“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12)
Many have used this struggle to formulate strategies of warfare against the demonic realm but have neglected the greater issue of authority. Returning to the prison analogy, the warden’s authority only extends to the prison’s walls. Once someone is released from prison, they are released from his authority. They are then subject to the authority of the government which rules outside the prison. Be clear that we are never going to be free from authority itself. In fact, authority is really the source of our security. It is lawlessness that is our true enemy.
““And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; LEAVE ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’” (Mat 7:23)
In Matthew 8, we see a true understanding of authority from the heart and mind of a Gentile, a Roman Centurion. He comes to Yeshua asking for healing of his servant.
“And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, begging Him, and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, terribly tormented.” Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”” (Mat 8:5-7)
This conversation settles the issue of faith. The centurion has asked, and Yeshua has positively responded. That should settle the matter. Yet for the centurion there is a deeper issue, the issue of honoring authority.
“But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. “For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”” (Mat 8:8-9)
The centurion declares that he is unworthy for Yeshua to enter his home. Why does he say this?
There are many possibilities ranging from emotional issues to racial differences. I think a possible explanation has to do with the covenant reality of entering under the roof of another. The centurion knows that is Yeshua enters his home, under his roof, then he is bound by the covenant. There is something in the heart of the centurion that senses that he, a Gentile is outside of that covenant reality, and he feels that it is too much to ask Israel’s Messiah to be submitted to him, a Gentile. Instead, he knows that it is truly about authority.
Look at this from Yeshua’s perspective. He loves all people but realizes there is kingdom understanding here that is truly transformational and moves beyond obligation.
“Now when Jesus heard this, He was amazed and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. “And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom will be thrown out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.” (Mat 8:10-13)
What does it take to amaze the One who created it all? A trust in true authority, which He calls “great faith”. He goes on to say that even those of the covenant, “sons of the kingdom” by birthright will be thrown into outer darkness, not because of the covenant but because of a lack of honoring authority. A kingdom is defined by authority. Remember the prison example.
Understanding true authority transcends miracles of healing! It establishes the kingdom in one’s heart and is the true source of our eternal inheritance. I think this is so important. We have exalted faith to a high position which is true and appropriate. Yet there is a “greater faith” that involves authority.
Having said that, let’s turn our biblical Hebraic perspective on authority as the boundary line of the kingdom. What is the ancient Hebrew word for authority? Well, it is the word “yad” which means literally hand. What is it about a hand that reveals authority?
Let’s look at the root for some insight. 2 letters, yud, which is the literal picture of a hand and dalet which the character of a door, the movement in and out of a tent. If we see the word picture in our mind, we see a hand holding open the tent flap for entry into the dwelling place. This makes the hand the agent of covenant. Since our authority is a by-product of our covenant then we can see how the hand connects us to God. Our understanding of authority opens up the realm of power of that authority.
Let’s look at a couple of practical expressions of the “hand” of authority and then extrapolate that to kingdom authority. Let’s look at a husband and wife and parents and children.
Looking at Ephesians 5, we see a very interesting conversation by the Apostle Paul that precedes his instructions to husbands and wives. It begins with an instruction to imitate God:
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. (Eph 5:1-2)
Imitating God is paralleled to Christ giving Himself in love for us. The sacrifice of Yeshua is at its core both an act of love and a submission to authority.
He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, "My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done." (Mat 26:42)
Most believers focus on the salvation from sin but less emphasize the restoration of the authority or the hand of God on their lives. This is the realm of great faith, trust and authority. We are NOT just saved from sin but empowered for victory which comes from right relationship to authority.
Continuing in Ephesians 5, Paul tells us:
and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. (Eph 5:21)
Looking at these few words carefully, submission is connected to the “fear of Christ”. This is so powerful! The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom is revealed by her children.
"Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children."(Luk 7:35)
We’ll come back to “children” in just a minute. Right now, I want to look at the next section of verses in Ephesians 5:
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. (Eph 5:22-27)
This is not a new segment of scripture but an insight into how to imitate God through love and authority or submission. Many have missed the point and make this only about marriage advice. This is more a presentation on authority and power. Power comes from the “hand of God”. God opens us to His power through our understanding of authority, great faith. The greater includes the lesser. This section is about boundaries and authority which releases power. The wife’s authority comes from her submission or honor of her husband’s authority not over her but unto her through love.
Going back to verses 1,2 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. (Eph 5:1-2)
Imitation of our heavenly Father is both love and submission to authority. Without authority there can be no power, no love, no hand of God.
Looking at parents and children we see the same power principle.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH. Fathers do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Eph 6:1-4)
This again is an authority scripture and is a deeper level. Children are known as children by the wisdom of the Father they display. Another word for this is discipleship. Discipleship is the revelation in life of the wisdom of the teacher.
"A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. "It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!(Mat 10:24-25)
This passage was in reference to the claim by the religious nutcases that Yeshua was healing people and casting out demons through the authority of Satan. Yet the truth was and is that His authority and ours comes from the true kingdom of heaven.
If we want to walk in true authority and see the power of God, we must learn the lessons of being children, being the bride, being disciples. Then and only then with the “hand of God” be revealed in our lives.
Activation: Authority release power in our lives. Ask the Lord as we face the new year, to reveal to you where you need to change your attitude towards authority in your life.