And when He had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, entreating Him, and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying paralysed at home, suffering great pain." And He said to him, "I will come and heal him." But the centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I, too, am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, 'Go!' and he goes, and to another 'Come!' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this!' and he does it" Now when Jesus heard this, He marvelled, and said, to those who were following, "Truly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel."
"Who do you think is the most powerful man in the world?" i asked. His eyes widen, looking a little shock at such a question, at such a time. He looked like a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar. It was a Sunday morning, and i had been holding on to this revelation for a whole week now. So, i hounded him that Sunday, and pounced without any Hi, how'ya doing? pleasantry first. i totally scared him. i promise i have learned a softer way to approach people. i hope.
i could see him thinking, his brow knitted, but still holding his cool. i could see him wondering if this was a trick question, unsure what to answer. Impatient, i answered my own question, "Would you say it is Barak Obama?" Still, uncertain, and a little fearful of a crazed, over zealous prophetic person, he kinda agreed, unconvincingly.
"So," i said gleefully now that i had his attention, "if President Obama were to visit us here in Australia, and he comes into our town, being the most powerful man on earth, do you think he is able to say, 'Hmm... I want a school here, and I want a library there. And I want to build buildings for low income people there. And maybe widen a few roads here and there'?" All these words tumbled out of my mouth because they have been canned within for days now. i saw his face lit up, his mind ticking. Brusquely, i added "No, he has no authority to such things." i could not wait for that idea to sink in. And i jumped in, "No, he had no authority to barge in here, and do as he like even though he has a lot of power. It would be our local government that makes those decisions. The Federal Government may not even have the authority to make such decisions." i was not sure who actually makes these kinds of decisions, and what are the procedures for such things to come about.
That was about three years ago when i cornered a young and humble Youth Pastor who had asked me to intercede for him and his team. i was trying to show him that though i pray for him and his team, my prayers were not super, or that God would hear my prayers over his. His Youth Group was his domain, and he had the authority to command what comes and what goes. As intercessor, i stand next to him, in the authority that i had been given when he asked me, to support him, to come alongside him, and pray agreement to what he has the authority to do, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. i encouraged him to take up praying for his team as much as possible, and i will cover him. i think he understood even though the way i had presented it may have freaked him out a bit.
At work, it is the same. Even though my bosses are the owners of the business, they know that the front desk - all that paper work, all the tasks i do to support what they do - is my domain. When i come in to work on days that i work, i am in charge of my area. As small and as insignificant my job is as compared to the responsibility they shoulder as big bosses of the business, the authority to command how things are done to make my area run smoothly and efficiently and as uniquely me, is mine. i get to set the rules; i am the flavour of my domain when i come in. i get to bring who i am to that front desk, and i bring excellence. i bring a high professionalism, with heart because it is my area of influence. i can infuse my heart and soul, to shape the way the company is by governing my area as one uniquely set into this place for the days i am there. When i am kind, and polite, the company is kind and polite. When i am forgiving, and hospitable, the company is forgiving and hospitable. When i am cheerful, and joyful, the company is cheerful and joyful. i set the atmosphere of that front desk when i am given the full authority to be fully who i am in my area of responsibility. They understand that, and respect that. Because of that respect, they make my submission to their authority in their domain, their area of responsibility, delightful. They are not dictators, they are leaders who recognise the authority, no matter how small, insignificant or different it is, that is on people. They allow for people to be who they are, and not curb or overstep their places, even though they have the absolute power to fire me with no reason at all.
When we come together to intercede on Wednesday mornings, i am highly aware of this principle.