Understanding Your Spiritual Authority in Christ

As believers, we need to understand the significance of our spiritual authority in Christ. Through Christ, believers possess a unique authority to enact God’s will on Earth. Understanding this authority is not just a matter of theological doctrine but a practical reality that shapes how we live out our faith.

Foundations of Spiritual Authority

1.Identity in Christ: To understand our authority in Christ, we must grasp our identity in Christ. Ephesians 2:6 states, “And raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” This verse underscores that, as believers, we are not just saved but also positioned with Christ in heavenly realms. Such positioning signifies a union with Christ that establishes the basis of spiritual authority.
2.     Authority through Christ’s Name: Jesus gives us authority. Luke 10:19, “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” This authority is not derived from personal merit but from association with Christ. As believers we possess authority over the forces of darkness by invoking the name of Jesus.
3.     Submission to God’s Will: True spiritual authority is exercised in alignment with God’s will. James 4:7 emphasizes, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Submission precedes resistance. By submitting to God, believers position themselves to resist the schemes of the enemy effectively.

Manifestation of Spiritual Authority:

1.     Prayer and Intercession: Prayer is a powerful tool through which believers exercise spiritual authority. James 5:16 asserts, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” Through prayer, believers access the divine realm and effect change in the natural realm, exercising authority over adverse circumstances.

2.     Proclamation of Truth: Spiritual authority involves the proclamation of God’s truth. 2 Timothy 4:2 admonishes, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” Believers are called to speak truth boldly, confronting falsehood and advancing God’s kingdom.

3.     Demonstration of Kingdom Values: Jesus demonstrated spiritual authority not only through words but also through actions aligned with the values of God’s kingdom. Matthew 10:7-8 records His instruction to His disciples, “And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.” Believers exhibit spiritual authority by manifesting God’s kingdom values of love, compassion, and power.

Challenges to Spiritual Authority:

1.     Pride and Self-Will: Spiritual authority can be hindered by pride and self-will. Proverbs 16:18 warns, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” When individuals operate in their own strength rather than relying on God’s authority, they become susceptible to failure and downfall.
2.     Unbelief and Doubt: Doubt and unbelief undermine spiritual authority. Mark 6:5-6 recounts Jesus’ visit to His hometown, where “He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief.” Unbelief restricts the manifestation of God’s power and authority in one’s life.
3.     Spiritual Warfare: The enemy opposes believers’ exercise of spiritual authority through spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:12 elucidates, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Vigilance and reliance on God’s strength are imperative in overcoming spiritual opposition.

In conclusion, understanding spiritual authority in Christ Jesus is pivotal for every believer. It involves recognizing one’s identity in Christ, exercising authority through His name, and aligning with God’s will. Manifesting spiritual authority entails prayer, proclamation of truth, and demonstration of kingdom values. However, challenges such as pride, unbelief, and spiritual warfare must be navigated through reliance on God’s grace and power. As believers grow in understanding and application of their spiritual authority, they become effective agents of God’s kingdom, advancing His purposes on Earth.

Examples of exercising our spiritual authority.

1.     Praying against all defilement human or demonic in Jesus’ name. I do this after interacting with people who trigger me or who have shared something significant where I am tempted to pick it up.
2.     Declaring the Kingdom of God at hand wherever you go. You do not have to shout it. The spirits you are wrestling with do not have ear drums.
3.     Laying hands and healing the sick in Jesus’ name.
4.     Binding or casting out demons in Jesus’ name.
5.     Taking back the territory for Jesus through prayer.
by Laura Bradshaw
Image by Miguel Bruna