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Earned Authority
March 27, 2013

Several years ago when I was preaching in a certain church in Kitchener, Ontario, I made the comment that “the anointing is earned, not learned.” In other words, you can read and study and even gain an intellectual understanding of the dynamics of the anointing, but it is only acquired and multiplied through godly living and earnest desire for a greater empowerment of God’s Spirit flowing from you. When the service concluded, a member of the church approached me and disagreed with that particular statement that the anointing is earned. It was his position that it is a gift. That may very well be initially, yet we are responsible to God to grow and nurture and protect that anointing of the Holy Spirit in order for Him to have a greater effect in our ministry and influence with people.

We recently had Dr. Alistair Petrie of Partnership Ministries speaking at our church and in his message, he used a phrase that immediately caught my attention because of the impact of the truth that it has had upon me over the years as a minister of God. The phrase was, “earned authority”. There is a vast difference between a gift and a reward. A gift is freely given with absolutely no merit on the part of the recipient and no expectation on the part of the giver—it is simply a free gift. However, a reward is different—a reward is earned through hard work, dedication, loyalty and faithfulness. As Christians, we have all been given a measure of authority in the Kingdom of God, specifically over the gates of hell and the expanding of our territory. But earned authority, which is an exponentially greater degree, is gained through unwavering obedience to accomplish what Christ has called you to do. Just as there will be various levels of position and authoritative rank in the coming Kingdom of God for His servants when Jesus establishes His 1000 years of rule on earth, so there are positions even now in the present Kingdom of which we are an active part. We do not work for our salvation, for it is entirely a free gift of grace, but we do earn our higher position in the Kingdom. Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. Companies and organizations and even churches practice the same principle of promotion to the employees or the leaders that have proven themselves faithful. God operates His business in the same way. Our place of prominence in this present age is determined, not only by God’s sovereign choosing, but also by our committed stewardship of what has been entrusted to us. Jesus clearly stated in Luke 16:10, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” This is so clear in the parable of the three servants in Luke 19 who had each been entrusted with their master’s money.  Two of the servants gained a financial increase but the other was irresponsible and gained nothing. “Then came the first, saying, Master, your pound has earned ten pounds.And he said to him, Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.And the second came, saying, Master, your pound has earned five pounds. Likewise he said to him, you also be over five cities.” (Luke 19:16-19) These two faithful servants earned their new positions of authority in their master’s kingdom. But the last servant who opted to just sit on his pound with such disdain and contempt for his master heard the words, “You wicked servant!”

 Have you been faithful with the least that is under your jurisdiction? Then you will be given even more authority and privilege and influence and honour in this Kingdom as well as the one to come because God knows He can trust you with even more. There are certain “keys of the Kingdom” that are assigned to only those who have earned them. With these delegated keys, they are able to open and close great doors through faith and authority. Doors of blessing, doors of favour, doors of deliverance, doors of power, doors of honour, doors of anointing. God would not place such dangerous power into undeserving hands to handle with disregard or ignorance, even as Esau despised his birthright, thereby forfeiting his rightful inheritance. That degree of authority can only be earned through recognition of faithful, past performance. They are the true servants who God depends on today to distribute His keys of the Kingdom to which will bind and loose things on earth as they are in Heaven. What authority! What power! What privilege! But it is an honoured prestige bestowed by God that is earned as a reward and not as a gift. It is the Father’s reward to His sons and daughters who have proven their ability and their faithfulness to use the keys to advance the Church and not their own earthly pleasures, titles or positions.

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