Relationship vs Religion

“I pray not only for these, but also for those who will trust in me because of their word,  that they may all be one. Just as you, Father, are united with me and I with you, I pray that they may be united with us, so that the world may believe that you sent me. The glory which you have given to me, I have given to them; so that they may be one, just as we are one —
I united with them and you with me, so that they may be completely one, and the world thus realize that you sent me, and that you have loved them just as you have loved me.” John 17:20-23

Relationship vs Religion

I believe every Christian Ministry has a central theme to it.  For some it is healing, for others salvation, there is faith and the list can go on and on.  The one thing that should always be the focal point is Christ or it is not a “Christian” Ministry.  My theme is encouragement.  Everything I do and teach has a tendency to resonate encouragement to be all you can in and through Christ.

If encouragement jumps out as my main theme, then my subtopic is always relationship.  You see, you cannot be ALL that you can be without your relationship with God being intact.  It is through this relationship that you learn the true meaning of who you are.

As you read in our opening scripture, Yeshua has prayed us into oneness with Him and the Father which denotes a relationship.  You will very often hear me say that Yeshua was born a Jew and died a Jew.  He did not come to earth and suffer all that He did to start a new “religion”.  He never once renounced being a Jew nor did He ever try to convince anyone to depart from following the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  

The purpose of His coming was to reconcile us back to God the Father which He accomplished on the Cross by shedding His blood as atonement for our sins. His job was done when He said “it is finished”; however, our work was just beginning at that point. 

Before your jump up and accuse me of heresy, no, I am not saying we have to work for salvation.  Christ took care of that on the cross, all we have to do is accept His atonement, believe that He is the Messiah and ask Him to take up Lordship in our lives to receive our salvation.  There is no work we can do to earn it, we simply receive it.

Now that we have clarified that, the work that begins at that point is the development of our relationship with God.  As in any relationship, for it to grow, both parties involved has to work at its advancement.  God’s work in this equation has already occurred, He knows us better that we know ourselves.  We on the other hand have much to learn about our Father in Heaven.  Good news is He has availed Himself to us to learn of Him.

He has given us His Holy Spirit to teach us, guide us and reveal to us all that we seek to know about the God we serve who loves us not just as our God, but as our Father. 

My encouragement to you today is to first, recognize that saying you are a Christian is not declaring your allegiance to a religious set, it is saying that you have a relationship with Christ “God’s Anointed One and His Anointing” and with God the Father “Creator of the Heavens and the Earth”; Second, to seek to know Your God and be all that He created you to be. 

Religion will cause you to just repeatedly do something just for the sake of doing; Relationship will cause you to be somebody for the sake of what you were created to be.

God Bless you!

©Coylette James 2013

To Whose authority are you submitted?

To whose Authority are you submitted?

Luke 9:1

Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and AUTHORITY over all devils, and to cure diseases.

A few weeks ago I was watching the interaction between my oldest grandson who is 19 and my youngest who is 3.  The older one was chasing the younger who came running to me for protection.  When I told him to go tell his brother I said not to do that anymore, he stuck out his chest and went boldly to his brother and said “Grandma said stop!”

As soon as his brother turned to him and took a step, again he came bolting to my side for protection.  At that moment God spoke to me and said that is exactly what His children do.  They come to Him for protection and when He gives them instruction, they go boldly before the enemy at hand to proclaim what thus says the Lord, but as soon as the enemy raises his head they take off once again in fear and they forget the authority in which they were sent forth to begin with.

Just as my grandson forgot the fact that I sent him with the message to his brother in other words, “I gave him the authority to use my name” which made me responsible to back up what I said.   Like wise, we forget that God has given us the authority to use His name and will back up everything He says.

Let’s take a look at what it means to go forth in authority.  In the above scripture reference, the Greek word used for authority is Exousia (ex-oo-see’-ah); and according to Strong’s Concordance it means:

  1. power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases
    1. leave or permission
  2. physical and mental power
    1. the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises
  1. the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege)
  2. the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)

Think about the first definition, the power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases.  You have a choice as to whether or not you accept the authority given you by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross; which gives you the liberty to operate in the Power of the Holy Spirit.

Should you accept this authority you will be endowed with power and you do not have to worry about this message self destructing in five seconds for His message and authority shall live forever. (A little mission impossible humor )  Nothing is impossible in Christ!

There are 17 different times that gives witness to the power found “in the name of Christ” in the New Testament.  Here are three of them mentioned in John 14:

John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask IN MY NAME, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.   14 If ye shall ask any thing IN MY NAME, I will do it.

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send IN MY NAME, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Christ paid the ultimate price to give you the authority to go forth in victory, but that victory is only realized through your development of a personal relationship with Him.  If you do not know Him how will you operate in His power?

Definition number three above tells us that Exousia is the power of influence and of privilege.  What greater privilege can be bestowed upon you than the Creator of the universe using His influence to open doors on your behalf?   

Now let’s look at what the Noah Webster 1828 dictionary has to say about authority:

AUTHOR’ITY, n.  [L. auctoritas.]

1.  Legal power, or a right to command or to act; as the authority of a prince over subjects, and of parents over children.  Power; rule; sway.

2.  The power derived from opinion, respect or esteem; influence of character or office; credit; as the authority of age or example, which is submitted to or respected, in some measure, as a law, or rule of action.  That which is claimed in justification or support of opinions and measures.

3.  Testimony; witness; or the person who testifies; as, the Gospels or the evangelists are our authorities for the miracles of Christ.

4.  Weight of testimony; credibility; as a historian of no authority.

5.  Weight of character; respectability; dignity; as a magistrate of great authority in the city.

6.  Warrant; order; permission.

By what authority dost thou these things.  Mat. 21.  Acts 9.

What gives authority credence, is our relationship to the one giving us authority.  Example:
When I travel abroad I travel with a passport, and the inside of it states: The Secretary of State of the United States of America hereby request all whom it may concern to permit the citizen/national of the United States named herein to pass without delay or hindrance and in the case of need to give all lawful aid and protection.

Because I am a citizen of the United States of America this has merit and would allow me to enter the American Embassy anywhere in the world to seek protection.  However, if I took this same document to say a French Embassy, they would not be bound by what the passport says because I am not a French citizen.

Remember the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19:13-16.  They tried to cast out evil spirits using the name of Jesus, but because they had no relationship with Him, they literally got beaten out of their clothes.  They did not have the authority to use the Name of Jesus therefore the evil spirits weren’t subject to what they said.

So I ask you, to whose authority are you submitted to?   I pray that you are not as the children of Israel that Paul prayed for in Romans 10: 2-3   For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

It is through adoption into God’s family that we have been given authority.   I completely understand the affect that adoption has on one’s life.  You see I was adopted at two months old, and that act of kindness and love saved me from a youth lived in orphanages or foster homes.  This single act gave me a name to be proud of and wiped away the stigma of being unwanted.  It provided me a life of love.  My life was not perfect, and there were trials that I encountered growing up some self inflicted and other I had no control over, but through them all I knew I was loved and that made all the difference.

Our relationship with God is just like that.  Whatever the stigma that has been placed on you by the world in which you were associated with has been wiped away and you have been given a new name.  With that new name comes responsibility.  As a part of the family of God you are responsible for your treatment of others.  You are responsible for the authority given you, it is not to be misused, but it is specific authority to establish the Kingdom of God in the earth.

There are more benefits and blessing associated with your acceptance of Christ’ authority in your life than we have time to explore in this setting.  Suffice it to say that daily He has laid up abundance for you.

Now again I ask, to whose authority are you submitted?  You see, if you go forth on this journey in your own authority without the power of God backing you up, you will be like my little grandson.  He heard what I said and repeated it, but he still thought he was standing alone and he ran in fear.

I encourage you to seek the heart of the Father even more and know that He will withhold no good thing from you.  Keeping in mind that you are not only in authority, but you are also under the authority of God.  You must trust in His ways and His timing which is not always easy.  But know this, as you fully surrender all to Him, He is responsible to bring to pass every word He has spoken.

Study the laws of the Kingdom of God, of which you are a citizen, to know what your legal rights are.  All of these laws are found in God’s law book, The Bible.  Grace is awesome, but never forget God is a God of order.  Where there is no law there is chaos.   There are laws that govern your heath, your finances, your families, your businesses and your spiritual life.  These are not laws of bondage but laws of liberty for you to stand on.  You need to know these laws in order to utilize the authority given you.  Authority means nothing if it is misappropriated.  To try and usurp your authority in an unlawful manner is a misuse or abuse of the power given you.

Go forth in His authority and take dominion of everything He places before you.  Not in your own might, but in the power and might of Christ Jesus’ Name.

Be Blessed Family!

Minister Coylette James

©Coylette James 2008