We were born to be loved by God! This makes us come alive in our hearts to God’s goodness and to His presence in our hearts. When we know we are loved by God we become empowered in our hearts to demonstrate our love for God and for others through the works of our lives. When we receive a revelation of God’s Word and the Spirit given to us by the power of Christ in us it is easy for us to become a testimony of Christ in this world. His gifts given to us demonstrate His judgment of love towards us and they invoke responses in our lives that demonstrate a judgment of love towards Him. These attributes are ones of repentance, faith, and Holy Spirit empowerment. These attributes are foundations for a life-giving family of authority. The repentant, faith activated, Spirit empowered Church of the first century continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine (Acts 2:42). What does it mean to continue steadfast in the apostle’s doctrine?
The apostles were the ‘sent ones’ of authority in Christ. They were the source of submission to God in a physical way. Jesus had sent them to the Church as His Father had sent Him to them (Mt. 28:18-20). They illustrated a lifestyle of giving life to others with the power and presence of Christ in their lives. If this was true in the beginning of the Church, shouldn’t it be even more true in a growing and maturing Church? Those apostles were not men of control. They were men sent by God to bring release to the Church in the glory that she is called to walk in. They were sent to give authority to the Church to walk in the grace of the laying on of hands with the power of the Spirit of Council. This is a testimony of light to darkness, healing to sickness, and all manner of life to death. We need this submission level of life in the Church like never before!
A glass has no water unless it placed in a position beneath a pitcher filled with water. A pitcher has no water to give unless it is placed beneath a spout that fills it. A spout has no water unless it is connected to a reservoir. The principle is simple. It is called a submission level of relationship. The reservoir never takes water from the spout, the spout never takes water from the pitcher, and the pitcher never takes water from the glass. Authority is a ‘giving’ thing and never a matter of ‘taking’. Authority is a receiving thing in order to in turn give away more. Every fountain must willingly release its water to the container that comes to receive. Every pitcher of water willingly tips in the direction of every empty glass that comes to receive water. Every glass of water is not afraid to be lifted above a thirsty mouth and then tip in the direction of the thirsty. This is the way of life! The earth turns toward the sun to receive its light. The sun never takes light from the earth, but rather makes all things light. The vine grows from the ground to receive the light given. The fruit comes on the vine to receive the life that is being given. The earth takes in the rain to germinate the seeds hidden. This is the Spirit of Council and principle of the laying on of hands. We must position ourselves to receive all that is being given so that we can in turn give all that we have to release life to others. Just look at nature, for every act of receiving there is an act of giving and for every act of giving there is an action of receiving. This is the way of life!
How do we identify those who give us life? We didn’t choose our parents, nor did our parents choose us. Of course this is not true in the case of adoption, but perhaps adopting parents and adopted children are really a matter of destiny as well? Perhaps the choosing of children is not really a choice but a matter of embracing destiny? Whether we were born into a family or adopted into a family, our family is our family. We don’t migrate in search of what we think is best for us. We are placed into families that can become the best for us when all the family members embrace the grace of life-giving authority given to them by God. There is a lot of confusion in the body of Christ in regard to anointing and authority. When someone has an anointing it doesn’t mean they have the authority, but those with God-given authority are given access to God’s heavenly anointing.
Authority is very real and it is what gives us the ability to rule today. Ruling is not about control. True authority brings life to others. Power alone can manifest control, but only authority produces life. Each of us has a measure of authority and authority is a continual growing reality in our lives. Who we are today determines the measure of life we give to the world today and it will also affect our ability to give life to the world tomorrow. As authority grows in our lives we are able to give more life to those around us. It is connected to who we are and who we are enables us to carry the responsibility of authority for the sake of others. The most valuable measure of authority in our lives is the authority we walk in each and every day. Who we are called to be tomorrow is not more valuable than who we are today, it is just a greater measure of life given to us for the sake of the world.
We must seek out and know those who are in authority in our lives. God wants us to receive what is being given to us by those He sends to us in life. Who we are called to be tomorrow is not yet a measure of life in our lives. We cannot give life where we have not received life to give. Tomorrow’s authority is not today’s authority. It is merely a calling upon our lives. If we grasp to function in tomorrow’s authority today it will produce death and dysfunction in our lives and in the lives of others. When Samuel anointed David to be the king, that anointing was not the right for David to be immediately installed as the king of Israel. David was destined to be a king, but when Samuel anointed him his authority was still to keep a few sheep. He grew in his authority. His authority to keep the sheep anointed him to kill the lion and the bear while protecting the sheep. His anointing was kingly, but his authority was that of a shepherd. His authority to deliver a few cheeses to his brothers in the front line of battle brought him to the place of increased authority in his journey to become the king. His inquiry for permission from King Saul to battle Goliath authorized him to kill the giant. His authority to kill the giant Goliath gave him an invitation to serve in the courts of King Saul. His authority to serve Saul empowered him to manifest his authority of worship and bring peace to Saul’s demonic harassments. His authority to hide from Saul’s anger empowered him to walk in honor to the king. His honor to the king took him on the journey of becoming the inheritor of Israel. He grew in his authority, as he was faithful in each step of his destiny. He had an anointing, but it was more important to walk the journey of authority than to grasp for power through a demonstration of anointing. His journey involved a process filled with faithfulness in his daily appointments with the increasing draw of tomorrow’s calling. Throughout the journey he walked with the anointing of a king, but his authority was specific to each step of his path. He was a shepherd with the anointing of a king, a cheese deliver with an anointing of a king, a giant slayer with the anointing of a king, a worshipper with the anointing of a king, a dodger of javelins with the anointing of a king, a builder of armies with the anointing of a king, and finally a king with the anointing of a king. It wasn’t the anointing that gave him his authority. It was his faithfulness in the responsibility of each day.
We have one Father. He is the one who gives us identity and inheritance. We receive our identity and our inheritance that we might expand it to the generations that follow. Let’s continue steadfast in the apostle’s way of life. When we submit to the sent ones in our lives we also become sent ones in the lives of others. Let’s live to receive the life that is being given so we can in turn give life to all that God sends us to in this earth.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson