Authority by JW Kaiser

A friend of mine told me a story about finding a world class wave on an island off of Africa. As he paddled out he was overwhelmed by the quality of the waves and the beauty of the location.  Soon, he was overwhelmed by a not so pleasant experience as a group of aggressive locals were hassling him to leave…”NOW”.  They threatened him with violence and their domineer confirmed they would back it up. After he turned and paddled toward shore, my friend was filled with regret at the waves he missing out on.

There is an amazing command that Jesus gives us as recorded in Mathew 28:18-20 known as the Great Commission.  Before Jesus gives us what is basically his “game plan” for his will to be done on Earth, he starts with a simple but profound statement. He says, “All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been giving to me”.  Not “some” or even “most”, but “all” authority.  The great commission isn’t so great unless the one giving it has authority. When my friend was turned away from the surf spot he longed to surf,  the locals who ran him away were only operating on their own authority. Many live their lives with the same manifesto; to give themselves authority to protect what they think is their own.

However, as Christ followers we have given over our lives to the one who made us. Our life is not our own, and the one who calls us to a new life and the great adventure to be on mission with him has ALL authority. This authority is not to be used to protect something but rather sacrifice something. We have been called to live sacrificially to love and serve others in the name of Jesus Christ. A life lived any other way will one day be filled with regret worse than missing out on some waves.
So paddle out into the great adventure God has called you to.  Paddle out into new places with new people.  Leave your fears and selfish ambitions on the shore.  They have no place in the Kingdom of God. Go with ALL authority to love and serve others in the name of Jesus.
photo: Aaron Hughes