Power versus Authority

There is a great difference between power and authority.

My dad was a career police officer. He describes it this way, “As a police officer, I do not have the power to stop a train in its tracks. But, with my badge, I certainly have the authority to stop a train.” The illustration is simple, but effective. He is physically incapable of exerting his strength over the strength of a train. A strong man can produce about 1 horsepower when needed. A train can produce 3000 horsepower. There is no physical way a police officer can stop such power through his own. However, in the boldness and authority that comes with knowing what you represent and the endorsement that it carries, a police officer can step onto the track in the path of a moving train, and the authority he carries can bring that train to a stop.

Our spiritual life is no different. We do not have the actual power to stop invisible entities that have incredible physical advantage over us. The enemy of our souls seems to have a distinct and unfair advantage against our physical limitations. This is where we usually draw the line and retreat from opposition, and cower in the face of the enemy’s spectacle.

Men, what we lack in power God has more than made up for in our authority as His sons. Why then do we not experience victory and sway over the forces of darkness? It is because we do not understand, recognize or believe that we have this authority, this command presence, by default, as a result of the Spirit of God indwelling us!

Do you stand in authority? If not, why not? Are you surrendering to feelings of unworthiness? Fear? Doubt? My friend, you are being robbed! Take back your birthright! Take the authority that is already yours! It is high time to walk in the boldness that the Spirit provides. Ask your Father, the One who gives you His authority, why you don’t experience it. Talk with someone that you see modeling it. Ask them their story, and learn from it. Don’t settle for any less.

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One response to “Power versus Authority

  • Geoff Wychgel

    Nice! Thanks for the encouragement. Had a short discussion with two friends at a party exploring Buddhism. I was torn between witnessing and keeping the peace. I don’t keep the peace so well. I was so eager to jump in, but I wanted the Holy Spirit to guide me. I didn’t trust His guidance but tried to push knowledge. I held back, stood firm and accepted His plan on simply bringing these two along in His word. Not to win, but simply to bring along and plant. To come alongside and show His grace to the world we often hate. I’m sure I’ll have another “fight card” with the opponent.

    – Geoff

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