Understanding Our Authority on Earth


Os Hillman gives us a detailed description of what we need to do in order to see our prayers manifested in the physical realm.

Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth" (Gen 1:26-27).

When Adam and Eve were on the earth they were given authority to manage all matters on the earth. God gave them that authority. “The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's; But the earth He has given to the children of men.” [1] Their sin in the garden represented a rebellious heart that desired to move from manager to owner. Satan convinced them that they believed God was holding out on them and appealed to their pride to be all-knowing like God.  “Your eyes will be opened and you will be like God,”[2] he said to Adam and Eve. This was also Satan’s sin and why he fell from heaven. Each of us has an innate sin nature that wants to be the boss, not just a steward of what God has entrusted to us. However, stewardship is man’s role, to represent His interests and to execute His will on earth.

God gave man a “lease” on the earth that was to be enforced by man because of the authority entrusted to him as His representatives. When man sinned in the Garden of Eden, that authority was transferred to Satan. He was given free reign over the earth because of man’s disobedience. It was not until Jesus came to earth and reclaimed that authority through His death and payment of sin that man could stand against the power of Satan. Luke 19:10 says that “Jesus reclaimed all that was lost” in the Garden. That included not only man’s sin, but all that was lost including man’s right to rule the earth. He affirmed this in Col 1:19-20:  “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”

God Depends Upon Man

God made a very calculated risk when He decided not to exercise full authority over the earth. He refused to require His children to love Him. God is ultimately responsible for what happens on planet earth, but He is not to blame for all that happens because of man’s free will and Satan’s right to steal, kill and destroy unless God’s representatives exercise their authority to prevent his activity. God is not controlling all that takes place on earth because of His decision to entrust man as His representative on earth. 

Understanding God’s Will

He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will" (Matt 26:39). 

There are certain things that will happen on the earth that represents God’s predetermined will that is guaranteed to happen no matter what. There is nothing that will hamper these events from being fulfilled because it is part of His ultimate plan. They are unalterable. The Greek word for will in this case is “boulema”, meaning “a deliberate design, that which is purposed." For instance, Jesus WILL (“boulema”) return to earth one day and reign. He WILL (“boulema”) triumphantly enter Jerusalem. He will allow the Jews to return to Israel. There are many other situations that will happen because God has said it will happen.

However, there are other situations that fall under a different category of will. This will is more expressed by His desire, but the fulfillment is dependent on the choices made by man. God wills that all come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. However, because of man’s free will, this does not always happen. This Greek word for will is "thelema"—which means subjectively, the "will" being spoken of here is the “emotion of being desirous,” rather than the thing being a guaranteed outcome that will happen because God has preordained it to come to pass. We see these two different uses of these words in the following passage. “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, (thelema) but as You will’" (boulema).[3] Jesus had a desired will and hope not to have to die on the cross in His state of human despair. However, it was God’s predetermined will that He would die for the sins of man.

Exercising Our Authority

There are other things that happen on earth that is a result of man exercising the authority God entrusts to him. We are here to enforce the covenants, what God and Jesus have spoken on the earth. This is done through intercessory prayer. God is looking for those He can partner with to accomplish what He wants to do on the earth. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”[4] “Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind.”[5] “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven…”[6] God is looking for individuals who are willing to stand in the gap to fulfill His purposes and enforce His covenant on the earth. “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.”[7] Standing in the gap has historically been taught as being synonymous with intercession. However, I believe that standing in the gap also means that believers are standing in the gap for unrighteousness in the marketplace. It means becoming the solution to unrighteousness. Believers become the salt and light that is going to allow culture to be shaped and transformed so that Jesus does not have to judge that people or nation. You and I are to fill the gap.

Evil still exists on the earth through Satan but God has given the “lease” on earth back to us through the blood covenant of Jesus. However, it must be exercised to see the manifestation of the covenant promises. God is waiting on His people to exercise our authority to bring these things into being. One of Jesus’ last instructions to the disciples was regarding His authority and His passing of that authority to those of us on earth is stated in Matt 28:18-20; “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and l, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’" Jesus was officially passing His authority to us.

We are to enforce and teach what Jesus has instructed us to do and what He has said. Our role is to enforce His will through prayer by claiming His promises and defeating the works of the enemy. Jesus came to defeat the works of the enemy. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”[8] We, too, are called to defeat the works of the enemy on earth. We do not have to ask what His will is in many situations because He has already stated His will. We are here to enforce His will through intercessory prayer. Unless we do this, we will not see the manifestation of His will and purposes on the earth. That is why prayer exists. He limited His authority on earth based on our involvement to pray His covenantal promises into existence. Many things on earth do not happen because God’s representatives are failing to pray it into existence. He refuses to act without His representatives using their authority through prayer and spiritual warfare to activate His desired will.

Johnathan Brown lives in very attractive executive offices on the 10th floor in midtown. He loves coming to work, until recently. Some other tenants moved into the building and their offices are right next to his. They happen to be rock stars that are into drugs, loud music and bring all sorts of unsightly people into the building. The landlord realized they did not necessarily fit the profile of the typical tenant in his upscale office building but they had a legal right to be there since they paid the rent on time each month. As time went on things got worse and worse. The rock stars brought more and more unsightly characters into the building and actually caused some major damage when a late night party got out of hand and some windows were broken. The rock band began to get behind on rent. Johnathan somehow learned about this and decided to appeal to the landlord to use this as an opportunity remove them from the building. The landlord had been out of the country for several months and learned of these matters when he returned. He met with Johnathan and learned more about the problems the rock band was causing. Johnathan appealed to him to use his legal rights as landlord to evict the rock band. The landlord did just that as this was his desire anyway and he was now glad there was a legal right for him to evict the band. The band was unable to pay their back rent and the landlord was able to evict them.

This fictitious story is a picture of intercession. It is a process that involves a legal appeal process in heaven by those (you and me) who are interceding for a ruling to be enforced by the landlord (God) for what has already been stated (God’s covenant promises). We are to find out what God has said and appeal to the One who established the promise and ask Him to enforce it. We are asking for a ruling in Heaven on our behalf for something we already know God desires to happen. This is why Jesus prayed very short prayers. He simply asked the Father to enforce what had already been written or spoken. He said prayers like “Lazarus, come forth,” “Come out of Him!”, “Rise up and walk!” “Peace be with you.”Jesus enforced through simple prayers what He knew the Father wanted to do through Him.

What are some of God’s covenant promises? Anything that Jesus modeled while He was on earth can be expected to be realized through us because He said the works He did would also be done by us. Some of these include a right to physical provision, health, peace, a life without fear, to fulfill our purpose, and we would even suffer for Christ as part of our identification with Him. We know that what Jesus brought together in marriage, no man should separate and that marriage is a picture of Christ and His Church. When two people marry, they become one. We are to enforce this covenant on earth too as His representative to destroy the works of the enemy. Satan’s goal is to destroy our lives and our families.

Jesus Lived as a Man

Jesus lived with the same limitations that we live with while He was on earth. However, He appropriated what He needed on earth through His Heavenly Father. He always did what He saw the Father doing through Him. He carried out the will of the Father. We are called to do the same. That is how His Kingdom is manifested on the earth through each son and daughter. This is why it is so important that we each have a prayer life devoted to praying what we see the Father wanting us to pray through us. The Holy Spirit is to help us by instructing us on what to pray: “In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses, for we don't know how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can't be uttered. He who searches the hearts knows what is on the Spirit's mind, because He makes intercession for the saints according to God.” [9] Jesus is our high priest and intercessor before the Father to enforce His covenants when we pray.[10] 

As change agents, we must make this prayer discipline part of our strategy to displace principalities over cultural mountains and repel Satan’s activity in our own lives. We must displace the strongman’s armor by praying what we know is the Father’s will already: "When the strong man, fully armed, guards his own dwelling, his goods are safe. But when someone stronger attacks him and overcomes him he takes from him his whole armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils.”[11] We must each identify what the strongman’s armor is and begin praying through the authority we have in Jesus to destroy the works of the enemy. We are responsible for destroying the works of the enemy by enforcing His covenant on earth by exercising His delegated authority on earth as His representative. We have been given the “power of attorney” on earth to act on His behalf until He returns. 

Jesus said we have the keys to release His will upon the earth on matters which He has already spoken. "And I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever YOU bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever YOU loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."[12] We pray through faith: “God calls things that are not as though they were. [13] Now Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”[14]

Death and Life are in the Power of the Tongue

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Prov 18:21). 

Another area we can exercise authority is in our words. God spoke the world into existence. God is known as God the Word and Jesus the Word. “For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.”[15] When God told Moses to speak to the rock, He was telling Moses to move in the same dimension as God – through the spoken Word. When you pray, pray out loud. This allows your words to be heard by principalities and spirits and it allows you to hear the words and for them to be imprinted on your brain. When you read the Word, read it out loud. There is power in the spoken Word of God. In the New Testament Jesus tells us to “speak to the mountain!” “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”[16] 

One time God led me to speak to a mountain of books in my basement and tell them to “leave!” That afternoon I got an order for 300 books from a ministry I had no prior relationship and this was on a Saturday! I have other friends who have been led by the Holy Spirit to do similar things. The key is being led by the Holy Spirit to use the authority He gives us. God is not a genie in a bottle. We are led as we have fellowship with His Son and are directed by His Spirit in us. There IS power in your words. In these times we must move in faith. ”Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”[17] “God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did…”[18] Faith is what activates the power of God on the earth. 

Do you need to see God move on your behalf? Find out what He said in his Word, His covenant, and begin to pray and agree with God that whatever has been done in Heaven will be done on earth. Speak the words you need God to do on your behalf. Declare God’s covenant over your situation. As we do this we will begin to see our prayers manifested in the physical realm.

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