Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
Last week’s study dealt with the misconception that equates poverty with humility. We learnt that what God requires from us is modesty and not poverty! God wants us to be humble but not poor! He wants us to reign as kings; but the idea of poverty just doesn't go along with kings! In today’s study titled “Exercising Authority in Your Family.” We will be studying how to apply some of what we have learnt so far in exercising authority in our families. It is important we learn to apply this authority in our families because whatever we permit (loose, release, allow) on earth will be permitted in heaven! (Matthew 18:18-19)
Acts 16:31 - “So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.””
1. TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
To exercise authority, we need to be ready to take responsibility; to stand in the gap (Ezekiel 22:30). In Joshua 24:15 (KJV), Joshua took responsibility on behalf of his family when he said:
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Emphasis mine)
We have been taught that there are certain limits in exercising authority over others but these limitations do not exist with our family members. Our authority is over all the power of the devil. We can break the power of the devil if he raises his head anywhere in our lives or in the lives of our family members because in this domain, we have the authority to deal with him!
2. AUTHORITY ON EARTH ALSO MEANS AUTHORITY AT HOME!
Jesus Christ has given us Authority which we now possess, over all the powers and the undue influences of the devil. Luke 10:19 (AMP) says:
“Listen carefully: I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you."
This authority holds also in our families! We should be aware that it may be sometimes difficult to exercise authority at home; because of over familiarity. In Mark 6:4 Jesus said:
"A prophet is not without honour except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home."
The enemy usually plays this card too. So we should know how to deal with him when he does. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
3. FAMILY AGREEMENT IS A STRONG WEAPON
Matthew 18:18-19 says: “Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven” (Emphasis mine)
Agreement in the family provides a very strong battle weapon against the enemy. The enemy is aware of this so he works hard to break down the unity in the family.
Mark 3:24-25 (NLT) says: “A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse. Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart.” (Emphasis mine)
Authority involves steadfast resistance. 1 Peter 5:8-9 says
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” (Emphasis mine)
So we are to keep the devil at bay or fend off his advance resolutely and with unwavering faith. Eccl 4:12 (NLT) says:
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.” (Emphasis mine)
4. AUTHORITY OPERATES UNDER AND WITHIN AUTHORITY
Authority operates under authority and within authorities. In Matt. 8:5-13 we read about the faith of the Centurion. The most distinguishing element of the Centurion‘s faith was his recognition of authority. Our stand as one taking authority must be based on the understanding that the level to which we operate in God‘s authority depends on how much we come under God‘s authority. The more we submit to God‘s kingdom the more authority we‘ll exercise.
5. GIVE NO ROOM FOR THE WORKS OF THE FLESH!
The enemy intends to keep us locked away in the dungeon of sin by making us satisfy our flesh instead of our spirits. He knows that the carnal and double minded man cannot exercise authority over him (Acts 19: 13-16) and neither can he receive anything from God. (James 1:8) So he subtly works at keeping Christians in the “arena of reason”; away from the “arena of faith and the Spirit”. We need to therefore deal with the devil and his operations by applying the following:
• Don’t entertain unbelief (Mark 11:23)
• Don’t Meddle With Evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
• Counter Temptation with the Word of God! (Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4)
• Run From Sin! (1 Corinthians 6:18a)
God didn't intend for the devil to dominate our families. So when he attempts to dominate any member of our family, we should take authority over him; declare that we are the ones ruling over our domains, (our households) through Jesus Christ and put him on the run, and he will run! (James 4:7)
There’s great strength when a family is united. Our adversary knows that “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated” (Eccl 4:21a) so he looks to isolate his victims because he also knows that two can stand back-to-back and conquer. (Eccl 4:21b) So we should not allow him tear us apart. A clear understanding of who we are, what we have and how we should live makes exercising our authority over and on behalf of our families possible and tremendously effective!