Godly authority is not rank or position, but function. Jesus Christ’s authority came out of His obedience to being UNDER the authority of His Father. He declared, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear I judge, and my judgement is just because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father who hath sent me,” John 5:30. Jesus demonstrated His total commitment to always doing His Father’s will, as opposed to His own. The man who declared He could do nothing then did everything by the power of Another, His Father at work in Him. Philip, Jesus’ disciple, asked Jesus to show them the Father, (John 14: 8-10). Jesus replied:
John 14:10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you, I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works.”
All Jesus ever did, He did by the power of Another….another life dwelling within Him – His Father. His authority that He demonstrated in creative words, miracles, healing, casting out demons all came out of His “under.” His “over” came out of His “under.” He was totally submitted under His Father’s will to fulfill His Father’s purposes, thus He could be trusted with His Father’s divine power and authority.
In the Lord’s prayer, Matthew 6:13, Jesus prayed, “…..For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen.” God’s divine power is for the extension of His Kingdom, for His glory and cannot be accessed for men’s purposes and glory. Many men have tried and finished in disaster, seeking their own ends and learning the hard way that God will not give His glory to another.
Luke 7 records the account of the Centurion requesting Jesus to heal his dying servant, who was very dear to him. The Centurion understood authority. He was trained in it and functioned in it. He sent his friends (verses 6-8), with this message, “…Lord, trouble not thyself, for I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, neither did I think myself worthy to come to you: BUT SAY IN A WORD, AND MY SERVANT SHALL BE HEALED. For I also am a man SET UNDER AUTHORITY, having under me soldiers, and I say to one, Go, and he goes, and to another, Come, and he comes, and to my servant, Do this, and he does it.”
Jesus marvelled at the Centurion’s faith and healed the sick servant through a word. The word of God is full of creative power, living and active.
The Centurion understood and demonstrated authority. He was a Roman soldier SET over 100 men in Caesar’s army. He had authority OVER 100 men, but he was UNDER Caesar. He had delegated power and authority. His “over” came out of his “under.” He functioned in his appointed place.
In the Body of Christ, when we are yielded under God’s authority, submitting to His will, He puts His function in us and enables us to be what He created us to be. Then He puts unction (anointing) on our function!
1 Corinthians 12:18 “But now hath God SET the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” The place of my function is where God SETS me. In the natural, if I dislocate a limb, I become dysfunctional, so it is in the spiritual: If I am “dis-located” I am unable to operate in God’s design for the Body of Christ. Dis-location produces dysfunction and has a very loud voice! I must walk humbly in the place God SETS me and embrace the place of His choosing. I may not want it initially, but it works! After I humble myself I find that God has worked in me so that I now delight to do His will.
God’s authority is a contradiction to my understanding as godly authority comes out of humility, putting oneself “under” His choice. The mother of the disciples James and John requested Jesus to grant her sons high ranking seating favour in heaven, (Matt. 20: 20-28) Jesus taught them that he who desired greatness among them should be servant of all, preferring others before themselves.
Deuteronomy 16 contains several references to “the place the Lord thy God shall choose.” The only place I will function and be effective is in the place the Lord chooses for me and SETS me. My responsibility is to humbly embrace His choice and surrender to His will. When I choose God’s will over mine, I can say like Jesus did, “The prince of this world comes and finds nothing in me.” The more I surrender to God, the more I learn to trust Him and the more He can trust me, as I learn to become a faithful steward of the life He has given me. As I yield to God’s authority in my life, the Indwelling Christ in me will function according to my Heavenly Father’s will, fulfilling the divine design for my birthright and eternal destiny.