Will you exercise healthy authority over your life or sabotage your life by misusing your authority?
It’s fun watching our girls get excited about babysitting opportunities. Gigi just had her first babysitting job the other night. This past year, Nicole nannied one family with 4 boys, and another with 3. One mother told us Nicole is so refreshing and such a blessing to her and the boys! Our pride swells when we hear our friends rave at how mature and skillful our girls are in their new roles. You see, authority has been delegated to them. They must exercise good moral judgment while ruling over the kids for whom they are responsible. God designed us with these two key characteristics that represent broad analogies of His own attributes. First, He promotes us above all creation, delegating authority to us. Second, He gives us morality.
Regarding the first characteristic, God gave Adam and Eve (and therefore all humans) authority over creation. We can’t create something out of nothing as only God can. But we are endowed with some of His creativity. We don’t command nature as He does. But we understand what it is to tame animals, or bring the elements under our authority like in metalwork, or in cultivating crops.
As for the second characteristic, God built into us a sense of right and wrong, as well as the responsibility to choose right over wrong. Consider this … we’re the only creatures that understand the concept of shame. Only humans understand what it is to break rules or to do the wrong thing. Birds don’t apologize; cats don’t get embarrassed; dogs don’t have courts of law.
God wants you to bring creation under His authority through the exercise of your authority. Your family, your job, and your recreation are just a few of the facets of creation He has entrusted to your care. You have free will, so these aspects are yours to do with as you decide. You can mismanage them for their ultimate destruction and your frustration. Or you can use them for His glory (which is also to your benefit, satisfaction, and growth). There is no middle ground.
Every longing of your heart, every desire to act, create, control, or fix is actually a reflection of the impulse to exercise the authority He has delegated to you, and to exercise your sense of right and wrong. We go off course with psychological or addiction struggles when we abuse and misuse this authority, usually because our motivation is self-centered and not God-centered.
Today, when you have impulses, STOP! Exercise self-control over each impulse and ask, “What Would Jesus Do?” Or even better, “What did Jesus do?” This is how to submit to God and acknowledge his authority. If you feel powerless to act as Jesus would, get some help. Reach out to someone. Start developing a strategy to bring in God’s help. Practice small steps of something new. We are not animals that react instinctively. God gave each of us a great mind and a sense of morality to maximize our responses in ways that glorify Him and fulfill us at the same time. You’ll find two things become increasingly true: you’ll love Him more AND experience much less discomfort. Whether you exercise healthy authority over your life or you sabotage your life by misusing or abdicating you authority is your decision, so choose well.
Holy Father, Mighty God: In You we live, and move, and have our entire being. From You we receive the authority to order our lives as we please: either for our good and Your glory, or for our own glory and pain-filled living. Please have mercy on us, that we may increasingly understand that the best authority is that which is exercised according to Your word; the best morality is that which resonates with Your will. Help me take one step each day to move steadily forward in my goal to attain the Mind of Christ. This we ask, through the sacrifice of Christ, and all God’s children say, – AMEN!
“Let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:26-28
Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:15-17