God has been dealing with me about obtaining more authority in our spiritual walk. You see, when one gets "born again" they obtain a certain amount of authority in the spirit world, but there is a greater authority that can be obtained. In Acts.19 v. 13-17, seven sons of Sceva tried to cast out demons in the Name of Jesus whom Paul preached. The demons said that they knew Jesus and they knew Paul, but didn’t know them. It was such an honor for Paul to be mentioned in the same sentence as Jesus. But what qualified him to be mentioned like this? Why did the demons know about Paul? This is what I want to talk about in this message. What is this "earned authority" that Paul had and how did he obtain it?
Let’s go back to when he was called by Jesus. In Acts 9 v. 16 Jesus said that Paul had to suffer great things for His Name’s sake. I believe that Jesus was telling him to get acquainted with persecution. As soon as he started to preach about Jesus, some people wanted to kill him. Jesus really confirmed His word fast! Paul was on his way to obtaining "earned authority."
Paul talked about how this "earned authority" increased in 2 Corinthians. 4 v. 7-14: he said in v. 7 that we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. He is talking about the anointing or the authority that God bestows. In v. 8-11, he tells about some of the ways that this authority can increase: being troubled on every side, but not in distressed, being perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed…. He says in v. 17 that "our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." First of all, Paul considered all of these things that he would go through as "light affliction" and that these attacks increase the weight of glory. He was saying that these attacks increase the glory of God onto his life or His "earned authority." When one has to face these attacks, they have to rely more on the anointing of God, which increases the anointing of God out of their lives to others.
To receive more anointing or authority into your life to help others from the clutches of the enemy, you have to decrease. The attacks decrease the fleshly characteristics coming out of your life, so God can bring more anointing out of you. When one gets saved, all the anointing of God is resident in that person. It just needs to be released. It can only increase in your life when you decrease. So, when you can’t deal with the attacks in your own strength, your ability to do anything about the attack decreases. Again, this increases the anointing or authority that God can release out of you, to help others. Anytime that you resist temptation and sin you are decreasing in the flesh but increasing in the anointing that God brings out of you. Everything in God after salvation has a price tag; 2 Chronicles 7 v. 14- "If my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." These are all price tags(the first word in the verse is"If"). To have more anointing operating in your life, a price needs to be paid. Are you willing to pay that price to get more "earned authority"? Are you willing to let God continue to "sanctify" you and yield all your fleshly weaknesses to Him? Only He can keep us on the road to sanctification. Remember, we are saved by sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth (2 Thessalonians 2 v. 13). Jesus said in Rev. 3 v. 18 to buy of Him gold and silver. You see there is a price tag for more anointing!
All through the epistles that Paul wrote he is instructing how to increase this "earned authority" coming out of our lives. For example in this same chapter he says in v. 18 to not look at the things seen, but for the things not seen…He is saying not to be moved by what you see. It is temporal, subject to change. He says in 2 Corinthians 5 v. 7, that we walk by faith and not by sight. How can one be used to heal someone of a deadly disease, unless this person has learned that God can change the natural. They learn this by defying (not denying) the natural, in their own lives. God can give you more authority when you are not moved by the natural, but ignore what the devil is doing. Just like a spoiled kid looking for attention; when you ignore the kid, he or she ceases to look for attention, because he or she is not getting it! The devil is the same way. This is why Paul said in Acts 20 v. 23-24, that he was still going to Jerusalem, knowing that bonds and afflictions were waiting for him there. However he said that none of those things moved him, neither did he count his life dear to himself, but that he might finish his course with joy…. He was qualified to be into situations that God could only send him into. This is what I am talking about i.e. "earned authority." For example, later on Paul got arrested and was sent on a ship to Rome. God had given him so much "earned authority" that he was placed on this ship that eventually sank. He was put on the ship by God to save the lives of the other passengers and crew. God saved their lives because of Paul. Jesus said this in Acts 27 v. 24. He had the "earned authority" to be on that ship to help and encourage everyone on that ship.
They landed on the Island of Melita and a snake bit Paul as he got close to the fire. The snake died, but not Paul! Again, this is evidence of this "earned authority." Paul also was a prisoner on the ship, but in Rome he was freed and lived in his own hired house (Acts 28 v. 30), with no interference! The enemy couldn’t keep him as a prisoner. While in Rome, he converted some of Caesar’s household. Wow!
Because of this "earned authority" Paul was unstoppable by the enemy. We can read in Acts 14 v. 19-23, how Paul was stoned by people in Lystra and left for dead. He then returned to Lystra, the very place where he was stoned and confirmed and exhorted the Christians there. He even ordained elders there. He was totally unafraid. He knew that devil was allowed by God to take his best shot, but couldn’t kill him! Again, he wasn’t moved by natural circumstances. This is why God chose him as an instrument to write two thirds of the New Testament! He had achieved a level of "earned authority."
We need to read the epistles that Paul wrote with this concept in mind. God is talking through the words of Paul to instruct us how we can have an increase in the "earned authority" in our lives too.
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