The Lord will only grant authority to do His work once Trust has been established. Trust here, meaning that we will follow His will and obey His commands no matter what. He is not looking for a follower who will obey for a short time and then abscond, or a person who is looking for self interests. No, the Lord is looking for people, who will put Him first, foremost and all.
Trust is established in many ways. Let us look at one example from the Old Testament. Nehemiah heard of the state of Jerusalem following the captivity as was deeply hurt. For “they said to me, The remnant left of the captivity there in the province is in great affliction and shame. And the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are burned with fire. And it happened when I heard these words, I sat down and wept. And I mourned for days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of Heaven” (Nehemiah 1:3-4). Yes, Nehemiah prayed and fasted and prayed again for 4 months before he received “breakthrough,” before God confirmed trust in Nehemiah and granted him the authority to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. God also granted Nehemiah the favour of King Artaxerxes who in turn provide Nehemiah with all the provision necessary for the sucessful execution of the commission. Nehemiah recognised the trust, authority and material which God had provided, and was quick to tell others that is was the Lord’s hand which was upon the works. Once Nehemiah had received God’s heart, all the rest fell into place.
In the New Testament, Jesus is the perfect model to see where trust leads to authority. As the Apostle John says in his epistle, First John 5:13-15 “I have written these things to you who believe on the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have everlasting life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” We just need to build our trust quotient with God. How? Well, He gave us His word which is recorded for our guidance: In Matthew 25:21 Jesus said in his parable “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful over a few things; I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” Then in v23 “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” But in v25-26 where the servant had found to be untrustworthy “so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?”
Thus, to receive Authority from God we need to earn His Trust. This is done in small things, step by step till we received bigger things, bigger challenges. We are tested and tested again. But the Lord will not give us a commission which is beyond us, nor will He send us out without the tools to successfully complete His commission. Sometimes these tools need to be made within us; we may need to increase our Faith; we may need to develop a habit of more Prayer. But all is within our capability and capacity to change and / or learn.
Luke 16:12-12 confirms as Jesus tells us that “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?”
As we build Trust, we also build Authority and with that Authority we are given more to do for the Lord. But the Lord is open and clear to us. He hides nothing from us as he says in Luke 12:48b “For to whomever much is given, of him much shall be required. And to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”
Yes, the more Authority we receive, the more shall be expected of us. Indeed the Lord warns of this again in Luke 14:28 where He asks us “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”
The Christian life which Jesus expects from those who obey His is not free for us, in the sense that we do nothing and He does all. He gave all for us as was crucified to redeem us. In return we are expected to obey our Lord and God and follow in His will. When we do, we will be blessed.
The more Trust, the more Authority. The more Authority the more Given. The more Given, the more Expected of us.
We cannot enter Christian life expecting to be spoon fed all our lives. We are asked to participate and obey our Lord, for a Christian is a bond-servant of Lord Jesus Christ. We are legally beholden to Him in all things – which makes this legality a joy, as the Apostles knew full well.
Amen and Amen.