We now know that words impose themselves upon us and that we are wise to be attentive to them and how they impact us.
We are now ready to consider the experience of having words thrown at us that we might wish to reject. The ideal is to be able to recognise words and what they represent, so we can instinctively deflect any unwanted impact.
A friend suggested to me a simple description of the clash of jurisdictions. We know that jurisdiction is the “right to speak” and we also know that certain environments impose constraints upon us. For example, courts are places where we are expected to accept the authority of a judge and allow him or her to exert certain jurisdiction over us.
The example of the clash of jurisdictions that was suggested was the idea of a group of people happily kicking a rugby ball. Imagine that you are one of them and you all enjoy chasing, kicking and catching the ball.
However, on one occasion as you run to catch the ball, you manage to grab the ball and pull it to your chest. But as you do you immediately hear someone blowing a whistle. You look up to see a red faced referee shouting at you that you have broken the rule.
Bemused you try to work out what is going on. The man informs you that he is a soccer referee and you are not allowed to handle the ball. You innocently shrug and explain that you were not playing soccer. However, since he has the whistle, a badge, a flag to wave and a bunch of others standing around him who take him very seriously, you are not in a strong position.
The referee then begins shouting orders. You must drop the ball, change into the right boots, get “on-side”, have a number on your back, know your position on the field, report to the bench, etc. You try to argue about the rules of various games, but he is insistent and he is ready to have men escort you to the sin bin.
This is what happens when there is a clash of jurisdictions.
When someone begins to impose their “overlay” of perceived rules onto you, it is important that you know how to extricate yourself. You need to get out of the grip of the unwanted referee who is asserting himself over you.
Arguing the laws of soccer or rugby puts you in argument and the ref is not going to be impressed, nor will he want to be shown up by you. The angrier he gets the more likely he is to overstep his bounds, when he has no rights in the first place.
Now, this is an allegory for such things as being pulled over by a policeman, accosted by some official knocking at your door, receiving a letter from the court, and so on.
In the many situations where someone is imposing their will onto you think about what you need to do.
Know Where You Stand
The first thing to determine inside yourself is where you stand. If the referee has true authority over you then the referee has true authority over you. Does he?
If he does not have authority and you then let him have authority, then he has authority, by your acquiescence. Have you given him that authority? Did you acquiesce to him? If you gave away your sovereignty, how do you get it back?
Knowing where you stand is the matter of “standing”. Do you stand completely independent of all authority? On what basis can you stand in such a place? What higher authority do you appeal to that gives you any right to stand anywhere at all?
If you claim to stand under God is that just a fake claim, or do you know what God’s Word and Will is and have you truly submitted yourself to that word and will? If you are claiming to stand in God-given authority but your life is an offence to God, you have no true standing.
Take Your Stand
Once you know where you stand then do all you can to take that stand. The Apostle Paul put it this way about 2,000 years ago: “When you have done everything you can to stand, Stand!” Ephesians 6:13,14.
This means you resist the overlay of other people’s words and impositions.
You don’t have to be aggressive or belligerent in doing this. The polite way to do so is to give Conditional Acceptance and to ask questions.
When someone asks, “What is your name?” you may reply by asking, “Who is asking for my name?”
You can then follow with: “What is your name?” “What is your purpose?” “Is there a problem?” “Do you have some claim against me?”
You can also let them know that you do not acknowledge their authority by saying something like, “I do not recognise you.” This tells them that their claim to authority is not registering on your radar, and it tells them that you are choosing not to defer to their claim of authority over you.
Governments, officials, police, courts and so on, are overlays. The men and woman who hold official office and titles, such as policeman, judge, etc, were born naked and will take nothing with them when they die, just like every other man or woman on the planet.
So their official status is an “overlay”. It is not inherent in their DNA or their natural existence.
So we separate the natural reality of flesh and blood men and women enjoying their natural existence, from the artificially created imposition of the world of fiction, created by words, labels and overlays.
The natural world is referred to as your “private” existence. In that existence you have great freedom to enjoy life.
The fictional overlay that is superimposed over natural men and women is the “public” world. In that world you are trapped by various rules and regulations, constraints, impositions, etc.
If you are living in your private existence, and can “stay in the private”, you are not subject to the impositions of the overlay.
Do Not Contract
When you defer to the artificial, fiction overlay of people’s words, titles, and so on, you effectively enter into contract with those things, that they are real and have power over you. It is like accepting the demands of the official soccer referee when you were only having a kick around of rugby with your friends.
Do not enter into such contract. Step away from such offers of contract, either by conditional acceptance (I will listen to you once you prove you have right to impose your rules on me when I am not in your game), or by letting them know you do not “recognise” them.
That’s where the “Return to Sender” process, linked to a notice of “No Contract”, fits in. When you get an official letter and you return it because you do not have contract, you have deflected its impact.
However, if you are part in contract and part out of contract you will get tangled up and end up in trouble with that angry referee. So be quite clear where you stand.
Words To Live By
Life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). And if you think about it there is no more authoritative voice in all eternity than that of our creator. So the Word of God is living and powerful and brings life like no other word can.
You are living by words right now. The Word of God sustains everything (Hebrews 1:3). But you are also living by other words too. Some of those words have brought life and some have brought death to you, in the form of limitation, cutting off your freedoms, and so on.
Now that you know much more about the impact of words I encourage you to search out words worthy of your creator and your eternal destiny. Seek the good words to live by.
And while you are finding the right words to govern your life, be sure to words of life into others.
And may this exploration of words that control us bring you into new freedom and blessing.