What’s wrong with this picture?
A shrill whistle pierces the bubbly mood of the Paris sidestreet. Pedestrians crane their neck to see, as a look of raw fear flashes across the face of the driver of a big truck.
He’s lost. He’s going the wrong way on a one-way street and he’s caught.
Down below his cab waits a 5 foot 2, 105 pound policewoman—a blonde her friends call Gigi. She’s mad. “Just what do you think you’re doing?” she asks shrilly. “Get down from there immediately.” Horns start to honk as the hairy-armed 6 foot four, 280-pound truck driver climbs sheepishly out of his realm.
D.D. (Denis DeGalle) is worried. Honestly he’s scared to death. He shakes as he stands before this pert officer of the law. She pushes her too-big policewoman’s cap back off her eyes, while reaching for her ticket pad. “Stupid uniform,” she thinks. “They never could find one small enough for me.”
Wait, wait, wait. What’s going on? This big ruffian could smash her into the sidewalk with a blow from his ham fist. A little sideswipe with the back of his hand and she would fly into the tables in front of the nearby sidewalk café. She doesn’t even have a gun. How does she intimidate him so?
The lady has authority and D.D. knows it.
All the power of the Paris police force backs her up. If needed, gendarmes from all over France could help her. Who knows? She might even call in the French Foreign Legion, if they are not too busy. She’s not too scary by herself (though her husband might argue that) but she has a delegated authority that is impressive.
God’s kingdom is similar to that.
Jesus told a story of a Roman soldier, captain over one hundred men (Luke 7). He desperately wanted Jesus to heal one of his servants but he didn’t feel worthy to have the Lord come to his house. No problem. He understood authority.
To him it was simple. When he gave an order it had better be obeyed. Or else. And when one of his superiors told him to do something he snapped to it. Or else. He knew that Jesus was at the head of the universe and whatever He commanded was done. All Jesus had to do was give the order to set in motion a chain of spiritual events. All the Father’s power backs Him up.
Hang on just a minute and I’m going to shake you up. When God gives us a job to do He delegates all the authority we need to accomplish it. I know some have been somewhat silly with this, trying to make everyone think they have authority. They make lots of noise but not much happens. Like Barney Fife trying to arrest the town drunk, they blow their “whistle” but the devil just laughs.
Either they don’t believe or they are not really doing what God has told them to do. But when we do the will of God we walk in His authority and those spiritual “D.D.s” shake. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples…” (Matthew 28:19, NIV). He speaks of the powerful signs which will follow those who believe (Mark 16:15-18) and the clothing of power from him that he puts upon us (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8).
Our little police lady knew what kind of power backed her up. Do we?