Friday, September 04, 2009

Authority (15) - Restrained

Authority can be left inactive, withheld and not enforced. This is restrained authority. Authority in the Kingdom of God is always restrained.

Jesus demonstrates restrained authority. Before he ascended into heaven made a bold proclamation.

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me (Matt 28:18).
This statement is true. Jesus victory on the cross gave him all authority on earth and in heaven, but he is free to use this authority how he chooses. What he has done with his authority is really interesting.

Jesus actively exercises his authority in heaven. The angels do his bidding and carry out his will.

Things are different on earth. The reality is that most people on earth ignore his authority. Their only acknowledgment of him is to use is name as a curse. Christians call him Lord, but we only obey him when it suits us. We do not always take seriously the advice that Jesus gives us through the Holy Spirit. Christian leaders often build their own empires rather than doing his will.

Judging by what is happening on earth, an impartial observer would conclude that Jesus has very little authority on earth. This is not true. Jesus still has total authority on earth, but he has mostly chosen not to exercise it. His authority has been withheld. It is real, but mostly inactive.

Jesus made a deliberate decision to leave his authority inactive. If he chose, he could send a hundred billion angels into the world at any time. These angels could force every person on earth to do his will on threat of death. However this is not the way that Jesus operates. When Jesus was being arrested he rebuked the disciple who drew his sword.
All who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? (Matt 26:53,54).
Jesus could have called twelve thousand angels to rescue him, but he chose not to use them because coercion and force leads to more coercion and force. This is restrained authority. Jesus had authority over the angels, but he chose not to exercise that authority, because he had chosen a different path. Restrained authority is left inactive to achieve a higher purpose.

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