The Ball is Snapped;  Here’s the Hand-off…

  By Karen Houston

72069073AL_D006It must be football season again; the sounds of guys spouting “football talk” are revving up all around us.  There was one guy telling of a play where the quarterback handed the ball off to a guy right before he was sacked, and that guy took it completely down the field to score!  There was excitement in his voice as he recounted every move.

The only player that counts crossing the goal line is the man with the ball; he is the one with the authority to score, and the only one that can make forward progress against the enemy.  In a way, this is like the authority Christ gives us. 

Christ won the coin toss and gives us (believers) the ball until the half is over at His return.  There’s no time out, no down marker, no whistles, no clock.  The Believers’ team has coaches; the stadium is full of spectators watching our every move.  We know the score at the end, Believers win, Adversary looses.  But how well we run with the ball determines how hard we are hit.  There will be some Believers carried off in stretchers, and some that will receive medals.

We receive our strength, our power, from the team Captain:

 Matthew 28:18 (New King James Version)

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

When Christ ascended, He transferred His authority to the church.  He is the head of the church, and believers make up the body.  Christ’s authority has to be perpetrated through His Body, which is on the earth. 

 Ephesians 1:20 (New King James Version)

20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father, the place of authority.  To sit at the right hand of a king or pope means authority.  We died with Christ, and were raised with Him.  This is not something God is going to do in the future; it is something He has already done!

 

 Exercise Authority

God placed Jesus in the game to lead us to victory; as we see here, He’s not only in the game with us, He’s on the bench sitting next to God, and raises us up to huddle with Him:

 Ephesians 2:6 (New King James Version)

6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

This isn’t a head thing, it’s a heart thing.  We need to be so confident, so assured of these truths, that they are a part of our heart.

 Ephesians 6:10 (New King James Version)

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

We are to be strong in the power of His might, not ours.

 1 John 4:4 (New King James Version)

4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

“He that is in the world” is Satan, our adversary; the god of this world and the head of principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world.  But God’s Word tells us that the power that is in us is greater than the power that’s in this world, because the power that backs our authority is greater than that which backs our enemies.  We must remember to always operate in the delegated power of Christ and not in our own power.  The least in the body of Christ has as much power as anyone else over Satan, because the power is not of us but of who we represent.

 Luke 10:19 (New King James Version)

19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Jesus is talking about the power of the devil and his whole team: demons, evil spirits, and his cohorts.  Christ gives us authority over them!  We have the confidence of protection when we have confidence in authority.

There is a story about Smith Wigglesworth standing on a street corner waiting on a bus: 

A woman came out of an apartment and a little dog came running out behind her.  She said: “Honey, you’re going to have to go back.”

The dog didn’t pay any attention to her, he just wagged his tail and rubbed up against her affectionately.the devil

She said: “Now dear, you can’t go.”  The little dog wagged his tail and rubbed up against her again.

About that time, the bus arrived.  The woman stomped her foot and yelled, “Get!” The dog tucked his tail between his legs and took off.

Wigglesworth said he yelled out loud without thinking: “That’s the way you’ve got to do with the devil!”

At the resurrection, Satan’s forces were confused and defeated by our Lord Jesus Christ, who arose, ascended, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.

 Colossians 2:15 (New King James Version)

15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He (Christ) made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. (His death, burial, and resurrection)

These are the same demonic forces we have to deal with today, but Jesus has already defeated them.  Some translations say “put them to nought” or “paralyzed them.”

The value of our authority rests on the power standing behind that authority.  God Himself is the power behind our authority!  Satan and his forces are obliged to recognize our authority. 

UreadyThe believer that understands that the power of God is backing him can exercise his authority and face the enemy fearlessly.

Jesus has given us the power and authority we need to stand against Satan, we just need to take the ball and run with it!

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