God made us all in His image so that when He looked at us, it would be as if He were looking in the mirror, as His attributes would be reflected back to Him. Continuing our series on the aspects of God’s I.M.A.G.E., today Pastor Miles talked about our Authority to rule.
I ndividually unique
M oral mirror
A uthority to rule
G od’s friend
(1 John 3:2, 1 Corinthians 13:12 , 2 Corinthians 3:1)
In Genesis 1, God creates the earth and every living creature. After He creates His masterpiece, man, he gives us dominion over His creation:
Our responsibility is to ensure that the things under our authority can continue to thrive and to fulfill God’s purposes.
Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28
God gives us authority over all creatures that He has created. But notice that He does not give us authority over other humans. (That would be slavery.)
1. God gave us authority to develop environments that fulfill His purposes. Genesis 1:26-28
Because we are given authority over our environment, our responsibility is to ensure that the things under our authority can continue to thrive and to fulfill God’s purposes. A teacher has authority over a classroom to create a learning environment, a coach has authority over a sport/activities to help the athletes grow in their skills and develop good character, and a church pastor has authority over a church environment in order to create opportunities for people to understand and meet with God.
2. We must first take authority over our personal environment. 2 Corinthians 10:5
While our authority is given over environments, our natural inclination is often to take authority over other people and pull them down. Criticism, controlling personalities, and gossip can beat people down rather than encourage them. But God’s desire in our relationships with other people is to lift them up!
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4
In order to be ready to have authority over more things, we first need to make sure that we have authority over our own bodies. Are you falling prey to gossip or criticism of others? Are you putting your own opinions first rather than listening to and serving others? Ask God to teach you to tame your own tongue! (2 Corinthians 10:5, Proverbs 29:11, Proverbs 29:20)
3. Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Matthew 28:18-20
God gives us authority because we are created in His image. It’s no surprise to discover, then, that our authority is only a small reflection of His own. While we have limited authority over the earth, Jesus has all authority here and beyond. Ultimately, everything we do and say should submit to His will. Because of that, we always need to have Jesus’ goals in mind as we govern our own responsibilities:
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 lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18-20
Sharing God’s love is a top priority in every situation or environment where we find ourselves!