As Christian believers we need to understand who should have final authority in our lives. King Solomon, though he wandered from the path during his reign of Israel, was convinced that no other authority compared to God’s. He had proven Himself to Israel over and over:
Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands to heaven. He said, “O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love for your servants who walk before you with all their heart. (1 Kings 8:22-23)
The prophet Elijah, we may remember, conducted a contest between God and the false god Baal. The results left no question about who had all authority
What is our conviction today? Are we convinced that God’s word and Gospel is ultimate? The Church of Galatia had started out believing but had been lead astray by some false teaching. The Apostle Paul sent a very stern letter to the Galatians concerning this matter:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed! (Galatians 1:6-9)
There is no question that the earth our faith is tested. However, we have the opportunity to observe the circumstances in our lives and in the lives of those around us. What do we see? What do we concluded? The centurion knew about Jesus. He knew the works that Jesus was performing. Based on what he had observed he put his confidence in the authority Christ Jesus when faced with a life threatening illness of his valued servant:
After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy of having you do this for him, for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, `Go,’ and he goes, and to another, `Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, `Do this,’ and the slave does it.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health. (Luke 7:1-10)
The centurion was single-minded. He had already determined that Jesus could heal his servant. He was prepared by settling the matter and, thus, did not waste any time getting to the point of his request. He did so, however, by according Jesus the proper respect, something that many Jewish authorities would not do. Moreover, the centurion was not going to allow his faith to waiver on account of any distracting voices from those around him. His conficence was in Jesus alone.
Today, who is our authority? In whom do we place our confidence when difficult circumstances arise?By Distrusting God we can be lead astray to devastating consequences. The Church in Galatia had lost the treasure of the Gospel of Jesus Christ even though they had received God’s message in the beginning.
Are we prepared to exercise our faith when required? We will be if we settle in our hearts and minds who Christ is and what He will do on our behalf when we ask Him. The Psalmist wrote:
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)