You Can’t Make Me!

Do you remember when you were a child and another kid told you what to do? My typical response was “You can’t make me!” Now, we would never say that to a teacher or our parents because they could “make” us do it.

As we got older, we still had the same response. No one likes being told what to do.

What do you think of when you think of authority? Usually negative. The definition of “authority” is: the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.

We typically don’t like someone giving us orders unless we think they are good orders. Recently, we’ve been ordered to stay home, among other restrictions. We are learning the meaning of authority and power. Authority is the right to do something; power is the ability to carry it through.

In one of the first encounters in the ministry of Jesus, we discover He has authority and power. This story is in Luke 4:33-44. When you yield your life to the authority of Jesus, you will experience His power.

Jesus has authority over demons.

In a religious meeting, Jesus met a man with an ‘unclean spirit’. We would call it a demon. Many psychiatrists dismiss any account of demon possession as a primitive way to describe mental illness. However, the Bible teaches that demons are real and have the ability to possess a person.

Demons are fallen angels who joined Satan in his rebellion against God and are totally evil. They have the ability to inhabit a person. This means that not only has a person a devil, but the devil has him as well. A person has yielded control of his life to the devil. It’s important to realize that while a Christian cannot be possessed by a demon, they can yield to the influence of a demon.

The demons that possessed the man knew 2 things: (1) Jesus came to destroy them and their power. (2) Jesus was the Holy One of God. 

Jesus cast the demon out of the man with a simple command – “Come out of him”. No magic formula or mumbo jumbo. He just told the spirits to go and they went.

Jesus had authority and power over evil and the demonic world. He still does. If you are bothered by evil. surrender your life to Jesus and allow Him to help you overcome evil. 

Jesus has authority over disease.

Peter’s mother-in-law had a fever. In those days, a person suffering from a fever could either recover suddenly or die quickly. With our coronavirus pandemic, we have similar fears about contracting a fever. Jesus rebuked the fever and it left her. As soon as she was better, she began to serve.

When Jesus healed people it was because He loved them. In addition, it was proof of the power and authority as the Son of God. But this miracle also tells us that Jesus healed so people could serve others.

Jesus continued to heal people of diseases. Luke is careful to tell us that Jesus laid hands on people to heal them. This wasn’t necessary, but it showed the divine tenderness of Jesus on those who were needy. Every single person that evening felt the touch of the Master’s hand.

The people wanted Jesus to stay in their city. But He calmly informed them that He wanted to continue to other towns to” preach the kingdom of God.” Jesus is the King of an eternal Kingdom. Like any king, He has authority and power. Have you surrendered to the authority of Jesus in your life.

That is why so many Christians have no kingdom power. You cannot enjoy the power of the kingdom unless you are submitted to the king.

Have you ever officially submitted everything to the rule of Jesus in your life? Have you submitted your will, your future, your ambitions, your longings, your vocation, your family, your independence, your heart? Why not do it now?

The other day my grandson fell and cut his lip really bad. He needed 3 stitches. I won’t go into detail, but he was hurting and he was told to sit still while a doctor put in 3 stitches. He whimpered a little, but he took it like a man and was okay. He didn’t understand (he’s only 2 years old), and it even seemed like his dad was helping doing the dirty work, but he sat quietly so they could sew up his lip. After it was over, he wouldn’t let us take off his bloody shirt because he wanted everybody to see it. When he submitted to what he was told, it all turned out okay.

That is like us. When things are hurting and we don’t understand why, sometimes we just need to sit for a while and let Jesus work. Submit to the authority of Jesus and follow His instructions.