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Spiritual authority must be tested

The world is broken and our mandate as followers of Jesus is to set things right. Doing so takes spiritual authority.   A teenager Clint knew saw herself as fat and ugly. Anorexia was killing her. She weighed 88 pounds. Her father diagnosed her situation with a western worldview and off…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
The world is broken and our mandate as followers of Jesus is to set things right. Doing so takes spiritual authority.
A teenager Clint knew saw herself as fat and ugly. Anorexia was killing her. She weighed 88 pounds. Her father diagnosed her situation with a western worldview and offered her $100 for each pound she gained, to no effect.

Desperate, he called Clint and asked him if he could help. Clint had a conversation with her. It didn’t take long before he saw the lying spirit at work and cast if off the girl. She felt something change inside – she didn’t hear the same voices. Almost immediately, she began to gain weight again. Today she is a normal, healthy girl.
That was authority working, not doctrinal understanding.

Ten years ago, when Henry Wright rebuked the spirit of death off Caspar McCloud after his heart had stopped, he returned to life. Caspar is a healthy minister of the gospel today, having prayed for and seen many healing miracles himself.

A lot of people would rather go through a lot of convoluted attempts to rationally explain such things, but I say that a more logical explanation has to do with spiritual authority. There is another dimension that we can’t see and it is governed by spiritual laws that hinge on spiritual authority.

When Sunday Adelaja began applying his understanding of Jesus’ command to disciple nations in Ukraine, his church grew to be the largest in Europe (25,000) and led demonstrations against the communist government. The Ukrainian government later fell. Draw your own conclusions.

Jesus gave his disciples authority over demons on a practice run (Luke 9). When he sent them out again (in Luke 10), their results improved with experience. Spiritual authority must be tested to grow. It’s a transaction in the realm of the spirit. No amount of book study will increase your spiritual authority. That’s why a lot of seminary grads experience so little fruit – they have book knowledge, but little spiritual authority.

When Jesus gives his disciples the mandate to begin a worldwide discipling campaign (Matt. 28), he notes that he’d been given “all authority in heaven and earth.” That’s all he needed to commence a global revolution, and it’s all we as his disciples need to continue it.

How much spiritual authority do you possess? You won’t know until it has been tested.
Read more on this subject: Spiritual authority needs practice

Comments (10)

  • Amen Seth, we have been given all authority, the keys to the Kingdom. Arise church and walk in your authority.

    Thanks for testimonies.

    “the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy”

  • Amen Brother!

    We have all the authority we need in the Highest. Why look to worldy authority/solutions first, when we have God. As you so often point out, if we unplug our ears and listen, he will tell us where best we should go. Sometimes I succumb to self and forget this, but when I hold true and listen, he always provides the needed solution.

    Another great reminder, Seth!

  • Thanks, Uche, Joy, Connie, & Dave. I write about this stuff largely because I need the reminder myself. I find I’m probably not tested enough on a daily basis in my spiritual authority and my sense of it can wane as a result.

  • Thank you, Seth. Your post is a challenge to stop striving and know who is God. Wow. I needed to hear this and yesterday’s real life gut check about “we all have disabilities.” The two go hand in hand: i cannot. He can.

    Your posts of the past two daysa tie in nicely with something our pastor mentioned the other day. He quoted a long-term missionary in India who-after too much adulation-silenced the applause by saying, “I’m just a Hobbit carrying a ring.” We are just breakable clay pots with treasures deposited inside-not of our own making or for our own glory. Authority. Spirit. Dust.

  • I saw this principle again in Peru, where I saw the discipleship process in action. One pastor went out and discipled men in rural villages, who them became pastors of churches and also discipled other men from surrounding villages who then went on to start small group…

    What really impacted me was that none of these men had formal Bible training. In fact, they had little training at all. But they received a message, and they recognized the value of that message, and they were determined to take that message to others. There was little if any consideration about whether they were able or equipped to do the job. They simply knew they had been given something special, and decided that it was worth sharing.

    I realize I have a lot to learn from them. I have often got caught up in the western mindset that you have to have a certificate or diploma in order to be qualified for ministry. But that is simply not true. We each need to take whatever it is that we have and share it with others who don’t have it. There is time for learning and expanding our knowledge, but we don’t have to wait until we reach some specific level in order to share. We all have many things right now that somebody is in need of hearing or experiencing. So let’s put it out there.

  • Interesting story. I have heard a moderate amount of preaching on spiritual authority, but have still been left with a lot of questions. I would like to hear more about this specific situation and what exactly took place/was said.

    I think you are right in saying that spiritual authority must be tested. I agree that some seminary grads who show little fruit have not had their knowledge tested. But I think that knowledge IS power and authority, especially when it comes to the Word of God. You cannot fight the lies of the enemy if you don’t know the Truth. We can wait for someone to come along and speak Truth into our lives, but it is better for us to seek it out for ourselves. But we cannot stop at gaining knowledge, we must put feet to it and practice what we are preaching. Not experience over knowledge or knowledge over experience, but knowledge AND experience- wedded together in the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Maybe we are saying the same thing?

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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