Sometimes in life we see and admire people who just seem to have a certain something extra, a kind of leadership that is humble but powerful and with a way of dealing with situations that is both wise and discerning. It can be hard to put your finger on what exactly makes that person so commanding and inspiring.
After much thought, I have come to the conclusion that what we see in a person that is full of confidence and strength and an ability to make wise decisions, is Authority.
It is that ability to powerfully see things change, that confidence that you are in the right place at the right time and making the right call. You have been given the right to do what is needed.
But where does this come from and how can we experience more of it in our lives?
Some people might want to have authority and all it brings, but without the hard work. It comes with power and a sense of influence over others which to many is a tempting thing, but this in itself is obviously wrong and perhaps comes from a need to be in control.
True authority is not handed to us without some form of commitment from ourselves. Authority that is given to us from God comes from a life being lived in obedience.
Psalm 119:32 I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding.
In other translations it can be read ‘for you enlarge my heart’. It is interesting that ‘understanding’ and ‘heart’ are both translated here, when the two things seem to carry such different concepts. Seeing both translations gives so much more meaning and depth to our understanding of it, and it helps us see it is more then just a knowing in our heads, it is felt in our hearts too. Largeness of heart can also be described as wisdom, which I think ties the two things (head and heart) beautifully.
I will run in the path of your commands, living a life of obedience, for you have given me the wisdom to do so.
There is such freedom in running, it is forward moving, energising, freeing but here we see the running is ‘in the path of your commands’, and so there are boundaries set out for us and a call on us to lead a life of obedience. There is a freedom in obedience to God, He doesn’t ask us to just do as we are told to squash us, or make our lives boring, he does it to liberate us and this gives our lives real purpose. God doesn’t want cold or heartless obedience from us, but for it to flow from a place of love and acceptance. He also doesn’t leave us on our own to strive for some sort of perfect obedient life. This would be impossible. He does invite us into a relationship though- where we get to walk with him hearing his voice and following his guidance.
God does not wish to shame us when we make wrong choices or if we disobey or wander off track, but he lovingly calls us back again and again, and meets us with grace and a fresh start. He completely loves and accepts us as we are, but he is also completely devoted to his plans being worked out, which means he cant leave us as we are. He desires for us to run this path in obedience, with full confidence in Him knowing we have the authority from Him to do his work.