Think about your life, marriage, business, the government and the Church. There are many things that contribute to the success or the failure of these organizations. However, when reduced to the lowest denominator, only one factor can truly be held to account. It all comes down to the principles of authority.
Now, think about people that carry the most weight in your mind. Is it your spouse, your pastor, your parents? What about doctors, athletes, celebrities? Why do you think so highly of them? Probably because you believe them to be knowledgeable, good, trustworthy, wise, beautiful, talented, etc. Based on your perception of these people, you have given them the authority to influence your decisions and your behavior.
People will always use their perception of others to determine who they will allow to have authority over their lives. Consciously or unconsciously, the principles of authority are drastically affecting our lives. Day in and day out, we are either influencing others or others are influencing us.
Our world operates according to these principles. We see them practiced within the Church, government, business, family and nature. Those who have authority over our lives are those who have been given 'the power or the right to delegate responsibility, give orders, make decisions, influence others and enforce obedience.' We recognize and accept the fact that authority is unavoidable. Its implementation establishes order, limits confusion and reduces conflict in our lives. Authority is also measured. The amount of authority one possesses is quantified according to the position or rank one holds.
When God (who is Spirit) created the universe, He created the angels (also spirit beings) to operate within it. In that place, God first established His sovereign authority. The universe was created prior to the world we live in therefore we have to agree that God's authority was modeled first in the spirit before it was put into place in the physical. God first established a system of authority in the Heavenly spiritual realm to govern the angels who dwell there.
God created everything in the universe and everything in the universe is under His authority and command. This includes all that exists in the atmosphere above us, on the land beneath us, in the seas all around us and everything else in between. God commands the sun, the moon, the stars, the air, the weather (including so-called natural disasters), nature, the animals, the insects and every microscopic living thing. God has authority over all things that exist in the physical and all things that exist in the spiritual for He, alone, is sovereign:
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the Earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
Who kept the sea inside its boundaries as it burst from the womb, and as I clothed it with clouds and wrapped it in thick darkness? For I locked it behind barred gates, limiting its shores. I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come. Here your proud waves must stop!’
Have you ever commanded the morning to appear and caused the dawn to rise in the east? Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the Earth, to bring an end to the night’s wickedness? As the light approaches, the Earth takes shape like clay pressed beneath a seal; it is robed in brilliant colors. The light disturbs the wicked and stops the arm that is raised in violence.
Have you explored the springs from which the seas come? Have you explored their depths? Do you know where the gates of death are located? Have you seen the gates of utter gloom? Do you realize the extent of the Earth? Tell me about it if you know!
Where does light come from and where does darkness go? Can you take each to its home? Do you know how to get there? But of course you know all this! For you were born before it was all created, and you are so very experienced!
Have you visited the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of hail? (I have reserved them as weapons for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war.) Where is the path to the source of light? Where is the home of the east wind?
Who created a channel for the torrents of rain? Who laid out the path for the lightning? Who makes the rain fall on barren land, in a desert where no one lives? Who sends rain to satisfy the parched ground and make the tender grass spring up?
Does the rain have a father? Who gives birth to the dew? Who is the mother of the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the Heavens? For the water turns to ice as hard as rock, and the surface of the water freezes.
Can you direct the movement of the stars - binding the cluster of the Pleiades or loosening the cords of Orion? Can you direct the constellations through the seasons or guide the bear with her cubs across the Heavens? Do you know the laws of the universe? Can you use them to regulate the Earth?
Can you shout to the clouds and make it rain? Can you make lightning appear and cause it to strike as you direct? Who gives intuition to the heart and instinct to the mind? Who is wise enough to count all the clouds? Who can tilt the water jars of Heaven when the parched ground is dry and the soil has hardened into clods?” Job 39:4-38
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are commanded to acknowledge and submit to His authority, we are commanded to reverence God, we are commanded to honor Him as King and we are commanded to love all people. When we allow the Lord to operate within us, we see His Spirit manifest by what we feel in our hearts, think with our minds, say with our mouths and do with our bodies. When we are operating in our own strength, this is easy to do when it is easy. However, when it is painful, challenging or involves people who persecute us, not so much.
Honoring God’s authority with our obedience regardless of how we feel, regardless of whether we understand it and regardless of how the consequences affect us is what we are called to do because Christ suffered for us and we are to follow His example.
How we respond to God’s authority is always a test. If we pass the test, we are given new levels of authority (some seen in the natural and others seen in the spirit.) If we fail, it could mean our life. Obedience to God is crucial. Our submission to God's commands is important for it reveals our love for the Father and is evidence of true fruit in a Spirit-filled Christian. “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in Heaven. For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect." Matthew 5:43-48.
As we take this understanding of authority with us and look deeper into the spiritual realm, we will better understand the parallel between the spirit and the physical. We will delve deeper into the spiritual realm in part three of this series.
May God open the ears, eyes and hearts of those who read this word. May He bless you with a supernatural understanding and insight to His Word concerning this supernatural message, in Jesus' name.