Recognizing True Authority

(Colossians 1:16)

After a couple of weeks of paying tribute and honoring several of God’s children that He has called home, including my precious Mother, I’m returning specifically to the Love & Lordship message of this ministry.  I fully believe that The Holy Spirit led me to share about the lives of those who have passed on as part of this ministry and as a way of encouraging us to stand firm in our faith and hope in the power and grace of God’s Truth and Love in Christ!

As I return to sharing about L&L let’s compare and contrast God’s Authority and the world’s and see whether or not we are living in His or conformed to the culture’s way of “leading?”

Following are 7 characteristics of authority in line with either God’s Word or the world’s way…

1) True Authority aligns with God Himself, The True Author.  The first thing we must do is determine whether it aligns with God’s Word?  Are you spending time in His Word to know the Authority of His Truth and how to apply it to every part of your life? (Proverbs 3:5-6; Colossians 3:17, 24)

In contrast with yesterday’s devotional focus, we see the prevailing characteristic of authority according to the world and our flesh…

2) The world/culture defines and practices authority as control or lording over others…is authority practiced in this way?

Whenever you see anyone in any setting, including marriage and family, our churches, and even in a secular setting in the office or workplace who is controlling, manipulating, domineering or “lording it over” others, even if they claim to be a Christian, they are not walking in Kingdom authority.   See the first characteristic above for God’s True Authority and be willing to recognize in your own life, marriage, family and other relationships whether or not you are walking in that True Authority or practicing worldly authority. If you’re not, it may give you results but it’s not in line with His Truth and Authority (Matthew 20:20-28).

We can only do this if Jesus Christ truly reigns in our hearts as we willingly surrender to His Authority!

If we want to know and walk in real authority, which can only come from The Author, then we must look to Him and away from the world’s authority as we have contrasted in the first two points. When we spend time to get to know Him in His Word and prayer, quiet time and listening, we find that…

3) God, The Author, defines and models in Christ, True Authority as loving relational servant-leadership.

How have you perceived, lived out and understood authority? There is only one True Authority and that is what The Father has given to Christ…all Authority. (John 13:3, 5, 35; Ephesians 1:20-21; Philippians 2:9-11)

As we seek to grow in and model Him then we learn to live out authority that comes from loving others and being invited to have influence in their lives just as Christ did. In doing so they will seek and hopefully come to know Him as Savior and Lord.

Now comes the tough part…based on the first three points from God’s Word we must test to see if the authority is in line with God’s Word. God doesn’t tell us to find true leaders from the government, business, media or education. He doesn’t even call us to find true leaders from His Church. He calls us to be great leaders first in our marriages and families…then if we’ve done the job there we may be called to lead Christ’s Family, The Church.  With this in mind we continue with a clear design and path to True Authority and servant-leadership that we would be wise to follow…

4) What does the authority look like in the marriage and family? (1 Timothy 3:4-5)

Let’s live it out in our marriage and family and trust The Lord to give us the influence beyond that…True Authority according to His Covenant design and Word.

As we continue to test what authority we are walking in and practicing in our homes, churches and culture, we can build the relationships and hold each other accountable within those loving relationships to determine…

5) Which authority is reflected in your church…Lording it over others or loving relational servant-leadership? (Mark 9:33-35; John 3:30)

If we do not see the latter in our homes we are not going to see it in our churches. It must begin with our dying to self and surrendering to Christ.

As we continue to discern real authority in our lives, relationships and in Christ’s Church (ultimately all authority is His and flows from Him), we can begin to clearly see the differences between worldly “leading” or authority and Godly Authority…

6) Worldly authority prioritizes production, results, and success over people.

The key word here is “prioritizes.” There is nothing in Scripture that prohibits us from being successful but it does clearly state that it must be done for His Kingdom and Glory and that which brings Him Glory in us is the currency of the Kingdom…loving relationships! Test your heart even as, and before, you discern and test your leading and that of others. We must have a heart fully surrendered to, and maturing in, Christ or we are only cultural leaders propped up by our own accomplishments drawing others to follow us rather than pointing them to Christ and allowing Him to bring Kingdom fruit through us as branches in The Vine (John 15:1-17, emphasis vv. 4-5).

We can produce nothing even in high positions of leadership in this world if we are apart from Christ as we are simply called to remain in Him and in so doing we bear His fruit…and hopefully much Kingdom/Spirit fruit!

We’ve been looking at Godly Authority vs worldly authority and the stark contrast according to God’s Word (Matthew 20:24-28). We wrap up with the reality of what God has said that authority is according to His Word and as modeled in His Son and our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. In order to do this we must put on Christ (Colossians 3:12-14)

7) Godly (True) Authority prioritizes people and relationships over things, outcomes, and success. Remember the currency of the Kingdom is loving relationships and ultimately Love is True Authority. Not the love of the world but the agape of God in Christ and in us through His Holy Spirit.

Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – Allow these characteristics to help you discern and practice Godly Authority in your life, marriage, family and in His Church as well as recognize and encourage it in others as well!

Love and Lordship…Action Item(s)

  1. Read the Scriptures in this article and ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
  2. What are you doing well and what needs to change for you to walk in Kingdom Authority?
  3. How can you model True Authority in your marriage and family?  
  4. How will you model, and help others model, Kingdom Authority in your church family?