Healing is God’s Justice
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A MAN UNDER AUTHORITY

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For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,' and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,' and he comes, and to my servant,‘Do this,' and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel[fn] have I found such faith.” (Mat. 8:9-10)  ***** We do not normally think of Jesus as “a man under authority” but, according to Scripture, that is a favored description of Him. Although we normally think of Him as Lord and Creator of the Universe, all of which is true, clearly, but somewhat to our minds, incongruously, He was also “a man under authority.” And, in fact, the Centurion quoted above, who referred to Christ in this way,was extolled by Christ Himself as the person with the most faith in all of Israel. Think about that... That fellow, a Roman centurion, because of the requirements of his vocation as a military officer, understood exactly how authority worked – strictly from the top down! Rebellion against authority in the Roman Legion was punishable by immediate death. The Romans understood very well that respect for authority is essential to an army carrying out its orders exactly as given, and ultimately functioning as the efficient fighting machine it needs to be in order to accomplish its assigned tasks. Respect for authority is driven by what might be called a “healthy fear” – fear of the repercussions should that authority be ignored or disobeyed, coupled with a fear of disappointing one’s commander. Any good soldier is intensely motivated to earn his commander’s favor. What lesson is there in this for us? Just this – for us to exercise effectively the authority we have in Christ we must be perfectly aligned with the Lord so that the divine power flows directly through us. We are perfectly aligned with the Lord when we choose obedience - we choose to believe all that He has said and live accordingly, and we allow his pruning of those branches of our lives which thrive outside of the Lord’s will, until the center of our lives are in the center of His will for us. Psalm 91 gives us a picture: “Those who dwell in the shelter of the Most High abide in the shadow of the almighty.” Now, to abide in someone’s shadow means that I am directly in line with the rays of the sun and the person casting the shadow because interposed between me and the sun. Any part of me outside the shadow would be outside the penumbra of the person and exposed to the sun’s rays. It would mean that a part of me exists outside the influence of the interposed person. Psalm 91 would indicate that to that extent I was not dwelling within the protection of the Lord. If we think about that even for a moment, each of us would conclude that living outside His protection is not a place we want to be. Recall in Acts 5:15-16: …they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. 16 Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed. There was nothing supernatural about Peter’s shadow, but there was something supernatural about Peter and the power and authority flowing through him, and the Lord chose to give a visual demonstration of this, using the sun as a representation of Himself and His power, to all “with eyes to see.” The sick who “aligned” themselves with Peter fell within his shadow as it passed and received the power of God passing through him – those outside the shadow remained sick having not been in position to receive the power of God flowing through Peter. My walking in the shadow of Christ, then, is what is necessary for me to fully channel the power of Christ flowing through Him. But how do I walk in his shadow? Do I examine myself? Yes, if the purpose is to see generally whether I am “in the faith”, whether Christ dwells in me, but no, if I by doing so intend to determine myself those aspects of my life which may not please the Lord, for that is the work of the Holy Spirit of God. It is He who convicts and chastens. We are to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” When we make it our practice to consider His Word, and meditate on His life, we render ourselves sensitive to the leading and direction of His spirit. If we fear the Lord we will accord Him our deference, seek to honor Him in all things, and be very wary of offending Him. For the fear of the Lord is to hate evil. Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct Him in the way He should choose. (Ps. 25:1) But how does the Lord instruct him? The Holy Spirit convicts us when our choices displease the Lord. Our immediate response to conviction should be repentance, pleading the blood over our sin and turning from it. Otherwise, we risk inuring ourselves to conviction, which leaves us rudderless and blind to the dangers of continuing sin. Often, however, if our hearts are attuned to the Lord, we will sense something like a warning shot across the bow, or the spiritual equivalent of a mighty wind rushing by us which we sense for merely a split second, leaving us with an impression of foreboding or disapproval. We then manifest our rebellion either by attempting to rationalize the experience as an overactive imagination or proceeding ahead anyway concluding that it simply can’t be that big of a deal to the Lord (e.g., clicking on that lingerie spread). In either case, as above, we risk inuring ourselves to His leading and instruction in the way we should choose. Eating and Drinking and the Role of Fasting Most of us consume three meals per day. If the Lord is trying to tell us something in connection with our eating and drinking, there is ample opportunity for either obedience, or grieving the Holy Spirit to where no conviction remains. Most people do not consider what we put in our mouths as food as a possible battleground, whereas they readily acknowledge what we permit our eyes or ears to see or hear is a focus of the battle. In all three cases, the issue is the sovereignty or subjugation of our flesh. Paul speaks to this in several places, such as 1 Cor. 9:24-27: 24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. Self-control, according to Paul, is to be exercised in all things, which surely includes food and drink. However, since we consider food and drink as a necessity, we easily justify sating ourselves, not recognizing that the demands of our flesh over and above its needs are being met, thus exalting the power of the flesh in our lives. The flesh is then able to silently and deceptively ease our perspective earthward, without our recognizing its pernicious and debilitating influence on our daily walk, as our focus becomes more on ensuring satisfaction of the demands of our flesh than the demands of our spiritual life in the Lord. The benefit of fasting in its breaking of this supernatural stronghold, putting the flesh in its place of subordination, and exalting the spiritual to its rightful position as leader of our lives. The subjugation, mortification or crucifixion of the flesh is the elimination of any part of our live which lives independently of the Lord, departs from and exalts itself over the Lord’s will for us. To summarize, the secret of being in and exercising Godly authority is to be under THE authority, walking in lockstep, in perfect alignment with the Lord and the Holy Spirit’s leading. Only then are we in proper position to receive not only all the favor and blessing the Lord has for us, but to exercise all of the authority that we have through Him from the Father.   (C) Copyright. All Rights Reserved. All or parts hereof may be disseminated or copied without cost provided that this website is identified as the source.
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