Who rules the world?
What is the spiritual authority of the believer? Think about this question for a moment. Didn’t Jesus say that He is giving authority to us? What happened to it?
We need to start living according to a powerful, scriptural truth. That is, our rulership over the earth will not begin when we get to heaven. It is already here.
“When the books of heaven are opened and the spiritual history of the nations of the world is unfolded, it will be written for all to read that the ‘pray‑ers’— not the mayors, or kings, or Prime ministers, or presidents, or president’s men— are the real molders of events.” (Paul Billheimer, in Destined for the Throne)
True followers of the Messiah are a minority of the world’s population today. Yet, concerning spiritual authority, we hold the balance of power in the world’s affairs.
Do you find that hard to believe? Then listen to Jesus’ words in Matthew 18:18: “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
And listen to Paul: “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world…Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life.” (1 Corinthians 6:2, 3)
Spiritual Authority of the Believer
Paul says in Ephesians 2:6: “God raised us up with the Messiah and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in the Messiah Jesus.” However, notice that “Raised us up” and “seated us with Him” is in past tense.
Jesus already gave us access to God’s throne room and He allowed us to begin our reign with Him.
And how is this rule and judgment carried out? It is through prayer. Meaning, every time we pray we have a summit meeting with the King of Kings. In other words, we have been given power of attorney.
When God’s people really pray — the world changes. When Elijah prayed he shut up the heavens for three and a half years so that not even one drop of rain was allowed to touch the earth.
Additionally, evangelist D.L. Moody says this about Elijah’s authority in prayer: “Elijah locked up heaven for three years and six months and put the key in his pocket.”
When Elijah got his orders from the throne of God to pray again, the Bible tells us that “the heavens gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” And yet, so few of us fully appreciate the delegated power and authority we have.
Responsibility that Comes with Authority
We are stewards of world affairs, appointed by the Creator of the Universe. So knowing this, let us consider our duties, responsibilities and privileges.
1. We may, and should, enter the throne room of the KING as often as possible.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace…” (Hebrews 4:16)
2. We ought to engage with the world without fear, so we can pray intelligently about what is happening.
“He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
3. Pray with the Spirit so that we pray according to God’s will and see His purposes accomplished.
“[the Spirit] makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:27)
4. It is our privilege and our mission to pray in unity with fellow intercessors.
“…if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19)
Rescuing a House Divided against Itself
The believers all too often disregard the last point. But the devil’s specialty is an ancient strategy of “Divide and conquer!”. And he loves to take advantage of opportunities to divide! The two surprising ways he does that are: a major setback and a great success.
The Word of God says, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” (Matthew 12:25) The spiritual authority of a believer is closely tied to this powerful truth.
That is to say, our strength is in our unity and the “roaring lion” devours by division. So, what are the two “danger zones” that the enemy uses to divide us?
Kingdom Division in Setbacks
When we’ve had a major setback, we naturally look for reasons why we failed. It is always less painful to look for causes outside of ourselves. “If only so-and-so hadn’t made unrealistic promises, this never would have happened!” This is just an example of many very common excuses.
Unfulfilled expectations lead to frustration and disappointment. The excuses keep piling up: “This would never have blown up, if we didn’t rush this person into leadership.” “We wouldn’t have failed if they hadn’t manipulated us into making this stupid decision.”
Instead of recognizing our own personal contribution to failure, we place blame on others. This worldly way of dealing with setbacks plays into the devil’s hands. It’s a perfect opportunity to divide our ranks and conquer.
Kingdom Division in Success
The Devil also loves to put a wedge between us at times of great success. Let’s say, we’ve had a sudden growth spurt in our congregation. We start to praise ourselves: “Well, it’s about time! We’ve always had the most amazing creative team.” And, “It’s about time people recognized we’ve got the most cutting edge programs going.”
Instead of giving glory to God and acknowledging His grace, we puff up. And the more we focus on ourselves, the sooner we mess up.
Success causes certain players on the team to think it was their unique and indispensable contribution to the mix that made all the difference. That often leads to discounting the value added by less prominent or less charismatic team players.
Something else can happen as well. Others on the team see that someone else is being praised for their gifts or abilities, while they are being overlooked. Jealousy and envy insidiously creep into the camp. In a congregation, “dog eat dog” is simply changed to “sheep eat sheep.”
If we sharpen our instruments and depend upon God’s grace, there will be success. But beware–our success can lead to our undoing.
Kingdom Unity and Spiritual Authority
Let’s push the envelope and expand the borders of the Kingdom. The spiritual authority of a believer is outstanding, but let’s make sure that the King gets the glory. Let’s recognize that none of us is a superstar.
We’re team players called to “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; and not in any way terrified by your adversaries.” (Philippians 1:27-28)
Have you seen this strategy of the enemy played out in the context of a workplace, sports team or ministry? If there are things you learned in the process, share your tips with others. We walk in great spiritual authority and we are called to unity. Our effectiveness will skyrocket when we become team-players.
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