Using our Authority in Spiritual Warfare | Power of the Tongue; Faith

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Spiritual Warfare #6 – scripture and theology

How we choose to use authority in spiritual warfare

Authority can be used for good or for ill, it can be used or abused. Heavenly authority is divinely given to provide blessings. God can and does bless anyone He wants to bless, but the type of blessings addressed here are resulting from submission to authority.

As our authority is delegated authority (by God), our authority is limited by God’s permissive and active will.

Just as we place ourselves under the authority of God’s word, if we speak it over situations and people, in some cases, then they will be under our authority. In some instances praying over someone does not work: when there is unbelief or when the person in questions is making a conscious choice to reject God elsewhere in their life. In the same way, if we reject God, he cannot help us.

When we are saved, God does a lot in our lives. Many Christians believe that they can only progress into another level in the relationship with God by asking for a direct revelation from Him. God is generous and can come through. To have a revelation is crucial because with a revelation the power of God can come out of us.

However, when it comes to claiming your authority, it is not done by asking. You are the one who is supposed to step up and claim it. The container of faith is risk [1]. You must risk by having the faith to standing on your power, your authority. It takes faith because you have no power but through the Father (John 19:11).

  • Authority is the right to speak over, to command.
  • Adam had the God-given authority to name animals. Whatever name he gave them they kept by his authority.
  • Authority is given to activate and maintain the laws that govern a particular domain.
  • It is a privilege that we have as long as we stay redeemed and holy.
  • The authority is given to us. We don’t have to cry and plead for it.
  • Abundant life is our inheritance, but it is not automatic. No blessing of God is automatic. We have our part to play.
  • God had authority to give to Jesus, but Jesus had a part to play until the very end.
  • We need to renew their mind to get out of carnality. This is done by subjecting our mind to the spirit.

The conditional power of the believer in spiritual warfare

John 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you.

A great revelation that I had been seeking for years came to me when reading the explanation of Kenneth E. Hagin on the subject. And it came down to two letters forming the word “if”!

“If you read through the Epistles in the New Testament, you find that the responsibility for doing certain things is often placed in the hands of the believers.”

Kenneth E. Hagin

Another verse says:

John 14:13-14 [13] And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. [14] If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.

Jesus made it abundantly clear that IF we ask him or the Father in his name, we will receive. When we pray for those things, it is not up to God. Or, in other words, it is up to God in so far as it is first up to as to ask Him. A bit of semantics but it is essential.

The desire is on us

As a good father, I try to give my children all that they need. But there are certain things that I want to give them but that I only give them IF they ask me. Things that they desire. Stuff like candy or play time and so on. I have absolute power to provide them with those things, but I will only move to do so if they ask me. Think about it! God the Father is the same way. He puts on us, His children, the responsibility of asking Him.

But candy and play time is not a responsibility for children to ask. After all, these are treats. Well, it is an example of the relationship between a child, an infant, and a parent. We, God’s children, believers, ask God for things that God himself wants us to ask him and what are the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). These things are needed for us to work in expanding God’s kingdom and keep His commandments, which are summed up in loving God and loving our neighbour (Matthew 22:39).

Responsibility of asking

John 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

God brings power to the table, but we always bring faith. If we (or somebody else) do not bring our supply, then we are left stranded, and we think God hasn’t heard us. So to ask God is a responsibility but many people don’t want that responsibility, and that is why they attack the Word of Faith movement.

Notice in the next verse after John 14:14 what Jesus says:

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Another condition: “IF you love me you will do as I say.”

People accept the responsibility for caring for the poor, in feeding the hungry, in comforting the poor in spirit but when it comes to the miraculous, they shrink from it.

I know why (I was there too): because it requires more faith. Some are afraid they do not have the faith, and instead of developing it they attack those who are doing so. Fear is from the Devil and causes dissent in the body of Christ, the Church.

The gift of faith in development

The acquiring of more faith, while being a gift from God, is based on another condition: we must develop and tend to it. In other words, it may be present, but we must unwrap and take care of it.

There is a price to pay, a sacrifice, for this developing but the reward of course far outweighs it all.

Matthew 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

God gives us the same measure of faith when we are saved, but it is our job to develop it (Romans 12:3). Isn’t this precisely what Christians most struggle with all their lives? But it shouldn’t be a struggle. Faith is a gift, and it should never be a burden if it does take dedication.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

We should develop ours through:

  1. prayer,
  2. study (of the Word and theology),
  3. submission (to authority over us) and
  4. practice (caring for others).

It should be light and easy (Matthew 11:30) adding no sorrow (Proverbs 10:22). There should be peace and joy. But how is there peace an joy with work and sacrifice? How do we actually manage that? It is something supernatural. It cannot be accomplished on our own steam. Jesus tells us how to do it in the next verse as well:

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.

In summary

In John 14:13-16

We ask for the glory of God:

[13] And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

We receive IF we ask:

[14] If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

We receive so that we love God by doing as He instructs:

[15] If ye love me, keep my commandments.

We do it with the help of the Holy Spirit:

[16] And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.

Affirmation of power in spiritual warfare

By being seated with Christ, we have the power to influence circumstances to call into being the thing that was not (see Romans 4:17).

Deuteronomy 30:11-14 [11] Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. [12] It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” [13] Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” [14] No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

Authority over the Devil in spiritual warfare

We work with God is a partnership. There are some things God cannot do (in Heaven) unless we, His children (on Earth) do not do it too.

Matthew 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Such is the authority we exercise over the Devil. God expects us to do this ourselves. In fact, one of the first things that the new believer immediately receives is authority over the Devil.

Recognizing the real authority in spiritual warfare

Nehemiah was charged with building Jerusalem (5th century BC). He was commanded to do so by the king, and he was confident that this was God’s will. He had a great responsibility in carrying this message to the people and convincing them of his mandate.

Nehemiah 2:11-12 [1] I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days, I set out during the night with a few others. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on.

Nehemiah recognized that, even though he had permission from the King, the real authority was from God and that was what he transmitted to people.

Also, the king may have given him permission, but it was God that would provide him with success.

Conclusion: permission + success = authority.

Nehemiah 2:18-20 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me. They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work. But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?” I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We, his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.”

So authority becomes much more than we initially think. It is an identity, but an identity based on permission and success. It is a prophetic identity that we stand on. Authority then gives us assurance of victory.

Authority linked with power in spiritual warfare

David, before he was King, had to fight Goliath, the Philistine, who everyone was terrified of. David was not afraid because he was backed up in knowledge. He knew who his god was and that He was in charge and on the side of the Israelites.

1 Samuel 17:26 Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?

David links identity with authority and power. By not recognizing the authority of the enemy army David also did not acknowledge their power.

Authority in victory attained in spiritual warfare

2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.

After many revelations on the blessing, I came to a similar revolutionary realization as I had when I was a child and realized there was no spiritual death and life was eternal. Such a though changes the way you actually feel in your daily life altogether. The realization I had now was that there was no negativity at all in my life. Instead, there was no need for it unless I let it in. This was because of the revelation of the blessing given by God. Just as before I came to realize there was no death, now I came to realize that there was no defeat if we stuck to God. This makes you feel differently.

[1] Note: Nehemiah entered Jerusalem on 444 BC. Passage 2:11-1 (111 and 444 numerologies?).

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