“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father. “ (John 10:18 ESV)
Authority. Something many people crave, few understand, and even less attain.
It’s even something the devil has been scheming and dreaming about since before he was expelled from heaven.
And it’s something he’ll never, ever get.
Jesus was given authority from the highest authority in the universe because He submitted Himself to that authority. He found out what His Father wanted Him to do, and whether He felt like doing it or not, He did it anyway.
I’ve known a lot of people through the years who wanted to be in charge, to be the boss, to tell people what to do. They wanted it badly, but to my knowledge, they never were trusted with such a position.
You see, in order to have authority a person must recognize authority. For a person to be over someone they first must be under someone.
Notice what Jesus said, “No one takes it (My life) from Me…I lay it down of My own accord.”
Submission. The key to walking in authority.
Submission to God, the ultimate authority.
Because Jesus lowered (submitted) Himself to the will of His Father, God raised Him up above all power and authority (see Matthew 28, Ephesians 1, and Philippians 2).
The lower one humbles themself, the higher they can be elevated. The greater a person can be trusted (proven trust), the greater they will be trusted.
There are those who have told me, “I’m submitted to God. God tells me what to do, and no one else.”
How sad. They don’t understand that God’s method of proving His servant’s character and trustworthiness is by putting them into a group of people that don’t necessarily see everything the same way. Like a church. Or a nation.
The way a person submits to earthly authority is a pretty good indication of how they submit to God.
Because if we can’t submit ourselves to someone we CAN see, how will we submit ourselves to Someone we CANNOT see?
Sometimes I’ve wondered why, after praying “in the Name of Jesus”, my prayer of faith wasn’t answered. Have you ever NOT had your prayers answered?
I’m not saying this is the reason for all unanswered prayer, but I believe it is something to consider.
The Name of Jesus IS the most powerful Name in both heaven and earth. Why? Because He submitted Himself to His Father’s will. He submitted to authority.
When He told His disciples to “go, speak, pray, believe…” all in His Name it was understood that meant they were to do all they did as His representative. In other words, do what He’d do, IF He would do it.
The Name simply means those who invoke the Name are declaring to anyone or anything connected with the situation that they are there as representatives of Jesus, in His authority.
So if I’m not submitted to Jesus, just repeating the name over and over isn’t going to change anything.
That’s why James, the Lord’s brother, wrote, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7 ESV)
Notice the proper order. Submit to God first. Then resist the devil.
Jesus came that every person on earth would have life, abundant life. And that life will only be attained as each person submits to His authority. Authority to live as a child of God here in this life, and the one to come.
“But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name– (John 1:12 AMP)
When that happens, my brothers and sisters in Christ, begin to be amazed at what God does through those who lay down their lives to the Father’s will.