The Testing of Your Authority

​Matthew, in his Gospel, alerts us to the reality that regardless of how much authority one might have, it will be tested. It does not matter what position you hold or what position you lack, your authority will still be tested. You may not think that you have any authority at all – and yet the authority you don’t think you have will also be tested. This may be confusing to some, but the truth is that everyone has authority.  Put another way, everybody is attacked in relationship to their authority. This is a fact regardless of whether you know you have authority or whether you deny the authority you have. The greatest tragedy is that authority that is never used properly is a greater deception than authority that is used improperly.
Matthew found it necessary to include in his Gospel the account of Jesus being tempted in the desert (Matt. 4:1-11). Most people treat this as almost unimportant because they see Jesus as the Son of God and have already concluded that He must be tempted. In other words, the only reason He was tempted was because He is the Son of God! However, this mentality is a misrepresentation of reality. If Jesus was only tempted because He was the Son of God then what is the rationale for every man or woman being tempted? What must be understood here is that there is always a motive behind temptation. Be reminded that the “enemy comes but for to steal, to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10). The point being made is simply that temptation is a means by which the enemy can access a man’s or woman’s authority with the motive of stealing it, killing it, or ultimately destroying it. Notice that if this is accomplished the common denominator is the one whose authority has been diminished or lost all together.
Be reminded that Jesus was both God and man.  When He was tempted, He was tempted as both. When men are tempted they are tempted as both a human being and as a believer or nonbeliever – the point being that those who believe have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to live according to the truth of the Father. The sole purpose for the enemy showing up at this time was to test whether or not Jesus knew if He really had authority. The devil wanted to see if Jesus was really connected to the source of all power. If he could get Jesus to act independently of His Father he would be able to usurp His authority just like he had done in the beginning. The difference being that Adam and Eve did not realize the authority they had. As a result, they ultimately lost their authority and their ability to stand firm in authority was greatly diminished.
God gave mankind dominion. Dominion represents authority and put man in a position to not only represent God’s plan in the earth, but also to share in the realization of that plan. This would require that all men and women need to understand that they had authority before they were ever tempted. In similar fashion, men and women must internalize this revelation – that the very reason for their being tempted is because the enemy is still committed to their loss of any and all authority given to them by the Creator. Like Jesus, the question is not whether He knew He was the Son of God or not, but rather whether He knew the value of His authority and how necessary it was to His fulfilling the will of His Father.
No one can live victoriously without authority! No one can fulfill their purpose without authority. Every husband must be a husband with authority. Every wife must be a wife with authority. Authority comes with every role that men or women operate in because authority is innate in all mankind. In other words, whatever role one finds him or herself in comes with authority. This is why the enemy not only attacks the person; he also attacks the position or the role established by God. When Jesus was tempted by the devil to “to tell the stones to become bread,” it was simply a test of whether He had authority over his fleshly appetites. This understanding is imperative and is the hidden reason why so many people fail the test of authority when tempted and suffer the consequences of their decisions. May all realize that behind every temptation is a test and that test always involves authority.

​In His Service,

Dr. Clarence V. Boyd, Jr.
Senior Pastor, RRTEC

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