Wednesday, March 31, 2010


We are "set under authority," links in a powerful chain of command. We have the right and responsibility to decree order and cause change in the name of our commander-in-chief. In the New Testament section of yesterday's reading, the Centurion had a concrete understanding of this concept, even though he didn't feel worthy to be a part of it. He said:

" . . . I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." - from Luke 7:7-8
Who are you in this story? Are you the servant at the end of the chain, receiving the benefit of a healing touch? Are you the Centurion, unworthy but asking anyway? Yes, but even more, your identity is with Christ! It's God's purpose for you and me to work and live as Jesus did, effective links in a chain, exercising Christ's authority according to the example he demonstrated. Are we doing our job, or do we defer authority to anyone and everyone else?

Consider this a friendly reminder or a somber warning, whichever fits. If we are NOT exercising authority over ourselves and our circumstances in the name and for the cause of Christ - speaking truth at the opportune moment, standing firm in our convictions, emulating the model we're shown in scripture - then we are not just out of order; we're completely out of place and in rebellion. Sounds harsh, but it's true. Jesus started the chain when He commissioned his disciples, saying:

. . . All authority
in heaven and on earth
has been given to me. Go therefore
and make disciples . . . - from Matthew 28:18-20

You and I are the links at the end of the line. We also must go. We have to exercise authority in order to continue the chain, lest we find we're left hanging, disconnected from God's work. Check out some areas of authority in Christ, and be amazed. I quickly counted over half dozen: authority to teach, to send, to cleanse, and to heal; authority to forgive, cast out, challenge, and question. Authority is a GREAT PRIVILEGE, and I pray the Spirit will push and empower us today to USE IT.