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Are we God?
- Jacob Ninan
One day the king of Aram sent a letter to the king of Israel asking him to cure Naaman, the captain of his army, of his leprosy. The king of Israel felt very intimidated by this and exclaimed, "Am I God, to kill and make alive?" (2Ki.5:7). He had that much sense to know that there were limits to his power as king and as a human being. When Joseph's brothers feared that after their father was dead Joseph would turn against them, he said, "Do not be afraid, for am I in God's place?" (Ge.50:19). He knew that it was only the Lawgiver who could judge or take vengeance (Jas.4:12;Ro.12:19).
One temptation that Satan gave to Eve was to want to become like God (Ge.3:5). That was the desire that made Lucifer lose his place of eminence among the angels and become Satan (Is.14:14), and he is trying to infiltrate the minds of people, especially Christians, with that same spirit. Many people seem to be confused between the concept of becoming like Jesus in terms of character by bearing the fruit of the Spirit, and thinking in terms of having the power and authority of God.
Jesus has given us authority to heal the sick, cast out demons and do miracles in His name. This authority is different from having the power to do these same things by ourselves. Just as the traffic policeman can command the traffic using the authority of the government but who has no strength in himself to stop vehicles, it is for us only to exercise God's power as long as we are doing it under His authority and direction.
Using the 'name of Jesus' implies, of course, that we are under subjection to Him, and are doing things according to His will and direction. It is not a mantra or magic formula which we can use at will. If we 'speak to the mountain' to be cast into the sea, it will happen only if God tells us to do it, and we do it believing He can do it. If we don't understand this, we may begin to use "In Jesus' name" right and left, and nothing happens!
A more serious thing is to wrongly assume that God has given us a blanket permission to act on His behalf. Some people are going around 'declaring' things that they want to happen, 'pronouncing a blessing', 'commanding' things to happen, etc., as if they were God! Many of them don't even use the term "In the name of Jesus" because they assume that God has given them the power.
They think that just because God said, "Let there be light" and there was light, they too, as children of God, can command the same power. That's crazy! We are not God. Even as children of God born of the Holy Spirit or from God's seed, we are not God in our essential being. We are only created beings with all kinds of limitations who have been adopted as children of God (Ga.4:5).
Power belongs to God (Ps.62:11). He is the Creator who brought into existence everything from nothing. He created us out of dust and gave us breath. He has blessed us tremendously, but let's not forget that we are still subject to Him and not independent.