January 30, 2023

Who is in authority . . . ?


Yesterday was a very good day. The Lord was magnified in my devotions. The message at church was powerful and convicting. In a room of several hundred people, the silence was total as our pastor gave it. Brunch was blessed with joyful conversations. We later relaxed with a movie and a couple of football games on TV. I also did some purging on my computer and made a small quilt for February to hang in the window. Then I got tested.

The nature of the test need not be repeated here, only that I flunked it. Then this morning’s devotions were delayed when I discovered my purging was an error — all my docs/photos were gone. I have a backup, but it took time to restore them and to disengage the drive that caused the problem. All of that has me frustrated, more with myself and some with my computer system. Then I read this:

(God exalted Christ) far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet . . .  (Ephesians 1:21–22)

All things means all things and it reminded me of my mother’s saying: ‘We must need it or we wouldn’t be getting it.’ Did I need yesterday’s blessings? God thinks I did. Did I need the frustrations and tests? God thinks I did. Knowing He is the head over all things turns my thoughts from ‘woe is me’ to how wise and good He is.

The phrase “every name that is named” means any form of authority. This means angels, humans, now, or eternal. Someday every knee will bow before Him, and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. However, for now it is my concern that I do it. He is Lord, in my trials and triumphs, in all tests and blessings. He has authority in every thing with the right to tell me what ought to be my main concern:

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18–20)

I don’t see computer files in that command. Nor is there anything about my body, mind, emotions, choices, etc. It merely says “go” and as I am going, to be concerned that all people know and love the Lord. I’m to teach them what He has taught me — a clear implication to keep learning so I have something to say.

This great commandment is not just about what I should prioritize and be doing; it is even more about what He is doing. As MacArthur says, my efforts to obey will bear fruit because they are backed by the authority of Christ Himself. This encourages me to seek and to use every opportunity to share Christ and His Word with others. I represent Christ in whom lies all authority, and nothing can stand in the way of His purposes.

Lord, I know this command is general enough to keep me open to whatever You put in front of me. Yet I also know it is wise to ask You to direct me to specific people that You know need something You can give them through me in some way. I’m thinking of some names even now, and thankful that You are taking my mind off my complaints and issues of today to think more about others and eternal matters. Thank You.

MORE: Read Colossians 1:15–23.  What was Christ’s role in creation and for what purpose? What is His role in the church? In salvation? What place does He hold in my life?