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5 Ways We Can Misuse Our Spiritual Authority


Have you ever wondered why God entrusted us with the potential for so much power?

I mean, really, think about that. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit (“you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you”—Acts 1:8) to those who follow Him as a disciple!

The Holy Spirit is given to all believers, but why might that be different for leaders?

It’s because we’ve also been entrusted with organizational authority.

Human authority is typically granted by a church board or some formal structure that recognizes calling and gifts. This is in the natural realm.

God gives power through His Spirit. This is in the supernatural realm.

The combination of human authority and spiritual power is the foundation of spiritual leadership.

Those of us who lead have been trusted with two important elements; the responsibility to lead and the power of heaven to actually see life-changing, eternal results.

When we lead according to the will and purposes of God, it creates an extraordinary divine partnership.

So back to the opening question, why did God give us this power?

For the purpose of salvation for others and their maturing faith and our boldness, wisdom, challenge, and encouragement. Essentially, the ability to live a life that would not be possible without Him.

The power of God is for our benefit but not based on our agenda; it is for His will and His purpose.

That’s where this can become complicated. We are human. Therefore, we are not perfect. We have fears and insecurities that can lead to less-than-ideal leadership.

On occasion, when we are not at our best, we can misuse this incredible gift of supernatural power and therefore misuse the authority that has been entrusted to us.

Let’s take a look at some common ways this can happen with insights toward prevention.

5 Ways That Misuse Your Spiritual Authority:

1. Believing You Are the Source of Your Authority

It never goes well when a kid on the playground announces (by their behavior) that he’s pretty much king of the hill. Today we call that a bully.

The same is true in leadership; it always works better when you are chosen, affirmed, and invited into leadership. In this case, a person or a group entrusts you with authority.

The authority we possess as leaders was never ours, it’s always transferred to us. It’s a matter of stewardship, not ownership or rights.

When we understand the source of our authority, gratitude comes more naturally, and it’s easier to surrender it when it’s time.

If we ever begin to think thoughts like, It’s “my church” or “my campus.” Or this is “my department, I started it and built it,” we have forgotten the source of our authority.