A solid understanding of spiritual authority is vital to build your faith when casting out demons, healing the sick, and exercising your authority over the powers of darkness.
When we have been given authority to cast out demons, but instead we pray that God brings the demon out instead, we are basically asking God to do something that He gave US the tools to do ourselves! Jesus told US to cast out demons! Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us to ask God to cast out demons!
Mark 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.”
How authority works
Authority doesn’t beg; authority doesn’t ask; authority commands!
We are not told to ask God to cast out demons, we are told to do it ourselves! We are not told to beg demons to come out, we are told to CAST them out!
Matthew 8:8-9, 13, “The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it… And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.”
Authority is exercised through our spoken word
The power of life and death are in the spoken word: Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
Jesus’ own authority
One thing that made it clear that Jesus was the son of God, is because He exercised authority that nobody else had access to in history!
He cast out demons using His authority: Mark 1:27, “And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.”
He cast out demons with His spoken word: Matthew 8:16, “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word…”
He healed the sick with His spoken word: Luke 7:7, “Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.” Also John 5:8, “Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.”
Jesus has been given authority over everything:
Matthew 28:18, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”
Authority to heal
Jesus said to, “Heal the sick”! Matthew 10:8, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” I think it’s interesting how Jesus didn’t tell us to pray and ask God to heal the sick, He told US to heal the sick!
I have never seen where Jesus prayed, “Father, please heal this person!” Instead, we see that Jesus healed people with His spoken Word! In John 5:8, Jesus told the man to, “…Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.“
The early church healed people in this same manner.
In Acts 3:6, “…Peter said, Silver or gold I do not have, but I give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
Notice in Luke 9:1 that He not only gave His disciples authority over all devils, but also to cure diseases: “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.”
Authority is exercised when there is a RIGHT to exercise it.
They weren’t praying and asking God to heal people, they had the authority to heal, and they were exercising it with a spoken word, just as Jesus did!
I want to clarify that I’m not saying that prayer can’t heal people… because it can (James 5:14-15)… I’m just saying that we are taught to heal the sick using the authority that Jesus gave us! I have seen and heard of many healings that took place through prayer, so I’m not saying not to pray, or that prayer doesn’t work. I’m simply saying that we have authority over sickness, and therefore we can exercise our authority to bring about healing in another person’s life!
I also think it’s interesting how Mark 16:17-18 tells us that healing can come through the laying on of hands: “And these signs shall follow them that believe… they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” The laying on of hands can encourage the transferring of power from us into the person and heal them, just like the woman who felt power flow from Jesus when she touched the hem of His garment (Mark 5:30)! Jesus said that those who believe will have the Holy Ghost flowing out of their innermost being (John 7:38-39), and even Peter’s shadow healed people (Acts 5:15)!