A few years ago as I was reading through my Bible, a passage of scripture leapt off the page at me. It was John 5:26-27:
26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.
Verse 27 says Jesus’s authority to came because He was the Son of Man, not because He was the Son of God. Was Jesus the Son of God? Absolutely He was. There are countless scriptures that verify that, but being the Son of God didn’t give Him authority in the earth. It was His humanity that gave Him authority in the earth. This is why He was incarnated as a baby 2,000 years ago.
At this point you are probably asking why I’m parsing words and being all technical. You are probably also wanting to know how any of this is relevant to every day life. I’m glad you asked because I’m going to explain it and I assure you the answer has profound practical applications to every day life. When you see who you are and the authority God gave you, you will walk in greater victory in every aspect of your life.
Let’s start by looking at two apparently contradictory verses on this subject and I’ll explain how they fit together. They are Psalm 24:1 and Psalm 115:16.
Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.
Psalm 115:16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; but the earth He has given to the children of men.
Psalm 24:1 says the earth and everything in it belong to God. Psalm 115:16, however, says He has given the earth to mankind.
So who does the earth belong to. God or mankind? The answer is yes. Let me explain.
God owns the earth and all that is in it, but He made humans the stewards over the earth. As stewards it is our responsibility to take care of the earth and everything in it. God has given us His word and Holy Spirit to tell us how to do this.
It’s very similar to the way I can own a house and choose to lease it to someone else. Once my renter moves in, the house is subject to their authority. I can state in the lease that I want them to take care of it, not use it as a place of illegal activity, and contact me if there are any major issues with the home, but I can’t make them follow the lease. I cannot control what they do.
Think about it. I own the house, but my renter has a free will and they can ultimately do anything they want in the house . If they start using the home as a place to sell drugs and let prostitutes conduct their business, did I allow it?
Tricky question isn’t it? I expressed my will in the lease agreement I made with them, but they had the right to do what they wanted in the house. They had the power to make good choices or evil and they chose the latter because they had authority over what went on in the house.
In a sense, God leased the earth to mankind when He put Adam and Eve in the garden. He expressed His will for the earth to them through His word. He told them to fill the earth with sons and daughters made in His image, subdue the earth, and take dominion over the animals (Genesis 1:28). He also told them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Adam and Eve knew God’s will, yet they chose to disobey God in the garden. They didn’t take authority over the serpent who was filled with Satan. Instead they listened to him and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good in evil. Did God allow that? Yep.
Why? He had given mankind authority in the earth and He would have had to violate His word to take it back. In a sense He would have had to illegally break the lease on the earth He made with man when He gave them dominion in the earth. For more on this concept, check out this audio message and this video teaching.
The good news is one day, the lease God made with humanity will come to an end and He will return and make everything right. That time just hasn’t come yet, but praise Jesus He’s coming back one day!
Until Jesus comes, however, we must use authority in the earth He has given us. Every time the New Testament gives us an instruction, God is giving us authority to walk in His plan. He won’t do it for us. For example, look at Matthew 28:18-20:
19 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,
Jesus told His 11 disciples to disciple nations. He wasn’t going to do it for them because this was their responsibility and not His. When He uttered this command, He gave them authority to act on His behalf. They had this authority because of the command and because they were alive on planet earth. By the same token, they no longer have this authority on the earth because they are all in heaven today.
The application to this for you is when you read one of God’s instructions in the Bible, He is giving you authority to carry it out. You are the one that is supposed to grow in wisdom, walk in integrity, and pray for the sick. God won’t do it for you. Unfortunately, many people don’t take this authority and do their part and then blame God when nothing gets done or bad things happen. This shouldn’t be because we are more powerful than we think. We just need to discover who we are and walk in our God given authority in the earth.