And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Authority permeates all society. As children, our experiences with our parents, grandparents, or other older relatives are our first introduction to authority figures.
We look up to them to lead and guide us. To help us grow and thrive. To become responsible adults and good citizens under the authority of laws instituted by the nation in which we live.
We obey our authorities.
But, what happens when a parent, a relative, a teacher, a government abuses their authority? Uses it to control, manipulate, or hurt us, emotionally or physically? Sees ultimate power as the prize?
Then, according to Pastor Thabiti Anybwile*, it is no longer authority in the way it is meant to be interpreted.
"Authority and love are spouses," he states. "God has joined them together and they are never meant to be separated. Both are critical, and neither sufficient, for life as God intended."
Authority without love is nothing less than tyranny. We submit to its abuses not because we wish to, but because we must if we have a hope of survival.
Tyranny is the absolute antithesis of the freedom we find in the authority of God's love. It forces us into submission where God invites us to come. To see. To taste. To know that He is good.
And, to do His will in joyous obedience.
Says Pastor Anybwile, "Jesus once asked, 'Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46) The question makes it clear that there simply can be no proper and healthy participation in the Christian faith without submission to authority."
Jesus has been given the ultimate authority both in heaven and on earth.
Are you willingly, joyfully, obeying Him?
How have your experiences with authority figures shaped your life?
Will you pray with me?
May we always acknowledge and recognize, Father, the authority You have given Your Son, Jesus, over our lives. Help us in all humility to heed His words and follow His commandments in all we think, say, and do. May we serve Him with thankful hearts and joyful obedience all the days of our lives. Amen.
Psalms 146, 147 or 148, 149
1 Corinthians 15:41-50
Thursday, April 12, 2012
I Have it on Good Authority . . .
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This is so topical Martha. In our society today a lot of the traditional authority figures have gone astray and so also go their charges. This prayer is one we all need to utter each day in order to stay in balance. Blessings dear on another beautiful and educational post.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for visiting today, Tameka!Delete
When I was a teenager, the slogan "Question Authority" was extremely popular. When authority is wielded by those who are "of this world" and don't understand that true authority is enacted with love, we do need to question it.
But, never the authority of our Lord!
Blessings to you! So looking forward to your next poem!
That's a good question, Martha. I've had good and bad experiences with authority. Generally, I have a questioning spirit, but to touch on your reply to Tameka, I don't question the presence of God in my life. I love your conviction as well as your lovingness. Thank you and God bless! <3ReplyDelete
I've had so many disappointing experiences with authority, too, SweepyJean, believe me! God is in control. The sooner we recognize this, the better off we will be in all of life's challenges. We can do it His help!Delete
Blessings to you!
I too have had many disappointments with authority. Great post.ReplyDelete
Yes, Rachel - when authority is not wielded correctly, it is not the true authority to which God wants us to submit.Delete
So glad you liked the post and thanks so much for stopping by!
Authority without love is nothing but tyranny, I couldn't agree with you more. Only He who has the greatest compassion therefore deserves to have the greatest power, and that is Jesus. ;)ReplyDelete
Oh, how I love what you said here, Joyce!Delete
Yes, our Lord, who has the greatest compassion, is the one authority we can trust and obey.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Great post...definitely provokes thought. When it comes to authority,I'm not a big fan of it! I guess I had a few uncomfortable experiences with "spiritual authority" at my old church and it has led me to be a bit dubious about the concept. I do think accountability is something, when it comes to learning and growing in one's walk, that is maybe just as important.ReplyDelete
Great thoughts here, Jessica!Delete
I agree that authority has been "man-handled" and abused by those who seek power, not compassionate leadership. And, we should be held accountable to the Lord as we grow in Him spiritually.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Oh I thank God He is in charge of our lives. Even at a young age in the Temple, the scholars were amazed by how Jesus answered their questions.ReplyDelete
He spoke with authority (Mt. 7, 29)
And when we sense that a person is convinced by what He says, then He knows what He's talking about.
And we do listen and obey. That is how I am seeing Christ. He reveals Himself every single day in the Bible, reflections, people we meet, creation...
I believe in Him and His power. And so I entrust myself to Him Who truly loves us.
I pray with you that Christ may increase and we decrease so that we could give way to His plans for us.
Yes, I have it on good authority :)
Thanks so much for coming by, Melissa!Delete
It is crucial that we allow God through Christ to have all authority in our lives. When we truly seek Him through His word, we can't help but act in ways which are pleasing to Him.
Yes, let us always pray that Christ might increase within us and we decrease.
Love your last line here! :)
Blessings to you!