When we have settled the issue in our hearts that Jesus is Lord in our lives, we can truly “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Eph 6:10). It is the belief in our heart, the submission in our spirit to His lordship, His righteousness that covers us, and our verbal confession of His name as Lord (Rom 10:9) from where our strength and authority comes. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13)
The Book of Acts tells us how early Christians used the name of Jesus to shatter Satan’s strongholds with the force that a white-hot cannonball would use to shatter a crate of eggs. A few examples of 32 references of victory in His name are:
- Salvation Is in His Name – Acts 2:21
- Healing Is in His Name – Acts 3:6
- Demons Flee at His Name – Acts 16:18
- Baptism Is in His Name – Acts 19:5
- Saints Will Die for His Name – Acts 12:1-13
How then do we exercise Kingdom Authority? In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The name stands for the person and His authority imputed to us. In banking terms, when a man puts his name on a check, it gives the bank the right to give the holder of that check some of that man’s money. When we use the name of Jesus properly, He gives us the right to some of His authority.
When we have His name legitimately behind our prayers, we’re praying with Kingdom Authority. “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:14) Keep in mind that we are to pray in the Spirit and in submission to the Lord’s will, not our own. A prayer in submission with Jesus’s name behind it is like a bonafide purchase order that will be honored in heaven.
The key to praying in the name of Jesus is to hear first from heaven. True prayer must be mandated by heaven, and we close the circuit when we pray in faith in the name of Jesus. Jesus Himself exercised authority by hearing from heaven, laying aside His divine prerogatives and acted as an obedient man. “Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.'” (John 5:19) He is our example: “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21b). Our need isn’t for more authority, but more intimacy with Jesus so that we can coordinate our will with His.
I agree with Adrian Rogers: “I am convinced that we would move into incredible realms of power and Kingdom Authority if we would do as Jesus did with the Father. We would spend time listening to Him, to get His instructions, and to line up our wills with His.”
I’ve seen this play out in my own life. I submitted my will to the Lord in where He wanted me to work; it didn’t matter where He led me, I was willing to go wherever He led. I asked for His peace as I followed the path He showed me, and I asked that I wouldn’t be able to question the path. I wasn’t in fear as I knew He would be with me wherever I go, but I wasn’t certain that I would necessarily like where He took me. I knew in submitting that it was possible that His will was for me to work in a lion’s den. I’m grateful that His will was for me to work in another small family company, where Christ is a focus for at least several people there. I already had His peace, and I am filled with joy and gratitude.
We are to live every day in the power and authority of the name of our Lord Jesus. “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Col 3:17) In the verses that follow this command exhibits some everyday examples of His expectations, to remind us “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31).
- Wives submit to husbands in the name of Jesus (v18)
- Husbands love your wives in the name of Jesus (v19)
- Children obey in the name of Jesus (v20)
- Parents raise children in the name of Jesus (v21)
- Workers serve in the name of Jesus (vv22-24)
When we humble ourselves to the earthly authority God places over us, and to Jesus who is over everything, then we have His “authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt” us (Luke 10:19). It is the name of Jesus that sends shudders through the murky realms of the underworld. We don’t have greater power than Satan, but we do have greater authority through the name of Jesus, our Lord.
Be warned that the use of His name is not enough alone. We must belong to Him, and He must be our Lord and Savior. There were seven sons of Sceva who “took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, ‘We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches'” (Acts 19:13-14). It was evident that they were imitating the apostle Paul. They didn’t know Jesus; but knew Paul did. It was secondhand religion, not a relationship with the Lord. Therefore, they didn’t have the authority of Christ; and the demon “overpowered them, and prevailed against them” (v 16). It is only when we are under His lordship that we have His authority.