The difference between power and authority

Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases (Lk. 9:1 KJV)

Spiritual authority and power often operate together, but there is an essential difference between them. If we would have to reign on the earth, we must fully understand how to put to work the power and authority that the Lord has conferred upon us.

Power, in general, can be summed up by the word “ability.” It could be the ability to create, heal, work, move, etc. Power is necessarily being able to do. We can talk about spiritual, physical or mental power. It takes physical power or strength to walk or run. It takes power to effect healing in someone’s body who is sick. However, authority works differently.

While power is ability in general, authority can be summed up by the word “control” or “rule.” It is the right and privilege to exercise control over things in and around us. I would illustrate this with the defeat of Satan. It took power for Jesus to defeat Satan, and disarm him. There was a clash of supernatural powers, and Satan was subdued. However, it takes authority, to rule over demons today. There is no more power per se required to defeat Satan. Jesus already did that. When you cast out a demon, you are not using power. You are merely exercising authority, meaning the right to rule over them by giving them commands to obey.
There is no struggle or battle with authority. Commands are issued and have to be obeyed. This is very important for us to understand to take full advantage of the authority we have in Christ.

Read more: What is spiritual authority?


From Luke 9:1 above, what do we need power and authority to accomplish? Declare that “I am seated with Christ in the position of highest authority over all principalities and powers and above every name that is named on the earth!”

Apply the Word

Authority is exercised by issuing commands. Your words of faith are the rod in your hands to rule in your world. Start and continue speaking to circumstances by the Spirit.

Thank the Lord for His wonderful gift of authority bestowed upon us.

Read more

Words of Authority vs Prayer
Understanding spiritual authority.
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