Nov. 12, 2020.
Many American Christians see themselves as humble citizens of the Kingdom of God. And while humility holds certain theological merit, there is another truth associated with our authority that needs to be embraced too. I have noticed that the average Christian becomes nervous when it is suggested that they’ve been given authority to change things here on the earth. Thankfully, we aren’t the only disciples throughout church history that have been concerned about that.
#JesusStories: There is an interesting exchange recorded in Luke 10 where the disciples returned to Jesus after being sent out two-by-two with the assignment to do what they had seen Jesus do numerous times. They healed the sick and preached about the Kingdom of God with great effect. But what surprised them most was their ability to make demons flee by using Jesus’ Name. The Lord’s reply is worth sober meditation; he told them something we all need to hear afresh today: “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightening! Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy.” Did you hear that? Jesus’ disciples (including us) have been given authority over the enemy. Do you believe that? I would propose that most present-day disciples have not embraced the authority Jesus wants to give them. We all know the horror stories of leaders who have used spiritual authority to abuse and control others, and we want no part of that. But what do we do with the scriptural fact that Jesus wants us to hold significant authority over the uprising kingdom of darkness? (BTW – this is not the only verse that suggests such authority. See Matt. 16, Mark 13, Mark 16, Luke 19, John 14, and John 20 for more evidence). Scripturally, it is clear that Jesus wants us to join in the Christ-tradition of ‘destroying the works of the devil’ (1 Jn. 3). This is our heritage; this is our calling. At some point, every disciple must choose to become comfortable with the authority that Jesus is actually trying to hand them.
- “We underestimate how much spiritual authority we have when we pray in accordance with the will of God.” – Mark Batterson.
- “Our ability to live like Jesus is the basis of spiritual authority.” – Alan Hirsch
#PracticalStuff: Ask the Lord to give you at least one person to pray for each evening at Dinner Church when you walk in. Then don’t be surprised when during a conversation you feel a stirring in your heart to do so. Boldly act on it! In this way your ability to pray healing prayers will grow, and so will your healing stories.
Blessings & Boldness,
Dr. Verlon and Melodee Fosner have led a multi-site Assemblies of God Dinner Church in Seattle, Washington since 1999 (www.CommunityDinners.com). In this decade when more churches in the U.S. are declining than thriving, and when ninety-six churches a week are closing, Verlon and Melodee sensed that a different way of doing church was needed for their 97-year old Seattle congregation. It soon became obvious that they were not the only ones in need of a different path. They joined the FX team in 2016 and founded the Dinner Church Collective. And then in 2019 founded the Dinner Church School of Leadership. There is a lot to be gained when church leaders begin to see open doors in the American landscape that they had previously overlooked. Therein lies the journey for those who will forge a new future for the American Church.