Aging With Authority

I have come to realize that I need my flaws. Being prone to wander, they serve as stark reminders that I still have a lot of work to do on my character. Slim chance of pride getting the best of me, at least not on any long term basis. Momentary hick-ups are just that, momentary. Honestly, saying I’m still a work in progress even at this late date in life is nothing I’m proud of. You’d think by now I would have let go of some old grievances, some ancient hurts and humiliations. You’d think I am too old to still be comparing myself to others, envying their accomplishments wondering why I never made it like they did. But those thoughts sometimes cling to me like lint waking me from deep sleep, or they walk through an occasional day with me when some minor occurrence triggers a painful thought, or a memory of how I once let myself be used. I’m embarrassed to admit that I still struggle with self-esteem issues.

Then I shake off the self-doubt! The insecurities melt as I remember WHOSE I am, the daughter of the King! Far from perfect just means there’ll always be more pruning to do on my character aware that it’s what and for WHOM I strive that counts the most. Being the child of the King gives me authority! I am a princess, the King’s kid after all!

My oldest granddaughter often claims validation and authority because “my Dad says so”. Well my (heavenly) Father says so too! He says I have authority since I already own what He has placed inside me. I can confidently act on this authority. In my small group we recently began a study of Galatians. Immediately Paul fearlessly claims this same authority. This led us to ask, what does it mean to act in the authority of Christ.

Paul, I think one of the best example of utilizing this authority, had formerly been in a fierce and vicious battle to destroy Christianity. He had persecuted many Christians even to their death. But then he suddenly and dramatically changed boldly claiming this authority! Paul did a complete and total about face. Despite the inevitable skepticism, criticism and thus, opposition, he immediately claimed authority, authority through Christ. Like Paul we possess this as soon as we become Christians. We don’t have to cultivate it or wait for it to mature. It is inside us ready for us to utilize it. Stepping out in this Power doesn’t come with age. It comes with the recognition and ownership that we are Christ’s sons and daughters no matter how old we are. Paul claimed this authority by immediately acting on it.

Just as I ruminate over my own imperfections, I realize the truth is our whole life is a battle against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against the powers of this world’s darkness, not against each other. (Ephesians 6:12) It can be external or internal, as in our own minds, but make no mistake, it is very real. Instantly Paul saw the battle for what it truly was…so he immediately stepped out in the greater and ultimate authority of Christ.

Colossians 1:16 “He created all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.” God holds absolutely power.

Therefore, the question for each of us is do we recognize this battle…and furthermore, do we live and act in authority over it? Do we believe there are invisible forces at work? Do we claim the victory that has already been achieved over our families, our friends, over illness and disaster? This is the starting point of our authority in Christ. We recognize the battle and claim our triumph!

We must understand that we need to protect ourselves from the deceiver, the father of lies, who continually whispers in our ears when we are most vulnerable. Oh, how insidiously he inserts these lies into our lives. It can be so very subtle. Beware! We constantly need be listening for God’s voice striving, pressing on in our walk of faith, seeking and embracing the Truth, always. Christians move about in the spiritual realm, not the worldly one, under the authority of Christ. How fully do we grasp that? Our perspective is from the invisible, not the visible, absolutely countercultural. Our focus is to be on things above where there is complete joy and peace. We either believe that there is only a thin veil separating us from the next world, or as Josh Groban sings, it’s only a breathe away, or we do not. Ignoring it does not make it any less real.

What might acting in authority look like? This indwelling power from the Father gives us jurisdiction over evil to expose a wrong and speak up for those who are vulnerable, whether doing so is comfortable or not. Endowed with this control we can wear our amour with bold confidence. What is there to fear? First thing each morning we must refocus to claim the victory over any challenge in our own life: our health issues, our finances, our insecurities, our loneliness, our relationships, everything! Mentally we anguish so needlessly. Next we claim authority over the circumstances in the lives of those we love, sometimes acting out bravely when required….or it can mean valiantly affirming what is right speaking out against injustice instead of being a silent bystander when we think the issues are too far away and don’t concern us.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Laid bare and exposed, my imperfections push me forward either positively or negatively. I get to choose-remain in the pit, or climb the mountain waving the flag of victory. And, my deficiencies serve to remind me that I’ll always be a needy person…yet a CONQUEROR through Christ Jesus! This is when I realize that you and I have access to infinite authority-CLAIM IT!