Saturday, May 24, 2008

Submission and Authority

When we submit to each other, we are giving others the authority to speak into our life and to act on our behalf against evil. This is a key to getting victory. God has made me free, so another person can only have authority in my life, if I give it to them. I give another person authority in my life by submitting to them. If I submit to the elders in my church, they have authority to resist evil on my behalf. The more I submit to them, the greater spiritual authority they will have to resist any evil that is attacking me.

This relationship between spiritual authority and submission is not well understood. We often ask other Christians to pray for us, but without much affect. The reason is that they have very little authority in our lives. They cannot have authority, if we have not given it to them.

We tend to assume that a large number of people praying for us will be more effective against the attacks of the enemy. This is not correct. When resisting evil, two or three Christians who have real authority in our lives, because we have submitted to them, will be much more effective. Asking a lot of people to do battle with us is pointless, if we are unable or unwilling to submit to them.

Submission and authority go together. The word translated as "resist" is the Greek word "ant-histemi", which literally means to “stand against”. Therefore, resisting is the same as standing. The meaning of the word "submit" is to "place ourselves under". Therefore we must stand under Gods authority before we stand against the devil.

When Paul said that elders would watch over and care for us (1 Tim 5:17), he used the Greek word “pro-histemi, which means “stand before”. When we submit to elders, they are standing before us and with us. The word "stand" is plural in the Greek New Testament. Standing is not something that we do on our own. We must stand together with others to achieve victory. A soldier who stands alone is easily defeated.

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