcher, but if the glass chooses to be in the position of the pitcher there is no water to receive. What gives man the image and likeness of God is a relationship with Him under His being.
Satan deceived man to desire to be like God, or in God’s position. God will always give us the wisdom and knowledge that we need in order to function in our God given responsibilities. When we move outside of that boundary, we will not have the wisdom, or the knowledge to deal with the situation. We cannot receive knowledge that is beyond our own business. If we do, it will be just enough that it seems like our business, but we won’t have the authority to produce life. We will know enough about it that it will seem like it could be our business. It’s impossible for us to be able to handle what has not been given to us by God to handle. Why didn’t God want man to have the knowledge of good and evil? He knew man couldn’t handle it. Man was created to be loved by God! He wasn’t created to be a god unto himself. Lucifer wasn’t created to handle the responsibility of a son of God. He was a covering cherub. The plot for failure of authority is always a scheme to take what we know and take it beyond what we have the ability to know.
Many years ago I was invited to speak at a church that I had never been to before. They had heard of me and asked that I would come in and speak prophetically to the church. I diligently prepared for the time of ministry. God had given me some clear prophetic direction for the church and I felt I was ready for the morning ministry. The church service began with a time of worship. As the worship progressed my thought was that the worship was not what it could be or even should be in my opinion. I began to think in regard to my messages and as to whether I should change my message to one that taught on worship. I began to think of how I could help them and bring some life to their form of worship. As I was contemplating my “spiritual strategy” the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He said, “Look at the set man”. I understood that to be the leader of the ministry. I turned to see the man standing with his hands fully extended to heaven. Tears were streaming his face and he was loving God with all of his heart. God then said to me, “This is not your house”. I learned a huge lesson that morning. I realized if the lead man was in heaven, then the whole congregation could be in heaven. My concern was over style and form, but God already had the greater measure. I was being tempted to cross the line of my God-given responsibly and I needed to mind my own business. The nurse will be tempted to be a doctor. A parent will be tempted to be the parent of someone else’s children. The prophet to one group of people will be tempted to be a prophet to every group of people. Wherever there is ability there is a temptation to go beyond that ability.
The devil wants us to grasp for that which is not ours to have. He wants to tempt us to take rather than receive. He will tempt us to be irresponsible. We can never go beyond the boundaries of our responsibility. A child does not have the responsibility to be the parent. It is a parent’s responsibility to keep them quiet. A three year old is not responsible enough to keep quiet or always follow the boundaries of order. It’s the parent’s responsibility to keep them quiet and within the boundaries of order. We must all be responsible to our God-given areas of responsibility.
Our responsibilities will change, but those changes are given as God gives the increase. When God moves us into new levels of authority we must never forsake the responsibilities of the previous level. We must always prove to be responsible. We must transition our present responsibilities to those called to receive what is being given and we must receive our changing responsibilities from legitimate sources of life. We can’t go to a new level of authority without fulfilling the previous level of authority. God rewards faithfulness, not gift. We may get by with some thing’s because of God’s mercy, but sooner or later it will catch up to us and God will make us a partaker of His grace. God always rewards character, not mere gifting. He won’t give us responsibility where we are not gifted or able to grow in gifting, but he will consider our character and that being a matter of our hearts before Him.
Satan will tempt us to give up our birthright and even be discontent with our birthright. He will attempt to make us not love ourselves as we were created. The devil will tempt us to not like who we are. This is how he gets us to leave the boundaries of authority in a quest for power. As I have said, he will tempt the nurse to be a doctor; he will tempt the intercessor to be the pastor, or the parents to be the parents of someone else’s kids.
When man chose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil it was a grasp for power. He had the authority to eat of every tree of the garden, but one. When he ate that one he crossed the boundary of his God-given responsibility and he lost his true dominion. Man lost his God-given authority in exchange for a place of irresponsibility. His mandate of dominion was lost to the trap of the enemy. Man lost his ability to fulfill the mandate. What was that mandate?
Psalms 8:3-8 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen–even the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas.
Genesis1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
The mandate was for man to rule over all of the earthly creation. That rule was to be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue, and to have dominion. When man chose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil it was a grasp for power and that grasp for power caused the rule of man to be distorted. The aspects of subduing and dominion became perverted. Man lost what he had been given by God. Man is still fruitful, multiplies, and even fills, but he lost the ability to subdue and have dominion. His attempts to rule are now filled with the reaction of controlling and manipulating what exists in the earth since there was no longer an ability to bring heaven’s change to the world in which they live. By loosing access to the life source there was no more life source by which he could expand the existing boundaries and bring heaven’s order to earthly realities.
Authority is not based upon our tasks; our tasks are based upon our authority. We were created in Christ Jesus and it from that creation that all of our tasks can come (Eph. 2:10). Our identity doesn’t come from the things we do, the things we do come out of who we were created to be. It is a perverted identity that comes out of a TASK FOCUS. What we do depends upon who we are. Who we are does not depend upon what we do. Being a pastor doesn’t make me who I am. Who I am allows me to be a pastor. Good works come out of whom we are.
What we do is not who we are. Who we are determines what we do. Works will happen because of who we are. That is what authority is all about. Satan will try to get us to do works, instead of manifest works. That is how he pulls us out of authority and draws us into the quest for power. The enemy will try to pull us into an area that is close to what we do and who we are. That makes us an expert. As a nurse he will tempt you to be a doctor. As an intercessor he will tempt you to be the pastor. As a wife he will tempt you to be a husband. As a parent he will tempt you to be the parent of someone else’s children. As a child he will tempt you to be the parent. No responsibility is less than another because each responsibility makes up the whole. We must be faithful to be whom God created us to be. It is the place of our authority in life.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson