I Have Given You Authority...Really?

Last week, I did a little study on man's dominion and the authority of a believer and I would like to share a few of the things that I learned. Let’s start at the beginning…

Check out this scripture:

Transient

Genesis 2:18 – 19: And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him. Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.

I highlighted that phrase because I was wondering why God had to 'bring them' instead of commanding them to go to Adam. I concluded that Adam's word as he named them had the power of animation - meaning that the bird could not fly until he named it. God could have activated their individual characteristics before asking Adam to do the christening, but He wanted Adam to exercise the authority he had been given. Note that God also wanted to see what he would call them. Meaning He (God) just stood by as a back-up just in case Adam failed at any point. I'm certain He would have come to Adam’s aid if that happened. Is that not what He still does for us today? As some Mbaise folk (from Eastern Nigeria)  would say, 'gala bido godi ebido ma fọ n'nyem aka...' Just start first before you ask for help.

Now, check out this other scripture:

Isaiah 14:12-15 How you are fallen from the heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart; ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation, on the farthest sides of the north;  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High’. Yet, you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.

I can't seem to find where the Bible says that the devil was given any form of power by God (pre and post eviction from heaven). My highlight says he weakened the nations. Genesis Chapter 3 already tagged him (Satan) a usurper and deceiver. I can put more Bible on top of that; 1 Pet. 5:8 calls him a 'roaring lion'. Hmmm... that's part of his undoing strategy.

His tactics worked for him in Genesis Chapter 3 when he successfully deceived Eve by twisting God's word. One would wonder why such punishment is meted on Adam considering it was Eve that fell for the serpent's tricks. Well, my thinking is that Adam, loaded as he was stood right there (Genesis 3:6) and watched the whole Eve-serpent drama unfold without uttering a word. He could have at least rebuked the serpent since he had dominion over all the beasts of the earth including the serpent. God must have been disappointed at Adam’s ignorance and so decided to dole out a measure of the punishment to him.

Adam failed to exercise his authority – the authority that had been rightfully given to him by God and as a result, he was evicted – nay, thrown out – of the garden. In the process, he lost his home, his fellowship with God and the consequences of his decision (or inaction) still hold sway today.

Let’s learn a lesson from Adam and treat the devil like we know his limits. If we watch situations go sour without exercising our authority as believers, there are bound to be consequences, which may be felt for generations to come.

Bob Oji

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