The Church Under Orders
Daily we are asked by a watching world "by whose authority are you here?" The truth is we the Church of God are under orders.
The Japanese invaded China during the last years of the Second World War. Expatriates were summarily rounded up and held for questioning. Among those taken were several China Inland Missionaries.
Daily, these men were forced to face a military tribunal. The questions were always the same. "Who are you" and “by whose authority are you in China?” The Japanese High Command was asking in terms of authority to which King or Country or more importantly, which Agency the missionaries worked for. They were suspected as being spies for America.
John Lockhart, a Canadian CIM Missionary was one of these men. He told me of the great frustration in not being understood by the tribunal and how they had feared for their very lives. One day, God gave John great wisdom. In answer to the daily question of "whose authority are you under", John simply opened his New Testament to Matthew 28: 18-20. The Japanese Commanders passed John’s Bible around, each one reading silently. Finally, they conferred together and released the missionaries. The enemy now understood that these missionaries were under the authority of God and that the orders were quite clear. John's story is inspiring, but it is also a great lesson for the church in Canada.
Daily we are asked by a watching world "by whose authority are you here?" The truth is we the Church of God are under orders. We have no authority in ourselves, but only in Christ.
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me" Jesus declares. "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations (people groups), baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matt 28:18-20 NIV)
What is our mandate as a Church?
... To live under the authority of Jesus Christ in all we do.
... To go and make disciples.
... To baptize new believers, identifying them as disciples of Jesus.
... To teach believers to obey the clear teaching of Jesus from Scripture.
Where does the power to live and obey come from? It comes from Jesus Christ, through the power of His Spirit. The Church lives and operates under the authority of Jesus; He gives the marching orders ... no questions asked.
Let us march in His Spirit,