Assert Your Authority

Speak No Evil, See No Evil, Hear No Evil - An example of some Christians' denial that the devil exists and we must assert our God-given authority over him.

To truly take new territory for the Kingdom of God you must assert your authority. ‘In the area of our authority most Christians practice passive neglect or blind denial. Passive neglect is having knowledge of the need to assert spiritual authority but being too passive, too busy, too preoccupied with other things to actually appropriate the victory of Jesus Christ in their territory. They simply don’t consider it a high enough priority to establish the government of God in this area. Blind denial is choosing to deny or ignore the reality of an enemy who prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Pet. 5:8) There is an enemy who has been defeated by the finished work of Jesus Christ, but still looks to feed upon those who don’t open their eyes to see the enemy of the cross. Neither approach will establish God’s governing authority in your territory.

Think of it this way. When the Allied forces won the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, German officials not only recognized defeat but they signed a document of surrender. The Allies freed prisoners of war and those in concentration camps. The German leaders submitted to Allied occupation and establishment of a new government in Germany. The Allies won the war and Nazi leaders agreed to surrender all. The Allies occupied the land preventing Nazi resurgence and instituting new government. The Allies asserted their authority over that territory to establish a new democratic government.

This analogy is important in this context. The devil was defeated by Jesus through the cross and the resurrection. Jesus mediated a contract, or covenant, bringing that victory to all who would sign the covenant. Jesus signed it in blood and we, the believers, signed it through our believing by faith in His victory over death and grave. We gained freedom from the devil’s dominion. The covenant is between the Savior and the saved. Jesus has been given all authority. (Matt. 28:18) We have the authority of Christ in us, the hope of glory. (Col. 1:27) We have His authority to make known the wisdom (true nature of things) of God’s rule. (Eph.3:10) The wisdom of God includes the reality, or the true nature of, the devil’s defeat by Jesus Christ.

Christians are the occupying force on earth. However, the devil never surrendered or signed the surrender document. He never agreed to the covenant! We, the church, must enforce his defeat irrespective of his agreement. We are the occupiers of what used to be his territory. He can’t have any territory we do not cede to him through passive neglect or blind denial. If we choose to stand up and appropriate our authority over him, we win!! Jesus always leads us in triumphant procession of victory! (2 Cor. 2:14) To the extent we neglect our authority or deny his activity, he moves in and occupies the vacuum. He can only possess what we choose not to actively possess.

Leaders, teach the people to assert their spiritual authority in Christ! Appropriate the victory won by Jesus. And, as you pray ‘Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven’, you will see God’s government established around you.


Pastors Harvey and Deborah with leaders of the Moravian church in western Tanzania.
The government of God will only be firmly established in the hearts of people if leaders assert spiritual authority over their territory. Your Godly authority, when asserted, brings the fragrant knowledge of Jesus Christ. The church has been given authority to establish God’s rule in the willing hearts of people. Not all hearts are open and willing, but when they are, the church offers a supernatural aroma of God to the people.

Every leader has a sphere of authority, territory assigned to them to influence people for God’s rule in their lives. If you effectively use your authority there will be a legacy for the Lord for future generations. Joshua and the Jewish nation asserted their authority as they crossed the Jordan and spread themselves out over territory assigned to them. This was apostolic territory before we had apostles!!! In more recent history I know of missionaries who have asserted authority in specific areas of the world that today still reflect those efforts.

A couple years ago I was in Tanzania ministering to leaders of a Christian denomination; the Moravian Church. Moravians are few and far between in the U.S. and only a few are scattered across the world today, but they have a presence in select areas. In the 1800’s the Moravians responded to the call of God to send missionaries into western Tanzania. They moved into this new territory for the Kingdom of God. Upon arrival they found the Lutherans were also called by God to evangelize that part of Tanzania. So, in the spirit of unity, they met together to decide where they would place their feet for the gospel believing that the Lord would give them ‘every place they set their feet’ just like Joshua. As the story goes, the leaders simply agreed ‘the Lutherans will go that direction and we’ll go the other direction and wherever we go the Lord will give us the land for the gospel’. So today, if you go to western Tanzania you will find specific tribes predominately Moravian and others predominantly Lutheran. Both missionary groups were effective in asserting the authority of the Lord in such a way that a semblance of those territories remain today. The authority they asserted is a legacy for the governing of God in that part of Tanzania.

You have leadership territory; personal, ministerial, business and family territory where God has given you authority to establish His government. Ask the Lord to define that territory, and then assert your authority with prayer, declaration, teaching and taking advantage of every opportunity to show forth God’s supernatural government. You can do it. You’re a conqueror just as Joshua was a conqueror. The Bible says ‘but thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him'.(2 Cor. 2:14) There is an awesome aroma in the air where you bring God’s authority to your territory.


Live to Give

(Deborah working in a "soup" kitchen, feeding the hungry during her first trip to India.)
Bringing the governing power of the Lord into your life is a process that begins at being ‘born-again’. It continues as you enter into the fullness and maturity of Christ. To be governed by God means His principles, His purposes, and His nature become embedded in your soul to the degree that you reflect Jesus as you live ‘normal’ life. It is in this place that the Kingdom of God is established within you facilitating an outward expression of His kingdom in your circumstances and your sphere of human influence.

An essential element of God’s government in you is the concept of ‘giving’. The Father gave His only son so we could live. The son gave His life as a sacrifice so we could live to give. The 1st century apostles gave their lives for the sake of the gospel as models of what it means to ‘give your life’ for the sake of the gospel. Jesus said ‘Freely you have received, freely give’. (Matt. 10:8) It sounds so easy but ‘living to give’ for the sake of the gospel is not easy. It requires losing life as you know it, to find life as you will know it. Leaders, like Paul and other ministers, gave their life to the point of death. There are many contemporary examples of men and women who now live to give, and give to live, whether in money, time, teaching, mentoring, counseling, pastoring, etc. They give their lives freely because they received Jesus’ life freely.

I think of my wife, Deborah, who lives to give. She lives for the gospel. She speaks it, breathes it, and converses about it. It is her lifestyle. It is who she is. From the day she was born-again she was a giver. As she entered full time ministry she was a giver. But it took a dramatic turning point before she lived to give. It was many years ago in Calcutta, India where the Lord had told her to ‘Go and see the work’. She did not preach, teach or do any pulpit ministry. She simply went to ‘see the work’ of an American couple, Mark and Hulda Buntain, who had given their life to ministering the gospel in Calcutta. In only a few days of seeing the overwhelming need and the overwhelming sacrifice required to begin to meet that need, she came to a turning point. It was the turning point of seeing what Jesus sees, the need to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations. It was the turning point of seeing that the American perspective of living for the gospel may not fully represent ‘living to give and giving to live’. From that point forward she lives to give for the sake of the gospel.

As leaders in the body of Christ we are called to this higher level of modeling the concept of giving. Giving is an essential element of the government of God within us. It is an absolute in a world that despises absolutes. You might say, ‘but life is so busy already, what more can I give?’ If you, as a leader, desire this aspect of God’s impact within you, simply ask Him to reveal those areas of your life that can be ‘lost’ so that you can freely give. The Holy Spirit is faithful to show you the fullness of giving for the sake of the gospel. And…He has abundant grace to live it daily.