mandag 11. juli 2016

Spiritual authority

Authority is a word that gives me both positive and negative vibrations. Authority is often a pure necessity, and then it is a very valuable asset, but there is always a danger that authority can be misused. When the Holy Spirit gives authority in a given situation, it is important to use it.

That happened on Cyprus. There Paul and Barnabas met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus (Elymas) who tried to disturb their testimony for the proconsul Sergius Paulus so that he should not come to faith.

Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit looked straight at Elymas…
Acts 13:9
Paul uses the authority given by the Holy Spirit to put sorcerer in his right place. He declares that Elymas will be blind for a while. It is interesting that a period of physical blindness was part of Paul’s personal experience. His time in darkness made it possible to repent and turn his heart to the light.

The authority Paul had was not from himself, it came because he was filled with the Holy Spirit. To be filled suggests liquid substance, from which derives the expression: “Drink deep of the Spirit” (1).

From this event, I take three important lessons:
  1. To be filled with the Spirit is necessary and needs to happen over and over again.
  2. To be filled with the Spirit is necessary to confront opposition.
  3. To be filled with the Spirit is a prerequisite for spiritual authority.
‘Manna’ for today:
I need to drink of the Spirit every day
(1) Drink deep of the Spirit – is the title of a book written by the Swedish author, Peter Halldorf (picture). It is an excellent book. Unfortunately, I do not think that it has been translated into English. For five years I "was writing a book in my mind", but I never found time to put it on paper. Then I bought Halldorf's book, and he had already written it. Just as well, because I could not have written as well as he has done.

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