I will not be ashamed of using my authority

Have you ever tried using your authority and been laughed at? With two littles running everywhere, it happens to me all the time. And as a Christian, it seems to be happening more often than ever before.

This weekend, my God-given authority was challenged when a couple of girls came to my door to talk about the Scriptures. Jehovah’s Witnesses, they knew how to debate any point in the Bible. The problem is that they don’t use the same Bible I use (right now, I’m reading the New Living Translation, but I love the New King James also). They hold to the belief that Jesus is not God, that God is separate from the Holy Spirit, and that Jesus is actually a created being.

DANGER. It actually pained me to hear their beliefs. We agreed to search the Scriptures and talk again later. I’m busy researching, collecting, and cross-referencing, but I will have to rely on an anointing by the Holy Spirit if and when these girls return. I need to use my authority without fear.

I love Paul’s confession to the Corinthian church because it acknowledges the authority God gives us to speak in truth, to lead others in truth, and to live in truth. 2 Corinthians 10:8 says, “… our authority builds you up; it doesn’t tear you down. So I will not be ashamed of using my authority.”

I will not be ashamed of using my authority.

Whenever anyone questions our faith, we need to be ready to explain it in the hope of planting or watering a seed that will lead them to eternal life in Jesus. That kind of authority builds people up, and spoken by the Holy Spirit it demands attention, not laughter.

Whose authority are you using? What is the response when you use it?

The Spirit of God lives in me!

Ever wonder about God’s love for you? I have, lots of times. Usually when I’m feeling sorry for myself or when my life seems too difficult compared to others’. (This does relate to our talk of confidence. Bear with me, people. I’ll get there.)

There are a lot of places in Scripture that tell of His unfailing love. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son (John 3:16). For His unfailing love is higher than the heavens (Psalm 108:4). He is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6). Mark those references and then do a word search on God’s love. You’ll find that’s what the Bible is all about. His love.

This relates to confidence in two ways. First, it’s about being confident in Him, in His love. Second, it’s about being confident that His love positively affects your life. Tell me how certain are you of someone whose feelings toward you are unclear. He might be the most powerful force on earth, but if he’s lukewarm toward you it doesn’t do you much good.

The truth is that God loves you. Desperately. Not only did He send His only Son to die so you could live in paradise forever, He sent His Spirit to stay right here with you. “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.” (Romans 8:11) To give you life. To empower you. To remind you of the truth. With the Spirit of the Most High living in you, is there anything you can’t do?

The Spirit of God lives in me.

What are you doing with the Spirit of God living inside you?

The Spirit of power

Several weeks ago, the message at church included an illustration of getting bumped while holding a cup of coffee or tea or some other beverage in your hand. You get bumped, your hand jerks, and the liquid spills out. You get wet, and possibly the person who bumped you – or even an innocent passerby – gets a dousing, too.

What’s the point? The pastor said our spirits are like that liquid. When we get bumped, what spills out of the cup? Is it anger, bitterness, resentment? Or is it love, mercy, and kindness?

We live in a difficult world. The temptation to worry is everywhere. Take it from a worrier and a ‘fraidy cat herself, it’s sometimes easier to worry than to approach life with faith and trust. Or it’s easier to resent the things that have happened to us. A loss of job, a job we hate that doesn’t use our skills, low income, broken down cars or houses or children. Or worse, the loss of a life dear to you. For me, it’s been easier in the past to accept my circumstances and complain about them. But there’s good news, and it’s today’s affirmation.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

We are not victims. We are not bound by the circumstances of the world around us. We are not slaves to anger, resentment, bitterness, or deceit. We have been given power from the ultimate source, power that overcomes everything in our lives. Declare the truth, people! Say it out loud, and say it often.

“I have been given a spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Let it resonate in your mind. Let each word nestle in and make a home in your mind. Let it change the way you view people and the world around you.

How will the Spirit change your life today?