Power & authority
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. NIV
Over and over again, the Bible reminds us that as believers we have been given power and authority to destroy the works of the devil. It was an integral part of the ministry of Jesus, a sign that He had come from the Father. During His earthly ministry He not only walked in that power and authority but He made it plain that His followers were also to walk in that power and authority.
He said, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (Mark 16:17-18).
He could not have put it any simpler: The signs will follow those who believe – not just the apostles or the evangelists or the prophets but those who believe. Yes, the simple, plain, ordinary believer – you and me! In fact, Jesus considers the believers as anything but simple, plain and ordinary. They are repositories of the power and anointing of God. On the outside, they may be plain and ordinary but on the inside, there is this awesome treasure – the indwelling Spirit of the Living God. And because of that indwelling Spirit, God considers us incredible, awesome, full of power and authority.
The sad thing is that somehow we don’t see ourselves that way. We have allowed our spiritual vision to become clouded. We have allowed doubt and unbelief to determine our spiritual disposition. We have allowed the spiritual power and authority that has been deposited in us to atrophy through lack of use. We have become a pale shadow of who we truly are in Christ Jesus. We have limited and restricted the work of the Holy Spirit through us.
God must surely grieve at our hardness of heart. He must surely grieve that the awesome power and authority that He gave to us lies unused at a time when it has never been more needed. How the world needs to see and know the power and authority of God. How the world needs to witness the glory of God come down in us and through us. Because we have not gone forth in faith to exercise the power and authority that has been given us, we have robbed God of the glory due His great name!
If we go on like this, even the stones will rise up in judgment against us (Luke 19:40). Let us make it our aim, our sacred task to rise up and exercise the authority and power that has been given to us. We need to go and do, and Jesus will confirm His words with signs following. We need to do and keep on doing until we see the glory of God come down, until this proud and hostile world pays homage to the God and Father of Jesus Christ our Lord.