Christians have been given power and authority by God. Although related, there is a difference between power and authority. Authority is delegated to an individual or group by a powerful entity. Power is the ability to enforce authority, by force. Authority deals with the “right” to enforce laws, rules, desires, etc., while power concerns “ability.”
Power and authority work together. Power usually backs up authority. For example, a police officer’s badge is a symbol of his authority, but his firearm is a symbol of his power. His badge is evidence that he speaks for an entity or organization that is ready to back him up. This powerful entity has given him the right to act on its behalf. When an officer’s authority is challenged, in some cases, he has the right to enforce his authority by using his power. The officer’s firearm, baton, OC spray, etc., are instruments of power that can force an individual to comply with the officer’s authority.
In Christ, we have been given authority. We, those born again by the Holy Spirit, have the right to ask of the Father in Jesus’ name as if the Lord himself were making the request. “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” (John 16:23). The kingdom of God has delegated to us the right to speak on its behalf.
God has also given his children power. “Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” (Ephesians 3:20). Jesus said that we could speak to a mountain, and it will obey us, Matthew 17:20.
We use our power and authority to bring creation in line with the will of God, destroy the works of the devil, and subdue the carnal desires of our flesh. But our power and authority must be exercised in order to work, they have no influence until we actually use them.
Speaking God’s word over a situation releases God’s power into that situation. This is one way that we can exercise our power and authority. “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” (Mark 11:23).
The enemy can run rampant in our lives if we simply sit by and do nothing. We must speak to spiritual forces that come against us. As a police officer uses verbal commands to control criminals, Christians need to command the enemy out of their circumstances. “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 18:19-20).
Study God’s word and pray that he would teach you how to use your power and authority to bring about his will on earth.