[Part 4, Chapter 28]
If you want to gain access to a certain unit in the Glynde Lutheran Retirement Homes where my parents live, you would probably need a combination of a baseball bat, a certain amount of energy, and persistence.
If I wanted to gain access to that same unit, all I need is a certain combination of numbers.
Your attempt will do damage, leave a mess, and possibly get you arrested.
Mine will get me a hug and a cup of tea.
Favour gives access. In turn, access releases authority.
True authority is not authoritarianism. It is not bossism, doesn’t need to be top-down, has nothing to do with who is smartest, nor is it the same as power.
True authority is the giving and receiving of responsibility. It is about knowing your limits, where you can and can’t go, what you do and don’t have access to. It is about trust. It is relational. All of that gives you access.
I have access to my parents’ place because I am a son.
I have access to Bowser’s farm up the road because he has given me custody of it.
I have access to Julie’s laptop because she has shared her password with me.
I have access to my neighbour’s house when they’re away because they have given me a key.
The primary place where we all get to exercise authority is in our own lives.
We do not have to passively let negative thoughts, temptations, or emotions take control over us. We can resist. We can use our authority and say, “Stop!” We can tell them, in the name of Jesus, they have no right to be there.
This is not a power struggle, but an authority issue. It is not an all-night vigil where you battle against the powers of darkness.
Rather, you receive favour, live in your true identity, take up your rightful authority, and simply say, “No, low self-esteem. You will not tell me I am ugly. I receive the truth of my true beauty in the name of Jesus.” “No, lustful thoughts, you offer me nothing except more guilt and shame. Jesus, I receive your purity.” And then you get up and more away from your computer. “Shame, you will not stop me from accessing Father’s favour by highlighting my dirt. Jesus, I run quickly to you and say yes to your cleansing.”
Jesus likens the authority we have to receiving a key. If you have the correct key for the appropriate keyhole, your access takes a matter of seconds.
The key we have been given through favour is our true identity as Abba-Father’s sons and daughters. We use that identity to lock up the negative thoughts, emotions, patterns of behaviour, and attacks of the devil.
We then use that same identity to unlock the good gifts Father brings and apply them to that situation. Those good gifts will look a lot like the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. God’s word says there is no law against such things (Galatians 5:22-23). In other words, they are the key.
You are not powerless, you are not resourceless, you are not alone. Jesus has given you access. Father is well pleased with you. Holy Spirit lives within you.
You can exercise your authority and reign in life because you have access. You have favour.