by Neil Anderson
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from me you can do nothing
The fourth qualification for demonstrating authority over rulers and authorities in the spiritual realm is dependence . A Spirit-filled life is dependent on God the Father. Even Jesus and the Holy Spirit modeled this dependency. Jesus said: “I can do nothing on My own initiative” (John 5:30); “Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you” (John 17:7 NIV ); “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak” (John 16:13).
Spiritual authority is not an independent authority. We don’t charge out on our own initiative like some kind of evangelical ghostbusters to hunt down the devil and engage him in combat. God’s primary call is for each of us to focus on the ministry of the kingdom: loving, caring, preaching, teaching, praying, etc. However, when demonic powers challenge us in the course of pursuing this ministry, we deal with them on the basis of our authority in Christ and our dependence on Him. Then we carry on with our primary task.
Nor is the spiritual authority of the believer an authority to be exercised over other believers. We are to be “subject to one another in the fear of Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). There is a God-established authority on earth which governs the social structures of government, work, home and church (Romans 13:1-7). It is critically important that we submit to these governing authorities unless they operate outside the scope of their authority, command us to do something against God’s will, or restrict us from doing what God has commanded. Then we must obey God rather than men.
Prayer: Lord, it’s a great relief to know I can depend on You. You are the Rock, the Almighty, unchanging, full of glory. I praise You.