Summary: Do you have authority against the forces of this world?

“I Am Commissioned with Authority”

Series: Identity: Becoming Who We Are

June 4, 2017 – Brad Bailey


Let me ask you to consider this question: Do you have authority against the forces of this world?

That is the question we dare ask as we continue our focus this season in identity… on how God speaks and works to restore our true selves.

I invite us to hear what God has to say to us about our authority.

Luke 10:1-4, 8-9, 17-21 (NLT)

The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. 2 These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. 3 Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. ….8 “If you enter a town and it welcomes you, eat whatever is set before you. 9 Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’

…17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use (the power and authority of) your name!” 18 “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! 19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. 20 But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.” 21 At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.

So what’s going on in this text? A lot. There’s a lot that could consider.

But at the center of this exchange is a defining moment…in which the authority of heaven is being extended to human lives. [1]

You catch a sense of WOW.

What do you think they felt? Surprised? Shocked? Yea. And I would add…CHANGED. It changes how one relates to everything.

In Christ, the Creator of all has come into enemy territory declaring the rule and reign of God is being restored. It’s a spiritual conflict. And to appreciate what had been claimed for the glory and control of another…and now that is being made available to those who are united with him.

I want to note the two main points that we can’t miss.

1. The ultimate power over our lives is spiritual.

These lives knew there were spiritual powers…it ran through their history. BUT when human rulers take control of your land…and human forces strike down your people long enough…one begins to think only of them. It was hard not to think that the force of evil wore a Roman helmet…and carried the force of swords and shields. So they had become focused on political powers.

But Jesus knew that there was a larger work at play. He knew long ago a spiritual vie had been made to seek the glory that was God’s…and sought it in all God had created. That spiritual entity had drawn those created to bear God’s image to trust him rather than God. And as a result that evil force has ruled over creation and all human life.

As the Scriptures explain….

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

“… our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

There are spiritual forces that draw upon the human will…and drive it.

This is something that those in Asia and Africa…have little doubt about…only modern westerners seem confused

This is difficult for us who are products of the Western “enlightenment” phase… in which western culture became so enamored with human reasoning that we began to assume everything is just a matter of rational deduction. We are so enamored with our abilities to control things…we only value what we can control… or at least believe we will ultimately be able to understand and control. So we dismiss anything spiritual…unseen… we are not able to master within our faculties.

Our culture has tried to imagine that we are now “beyond” any mystery in our world… that there’s nothing we can’t explain…can’t control… that it’s time to “move on” from acknowledging a soiritual dimension.

But the questions are still there….the nature of evil is still there.

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