Summary: Christ’s authority and the authority given to us as believers plays an integral part in experiencing the wonders of God.
Authority in Christ
“The chief weapon we ought to use in resisting Satan is the Bible. Three times the great enemy offered temptations to our Lord. Three times his offer was refused, with a text of Scripture as the reason, “it is written” (Mt. 3:4, 7, 10).
J.C. Ryle - Commentary: Matthew 4.
Scripture tells us that we have authority from Christ to do his works and even greater ones than he performed (John 14:12). Since that is the truth, then why aren’t the children of God exercising their God given authority for the growth and health of the Body of Christ?
I am reminded of the incident in the gospel of Mark when Jesus went to his hometown and could perform no great miracle because of their unbelief (Mark 6:5-6).
Yesterday, my mother was very sick and she called me over to her house to sit with her. As I arrived I noticed she was very, very ill and wasn’t looking well at all. I sat down for a brief moment and then felt the need to lay my hands on her and pray for her recovery. As I was about to pray, “Dear Lord please heal her,” I was immediately overcome by an audible voice in my mind which said, “Do not beg child, believe.” I then rebuked the sickness as Christ exampled for us in the gospels with authority and faith. Within five minutes her sickness left and fever broke.
I realized at that moment that too many times we pray for a healing or other miracle of God and then beg our way into the throne room of the Father. I do not remember ever hearing Christ telling us to beg and grovel our way to a miracle, he simply said to believe. (John 16:23-27 - ask). The Father himself loves us so much because we have believed in His only begotten Son that He is very willing to work on our behalf if we simply ask and stand firm in the knowledge that “if God be for us, who can be against us?”
The gospel of Matthew tells us twice that if we have faith in the things we ask of the Father, we could literally move mountains; curse a fig tree into death, and much more (Matthew 7:7 -8, 21:21-22). This is not a mere spiritual mountain or fig tree Christ is speaking of in these discourses. He is speaking of a literal mountain and a fruit tree that is tangible and physical. So why do we tend to spiritualize the power and grandeur of the Father through Christ the Son when He’s told us time and time again that miracles, healing, and so much more is for the empowerment and growth of the Church in a very physical way? Could it be that our faith is what has changed from the time of the Apostles to the modern age? Could it be that the local drug store has the medicine for a cold or sickness in a pill rather than allowing our faith to show God’s greatness? I have never and will never advocate being dismissive of a doctor’s care since Luke was also a physician, however, believers in Africa, Asia, and other countries which don’t necessarily have a doctor or pharmacy on every street corner see incredible works of God from resurrections, healings, and great sign and wonders being performed this very day! Why? I believe there are many reasons why we don’t see these in the United States that often. One of the prime reasons is that the people are not being taught correct doctrine when it comes to the authority of the believer and the nature of God in Christ that is available to anyone who would simply believe in the goodness and power of the Father through the workings of the Holy Spirit.
This power, however, is never used for the personal glory of anyone. There are voices in modern Christianity which state that the believer can have health, wealth, and prosperity throughout their life as a “child of the King.” Yet, the Bible states plainly that our Lord and Master didn’t even have a rock upon which to lay his blessed head. Are we greater than our Master to dictate to God what we “deserve” in our lives? What greater gift could be given by the Father than the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ? The amazing grace which churches sing about is truly our health, wealth and prosperity otherwise the early church had it all wrong. They were tortured, imprisoned, stoned, crucified, and burned alive, in poverty, in hiding and so much more. Have we “evolved” into a new or greater understanding than the ones who actually sat at the feet of Christ or were taught by the Apostles the Christian faith? No. I say any deviation from “the faith once delivered to the saints” is a perversion not a revelation.