Summary: Part 2 focuses on our authority, its source and its limitations.
Understanding Power and Authority Part 2
Last week I introduced this message titled “Understanding Power and Authority”. In that message I told you that power is define as “the ability to do or act” and authority is defined as “the power to determine or settle issues; the right to control.” I used the illustration of me picking up a chair and moving it utilizing my own power and then ordering Stacey to put the chair back. I did not ask Stacey to do it, I told him to do it and he immediately got up and moved the chair back. That was an illustration of the difference between power and authority. Authority is not based on your physical power, but is bestowed upon you or given to you from another who has the power. I stressed last week that we need to stop “asking” the devil stop messing with us and start commanding him based on our authority in Christ Jesus. We will get no where asking Satan anything; we must command him to back off. It is important that we understand that we do not have to wrestling with the devil with our own power.
Last week I also stress the point that we cannot play with Satan on his playground and with his toys and then attempt exercise authority over him commanding him to leave his own playground. To make this point we focused on the Scripture found in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 and verse 7 which says: "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious, gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God: holding a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these…..always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." Again, the point here is that in order to walk in the authority Christ has given us we must make some sacrifices and different decisions as to how we live our life. So let’s examine some of those things Satan will use to keep us from walking in our authority.
I. Satan’s Playground
Last week I told you about the song we used to sing many years ago titled: “Don’t Let the Devil Ride”? In the song it says “Don’t let the devil ride, if you let him ride, he’ll want to drive, don’t let him ride.” What this song points out in a very simple way is that if we open the door to Satan, he will come in and take over. If we give him an inch, he will expand it to a yard. So when he invites/entices us to come and play on his playground, we must resist. Even if we are standing on the outside of the playground’s fence, looking in at all of the others playing and having a real good time, we must resist the urge to join them. Satan may even be standing with us at the fence, offering us popcorn, ice cream and candy if we’d just come in and play for a little while, but don’t do it. He will trick you if you go.
In 2 Timothy 3, we are given an idea of what Satan’s playground has how he uses them to get us to not walk in our authority. You see, Satan has some very enticing, sinful toys and games on his playground. He has one game called “Love Me More.” The purpose of this game is to see how much attention, affection and wealth I can pile on myself in the name of Jesus. The person who wins is the one who gives himself the most while ensuring that others get little to nothing. He also has a wonderful game call “For the love of money.” This game is the spin off of “Love Me More”. If a person does well in the “Love Me More” game you get to play “For the Love of Money” which takes you to a whole new level. The focus of this game is to whatever you can for money – nothing is off limit. The more creative you are getting money without regard to others the more points you receive. He has another game he calls “The Great Complainer”. The winner of this game is chosen based on who does the best job of complaining, whining, and being ungrateful. Satan loves this game because he can really teach a person that there really are no blessings in this world – just trouble, heartache and pain. Oh, here is a good one that people tend to navigate towards. This game is called “Let’s Make a Steal.” The goal of this game is to acquire possession by lying, cheating, stealing or any other means other than getting something the right way. For example, you go to the video store and rent a movie. After you watch the movie, you download it on your computer so that you can make a copy for yourself. It sounds okay to do, but it is stealing and Satan really likes it when we steal, call it okay and then try and exercise authority over him. All of these are games on Satan’s playground and I did not even scratch the surface. But there is one more game that I must mention. This game is called “I am Holy”. Points are awarded to the one who can preach the best, shout the loudest, do the “holy” dance, pray the hardest and sing the best in public, all for attention, while also participating in and excelling in all of the other games I just mentioned. These are just some of the games that Satan has on his playground that Christians freely participate in and enjoy and I did not even scratch the surface.