Authority of the Believer
God has given the church authority and victory in both the natural and spiritual realms where He is head over all things. The devil has been attacking many of us for too long.
Romans 16:20 – “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.”
Notice, it says the God of peace. Sometimes the only way to make peace is by fighting. This is a prophetic word for many who are reading this. God is fighting on your behalf and is about to place Satan and all the demons coming against you under your feet!
Ephesians 1:19-23 – “What is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
Ephesians 2:6-7 – “And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
1 John 4:17 – “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.”
Areas Where We Must Exercise Authority
- Life and prosperity (John 10:10, Deuteronomy 30:15 and 19, 3 John 2, Jeremiah 29:11). Jesus came that we might experience life and life more abundantly (John 10:10). This has to do with much more than just finances. It has to do with every area of our life – spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically and materially.
- Health and wholeness (Isaiah 53:3-5, Psalms 103:1-5, Romans 8:11). “By His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). The context deals with more than physical healing but emotional and mental as well. Someone who is reading this is battling emotional scars that God is completely healing right now. Someone else has been told you have a mental illness and God is healing you as you read this. Receive it now by faith. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is bringing life and healing to someone’s physical body this very moment (Romans 8:11).
- Finances (2 Corinthians 9:6-8, Malachi 3:8-10, Philippians 4:18-19, Deuteronomy 8:11-20). “It is He who gives you the power to make wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18). Listen for Him to speak to you. If something pops into your head, it may be God giving you just what you need in order to prosper financially. Seek counsel, pray and if everything seems to be a go, run with it.
He is able to make all financial grace abound toward you ( 2 Corinthians 9:8) and open the windows of heaven blessing you until there is no longer room to receive it (Malachi 3:10). He promises to supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:18-19). The context of each of these verses deals with giving. We cannot expect God to bless and meet our needs if we are not willing to be faithful in our giving.
- Salvation of family and loved ones (Acts 2:38-39, Acts 16:31, Isaiah 59:21). The devil has robbed us of our loved ones long enough. Let’s start standing on the Word of God for our loved ones to be brought to Jesus. He able to reach even those who seem farthest from Him. “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39).
- Growth of the church body (Isaiah 43:5-7, Acts 2:39, Ephesians 4:16, Acts 2:47). Pastors, leaders and congregants, it is God’s desire and will that your church grow both spiritually and numerically. If you will be faithful, pray, witness, follow up on the wayward, work hard and believe God, He will make your church body to grow exponentially. He has “ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit – multiply and that your fruit should remain” (John 15:16). Notice, you have to go in order to multiply. It will not happen with you sitting on the sidelines and doing nothing.
- Peace and joy (John 14:27, John 16:33, Ephesians 2:14, Isaiah 26:3, Philippians 4:6-7, John 16:23-4, Isaiah 35:10, Isaiah 52:9, Isaiah 60:5, 1 John 1:4). Read, study and memorize these scriptures. God wants to give you peace and joy even when these things aren’t a reality in your life. There will be times when you will have to “break forth into joy” (Isaiah 52:9) when there is nothing to be joyful about. It’s something you must choose to do. You must “choose life so you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
- Restoration of all the enemy has stolen (Joel 2:17-27). The Bible says, “Do not despise a thief If he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving. Yet when he is found, he must restore seven-fold” (Proverbs 6:30-31).
The devil is the thief who has come to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10a). Whether what we have lost in life is from the original sin, through direct attacks of the devil and his emissaries, or through our own sin, faults and poor choices, Satan is still the thief and source of our losses. Let’s demand all that has been taken from us be restored seven-fold.
Joel 2:20, 23 and 25 – “I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for He has given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, My great army which I sent among you.”
How to Implement Our Authority as Believers
Now that we’ve discussed the authority given to us through Christ, I want to share how we can implement that authority. Read Ephesians 1:19-23, Ephesians 2:6, Joshua 1:3, Ephesians 4:27, Matthew 4:8-10, and Colossians 2:15. In the first half of Ephesians, Paul is trying to help us realize who we are in Christ, before telling us what we are to do for God.
Hebrews 2:8 says, “Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all things in subjection under him, He left nothings that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.” It’s clear in this verse that God has placed all things in subjection to us, under our feet. “But now we see not yet all things put under him,” also reveals it hasn’t completely materialized yet. Therefore, there must be something we can do to bring this into the realm of reality. Below are a few things to help us start moving in that direction.
- Tenacity and discipline (2 Timothy 4:6-8, Galatians 6:9, Luke 18:1). This is not easy. It is something I have struggled with, especially in recent years. The real struggle is maintaining your authority. It takes discipline and stubbornness. It’s hard, when we face battles and things don’t go right, to continue standing firm and exercise and implement our authority in the situations of life. It is easy to become discouraged, fainthearted and give up instead of continuing to fight the good fight.
This is particularly difficult when we have faced continuous hardships and reversals in our life and ministry. It is easy to get tired and beat down. Even when we have been very tenacious in the past, we have a hard time stirring it back up again and maintaining it. You must reach deep within yourself, as David did, and encourage yourself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6 KJV).
This was a major turning point for David. If he had not done this he would have missed God and the greatness God had prepared him for. It was shortly thereafter, at the very beginning of 2 Samuel that David is crowned King. This materialized not only because of God’s calling and destiny, but also because of David’s tenacity. We will never know what would have happened if he had given up.
- Choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19). Life and victory are ultimately a choice. Things will not always go our way. We will be attacked and at times viciously. We may, at times, feel beat down and defeated. We may even get discouraged and depressed. We may feel there is no way out and no hope (Proverbs 13:12).
It is in these times we must choose life. “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). This is the only way to pull out of the pit we are in and begin to head toward and experience victory. Shout it out, at the top of your lungs, “I choose life!” We must choose life and keep choosing life until we have taken authority over our situation and victory has come.
- Visualize victory (John 5:17 and 19, Judges 6:11-12, Proverbs 29:18). As with effective praying, we must see the victory in the spiritual realm before it can become an outward reality. Jesus saw the Father working and therefore He worked (John 5:17 and 19). Gideon was hiding in the wine press for fear of the Midianites. When the angel called him he said, “The Lord is with thee thou mighty man of valor” (Judges 6:11-12).
I remember, when my oldest son was going through a rebellious stage, when he would leave the house, I would say, “See you later you mighty man of valor.” I’m sure he thought I was crazy, but I was trying to see him as the man God had called him to be even if everything in his life was contrary to it.
- Exercise faith (2 Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 11:1, Hebrews 6:13-15, Romans 4:18-21). If we are to implement the authority given us in Christ, we must be men and women of faith. It was said of Abraham, “Who against hope believed in hope” (Romans 4:18). “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Faith is expressed in four ways:
- Having vision (Proverbs 29:18, Hebrews 12:2). We not only must see God doing something in the spiritual realm, but we must have a vision for what we want to see God do, accomplish or what He has promised us. We perish and experience defeat without vision. Jesus kept His eyes on the joy that was set before Him of what God had promised. Paul likewise kept his eye on the prize set before him (Philippians 3:14).
- Claim His promises. “Every place the sole of your foot shall tread, that have I given unto you” (Joshua 1:3). This speaks of putting your foot on and claiming the promises of God. In whatever area you are needing to assert your authority over, find out what God has said about it and claim His Word and promise for you. Stand on it and claim it saying, “This is mine,” on the authority of God’s Word and the promise of God, who cannot lie (Hebrew 6:18).
- Resist the enemy. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7-8). “Whom resist steadfast in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8). We must resist the enemy, negativism, our situation, and everything that opposes God’s Word and promises.
- Taking action (Mark 2:5, James 2:17-19). We have to move in faith to adequately place things under our feet. “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:17). Jesus saw the faith of those carrying the paralytic man and was moved to intervene in their situation (Mark 2:5). The Word must be mixed with active faith if it is to profit us (Hebrews 4:2).
- Be aggressive (Joshua 1:3). “From the days of John the Ba