have the kind of spiritual power that changes things around you, that
takes dominion over evil in the name of Jesus?
Usually when Christians talk about dominion and
authority, they are referring to the acts of “binding and loosing,”
“casting and dismissing,” “releasing and getting.” These are a real
part of our Christian lives, as the Bible says: “But you shall receive
power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8, NKJV).
But not all of us manifest that power. In fact, many of
us live in fear, discouragement and defeat. We want to live our lives
in the authority and power of the Holy Spirit, but we fail time and
Something is missing! Fortunately, the Bible introduces
us to one person who can teach us what that “something” is: the woman
who washed Jesus’ feet at the home of Simon the Pharisee.
“And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when
she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought
an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him
weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them
with the hair of her head” (Luke 7:37-38).
At first glance you might ask, “What does this woman know
about dominion and authority?” We don’t see her binding and loosing,
casting out devils or tearing down walls. Yet she caught the attention
of Jesus at the table that night—and if you can catch the attention of
the Master of the universe, you have power.
What this woman knew is how to worship Christ with
everything she had in her. She knew how to give her all in worship to
her Savior. And in that kind of abandoned worship, she found the power
to do something that no one else—not even Jesus’ closest disciples—had
the wisdom and foresight to do.
Courage Through Worship
Now Scripture says that a woman’s hair is her glory (see
1 Cor. 11:15). I suppose that’s why we women spend so much time on our
hair. We feel our best when we’re having a good hair day!
The woman in Luke 7, however, used her hair to wipe
Jesus’ feet after she had washed them with her own tears. She took her
hair—her glory, her most important cosmetic, the thing that made her
feel complete and feminine—and wiped His dirty, sweaty, calloused feet.
In that act, it was as if she was saying: “Nothing I
have, nothing I am, nothing I hope to be, is more important than loving
You. I’m going to use everything I am and everything I have—even the
precious things, the ‘glory’ things—to worship You.”
She washed His feet without hesitation or apology. All
around her sat sneering Pharisees and disapproving disciples, yet she
threw herself with total abandonment into worship of her Savior.
She didn’t care what the others thought of her. She
didn’t care whether they considered her worship appropriate. She simply
worshiped—and that gave her the courage to approach Jesus in the midst
of a hostile crowd. She wasn’t out to impress people; she wanted to
Like this woman, you and I can find courage through
worship. We must simply set aside our self-consciousness and give our
all to draw near to Jesus. As we abandon ourselves in the presence of
God—as we refuse to worry about who may be looking, what they may be
thinking—we are set free from the fears that hold us back from being
who we really are in Christ. We become confident; we gain spiritual
authority. We get the attention of Jesus!
That kind of abandoned worship requires emotion. The
woman in Luke 7 showed her emotions through her tears and kisses. It is
no coincidence that the Greek word for “worship” means “to bow and to
kiss.” Yes, it is right to be reverent; but it is also important to
worship with emotion.
Kissing is an intimate act. It stirs our feelings. It
requires a total release of ourselves. And in the case of this woman,
she didn’t kiss simply Jesus’ hands or His cheek. She kissed his rough,
dusty feet. And not just once or twice; the Greek word for “kiss” is in
the imperfect tense, meaning that she kissed them continuously.
It is almost as if she was out of control. In worship, that’s not such a bad thing.
Now, no one would approve of worship that is wild or
vulgar or promiscuous, but being in His control means being out of
ours. We must come to the point where we make no apologies for loving
and worshiping Him with every fiber of our being. When we do, we make a
connection with Jesus that all the theological learning in the world
can never accomplish.
Did you know you can be filled with Bible knowledge and
still be separated from the Lord? Consider the host of the dinner in
Luke 7, Simon. He was a learned man who knew the Pentateuch. He knew
the Law of Moses. He could no doubt have run rings around all of us in
terms of his knowledge of the Bible of his time.
But in spite of Simon’s intellectual knowledge, he was separated from God. He was not connected to Him in spirit.
The fact is, you may have gone to Bible college and
seminary. You may know Greek and Hebrew. But what’s the use if you
don’t know how to get in touch with Jesus?
We need to know how to reach Him—how to forget about
ourselves, concentrate on Him and worship Him. After all, He is all our
righteousness; we stand complete only in Him. That’s our power!
It doesn’t matter how much we preach and teach. Unless we
know how to enter into the presence of God and get His attention, our
efforts are fruitless.