Alright, let’s think about the six qualities of grace that allow us to match steps with the Lord. Here they are again: 1. Unity, 2. Liberty, 3. Authority, 4. Authenticity, 5. Fidelity, and 6. Integrity/Humility. I want to share these in reverse order from the chapter excerpt of my soon-to-be-released book, The Pathway of Grace: Learning to Walk with God. We’re counting down to #1 and today we focus on #3 Authority. You read and I will look forward to your comments.
God intends for us to exercise authority. God wants us to have confidence to know that when we move – when we do good, when we speak to someone, we move and speak to them in the power and authority of God. As the apostle Peter says, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracle of God.” (I Peter 4: 11 KJV) Or as the New International Version translates, “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.” If anyone teaches, let them teach like Jesus “as one having authority”. (Matthew 7: 29 KJV) If anyone ministers, let them minister under the anointing of God’s grace.
We do everything in the authority of Jesus. We do not act on our own authority. I don’t jump in and do good because I enjoy doing this and I know someone will benefit from it. Our mindset is we operate under the authority and direction of Jesus. Our intentions or the benefits we imagine from our actions are not in the forefront. Jesus is.
How many deeds have such a short shelf life because this one rule is not observed? Instead, we act under our own authority or desires. How many prayers are short circuited because of this very thing? The fulfillment of our prayers and intentions cannot lean or rest on our authority but on Jesus’ alone.
Jesus marveled when he found a Roman Centurion operating under authority. “When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him said, ‘I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel’.” (Luke 7:9) The centurion had said, “I myself am a man under authority.” (Luke 7: 8) I know how blessing and victory comes. It comes when you are obedient to a higher authority.
The centurion commits himself to unity with whatever Jesus says. He is at liberty because he puts Jesus in charge of the situation. He is confident and says ‘I know my servant will be healed’. You just say the word. I am a man under authority. “I tell this one, ‘Come’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this’ and he does it.” (Luke 7: 8)
Jesus was amazed that someone understood what God wanted to do in our lives. God wants to bless us and the only way God can do that is if we are under his authority. That is when God takes responsibility for us. The sergeant is responsible for making sure the private knows what he is supposed to do. God, our captain, lets us know what we need to do. We don’t have to make it up. We are followers, disciples, so we follow Jesus.
What is God looking for in us? He is looking to glorify us and bring unity between our actions and his. God wants for our steps to match with his, for the way of peace to be our way of living. God is expecting us to express the liberty of his Spirit. God is expecting us to follow the movement of his grace. We are graceful and agile in our ability to move with him in the earth. We have flexibility. We have freedom. We have options. We are healthy people. We are God’s people who move at his authority.