ON FIRE 20 / EXERCISING AUTHORITY

BIBLE READING
Matthew 10:1; 5-8

Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness....These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: 'The kingdom of heaven has come near.'  Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, a drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

Matthew 28:18-20

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age .”

REFLECTION

Yesterday we began thinking about the power and authority Jesus has given His church. We saw that:
•    Authority is having permission to do something.
•    Power is actually having the ability to do it.
If the Prime Minister said to you: "I give you authority to go out and stand in the road and stop the traffic" - you’d probably get hit by a car because you might have authority but you don’t have the power to do it.
But if he gives you authority and also gives you a police uniform to wear – the traffic will stop because you now have both power and authority.
God not only tells us as His church to heal the sick, he actually gives us his power and authority to do it.
There’s nothing wrong with praying for sick people, when you’re having your prayer time at home or even when you’re with someone who is sick, it’s good to ask God to heal them.  But there are times when we are confronted with sickness/infirmity/affliction and we need to stop speaking to God about the sickness and start speaking to the sickness directly in the power and authority that God has entrusted you with.
It’s not that I have any power or authority in myself, it’s that Jesus has all power and authority in heaven and on earth and he has delegated His power and authority to me as his disciple.
I like to illustrate it this way.
When I was about 18 or 19 I had this friend called Michael whose family were incredibly wealthy.  They were literally millionaires.  I remember Michael showing me this gold credit card that he had with him one night and I said to him: 'How have you got that, you’ve never worked an hour in your life?'
This was his answer: 'This is linked to my dad’s bank account.  Dad is the primary signatory on the card, and because I’m his son, he was able to add my name onto his card.  Therefore I can spend on this card, but it comes out of dad’s account.'
I suggested we use his dad’s card to go to California for 3 months.
He replied something along these lines: 'The funny thing is, if it was my own card and I was paying for it, I’d probably get into big trouble.  But because it’s my dad’s I actually only use it when I really have to for things I know he would approve of me having.'
When Jesus won back all authority in heaven and earth and passed it onto us, it was like he got a gold credit card from his account with all of the unlimited resources of heaven at his disposal, and there’s His name on it – “Jesus Christ” – but then below it there’s my name and your name – we have been added so that we have complete and total access to all of His resources of power and authority.  But with that privilege also comes great responsibility – that we will only use his authority and power for things that Father would approve of.
So wherever we go - work, school, the street where we live, our community and city – we should know that we carry His power and authority to bring change to whatever sickness and darkness exists there.  To bring God’s healing and wholeness and rule and reign.
It’s not about how experienced and qualified you are – it’s about how much power and authority He has.