Friday, March 16, 2018

Authority and Power

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Luke 9:1-2

Power and authority: yes, there is a distinction between those two; one might be described as the ability to do a thing while the other is the legal right to do it. Jesus gave to the Twelve both the ability to make a demon or a sickness go away and the legal right to do so. A magician through some sort of arcane spell may gain some power over a demon, perhaps to make it go away or to gain something from it. I have no idea how to do this and don't particularly want to know. On the other hand, unless granted by the sovereign ruler of Creation, that magician has no authority. Power is available in many forms but authority can only come from the top, the reigning authority Himself.

Our government has some authority over us, but none over a tornado. It would be cruel indeed if God had granted authority over tornadoes to each state governor, for example, and not one of them over the years had stopped any of the many tornadoes that have taken life and property from us. Of course, as far as we know, no government has yet achieved power over a tornado either, or maybe it has.

The detonation of a large enough nuclear weapon would most likely vaporize even the largest thunderstorm, the thing that spawns tornadoes. However, the cure would be much worse than the disease. While that power may be sufficient, we the people have not granted to our elected government the authority to wage war on tornadoes with nuclear weapons, and hopefully we the people will never be so foolish.

All this Friday morning babbling of mine about power and authority brings up an important point: we often wish for the power, even in prayer, but don't always ask for or even accept the authority. It sounds a bit strange, I know, but I have noticed this thing in me too. Jesus did not hand out the power without granting the authority, which He being the Son of God always delegated from His own authority granted by God. It may be that the old man of the flesh in me desires the power to do as he pleases, while he fears the authority which would have the power used as God pleases. The reborn spirit of the saint within me, perhaps weary of the constant abuse of power the man of flesh has done, seems to fear both the power and the authority. And thus, I end up accomplishing little for the kingdom of God.

My head is spinning now.

What I need to remember is that God the Father is sovereign and that He has given all authority in Heaven and on Earth to the Son, and what authority the Son has granted to me, He will not have me carry alone. Thank You, dear Lord.


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