Embracing Life’s Stages: Serving with a Spirit of Authority

Words by Mike Adams | Image by Blakeney Clouse

When Christian comedian Dennis Swanberg spoke at Green Acres Baptist Church, he said, “I’m glad to be back here at your church. Last time I spoke here a 93-year-old woman surrendered her life for work on the mission field. However, her mother would not let her go!”

We all know age is a relative thing. One lady said her five-year-old granddaughter asked, “Grandma were you on the ark with Noah?” The grandmother replied, “Of course not!” Her granddaughter replied, “Well, why didn’t you drown?”

When you are five, eighteen sounds old. When you are forty, seventy sounds old. When you are seventy, ninety sounds old. When you are ninety, nothing sounds old.

We tend to divide life into different stages. In his play As You Like It, William Shakespeare claimed there are seven stages of life. He writes, “All the world is a stage. And all the men and women are merely players. They have their exits and entrants. And one man in his time plays many parts.”

Does that sound dull?

Let me give you a different and more meaningful formula for a man’s life. First, learn to pray with a sense of urgency. Second, love with a show of hospitality. Third, serve with a spirit of authority.

Serving with a spirit of authority can be modeled by the writings of the great Bible teacher, Donald Grey Barnhouse. He wrote about an American citizen who was once arrested amid a Latin-American revolution. He was sentenced to stand in front of a firing squad simply for being an American. The American ambassador was so outraged, he wrapped an American flag around his body and stood between the arrested citizen and the firing squad. He said, “If you shoot this man, you will have to shoot through this flag. If you shoot this flag, you will incur the wrath of the entire American nation.”

It worked and the citizen was released. In the same way, we are Ambassadors for Christ, and we are wrapped in his righteousness. So, wherever you serve the Lord, remember you have the authority of heaven itself! WL

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