Appointed Authority

by Morris Ruddick on December 31, 2016



Over the centuries, the distinction between the game-changers, from a faith perspective, and those who have fallen short in their spiritual callings, should be viewed through the prism of the
balanced application of anointed authority.

God grants authority to those who prevail in their mantle and role in serving Him. Jesus equipped His own with this truth: “I have given you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy.”

This granting of authority has a long track record with God’s chosen, in advancing the destiny of God’s people. Its application, together with the gifts, is an issue of stewardship. Exercising spiritual authority comes at a cost and should always be employed with a balance between humility and faith.

Some have become sidelined due to presumption in the use of their authority. Others, through ignorance or timidity, have been weak in its application. Authority, like one’s gifts, has to be applied to be developed. Believers tend toward one extreme or another: either approaching their authority with hesitation, underutilizing the power of God or in overstepping the bounds of their spiritual authority.

In overstepping the limits of one’s authority usually involves not understanding their boundaries tied to issues of prayer and action. It can be the result of becoming inebriated and seduced by the illusion of “success” and the employment of presumptive “more of the same harder.” In other words, the divergence from the narrow path begins incorporating prayers and actions outside the realm of the authority God has given.

Understanding the Boundaries
The Apostle Paul wrote: “We do not boast beyond our measure, but within the limits of the sphere that God has appointed us.”

There are boundaries God has given to our appointed authority. As we mature spiritually and assume the responsibility of our mantles at each level, that authority, along with our spiritual maturity will change. It will evolve. Within those boundaries, we have an incredible level of authority. Yet, outside those boundaries is the realm in which well-intentioned believers get unnecessarily spiritually nailed.

The patriarch Joseph exercised his spiritual authority while a slave in Potiphar’s house. Genesis 39, describing Joseph as a slave in Potiphar’s house states: “Everyone saw that the Lord was with Joseph and made all that he did to prosper.” The result of Joseph’s spiritual authority was to honor God and bring blessing to the house of Potiphar. Those two factors are significant at any level in our walk with the Lord. Everyone around Joseph recognized the reality of God operating through him.

The Process Released through Spiritual Authority
This was Joseph’s sphere of influence in Potiphar’s household. Yet despite him operating within his appointed authority, Joseph experienced spiritual backlash and unrighteously was put into prison. Even in that dire situation, Joseph’s spiritual authority gained him the trust and favor of the jailer. It changed the spiritual climate around him and opened doors of opportunity, God-opportunity.

More than twenty years ago Carol and I put together Saturday evening gatherings that reached out to the international community in our city. We understood the wisdom of preparatory intercession, interceding to seek the Lord before an event to discern the spiritual dynamics, in order to set the stage for how to proceed. So, each time we met, we spent an hour in prayer with our co-leaders before our gathering.

That’s where the battle took place that would determine the spiritual fruit of our gathering. Amazing things took place in those groups, healings, salvations, answers to pray, things beyond our expectations. We simply honored the Lord and sought the opportunity to pray for those attending. But it began by humbly seeking the Lord for the spiritual dynamics we needed to address, ahead of time.

Paying the Cost for Spiritual Authority
Our co-leader in those gatherings was a world-class intercessor whose name is Mary. Since we have known Mary, this woman of the Spirit has spent the time to pay the cost to intercede at the level that she does to this day.

In one of her journeys to Israel, she met two other richly anointed intercessors, a brother from South Africa and our dear friend Jill Mitchell O’ Brien. Jill, like Mary is an incredible intercessor. Yet, I recall a time in which Jill described praying together with Mary and becoming alarmed at the level in which Mary was moving in her gift of discernment and taking authority over the things that she saw in the spirit realm. Jill’s comment was: “My God, life as I have known it will never be the same.”

Yet, Mary had genuinely paid the cost to be operating at that level and she understood the “pay-grade” at which she operated. Otherwise, there would have been spiritual casualties. It is vital, to have the wisdom, balance and humility to understand the boundaries of our authority. We’ve seen Mary pray through the night until the victory has been achieved. Mary understands the realities of spiritual warfare and she knows the costs to the boundaries she operates in.

Avoiding Presumption when Applying Authority
The issue we’re touching on involves the fine-line between faith and presumption. That side of the fine line the one praying lands on is more often determined by the willingness to pay the cost. Paying the cost involves a progressive “speaking truth in our own hearts” described by the Psalmist (Psalm 15) and staying close to God.

Unfortunately, within pop-Christian culture too many seem to be spiritually influenced and pumped by Rambo movies. In reality, Rambo was an undisciplined, rogue warrior with unparalleled fighting capabilities who defied normal rules of combat — and authority. There are boundaries to our spiritual authority.

While combat, as well as serious intercession involve many calculated risks, as a former parachute/ scuba qualified Marine with more than my share of hard combat experience, I say that Rambo is an illusion. Rambo is a fiction. That’s not how it works in real-life combat. It is not about bluster or recklessness. Reckless heroics, likewise don’t define the true intercessor. Instead, they tend to get the unsuspecting hurt and sometimes badly. The Rambo illusion produces intercessors who produce more casualties and turmoil than results that genuinely advance the Kingdom. It goes back to the boundaries of appointed authority.

Simplicity and the Priorities of God’s Heart
Genuine intercession involves a discipline. It is a discipline that takes us beyond ourselves to tap issues close to God’s heart. The process weaves a spiritual tapestry that enhances the flow of agendas in concert with what is most important to the Lord.

Staying close to God’s heart will involve the simple things that confound the wise. During the early days of our walk with the Lord, there was a prayer-concept that defined the focus of many prayer
gatherings we were a part of. It was called Body-ministry. There is an incredible power in the simplicity that is released when operating this way. As a small group gathers and begins to seek the Lord, you go around the room with each sharing what they are sensing spiritually-speaking.

There’ll be a scripture, a word of encouragement for a group member, perhaps an exhortation, each of which build on the other and which eventually result in each group member sharing, praying and being built up by the unfolding process. It is gentle, yet powerful as members of the group yield themselves to the Spirit’s leading on behalf of the other group members. Group gatherings such as this are the most basic operation of community, biblical community. As such, they are designed as safe places, that operate in love.

The Protection of Staying Close to God
Keeping it simple and staying close to God triggers the protection to cope with sometimes unexpected spiritual realities. In 2 Samuel 22 there is a graphic description of the Lord dramatically intervening, when having pulled out all the stops, all seems to be lost. It came from a time in the life of David when after becoming King, David was again fighting a giant.

Yet this time, David was about to be overwhelmed and killed. At this critical juncture one of his men engaged and killed the giant. The scripture gives glory to God for the rescue. It says that “The Lord soars on the wings of the wind. Out of the brightness of His presence bolts of lightning blaze forth. The Lord thunders from heaven, the voice of the Most High resounds. He scatters our enemies. Bolts of lightning rout them. He reaches from on high and takes hold of us. He rescues us from our enemies.”

David’s life modeled his zeal for the Lord. Even when he fell short, he never wavered in his devotion to God. He knew how to repent. His intimate knowledge of God gave him the faith and authority to be able to call on God and know he’d be answered, when in trouble.

Back in the mid-1980s I took a job with an organization I soon found out had a number of members from a witchcraft coven. I held a senior executive position in this organization of more than 400 employees. The presence of these practicing sorcerers was explained by a seasoned believer in my firm who advised me: “Stay away from them, they’ll hurt you.” I soon learned that for the most part, the response of the Christians in the organization had been to become closet-Christians. That response was not a part of my spiritual DNA.

The ensuing boldness of my faith made me a target. At that point in my walk with the Lord, I was spending roughly two hours a day in prayer and Bible study. Yet the spiritual climate in which I was working, and no doubt the curses being thrown at me, soon made me realize that this level of spiritual maintenance was not enough. The oppression was becoming overwhelming and I could sense myself spiritually sinking.

Appointed Authority, Spiritual Maintenance and Something More
Having pulled out all the stops I knew to do spiritually and knowing I needed something more, I began crying out to the Lord in my trouble. The Lord gave me additional prayers to pray during the course of the day and the oppression began lifting. God was unveiling to me the spiritual maintenance I needed to release the authority required for the situation. Before leaving that organization, the spiritual climate had changed and there were five well-attended noon-hour or pre-work Bible studies and the Christians were clearly out of the closet.

Coming to grips with the spiritual realities and the appropriate response of one’s appointed authority within one’s sphere is the first step to changing the spiritual climate in a situation.

Our fellowship recently had a special speaker. He was an Anglican priest who has served in a Muslim country since the late 1980s. He speaks fluent Arabic. Each day, dressed in the turned-collar of his denomination, he takes a long walk with a praying friend through the neighborhood where he resides.

Demonstrating the Reality of God
Each day, members of the Muslim community come out of their homes and storefronts to meet him with pretty much the same request, despite his overt Christian faith, asking for prayer for themselves or a member of their family. Not unlike the story of Joseph, everyone in the community knows the Lord is with this man and answers his prayers. He demonstrates the reality of God by the authority released by his prayers. It likewise is significant, that his daily prayer walks are as Jesus sent out his disciples: two by two.

Our economic community development program serves to “strengthen the brethren” in lands and regions that have been overwhelmed by poverty, persecution and oppression (Acts 15:40). Exercising appointed authority in lands like this yields amazing results, evangelistically and supernaturally. Light shines much brighter in places where darkness is the mode. Yet, demonstrating God’s reality begins with wisely exercising one’s appointed authority. It is the place to where prayers are put into action that yields results.

The threshold for the foundation with appointed authority begins with demonstrations of the reality of God in the lives of people before it amasses to impact the spiritual climate. Walking in the spiritual authority that impacts those around us belongs to those who are willing to pay the cost of the spiritual maintenance at each level in their walk with God.

The authority needed to see the spiritual climate among the people begin changing is necessary before the authority for territorial recovery is exercised. Territorial authority involves high-level callings. It is sovereignly in God’s hands and not to be presumed on.

Progressive Appointed Authority and Greater Works
Once we enter the realm of realizing it is not about us but rather abiding in Him and faithfully stewarding our gifts, we begin to see the truth Jesus spoke that “Greater works than these will you do because I am going to the Father.”

Reaching for the authority for greater works without the mandate presumes and can trigger confusion and backlash. Backlash can be a fine line between being the result of presumption or an assignment. When Joseph was sent to prison from Potiphar’s house, the circumstance was the result his assignment, not presumption. Yet, overzealous exploits based “more of the same harder” and presumption resulting in missionaries no longer able to return to the country of their calling may be self-inflicted.

The pattern has always begun with the spiritual influence on people, then establishing a contingent or community of those so influenced, which impacts the spiritual climate before it can have an impact territorially. Joseph’s influence was never about him or about position, status or cleverly designed manipulations, but rather his prophetic stewardship and service directed by God to demonstrate God’s reality. His authority was progressive and was evidenced by the favor and trust that progressively opened doors to greater opportunity.

It didn’t happen overnight. The initial costs were Joseph’s freedom and his family. Yet his light pierced the darkness around him, establishing trust and his spiritual authority with those who wielded the territorial authority. With the trust came the alliances and with the alliances came territorial change that advanced God’s purposes.

For over two decades, the SIGN ministry has reached for the Issachar context, to understand the times and know what to do. Globally, we have entered unusually sobering and strategic times. It is a time of preparation that requires an understanding of our sphere and appointed authority. Our goal at SIGN is to provide insights pertinent to the times into the dynamics guiding intercessors and leaders called into the marketplace. It is a time to be strengthening our roles to make a difference. It is a time to fulfill not only personal destinies, but the destiny of the restoration tied to a Kingdom and people that God foresaw as being ordained with the authority to rule over His creation.


Morris Ruddick has been a forerunner and spokesman for the higher dimensions of business leadership since the mid-90s. As founder of Global Initiatives Foundation and designer of the God’s Economy Entrepreneurial Equippers Program, Mr. Ruddick imparts hope and equips economic community builders to be blessed to be a blessing where God’s light is dim in diverse regions around the globe.

He is author of “The Joseph-Daniel Calling;” “Gods Economy, Israel and the Nations;” “The Heart of a King;” “Something More;” “Righteous Power in a Corrupt World;” “Leadership by Anointing;” and “Mantle of Fire,” which address the mobilization of business and governmental leaders with destinies to impact their communities. They are available in print and e-versions from, and

Global Initiatives Foundation ( is a tax-exempt 501 (c) 3 non-profit whose efforts are enabled by the generosity of a remnant of faithful friends and contributors whose vision aligns with God’s heart to mobilize economic community builders imparting influence and the blessings of God. Checks on US banks should be made out to Global Initiatives and mailed to PO Box 370291, Denver CO 80237 or by credit card at

Likewise, email us to schedule a seminar for your group’s gathering on the Joseph-Daniel Calling or on anointing the creative in business.

2016 Copyright Morris Ruddick —

Reproduction is prohibited unless permission is given by a SIGN advisor. Since early 1996, the Strategic Intercession Global Network (SIGN) has mobilized prophetic intercessors and leaders committed to targeting strategic-level issues impacting the Body on a global basis. For previous posts or more information on SIGN, check:

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