Go And Exercise Your Authority
THE encounter of Jesus with the madman of Gerasenes was a demonstration of His authority over demons and evil spirits. The madman was violent, uncontrollable, lived among tombs and often cut his body into pieces. But this same madman fell at Jesus’ feet and begged not to be tortured. He knew then that Jesus had not only power, but also authority over him. Therefore, Jesus did not waste time ordering the evil spirit out.
Earlier, Jesus had said: ‘all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me,’ Matt. 28:18. By this authority, at the mention of His name, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess to the glory of God the Father. This implies that no matter how powerful the occult or marine kingdom may be, they shall bow to Jesus’ authority.
For us believers, this same power given to Jesus at His resurrection before ascension He conferred on us. He was not begging the issue when He said: ‘And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover,’ Mk 16:17-18. Saint Luke also added: ‘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,’ Luke 10:19. The pertinent question is: Do believers really know the authority they have? Even if they do, how often do they exercise it?
It is disheartening to note that many are bound and held down by Satan. To all intents and purposes, these people need to be free. It is expected that believers should reach out today to the suffering humanity, as they are expected to go and exercise their authority to liberate men and women from the kingdom of darkness. The only caution we need to place at this point is they should ensure that they are in good standing with the Lord Jesus Christ as to avoid embarrassment suffered by seven sons of Sceva, (Acts 19v13-16). No matter how we look at it, sin is an obstacle and can mess up a believer anytime. What God’s child need do is allow Jesus to take absolute charge of his or her life.
However, exploits must be done but only in Jesus’ name, Who had graciously given His followers the authority to go out and exercise it in order to free suffering humanity. Yes, we read with great encouragement of what Peter and John did at the beautiful gate. There, they exercised the authority given to them by Jesus, when they healed a lame man, (Acts 3v6ff). Also, the Bible noted what Saint Paul did, as his shadow and handkerchief were able to heal the sick and those that had magic books brought them out unashamedly and the books were burnt publicly to the glory of God (Acts 19:11-12, 17-20).
It is my considered view, therefore, that no time is better than now in our nation and in the world for the believer to go and exercise his authority over the kingdom of darkness and bring it under subjection.
Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru Ecumenical Centre,
Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.