Saturday, October 24, 2015

Acts 19:15 -- On Authority

"And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?"
Acts 19:15

This is a good reminder of how important authority is.  What was happening here is that Paul and the other apostles were casting out evil spirits in Christ's name, and so some other people decided to try it.  And after this verse you find out that they failed, and the evil spirit beat them.  Why?  Because of what it says in this verse.  The evil spirit knew that they didn't have the power to cast him out.  They were calling on Christ's name, as preached by Paul, but that's all they had... a name.
Authority... sometimes that is a bad word for us, right?  We like to fight against authority, and often the people who have it abuse it, so we don't even usually respect it much.  In God's case though, his authority, otherwise known as priesthood... the power to act in the name of God... isn't like the authority that we usually want to rebel against.  We might think it is, but just like most of God's things, there is a huge difference between the way other people do things and the way that God does. For instance, God's love is completely different than the love that we learn about in the media.  And it is similar with his authority.  The priesthood doesn't work like "the force" from Star Wars.  There isn't a dark and a light side.  It is the power of God, and it only works when we are doing as God asks, *and* we have his permission.  That permission is given to man through prophets and apostles in the organization of his church, it needs to be accompanied by obedience and faith, and learned line upon line from God.  It doesn't work for anyone who just decides to say the same words... it's an actual connection with God's power, and one that we have to work for and cultivate in our lives.
Today, let's make sure that we aren't just saying the words when we call upon God.  Let's know what we're talking about... let's learn, and study, and do all that God asks.  As we do, he will teach us of his ways, and, as needed and within his guidelines, allow us to act on his authority.

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