Delegated authority is the subject today, and it seems a lot of Christians have a problem with that concept.  We read in Luke chapter 7 of about a Roman Centurion who can teach us a great deal about delegated authority.  His grasp of authority even made the Lord Jesus marvel.

Luk 7:1  Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.
Luk 7:2  And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die.
Luk 7:3  And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.
Luk 7:4  And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this:
Luk 7:5  For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.
Luk 7:6  Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof:
Luk 7:7  Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.
Luk 7:8  For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
Luk 7:9  When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
Luk 7:10  And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.

Here we see delegation taking place from the very start of this event, how the Centurion sent the elders of the Jews to ask Jesus to heal his servant.  He knew the Jews would have more sway with Jesus than he himself would, being a Roman soldier.  They pleaded the Centurion’s case, saying he loves Israel and had built them a synagogue, and that he was worthy of His favor.  So Jesus went with them.  But the Centurion didn’t want Jesus to trouble himself with the journey, seeing he fully understood the authority Jesus operated with and under.

Here’s where we can learn from this Centurion: he recognized the Lord Jesus as the very Son of God, and KNEW beyond any doubt that He could but speak the Word and any command He made would be instantly obeyed.  Why was that? Because he himself being a Roman soldier operated under that same kind of authority, and he explained to Jesus that if He but spoke the Word, his servant would be healed.  You see, that man understood authority as few do today.  Any soldier who disobeyed an order would be executed, so they were quick to obey, even to the point of death.  We need to realize that when we come under the authority of God, that we are not only UNDER authority, but we also have authority over that which us under OUR dominion.

Many years ago I was in the Army, and they taught me all about delegated authority.  I think it would be good if every Christian would serve in the military, as it would do them much good later on in their Christian life.  When I entered the service, my rank was Private E1, and everyone who had time and rank on me had authority to order me about as they saw fit, and they did.  The only ones I had authority over at that point were the ones who came into the service after I did, and only if they were a Private E1 as I was.  And after I was promoted to Private First Class, I had authority over any other Private E1.  Basically, when one of higher rank said “JUMP”, you didn’t ask “when”, but rather “how high”, because every order was expected to be obeyed INSTANTLY!

I remember one time riding to the firing range in the back of a truck with a bunch of other soldiers, when the Sergeant yelled “DUCK!”  One guy said, “I don’t see a duck”, just about the time a tree limb hit him hard upside the head and laid him out.  Had he instantly obeyed the order to DUCK, his head would have felt a whole bunch better that day.  But he didn’t, and it cost him.  And as Christians, when we don’t operate under our delegated authority, it can and often does hurt us.

Now, here’s how authority works.  If you have a job, you also have a boss.  When your boss gives you an assignment, does he or she stay by your side all day to see if you are doing that job as ordered?  No, because if they did, they wouldn’t need you, they might as well just do the job themselves and save what your salary costs.  But rather, they tell you what to do, and if you’re trustworthy, they leave you alone to do your job, knowing it will be done properly.  I used to work on the Missouri State Highway Patrol on the night shift. Each day I would come in and would be given instructions if anything special needed to be done, and I worked alone for the last eleven years on my shift, so I was responsible to get it done on time and correctly. I didn’t have anyone breathing down my neck to make sure it was done, because they knew I was a responsible employee.  God needs to know when He gives you an assignment that you can be counted on to obey Him.

Years ago I was teaching a group about authority, and likened it to a jet fighter pilot who locks a missile on a target and fires it.  The missile knows what to do, and that is to go to the target and destroy it.  The pilot does not need to follow the missile to the target to make sure it found its way, because the missile is locked on the target.  So the pilot is free to go on and engage the next target, because the missile he sent was under his authority to do its job. And guess what?  The missile found its target and destroyed it without any further help from the pilot.  It turned out there was a fighter pilot in the group, and he stood up and told me that really spoke to him.

Now take a look at this:
Mat 10:1  And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Later in verse 10, the Lord Jesus commanded His disciples (and that’s YOU if you are His follower) in Matthew 10:8, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Jesus explained the structure of authority to His followers like this:
Mar 13:34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. You see, the owner of the house TRUSTED his servants to run his house in his absence, fully expecting to come back home and things would still be running smoothly as if he had never left, each person fulfilling their role for the good of the household. And as a follower of Christ Jesus, YOU have been delegated this same authority, and the LORD trusts you to perform according to the needs of the Kingdom, day in and day out, until He returns.

Now, get this; when you pray for someone, you don’t have to hang around day and night to make sure what you prayed about gets done. You need to understand the chain of command:  YOU have been granted authority from the LORD to HEAL the sick, not to just beg God for their healing as many do, to cleanse the lepers, cast out devils, and yes, even raise the dead.  What are you doing with that authority?  Are you doing the work that Christ Jesus assigned His disciples to do, or are you operating outside of your authority?  I look around and I don’t see many people healed by Christians, and I wonder why they even consider themselves Christians if they’re not winning souls to the Kingdom or doing the Kingdom’s work.

Could it be they don’t trust God enough to put their neck on the chopping block for Him?  Could it be they don’t believe God has the power to back up His Word?  Could it be they simply don’t understand the vast authority they have been given?  Or could it be they just don’t believe it?  When I was in the Army, I quickly learned there is NO EXCUSE for not carrying out an order.  And it’s the same in the LORD’S Army.   I just spoke about the “chain of command”, GOD the Father Himself being the Highest Authority, whose authority is shared by Christ Jesus as One with the Father.  The Lord Jesus gave authority to the Believers (that’s YOU), empowering them over every sickness, every disease, every demonic power to cast them OUT, to raise the dead, and the devils WILL obey you, because they have no choice, you outrank them, not because of who YOU are, but because of Christ Jesus being IN you.

You DON’T have authority to tell devils WHERE to go, but just to cast them OUT.  When you speak in the name of Christ Jesus of Nazareth, Yeshua Messiah, you have the very power of God the Father backing you, IF, you are truly His follower.  I stress that “IF” most highly, because if you are not truly submitted to Him and operating under His authority, you have no right to use the name of  Christ Jesus.  It would be like you going to a gas station and finding someone’s credit card on the ground.  It has the power to buy you a tank of gas, but it doesn’t belong to you, so therefore, you don’t have the authority to use it.  And if you do, there  are consequences, just like this:

Act 19:13  Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
Act 19:14  And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
Act 19:15  And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
Act 19:16  And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
Act 19:17  And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

Here was a clear case of ones using the name of Christ Jesus to cast out devils, without having the proper authority to do so.  You don’t want a devil to say to you, Paul I know, Jesus I know, but WHO ARE YOU??  But if you’re operating under your delegated authority, you have no worries, the devils will flee at your presence.  Sickness will flee at your command. Lives will be changed and people will believe on Christ Jesus, and He will be glorified.  And that’s why you have been given delegated authority!