Authority is a big deal. There is no way to realize your destiny without the ability to operate in your purpose within the context of community. There is no way to operate in the context of community without an understanding of authority. Authority is the foundation of order and order facilitates anointing.
Authority for the benefit of the one that is operating in it perpetuates abuse. Authority is extended for the benefit of others. An accurate picture of the attributes of healthy authority is necessary to prevent dysfunction and/or abuse within an organization.
Matthew 17: 5-7: “He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.”
We can observe and learn from this display as we consider our own circumstances wherein we are submitted to and/or granted authority:
- This is my beloved Son – Authority is healthy and legitimate when it makes a way for others. Making a way for others is dependent on a love for others.
- I am well pleased – Those that are given authority need to know that they are affirmed in who they are. Spoken affirmation secures leaders in their identity so they can lead from confidence without fear.
- Listen to him – There needs to be a public granting of authority to tell those that are being led; “I trust this one.” The organization needs to be able to remember a specific time when a person was set in place with granted authority.
- Jesus came and touched them – The leader needs to be in relative proximity to the ones they are directing. The secure and selfless leader is not afraid of personal connection with those that they lead.
- Rise, and have no fear – The legitimate leader calls others to greater places (“Rise”). They call others out and up; away from the fears that might otherwise hold them down.
We are created for authority. That design, however, is dependent on our realization of purposes beyond our own gain in the places of authority we find ourselves. Authority is a mechanism to reflect and perpetuate the glory of God, not the glory of the one that has the privilege of authority.