Main Passage:Ephesians 3:8-13
Christians get slammed a lot anymore. We are mocked, scoffed, and ridiculed for our faith in Jesus Christ while living out our belief in the truths found in the Bible. Much of the scuffle out there has nothing to do with Jesus Himself, nor about the Bible per se, but how we live out our faith-- or not. But there are plenty of instances when we get slammed because we represent Jesus in this dark world. We also get hit hard for following the truths in the Bible.Then there are the odd situations when Satan and his demons come against us. Some of us tremble in fear because Satan scares us. Honestly, we don't feel we have any authority in this world, but we do. Because Jesus held authority over all things, He passed authority on to us as believers.
The Jesus we love and serve held authority over all things because God the Father gave it to Him. He shocked the religious leaders and crowds during His ministry because He spoke with authority, unlike the Scribes who taught from the Torah -- the Law and Prophets (Matthew 7:28-29). Why? Because He was God in the flesh, the Son of God. He was in existence before the world began and was part of the Creation. The Living Word knows His work.
He came to Earth to bring people to Himself. He had all authority, yet laid it down to redeem us from sin. God, the Father, was still in control of all things as Jesus paid for our sin to ransom us from the Evil One. Why do you think Satan tried to derail Jesus with a false authority in the 40 days of temptations in the wilderness? Satan knew he would lose a lot of souls. Jesus came to glorify God who brought glory to Jesus so we might have eternal life with Him forever (John 17:1-5).
Christians have spiritual authority because we belong to Jesus. Jesus told His disciples the Holy Spirit would give us what God wants us to have. We do not speak with our own authority, but God's because the Holy Spirit lives in us. As followers of Jesus, it is imperative we speak only by the power of the Holy Spirit because we represent Jesus in the world. When others hear us, they should see an authority in us that is not of this world (John 16:12-14). Whether they love us or hate us, what we share with them from God should either draw them to Him or show them for whose they really are.
I learned a long time ago about spiritual authority. In Christian martial arts, we encountered scoffers and odd circumstances. We built up a prayer team and let them know when we were going out to do an evangelistic demonstration. Their covering of prayer nipped a lot of problems in the bud early. One time we were driving some students home in our van. Our van was having issues with steering, but we thought it was the tire. We pulled over to check the problem out. Our van only had one lug nut on it, it was loose!
The tire could have easily come off or the bolt could have snapped while we were on the highway. Earlier that week, two gang members from opposing gangs were fighting out back of our apartment complex. I called the cops on them. The missing lug nuts was their revenge. God answered the prayers of a handful of faithful prayer warriors on our behalf. God miraculously protected my husband, myself, and a van full of kids. Those who intended harm to us held no power against the power of God.
Jesus passes spiritual authority on to us. When Jesus was ready to ascend to Heaven after He rose from the dead, He imparted authority to His disciples (Matthew 2:16-20). That authority extends to us. Some of us doubt that authority while others of us walk boldly by faith sharing Jesus as we go along in life, sharing the mysteries of the Gospel. We also are free to approach the throne of God we are His children. (Ephesians 3:-13)
As a result of our encounters, we developed a spiritual warfare segment for our evangelistic martial arts demonstrations based on the Ephesians 6:10-20 passage. "Demons" needled the Christian poking at him or her with their weapons. It starts out with small irritations and annoyances, picking up momentum with harder hitting attacks through people and circumstances wearing us down. These attacks were symbolized by students with red hoods and dark-screened faces who poked at the Christian, who held a double-edged broadsword representing the Word of God and a shield with "Faith" painted on the front. The jo staff were the annoyances, tonfa and sais represented harsh words and mean-spirited deeds wearing the Christian down. When those things didn't work, Satan would come in with a black hood and a wooden single-edged sword.
One Sunday morning, my first husband was preaching on this passage, so we used the spiritual warfare skit. Each one of us came against him with our weapons as he preached. Of course, we were thwarted by the Word, his sword. One of our karate students had an hour drive to get to the church. We were all worried he might not make it in time. My husband watched the clock praying as he preached. Our student was running late. He walked in and saw it was time for him to show up. Suddenly, "Satan" came running up the aisle full force, becoming airborne at the second row of pews. His wooden sword hammered down at the sword my hubby who almost crumpled under the force. It took about 3 more hacks and the end of the wooden sword broke off and flew into the congregation. In the mean time, the people in the pews stood up in awe at the sudden burst of attacks and applauded when "Satan" was defeated. Isn't that the way it works in real life? We could shy away at the least little annoyance, run at the first sign of opposition, and crumple at the direct, hammering attacks. But w,e as believers, have spiritual authority because Jesus gives us that authority.
We have authority to cast out demons, but only because of Jesus' authority (Luke 9:1-3, 10:18-20). Luke He passed onto us. We need not fear Satan nor his demons due to the authority of our Savior. They know their end is sure (Revelation 19:20, 20:10). When I realized an evil spirit was in our bedroom ready to take my husband's life, I lay praying over his cancer-riddled body, singing praises to God until it left. It left not because of anything I could do, but because of my Savior who gave me authority to send evil spirits packing. We must never forget to take up our heavenly armor in this spiritual battle. Some leave their swords and shields at home, while others use poorly crafted ones and wonder why they get pummeled by such a brutal bully. Our Sword is the Word of God and our shield is our faith in the One who goes before us. Walk confident in the authority He has given you to do His work here on earth.
May God bless you.