Wednesday, June 24, 2015

REAL SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY

Most of us equate power with something visible, flashy, earthshaking. Yet this doesn't hold true with spiritual authority. Peter says God entrusts spiritual authority to “the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit" (1 Peter 3:4).

The Greek word that Peter uses for meekness means gentleness. And the word used for quietness means assured, undisturbed. Peter is speaking of a heart that is always at peace with its position in Christ. Such a heart possesses real spiritual authority.

Of course, this flies in the face of all secular philosophies about power and authority. The world tells us, "Assert yourself! Use power through intimidation. Make eye contact, use body language, stare others down. Put your own needs first." We see this attitude reflected on the album covers of today's music groups. Band members scowl, menace, "get in your face." They equate such posture with having authority.

Our attitude as believers is completely different. We pursue power and authority for one purpose only: to put Satan to flight. We want to be able to stand up to his attacks on our lives, our churches, our families. And we must acknowledge that without a spirit of meekness and quietness in our hidden man, we have no real power.
David writes, "Thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great" (Psalm 18:35). The phrase "made me great" here means "abundantly increased my mercy for others." David is stating, "Lord, your gentleness toward me has increased my own capacity for mercy."

Think about what David is saying here. This king had doubted God's faithfulness to Israel. He had committed adultery and then even murdered a man to cover up his own sin. Yet the Lord showed David incredible mercy and forgiveness.

David was overwhelmed by how gentle and loving God was toward him during this terrible period. And now he said, "The Lord has been so tender in dealing with me. How could I ever be hard on anybody who goes through what I endured? God's grace toward me has enlarged my heart so now I want to show tenderness toward others—to my spouse, my children, everyone."