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The Heart of Kingdom Authority
by John Paul Jackson
Jesus Christ came to Earth fully human, fully man, to redeem humanity and reveal something that most of us don’t notice right away: He revealed the authority we are capable of walking in. Basically, His life says to us, “Watch what I do, because everything I do, you can do. I get everything from the Father, and you can do everything I do if you have the relationship with Him that I have. And by the way, I have come to ensure that such a relationship with Him is possible for you.”
I have been a Christian for about 55 years, and as many of you have probably experienced, day-in, day-out Christian life can feel somewhat stagnant — unless we have something to make it interesting. If you are bored in your Christian walk, something is missing!
Perhaps it is the understanding that it takes more than power to make a Christian life really interesting. It also takes authority.Why authority?
The major difference between power and authority is that anybody can have power — it is a gift, but authority comes only from intimate, abiding relationship with God and that takes effort. Authority is bestowed upon us through relationship, and therefore it is only as deep as that relationship.
Because it is rooted and wrapped in God’s presence, authority is greater than power. That is why Jesus gave the disciples authority over all the power of the enemy. Power does not necessitate relationship because it is an irrevocable gift. It can be residual or momentary; we may exercise it often, or it could happen only once in our lives. The devil clearly has power and uses it for his own purposes. He does not, however, have authority. He lost that when he fell from Heaven, which is why the disciples said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
Power is recognized once it happens, but authority is recognized before it happens. The demons recognized that Jesus had authority before He ever did anything. In other words, they knew Him by His relationship with God, and therein lies the secret. We can have a power encounter and never change, but transformation comes with authority, because it involves time spent in the presence and heartbeat of our Father.
Relationship with God
Relationship is the heart of Kingdom authority. The Bible says to seek first the Kingdom and God’s righteousness, and everything else will be added to us. If we want to walk in spiritual authority, we need to put relationship with our Father first. We need to take on the nature of Christ by spending time with Him: time in His Word, time in prayer, time relating to Him. Then through time and experience with Him, we adopt a heart of obedience, which is the heart of a servant, and we adopt a heart of submission, which is the heart of a friend.
The Kingdom of God is based on authority. It conquers through power, but it rules through authority.
Hunger for God
Many people question why much of the Western Church is powerless. I would say we’re more “authority-less” than powerless. Generally speaking, the Church has forgotten about being transformed into His likeness. Five or 10 years after a revival, we sit back and wonder why we’re not different. Some of us aren’t even as close to God as we were before the revival, let alone after the revival. Again, power doesn’t change us. But authority always will because it involves God’s heart.
In the coming months, I think the Church as a whole is going to be reintroduced to the Father, and a hunger for authority is going to ensue. With that hunger for authority, we will see more spiritual encounters than we have in 20 or 30 years. Signs and wonders occur in the place where God’s power and hunger for authority combine.
If we want to have the kind of authority that disrupts the enemy, we have to have deep relationship with our Father. That relationship is the key to everything. It is the answer to this question of authority and power, and it is the answer to what many Christians fear: an inconsequential, mundane existence.
As we seek Him and His righteousness, we will naturally begin to exercise more of His Kingdom, and we will find what has been missing in our lives. We will find more of His heart.
For more on this subject, check out my teaching Power and Authority: Discovering the Missing Keys to Signs and Wonders.