What is Spiritual Authority?

Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” (Luke 10:19, ESV)

What is spiritual authority showing a boss in a office that is upset with an intern

Understanding and walking in spiritual authority is transformative. Authority exists physically and is even more significant spiritually. Understanding spiritual authority through the lens of physical authority simplifies its concept.

First, differentiate between power and authority in Luke 10:19. Jesus grants us authority (exousia) over the enemy’s power (dunamis).

Power is the capacity to effect change. In the New Testament, dunamis refers to “inherent power” within by nature, with all power ultimately deriving from God. For instance, muscles enable movement through inherent power.

Authority is different from power, as indicated by the different Greek words, though they are closely related. Authority is the right and liberty to use power to control things or persons. The three crucial words are right, freedom, and control.

The concept of authority entails the rightful use of power. For example, while the military embodies a nation’s strength, its power is not universally accessible. Authority must be bestowed. Thus, authority is given and received—Jesus endowed us with the authority, the prerogative to wield this power.

Moreover, authority represents the freedom to exercise power. This notion may appear alarming, but authority is wielded at the discretion of its holder. This capacity is immensely potent yet simultaneously intimidating. When God entrusts us with authority, we are granted the liberty to use it at our will. This means until we use it, it will never be used. However, it must be voluntarily subjected to God’s authority to maintain this authority’s integrity. Hence, authority can become perilously abusive and destructive in the wrong hands.

Additionally, authority is used to control things and beings. As highlighted in Luke 10:19, Jesus conferred upon us dominion over demons. Similarly, in Luke 9:1, He granted authority over illnesses. Control or governance implies the ability to command these entities to do what we want(again, the free will as above). A profound revelation here is that our dominion over beings and circumstances is primarily exercised through our words. This is evidenced by Jesus’ actions, such as healing illnesses, expelling demons, or even cursing a fig tree through His commands.

Jesus has given us dominion over demons, diseases, and obstacles. When the Chruch fully understands spiritual authority, dares to believe it, and boldly apply it, a new era of God’s kingdom will be unleashed upon the earth.

Meditate

What is the difference between authority and power, as noted above?

Apply the Word

Do you exercise control over demons, sicknesses, or the winds of life? Is something harassing you against God’s will? Remember, until you exercise authority (it is under your free will), God will not. Get up from sleep, and rebuke any storms in your life, telling them what they should do (Mark 4:39).

Pray

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand, believe, and walk in authority.

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