Power and Authority

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By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

My husband and I watch a lot of football and I enjoy it. I think it’s because I am goal-oriented (no pun intended). I like to see an objective and make plans to reach it, giving attention to process and detail along the way.

I also have found football games to be a type of narrative with a beginning, middle, and end, a protagonist, antagonist, and a plot line.

Sounds a lot like a novel, doesn’t it? Absolutely. Another reason I was never into television’s unending soap operas, whether daytime dramas or episodic evening series.

A fun sideline in football (again, no pun) is its perfect portrayal of a spiritual observation: the difference between power and authority. Both are elements of good football. Both are elements in life.

For example, it is the rare game during which obstacles, interceptions, or fumbles occur without a player or coach ranting in the face of the referee who—in the player or coach’s opinion—did not properly flag some sort of infraction.

I have watched giant men bounce up and down and back and forth, dwarfing the calm, stripe-shirted official who merely holds to his ruling and walks away.

The big guys have all the power in the world to flatten the much smaller one. But the official has all the authority.

I love that.

It reminds me of what Jesus told His disciples when he sent them out on a faith test-drive: “I give you the authority … over all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19).

Those disciples came back stoked.

In another reference, Jesus says, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).

But there’s more.

“The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command…” (Hebrew 1:3).

Many places in Scripture speak of God’s power. Here are a few references:

Revelation 4:11
Jude 1:25
2 Peter 1:3
Colossians 1:11
Phil 3:10
Ephesians 6:10 (10-18)
Hebrews 2:14-15
Romans 1:16, 20

The next time the enemy gets in your face, flexes his muscles, and rants and raves at you—

Tell Jesus. He also wore a striped shirt. (See Isaiah 53:5 NKJV.)


He also wore a striped shirt. Click To Tweet

ALT=book cover for Hope Is BuiltMary fought to hold in the sobs.

Helen stood over her and smoothed her hair. “Sleep, child. Give yourself a chance to rest. Everything will be all right. It always is.”

The bedroom door clicked shut, and Mary let the tears have their way. How could anything be all right ever again? Her barn was gone—the barn her aunt and uncle had given her. She’d endangered Sassy by not opening her stall door, and now she was in the Hutton home once again, unable to even stand. How much more could she take? How many more obstacles would she meet?

She had barely enough money to pay the taxes on the farm and must also pay the mortgage. But if she couldn’t prove who she was and the farm went to auction, that could drive the price even higher.

And her breeding stock. Now she had no place for them even if she got the farm.

Do not despair. The words rose from a deep place in her soul, but the image of the burning barn flared against them. Hope for a fresh start, for her own home and farm, was fading, overpowered by glaring destruction. ~ Hope Is Built.


*Image by Torsten Bolten, AFpix.de – Self-photographed, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3158515

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