“You have an abundance of workmen: stonecutters, masons, carpenters, and all kinds of craftsmen without number, skilled in working gold, silver, bronze, and iron. Arise and work! The Lord be with you!” 1 Chronicles 22:15-16 ESV

We have been expanding our understanding of positional authority. We now see that God’s heart and power has redeemed us and given us opportunity to bring the best of who we are alongside the Lord. We have seen that any position is about stewardship and is to be taken seriously and with great care.

We looked at the redemption of God and the great and awesome role of being a steward in his kingdom. Perhaps we have realized that we have not been very good stewards. Each of us can confess something that we have not been doing well. Each of us can grow in our understanding and practice of being a steward unto the Lord. And each of us will continue to grow in stewardship.

Today we look at natural authority. Here we will find that each of us carry a unique mark of the Lord upon us and through our lives, for the benefit of others. Natural authority is something that we all have and it is the core characteristics that we bring to both positional authority, to stewardship and to spiritual authority.

Every person has Natural Authority that flows out of the experience of their days and years; it is the authority when we say, ‘I have been there and I saw this.’


It is the impact of:

  • Our natural ability and the work of our hands
  • Where we have proven ourselves faithful
  • The witness of our actions and the things we have gone after
  • The impact, over time, of how we have lived our lives
  • The things we deem important – what we are passionate about

Natural authority is the expression of our natural skills and talents and is the cumulative impact of the circumstances, opportunities, and experiences of your life. There are things that you know that others do not know, simply by the life you have lived. This applies to everyone. Every single person knows some things better than anyone else. Every single person has unique perspective, varied experiences, and valuable insights to give.

Yet, we may have been put down or felt as if we must apologize for existing. Within our families, communities and even our faith gatherings we have not always done a very good job at valuing each other and affirming the gifts and wisdom and skills that each has. As a result many people are living lives of regret and loss and apology that keep them from the full experience of living as stewards and friends of the King of Kings.

Natural authority flows out of our lives as we acknowledge, accept, and own, what we are good at and what we know (and put down the pretending of what we do not know). And, as good stewards it is our job to affirm the natural talents and giftedness of each person that we know.

We come into the love and grace, the forgiveness and peace of our Lord on a very personal level. We bring others to this same love and grace and forgiveness and peace as well. As we realize our value (in an honest sobering sort of way – no pretence or exaggerations) we then have opportunity to invest our natural authority in things bigger than ourselves. 49 So, let us take some time to understand our natural authority.

Natural authority can be described as our growth in the classroom of life. Think for instance, of King David as a youngster learning to fight lions and bears and to defend sheep. Here we see a natural authority, ability, skills, and knowledge, that ultimately gave him the confidence to later stand up to Goliath. 1 Samuel 17:32-50

Moses is another example of a natural authority that, as a young man, foretold a very specific authority and spiritual anointing later in his life. In other words, Moses’ spiritual authority initially showed up through his natural man in a very immature way. We read,

One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. He looked this way and that, and seeing no one he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.” Exodus 2:11-12 ESV

We see that the calling on Moses life to ‘save God’s people’ came through very passionately in this young man. Moses’ natural passion, although not expressed the way God planned, still gave evidence of a very specific and spiritual authority to come.

Each one of us also carry natural authority, skills, abilities, experiences, knowledge, and circumstances, that gives evidence to specific calling and spiritual authority.

Sometimes these are hidden and may be misdiagnosed as many different things. For instance, as we look on the lives of others we will realize that the will-full child became a great leader, the precocious child empowers others with her wisdom, the child adventuring off, one day changes the world. We find that the child that cannot sit still advocates for others around the globe and that the quiet loyal child one day wows us with her artistic ability.

Natural authorities are the things we are good at and the knowing and wisdom we have from our life’s journey. We all have this. We all have something unique and valuable to bring to this world because of the individuality of our own person and then from the perspectives of the life we have lived.

What are you good at? In what unique way are you seeing the world that can help the rest of us?

It is as we walk with God and give him the honor of our lives that our natural authorities become breathed through with the living Lord. In God’s hand, our natural authority becomes spiritual authority.

KEY: As we walk with God the impact of our life is multiplied by the power and presence of God.

The natural authority of our lives are found:

  • In our skills and abilities
  • The unique circumstances of our lives
  • The challenges we have lived through

Too often we ignore the strengths developed in difficulty and failure when these are in fact the greatest strengths we carry. We may shy away from our stories. We may want to bring the good forward and leave the bad behind and forgotten. Yet God would have us bring the full journey of our lives forward. Walking in spiritual authority is where our lives are 100% completely harnessed for the Kingdom of God.

Instead of standing ashamed of our failures, our losses, our desperations, our disillusionments and the circumstances of our lives, we stand in the strength and confidence that ‘all things do work together for good to those who love God’.  Romans 8:28 We decide to trust the Lord with the parts of our lives of which we are both comfortable and uncomfortable.

Read: Psalm 139:16; Psalm 90:12

We must all have honest conversation with our God in order to:

  • Reconcile who we are
  • Accept every part of our self
  • Take on the callings of our life
  • Make decisions based on God’s directives to our heart
  • Daily enter into intimacy with our Lord
  • Live as stewards of God’s Kingdom

We then experience radical communion and intimacy with Him and we shine. The natural authority of our lives paves the way for our future spiritual authorities. Our entire lives are harnessed forward for the benefit and blessing of others as we choose to trust God with the entirety of our lives

“The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” Psalm 16:6 ESV

Testimony is this story of God touching our lives. The deepest authority of our lives come from the depths of our inner experience where God has touched our realities, our hearts, our patterns of living and ways of being with Him. Our personal experience of God is part of our authority in God.

Where we have had the touch of God in our own lives, our own hearts, our own thinking, this becomes our confidence to stand in the authority of God. Where we have most experienced God in our own lives we can declare him on behalf of others.

For instance, we can pray inner emotional healing for others when we ourselves have received this from God. In physical healing it is the same. Our confidence comes not so much from theology of healing but from the experience of healing. Seeing healing happen, praying healing for others, experiencing healing for ourselves, gives a boost of faith and confidence that theology alone cannot do.

While theology is absolutely necessary and is the foundation and the basis upon which our experience rests, it is not what saves us or heals us or transforms us. Rather, it is in encounter with the Living God where we are transformed and healed and touched and saved by the glory of God. James 5:39-40

Spiritual authority is therefore a grand interplay between:

Theological underpinnings. Psalm 119:66
Authority given by the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 2:12
Our intimate knowledge of the authority given. 2 Peter 1:10

All of this adds up to a three-dimensional experience. Feel the breath of the Holy Spirit through it all and we are living in radical obedience, in faithful stewardship, and in joyful fellowship.

To heal we first know healing
To free we first know freedom
To bless we first know the blessing
To love we first know we are loved

Testimony is the bedrock of much of the Bible. Over and over again the bible speaks of the witness of two or more persons as evidence of fact. Deuteronomy 19:15.

It is assumed, biblically speaking, that if there are a few people saying the same thing, that there is validity and credibility to what they are saying. As we give testimony about God’s touch in our life, our authority grows as we answer the question, “Where has the living God touched your life?”

  • How are you changed because of God in your life?
  • How is your heart different because of God?


When we testify to God in our lives, we agree with God and his movement increases.
It is quite possible to know all things about God, and yet never know God. It is quite possible to be learned and scholarly in all things doctrinal and theological and yet rarely experience God. This was the sin of the Pharisees. They knew the letter of the law, but they could not walk in the Spirit. Out of the richness of their intellect they became poor of faith and experience. Matthew 23:1- 4

Read all of Matthew 23

Think of it this way:

Imagine for a moment a table set with bowls of potatoes and carrots and beans, with platters of chicken and beef and fish, along with bread and rice, with sauces of all types and even some greens.

And imagine that there are two people eager to tell you about this meal. One person is a dietician with much learning about the nutritional value of the food at hand. This person tells you about the vitamins in each food, the levels of both good and bad kinds of fat. She explains in great detail and we learn how the body digests each food and the benefit of each to the body. On and on we could learn about the food and the benefits to us. For instance:

“Carrots have vitamin E and are good for your eyesight. The fish is rich in omega-3 oils which give a sheen to your skin and hair. The beef is what we call a red meat meal, while the chicken is lighter in flavor and in its weight on the body. The bread comes in a variety of whole wheat or in refined white flour, the first being the healthier choice. I have some books here that will tell you more if you like.”

Then imagine another person. This person has no learning about the food or its nutritional value. This one cannot tell a single thing about how the body uses each food or about the benefits or drawbacks of each. But this person has tasted each food. This person has sat at the table herself enjoying each food in turn. She tells us:

“The carrots hold a pleasant gentle flavor with a soft yet chewy texture. They are especially good with some sauce over them. The beef is cooked to a soft melt in your mouth texture with a rich flavor of herbs lending a nutty buttery savor. When paired with the mild potatoes, each compliments the other in taste and texture. A few greens on the side lend that tart, sharp richness that brings out the best of all the other foods. There is more, but why don’t you try it for yourself!”

Which one of these inspires you to try the food for yourself? And if you were to ask the dietician what the beef tastes like, would she be able to tell you? And if you only wanted to taste one food right now, would you rather have the ‘food for your eyes’ or the ‘softly chewy, gently flavored orange food’?

Now obviously, both are helpful. It is good to know that carrots are good for the eyes. Yet, let me ask you, how many people are eating carrots for the health of their eyes if they don’t like the flavor and texture?

The question begs to be asked, are we to be a people who can analytically pick apart the scriptures and the dilemmas of religion or are we to be people who can tell how God has made a difference in our lives and how he is making a difference in our life today?

Do we want to hear from someone who tells us how good carrots are for our eyes, or do we want to hear from one who testifies from experience, “I ate carrots every day for two years and now my eyesight is better than before.”


Bottom line, experience is not to be discounted. It is the basis for the verse that says,

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15 NIV (mid-verse)

For even the unlearned know God in ways the learned may never know. It is why all over the world today we can find testimony of God’s presence and touch from the hearts of people who have never cracked a book in their life; those who have never opened a Bible come to Christ because of an encounter and an experience with the Living Lord.

Some of the most profound truths come from the mouths of brand new Christians, those who are experiencing God in a fresh way that the many of us ‘learned’ types have lost. While education is a great and vital part of our Christianity, and it is, it is still not the same as experience.

It is important that we give experience a place in our repertoire of Spiritual Authority. Given the option of speaking with one who knows all about God and one who knows God personally, which would you rather hear from?

There is a meeting of hearts found in experience with God that will never be found quite the same in a meeting of the minds. Neither one must discount the other of course but we engage both and find in that intersection a full vision of God and a full knowledge of God.

“And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:33 ESV

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God.” 2 Timothy 1:8 ESV

“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” Revelation 12:11 ESV

“When he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.” 2 Thessalonians 1:10 ESV

“But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.” Psalm 79:13 ESV

APPLICATION

In contemplative response, take some time to answer the following:

  • What have your unique circumstance taught you?
  • What have been the specific attacks on you as a person? What wounds do you carry?
  • What have you learned from your failures that you can take forward?
  • How have your challenges uniquely equipped you?
  • What skills do you have? What things can you do?
  • Thank God today for all of YOU


Testimony is always an answer to the question: How is God touching and changing your life today?

Answer this question and you have a testimony. Answer this question and you are prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have, as Peter has instructed,

“… always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” 1 Peter 3:15 ESV (mid-verse)

Today, write or tell about one experience with God that has changed you. Practice it and share it often. In this way, you will grow in confidence and clarity about God’s movement over your life.

Even if you have known God for many years, and are perhaps even teaching Him to others, take the time to identify the key points of your life and to share your story again. Even though we may have known God a long time, he remains relevant and important in our own personal lives and our testimony catches the truth of God through us. We want to be able to tell the story of God and us.

Organize Your Testimony:

*Use the template on the following page 50 and follow these numbered instructions:

  1. Make note of 3 ways the Lord has impacted you. Write them as 3 words. Short and simple.
  2. Put a timeframe and a background to these things. For instance, “10 years ago I … , Now I … “ Short and simple.
  3. Take each of your 3 topics from #1 and put them into 1st Topic, 2nd Topic, 3rd Topic.
  4. Next, make note of 3 specifics to go with each topic. Write them simple and short, just notes at this time.
  5. Then, decide your conclusion for each of these topics. What was the result of the Lord in each of these things.
  6. Now, what key words would you begin with?

Write down your introduction sentence.

  1. Then, note the 3 lessons you learned from these experiences with God in your life.
  2. Next, write your conclusion sentence. How would you sum up your testimony?

9 & 10. Finally, note the most significant thing you learned, add in a title for your testimony, and write your name as the author.

I give you my own story using the template. This is an example and an encouragement to you to organize your own personal story in this same way. Help each other with this, it is not easy but it is a very good thing to do. You will be stronger for it once you have completed this exercise.

Title of the Story: Satan Tried to Destroy me but God Has the Last Word

By: Cyndy Lavoie

Introduction: God is big enough for all of life

Background: grew up in middle class home, all my life held by God, many years a simple life

3 Topics:

  1. born into a Christian family 2. yet, many difficulties 3. now, influence around the world

1st topic – Born into a Christian family
3 details – a. way of God from an early age b. bible and prayer from young c. legacy of leadership
Concluding Sentence – “I came to know Jesus at age 6 and have been getting to know him ever since.”

2nd topic – Yet, many difficulties
3 details – a. sexual abuse as a young girl b. abusive marriage c. I fully opened my heart to God
Concluding Sentence – “I found God’s healing in the midst of much trouble and deep pain.”

3rd topic – Now, influence around the world
3 details – a. I now heal others b. my heart and life belong to God c. words impact many
Concluding Sentence – “God has been big enough for all the good, bad, and ugly of my life.”

Conclusion:

3 Lessons:

God owns our lives and works all things for good
The good, the bad, and the ugly of our lives can be used in his Kingdom
We live open-hearted and miracles of happen

Most Significant Lesson:

No matter what Satan tries to do to destroy us, God is big enough for all of it and as we surrender our lives to him he uses our entire life experience for his glory and our gladness and future.

________________________________________

Now it is your turn. Use the template to organize your personal story of you and God. Then, practice telling your story. Use it as a sermon this next Sunday or as your message at the next crusade. Be simple and clear. You don’t need to dress it up with fancy words or loud stories or a raised voice. Tell it in a simple way and let the Holy Spirit be the impact. 51

“Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received!” 2 Peter 1:3 TM

PRAYER

Thank you Lord for every part of my life. I am seeing that you have been Lord of my journey even when I was unaware of you. Today I again commit my life to your glory. I take all of my story, everything you have taught me, the experiences I have had, the pain I have gone through, the good things I know, all of it I give to you. I say yes and amen to your good purposes through my life. Thank you Lord. I give you all the glory. Lord I welcome the full testimony of Jesus into my being today. Quicken my heart and lips to tell of your good things to me. Enable me to share of you to my friends and family. May I speak of your goodness all the days of my life.”

Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 ESV

SUMMARY – NATURAL AUTHORITY

Every single person carries natural authority that can be offered to the Lord. Colossians 3:17

It is the power of our stories and the accumulation of our experiences. Psalm 23:1-6

When given over to God, he inhabits our stories and experiences, harnessing them forward in spiritual authorities; influence is for the good of ourselves and on behalf of others. Joshua 1:9

We accept all of who we are and commit our entire journey and lives to God. Romans 8:28

We thank God for the entirety of our lives. Ephesians 5:20

God’s touch in our own lives is part of the foundation for our spiritual authority. Revelation 12:11

We tell others of God’s touch in our lives. Luke 8:39

Our testimony establishes a second witness to God’s heart and ways. Testimony is a powerful tool for sharing God with others. 1 John 1:1-4

______________________________

49 This is why we have been working hard in this course to bring every single thing of our lives to the foot of the cross. It is why we have been going deep with God into our own failures and regrets, that we might own our entire story, everything of our lives, for in this way everything of our lives is harnessed by God and breathed through with his Holy Spirit.
50 This template is taken from the writing curriculum, Institute for Excellence in Writing iew.com
51 NOTE: this template can be used to organize any sermon, speech, or teaching.

=> Let’s continue with Spiritual Authority

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