Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
In the last study titled “God's Mightiest Work”, we considered the source of our authority, that we are seated with Christ and concluded by saying that one of the major challenges being faced in our world today, as Christians is staying balanced. In today’s study we will be continuing from this conclusion by examining the topic “Maintaining Balance” (as it relates to understanding and exercising our authority in Christ Jesus.)
• WHAT IS BALANCE?
Balance can be defined as “a state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have an equal or proper amount of importance or in the correct proportions”. It also refers to an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
• WHY DO WE NEED IT?
1. We need balance, no doubt – because the lack of it means we are thrown into extremes; and that is where the enemy wants us to be. Because he knows that once he has someone there; they become one-sided (either short sighted or long sighted). Ecclesiastes 7:18 (NIV) says:
“It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all [extremes].”
The Message version renders Ecclesiastes 7:18 thus:
“It’s best to stay in touch with both sides of an issue. A person who fears God deals responsibly with all of reality, not just a piece of it.”
2. We need balance because anyone can take any subject—including the authority of the believer—push it to the extreme, and it becomes harmful and ceases to bless. It's easy to get into the ditch on either side of the road—into excess, wild fire, and fanaticism.
This is the reason why Paul prayed for wisdom, understanding, and authority over the demonic powers and the problems they create through their constant manipulation of men's minds. It seems like it's the most difficult thing in the world for the Church to stay balanced. Let us look at some examples
• EXAMPLE OF THE NEGATIVE EXTREME
Reverend M. J. Divine, was an African American spiritual leader from about 1907 until his death. After studying these very scriptures we have been studying begin to reason this way: “If we are Christ, then I am Christ. Christ is God, so I am God."
He founded a cult that was very popular and his followers worshiped him.
That is why the Bible admonishes us to “ . . . try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1 because according to Matthew 7:21 – “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
• EXAMPLE OF THE “POSITIVE” EXTREME
The only reason why a “positive extreme” may exist is solely because of lack of knowledge.
Romans 10:2 says “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” Emphasis mine
Prov. 19:2a (NET) warns that: “It is dangerous to have zeal without knowledge” Emphasis mine
For instance, in 2004 a Taiwanese man jumped into the enclosure of lions in a zoo and shouted, "Jesus will save you!" Cable TV stations showed the lion ripping off the man’s jacket as he stood in a grassy enclosure that held two of the animals. Without panicking, the man fell back onto a stone ridge, and the lion then jumped at him, biting him in the arm. It also clawed at his trousers before retreating when the zoo keepers intervened.
• EXAMPLE OF THE BALANCED
John Alexander Dowie, a Scotsman who received a revelation about divine healing while ministering before the turn of the century in Australia, crossed the ocean many times during his lifetime. He encountered many storms, but said every time a storm came up, he did what Jesus did: He rebuked the storm and it always ceased. We should not be amazed by this, because Jesus said,
".. .He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12).
Jesus didn't say that only a select few would do these works; He said those who believe on Him would.
In conclusion we will consider how we can maintain balance in our lives as it relates to understanding and exercising our God given authority.
1. Don’t tempt God! Because Jesus said in Luke 10:19 – “that He has given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Paraphrased). Does not imply that we walk into a cage of snakes and scorpions for the sake of it! Jesus Himself resisted the devil when he suggested the same in Matt.4: 5-7
“Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, it is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."
2. If and when we are faced with the opposition of the enemy, we should not be afraid but be confident that we have the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions – both literal and/or figuratively (of the devil, and his principalities and powers, and all his emissaries), and nothing shall by any means hurt us!
3. Know the Word of God for yourself! And “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." You will know them by their fruits. Matt. 7:15
4. Don’t downplay the promise of authority you have over the devil! It is not a myth! It is authority backed by the Almighty God Himself! If we have no regard for the authority we have, we will fail to exercise it and consequently the devil will have authority over us instead of the other way round!
5. Allow the Word of God and gifting in the Body of Christ develop you to the point of maturity so you can become “steady”. Ephesians 4:11-14 says:
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.”
Parts of this study was culled from The Believers’ Authority by Kenneth E. Hagin.