18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Let me share with you portraits of two people that I know personally who move powerfully in spiritual authority and power. Both are seminary professors.
One is extremely shy. Being extremely shy he is also very quiet when he speaks. But never have I met a man or woman who moves as powerfully and effortlessly in spiritual authority and power, esp. in the area of deliverance. It also helps that he is amazingly gifted by God in the "gift of discerning spirits." Names of demons and how and when they entered a person are routinely given by the Lord instantly.
The other seminary professor is a retired missionary who did missions in Indonesia. The remarkable thing about this man is that whenever someone who's demonized is near him, the demons manifest (writhing, contorting, noises). Even when this professor is sitting in his office with his office door closed, if some student who's demonized walks in front of his door, this student will demonically manifest, much to the shock and embarrassment of the student. When this professor visits a church -- any church -- same thing: people will demonically manifest.
How are we to understand this phenomenon?
Let's begin with the following statements:
All authority and power that we believers exercised are delegated authority and power. The true authority and power come from Christ alone. The only spiritual authority and power we are granted by God the Father are transmitted to us in the name of Jesus.
No matter how mature or how "spiritual" we might think we are, we must always remember that authority and power are not inherent in ourselves. But they are granted to us as God's sons and daughters.
Who then qualifies to exercise divine authority and power? The special select ones? The ones who've earned some standing before God? The answer: everyone who is claimed by Jesus Christ. If we know Jesus, we can use His name to cast out demons and heal the sick.
So far so good and so true.
Yet not everyone seems to exercise the same level of authority and power. For many, they simply do not command anything "in the name of Jesus." Somehow these believers missed this lesson in Sunday School. Perhaps they were never taught. Perhaps they heard the teaching, but never thought it applied to them. Whatever the reason, vast numbers of believers simply do not exercise the divine authority and power that are available to them as children of God.
Now for those who are aware of the authority and power in Jesus' name, there seems to be a further difference they can note. And that is, not everyone moves in the same level of authority and power. This is a mystery. This is not arbitrary however. There seems to be some connection between intimacy with God and authority and power. But not always. There seems to be some connection between ministry needs and context and authority and power. But not always. There seems to be some connection between faith and authority and power. But not always.
In other words, there seems to be no strict one-to-one correlation between how much authority and power someone seems to exercise and the various things mentioned above. Meaning, there is no guaranteed recipe, no fail-safe formula for gaining greater authority and power. We should therefore be humble about articulating the "secret" to growth in one's authority and power. Of course, all those things noted above (intimacy, ministry needs, and faith) -- and we can add hunger, practice, and impartation -- should be things we ought to pursue. And if we were to pursue all these good things, we should expect to grow in authority and power. Observation shows as much.
In the end, it is God's will to grant however much authority and power He desires for us as individuals. Our part is to not presume what God's will is, but to continue to pursue the Lord and the good things of the Lord, recalling Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."
Again, a deep mystery surrounds the level of authority and power. Not every Apostle's shadow cured people, except Peter's. Not every Apostle's touch on a handkerchief had power to heal, except Paul's. Peter and Paul were exceptional. Of course not every sign and wonder and not every display of authority and power were recorded in the Bible. Mystery about such things keeps us humble. But such mystery should also keep us hungry for more. So, let's be hungry for more of the Lord's authority and power.
May the Lord bless you as you hunger for more of God.