Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Keys Of Authority You Have Been Given

We understand very little about who we are in Jesus. We say we are spiritually minded but in effect we believe what we see. We react to our circumstances, to people, to our environment with little or no thought to the spiritual. It is as if we do not know that the spiritual shapes the physical. If we do not understand this then how can we walk with Jesus and fulfill our mission? You are more than you realize.

As the Spirit gives us revelation, deeper understanding, we are given keys of authority in this understanding. Those keys are meant to unlock doors, situations, circumstances that other people are in so that the Kingdom may grow to envelope such things, expanding the borders, and allowing people to serve Jesus with no barriers. Apostle Peter is an example of this.

In Acts we read of Peter's vision about the animals being lowered in front of him and Yahweh telling him to eat. The lesson for Peter was obedience even in the face of known barriers. It was in preparation for his call to Cornelius' home. Normally Peter would have declined because Cornelius was a gentile and Jews did not enter the homes of gentiles. But Jesus had called for him to go and with the vision still clear in his thoughts and with the Spirit's prompting to go, Peter went, despite the barrier.

It wasn't long after arriving that the Spirit came upon the people of Cornelius' home. Peter and the Jews with him were amazed and Peter understood that salvation was not for the Jews alone but Yahweh's grace was for every person of every nationality. What happens next causes me to appreciate Yahweh's perfect timing.

While this was taking place with Peter there was a great move of the Spirit taking place in Antioch, among the gentiles. It was so great that Barnabas had to seek out Saul to help them. Out of this, Barnabas and Paul ended up being sent out to expand the Kingdom in the hearts of people even further, among more gentiles. Meanwhile, there was a challenge to the gentile ministry as some Jews wanted to force these gentile believers to submit to Moses' law. So Paul and Barnabas were dispatched to make inquiry with the Church Council in Jerusalem.

It was in this meeting that we find Peter to be the first to speak. He drew upon what happened earlier and he used the key of authority given him to unlock the barrier to the gentiles:

God, who knows people’s deepest thoughts and desires, confirmed this by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, but purified their deepest thoughts and desires through faith. Why then are you now challenging God by placing a burden on the shoulders of these disciples that neither we nor our ancestors could bear? On the contrary, we believe that we and they are saved in the same way, by the grace of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 15:8-11) 

Boom! Peter applied the key and knocked the door right off it's hing. It was given to Peter to open the door so that Paul and Barnabas could walk through and complete the work.

Many of us have been given keys of authority to remove barriers so other people can walk through but we must know who we are in Christ and we need to know the authority we have been given. We can't operate by what we see, limiting Jesus in our lives and environment. The Spirit has walked us through situations in our lives, taught us how to overcome, so that we may understand our authority to assist others in similar situations. Like Peter, we are advanced troops, meant to clear the way for others to follow.

It's time to pick yourself up, stop fooling around, and get serious about your responsibilities. Ask the Spirit to give you understanding for the keys you have been given and start stepping out to open those doors for people. Let us see the Kingdom of God expanding in the hearts of people.

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