Understanding our authority in God

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” (Ephesians 1:18-23)

Those are Paul’s words to the Ephesians – particularly poignant when reflecting on them soon after Easter. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him in heaven, above all things, is also for those of ‘us who believe’. What does that mean for us today though? When we read that we have the same power and authority of Jesus how do we work that out in our everyday lives?

I have always found the ‘name it claim it’ approach difficult – it makes me hugely uncomfortable as it seems quite self-centred rather than humble and servant-like. I’ve also seen too many hurt people after circumstances haven’t changed as they expected them to – or they’ve been told the reason things are still the same is their fault.

However, while attending a conference recently, I was faced with the question I’ve put in the title of this piece and it made me ponder: have I misunderstood, or unintentionally stopped standing in, and using, the authority that being in Christ has provided me with?

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