Authority In His Name

“Can I tell Jacob that you said to go away?” My daughter asked me these words one day when she had been outside on the swing, listening to her IPod. Apparently her younger brother was nearby in the hammock but he was “annoying” her because he was staring at her.

It was a seemingly insignificant conversation yet it caught my attention. She had come to me with a request. But more than that, she knew that there was authority in using my name. It wouldn’t have been enough to say to Jacob, “Go away!” No, she would need to interject my name in this…”MOM said!” The command would mean nothing unless there was some authority in it. If mom said it, then it must be done (or at least that’s what one would hope for…smile).

It reminded me of the authority we have in the name of Christ. There is power in the name of Jesus. In fact, evil spirits know of the name of Jesus. They even know the authority we hold in Jesus as believers. In Acts 19 there is the story of some Jews who were going around trying to drive out evil spirits in the name of Jesus. It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t have the power to rid those spirits but those evil spirits recognized that those attempting to drive them out had no authority. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” (Acts 19:15).

Have you ever been embarrassed to call out someone’s name that you thought you knew or go up to someone and begin to have a conversation and it turns out that you don’t know the person? It’s a little embarrassing. Well it is more than embarrassing for an evil spirit to not know who you are because you have no authority to use the authority of Jesus’ name. It is spiritually dangerous.

Jesus’ authority extends too many things. He has authority over:

• His teaching (Matt. 7:29)
• Forgiveness of sins (Matt. 9:6)
• Healing (Matt. 9:4-8)
• Calling of disciples (Matt. 10:1)
• Heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18)
• Overcoming the evil one (Luke 10:19)
• Judgment (John 5:27)

The ultimate authority He demonstrated was when He went to the cross. No one takes it [life] from Me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again (John 10:18). He had and has all authority. Of His own accord He laid down His life for us. Now that is power!

One of my favorite songs we sing in church is “Overcome.” The chorus sings out:

All authority, every victory is Yours
All authority, every victory is Yours

I could sing those words over and over again. It builds up my faith in the power of His name. It is a reminder that He holds ALL authority. And through that authority, every victory belongs to Him. There is another verse in this song that I really like:

Savior, worthy of honor and glory
Worthy of all Your praise, You overcame
Jesus, awesome in power forever
Awesome and great is Your name, You overcame

This song speaks so much about the authority and power found in the name of Jesus Christ. And because there is so much power in the name of Jesus, we need to take special care when we use that name. We must never become careless in the use of His name. It’s not just a name to throw around, to impress someone. It’s not just a name we should use to get what we want (like my daughter was going for when she wanted to use my name).

The name of Jesus truly is powerful but as believers we need to use that authority in the right manner. Truly the greatest day to come in using His name is when at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth (Philippians 2:10).

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