By Asher Intrater February 5, 2020
‘Dunamis’ is the Greek word for ‘power’ and is found 120 times in the New Covenant. From the same root, we have the words ‘dynamite’, or ‘dynamic’. I see four meanings to the word:
1. The strength or power of God – “Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory” (Matthew 6:13).
2. The strength of God within us from the Holy Spirit.
3. Miracles, healings, deliverances
4. All kinds of spiritual powers, good or bad, including weapons, politics, money, etc.
Let’s focus here on the second meaning, the power of God within us.
Luke 9:1-2 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Yeshua gives both power (dunamis) and authority (exousia) to his 12 disciples. This power and authority is over all demons and to heal the sick.
Authority is the legal right to use power. In the army, soldiers attend a course on the use of weapons, and at the end receive a license, or authority, to use those weapons. The power itself is in the weapon. Criminals use the power of weapons, but do not have the authority to do so. Soldiers and policemen on the other hand, have both the power and authority to use weapons. In general, the use of power without rightful authority is sinful.
Power and Authority
Yeshua gave his disciples both power and authority. The authority comes in Yeshua’s Name – not just the word itself, but the use of His Name when we ourselves are submitted to His authority (Luke 7:7-8). Dunamis power comes to us through the Holy Spirit. We have power and authority not only to drive out demons and heal the sick, but also to declare the Gospel. Deliverance and healing deals with the results of sin; the Gospel addresses the root cause of sin.
We cannot advance the Kingdom of God without power and authority; however, to seek power and authority for their own sake leads in the wrong direction – towards pride and lust. The use of power and authority in ministry out of human ego is sin (Matthew 7:21-22).
Sometimes God brings us through difficult times of testing, in order to purify our heart motives. Yeshua went through 40 days of testing, being tempted by Satan in the desert. Through this testing He was prepared to receive power. We also need to go through such testing. Sometimes the power that God wants us to receive is simply saying ‘no’ to sin. As we align ourselves with God’s will, His life flows through us.
What About Us?
Some people say that God’s power and authority was only for the 12 disciples, and who are we to receive it? However, in Luke 9 Yeshua started by discipling his 12 disciples, but by Luke 10, He expanded the group to 72. He gave them authority over every kind of evil power.
Behold I give you authority to trample snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will harm you.
By the time we reach the book of Acts, Yeshua makes it clear that receiving the Holy Spirit and power is for ALL believers.
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be witnesses of Me in all Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
So the right of using the power of the Holy Spirit passed on from the 12 to the 72 to all of us.
It is not enough for us to be sincere and humble. We need to use Yeshua’s power and authority against the forces of evil, which are constantly at war with us. God’s divine power protects us from sin and temptation in this world.
I Peter 1:5 You are kept by the power of God through faith unto the salvation that will be revealed at the end.
This is the same power that raised Yeshua from the dead (Romans 8:11)! When we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, we demonstrate the reality of the resurrection of Yeshua in our own lives. It is for all of us today.