Last week I addressed the need to embrace the authority of each season we find ourselves in. Authority comes from responsibility. Who you are today is as essential as who you will be tomorrow. We are called by God to bring life to this world wherever we find ourselves in life’s journey. We are called to be people of authority in this world.
Authority is both relational and functional. Responsibility is connected to our ability to respond to authority and therefore carry the authority for which we are responsible. There is therefore a need for the right gift and the right relationship. It is like the parts of a body. If you need a lung transplant you need both a lung and a compatible lung for your body. A kidney won’t do, nor will a non-compatible lung. If it is relationally non-compatible the body will reject its DNA. If it is the wrong organ it will not accomplish the needed function. Authority for membership and function in the Body of Christ is the same. You must be the right gift in the right place. You must be relationally compatible to the congregation that God is joining you to and you must be the right gift in the right placement. You must be relationally connected to the authority over your and not merely functionally joined. Relationship is as essential as gifting. This is how a healthy body functions in true authority.
I have presented that power doesn’t equal authority, but authority will equal power. We can grasp for power and miss the God-appointed authority in our lives, but if we find our God-appointed authority we will also find God’s anointed power for the appointment. Authority will produce fruit. That fruit will bring life to others and will even increase in the lives of others. Like the placement of a relationally compatible lung, the fruit is the supply of oxygen throughout the body. Fruit is always seen as life energy to someone else’s life. Authority is evident if it is there. God will not call us to do something that He has not gifted us to do and what He has truly gifted us to do will bring life-energy to others if we embrace God’s process and plan of authority.
Sometimes God will allow us to receive a word of direction that is simply a test of who we are. I knew a person who had a word that they would be a worship leader, but the problem was they couldn’t sing. God may have said they would lead worship, but it was not for a platform ministry. It may have been to inspire others to worship God by simply worshipping God with all their hearts. God’s authority in your life will match the gifting of your life. When God calls you to do something, He wants you to be good at it. The craftsmen of the temple were good at it! God gave them an ability to do what they were to do. Those who led in the craftsmanship were also likely those who made perfect bricks in Egypt. They had a God-given skill for their God-given appointment. No ability is better than another. Teaching, prophesying, exhorting, serving, giving, showing mercy, administration skills, or leadership are all equal in value when measured by the value of each and everyone who functions in them. Some may carry more responsibility, but each is a one-and-only value in being a unique person in Christ. They all carry different measures of authority in themselves, but they all contribute to the full authority of the corporate body.
Our identity doesn’t come from our abilities. Our identity doesn’t come from the authority that we walk in. Our identity comes from our Father. If we are secure in our identity it will affect our authority. Authority doesn’t give us our identity. Identity comes from being in the corporate body of Christ, not our individual gifting.
The source of all authority is God. God is supreme in His authority and Jesus is the supreme Authority over all the earth. Why?
Colossians 1:15-18 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Jesus is the supreme authority because he holds everything together. Everything has its source in Him and He is the one who sustains all things. The proof is who and what He is. Because He is who He is He fulfills certain requirements and can accomplish certain tasks. He was born the Son of Man and the Son of God. He was the first of God substance and Man substance together without sin. He is and was the Firstborn of a new race of human beings. He is and was the first of all creation and the first Adam of eternity. Jesus had the birthright to be the savior of the world and the source of authority for redeemed humanity. This is why He was destined to manifest in the authority of King of kings and Lord of lords in all things. All who seek to rule in life must come under Jesus’ authority of life.
The first thing that we have to have for authority is the birthright. God cannot bless us apart from your birthright. We must be who you are. In the same way that Jesus has the birthright to be who He is, we must discover our birthrights in life. Just as a woman cannot produce the fertilizing seed of life and a man cannot birth a baby, a grasping for power alone will not produce the inheritance of authority. The enemy wants nothing less than to deceive us into hating who we are. His strategy is to get men and women to grasp for power and to lose their true authority. No individual is better than another and no measure of authority is better than another. The authority for thousands is not better than the authority for fifty or even five. More is not better. Who we are is best!
We cannot set ourselves up in a position that is not ours. Who we are is rooted in our birthright in life. Jesus had and has the birthright of life for all men. He was the firstborn from the dead and is therefore the source of eternal life for all who believe. Jesus was also the Word of God from the very beginning. In the beginning God “said” and what He spoke was made to be. It wasn’t because of the words that He used, but rather the substance of who He was. Authority is a substance and not a mere theory or testimony of simply using the right words.
Genesis 1:1-3 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
Why could God “SAY”? God is who He is! The words He said were the substance of who He is! If we were there, we could have said let there be light and there still wouldn’t be light. Why? Without God we are not the substance of light. God is the one who makes us the substance of light. Unless we are under authority we cannot receive authority to become a measure of what we are under. God is Light! Because God is who He is the substance of light has to be made manifest when He declares there to be light.
The Devil will always try to trick us to do something that we don’t have the authority to do. He will try to make us discontent with the authority that we have. He will belittle us to make us think that who we are and what we have are not important. He will try to make us focus on something grandiose that is beyond our measures of rule to make us ineffective with our present responsibilities.
If you are 75 years old and leading 50 people, it is not likely that you will suddenly start ministering to a congregation of millions. If you get a prophetic word about going to the nations and affecting millions, you probably need to focus on the 50 and equip them and send them for the purpose of the nations and the generations. Who you are is enough to fulfill God’s promises, but those promises might get fulfilled differently than you expect. You may be going to the nations, but it may be through the lives of your spiritual children and their children.
The Devil will try to get us to think that someone else’s authority is better than the authority that we presently have. He will try to get us to do something that we are not called to do, or that is out of timing with our calls in Christ. Tomorrow’s destiny today will only produce the Ishmaels of the flesh. Abram’s authority was not the authority of Abraham and only Abraham could produce Isaac.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson