I will never forget the illustration one of my pastors gave regarding authority. He stated that if he told you that you could visit his house, it would have limitations. He would have to be thereto let you in, and of course that would probably limit what you were able to do in his house. However, if he gave you the keys to his house and said you could go there, then you could go on your own terms and would have more freedom to roam once you were inside. A simple saying something isn’t as valuable as actually giving them a tangible transaction, giving them assurance of the gift.
This has to do with any number of things in our natural life, but it also lends itself to our spiritual life:
10 So now through the church the multifaceted wisdom of God [in all its countless aspects] might now be made known [revealing the mystery] to the [angelic] rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This is in accordance with [the terms of] the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him [that is, our faith gives us sufficient courage to freely and openly approach God through Christ. Ephesians 3:10-12 (AMP)
Let’s use for example a promotion on our job. We may have confidence that we are deserving of a promotion due to qualifications or experience. Hence we have a certain boldness to bringing up the question to a superior. However, the problem may not be a promotion you are looking for, but for the company to follow the job description of your job, not giving you things to do that are not part of your job description. Bringing this up before the boss might be a bit more difficult, because in doing so you might lose your job altogether.
In Ephesians 3 we see that the church has been assigned the role of revealing God’s mysterious ways and plans to the world in which we currently reside. While this kind of revelation is important for all mankind (for all men need to be saved), we might not feel as if we are able to convey this message to an unbelieving world. What gives us the boldness and confidence to be able to do this is the faith we receive in the finished work of Christ Jesus. That faith gives us courage as Christ’s ambassadors to spread the message of God’s plan to an unbelieving world! We have been given the keys to the kingdom, the authority to speak the Words of Life and believe that they will have God’s intended effect. We are no longer bound by the rules and regs of society, unspoken or not, for we know that our Redeemer has graced us with authority to unlock the hearts of men, women, boys, and girls.
When we pray we know that we have the things we ask for – so when we ask for souls – when we ask for the Word of God to be spread across our troubled nation – we know that we have the request we ask. Just remember, authority doesn’t shrink back when challenged, "ask, and keep on asking; seek and keep on seeking, knock and keep on knocking – you have the keys!