Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Regaining Lost Authority

Yesterday I talked about authority and the results of lost authority as I saw it in Ps 109:8-13. The question I pose today is if you have lost your God given authority how do you get it back, can it be gotten back if it has been forfeited? I think the answer to the last part of the question is yes you can regain Gods authority in your life.

The three most important times I see in the bible where Jesus gave authority is in Mt 10: 1 (Lk 9:1), Lk 10:1, and Mt 28: 16-20. In these verses Jesus gave authority not to everybody or anybody but to His disciples. What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus. Well in the case of the original 12 disciples these were men who left all to follow and learn all that Jesus commanded. They left and laid down everything that would hinder them from learning from and following Jesus. Peter would tell Jesus in Mrk 10: 28 - "See, we have left all and followed You". Also in Lk 5:27 Jesus called to Levi (Matthew) "Follow me" and Levi's reaction in verse 28 was "So he left all, rose up, and followed Him". These verse give us examples of what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus. You must hear the call to follow Jesus and you must rise up leave all and follow Him.

In Lk 14:25 while talking with the great multitudes, Jesus gives two reasons one cannot be His disciple. "If anyone comes to Me (hears my call to come and follow me) and does not hate his father or mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Wow! Jesus could not be telling someone to hate those in his or her own families but at the very minimum the requirement to be his disciple was that you could not love them more than you love Him. This verse makes more since when you put it into the context of who he was talking to. To convert to following Jesus would mean that someone would have to renounce their Family religion, in this case Judaism or paganism. To renounce your family religion often and in most cases meant renouncing your family or your family renouncing you as part of the family. We have recently seen an example of this in the case of the Muslim girl who had to flee from her family to Florida because she converted to Christianity. She knew that her life was now in jeopardy because converting to Christianity from Islam is an offense punishable by death. So she loved Jesus more than loosing her place in her earthly family. Did she loose her love for her family, no. But given the choice to follow the family tradition and religion or the choice to follow and be a disciple of Jesus, she chose Jesus.

Verse 27 - "And whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple" and in verse 33 - "So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple."

The first question we have to ask ourselves especially if we have lost our authority, or in a majority of cases never had it, is are we disciples of Jesus? Judge yourself by the word of God not by your own beliefs and religious upbringing. Look at the examples of the disciples in the bible. Most of the original disciples lost their lives, literally, because they were followers or disciples of Jesus. Contrary to most of the preaching today, being a disciple of Jesus costs you something. We cannot have our lives and Jesus too. He didn't come so we can have a better life but so that we could loose our lives. And in loosing our lives we will find true abundant live that can only be found in serving Jesus as His disciple and we will regain the authority we have forfeited through following and living our own way. Becoming religious is also not the answer either. Is not time to go to church its time to become disciples of Jesus so that we can be the church. Jesus never asked the original twelve disciples to come or go to church. He said follow me......... So i am saying to you follow Jesus and learn from Him and walk with and learn from others who are doing the same thing.

One last thought, the reason Jesus gave His disciples authority was to go and make other disciples or followers of Jesus. And there was power that would go with them. In Mt 10 some of the results of having Jesus' authority was that unclean spirits would be cast out of people and sickness and diseases would be healed. When we all become disciples of Jesus and lay hold of His given authority we will see these power again in the church. I look forward to seeing this again as the Church of Jesus Christ once again regains it's true authority and it's true mission. May it start in you and spread to others.