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God’s kingdom is one of order and structure. God has established authority in Heaven as well as on Earth.
“Authority” as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience. A person or organization having the power or control in a particular, typical, potential, or administrative sphere.
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God (Romans 13:1 NIV). We live in a world that is made up of rules that we should obey. But for most of us have a hard time with the word obey and submit. The word obey has been used in marriage to suppress wives and keep them in controlling relationships. Everything that God does is right and good, it is man that will take the word out of context and use the bible to justify his own sinful nature.
God tells us in Hebrews 13:17, Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. It not easy to obey or submit to authority, especially when you see them doing some behavior that is not in alignment with the word of God. We are called to pray for our leaders and not to judge them. God knows how to deal with those leaders who have done wrong.
It is not our place to hold them accountable, but it is God’s place to hold them accountable. Scripture warns us about bringing an accusation against those in leadership. Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older as mothers, younger women as sisters with all purity (1 Timothy 5:1-2). Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear (1 Timothy 5:19-20). Those who have a hard time trusting God will also have a hard time obeying authority.
Every leader and those in authority will give account to God as to how they used their authority, whether for good or evil. Those leaders who do good will be rewarded and given double honor from God (1 Timothy 5:17). Those leaders who are sensitive to God’s heart will lay down their lives for the sheep. Jesus was the greatest example of one in authority but who served with a servant’s heart (John 10:11; Matthew 20:25-28; Luke 22:26-27).
Submission does not mean that those who submit are less important, less intelligent, or less godly than those whom we are to submit. Even Jesus was submissive to the plans of God the father,” Who being in very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant he humbled himself and become obedient to death- even death on the cross”(Philippians 2:5-9 NIV) (www. Cru.org)
Being submissive takes a lot of courage and trust. It is even more difficult if you have had church hurt or come from an abusive family. Leaders are to use authority from a place of love (John 21:15-17, not to lord it over others (Matthew 20:25; Mark 10:42-45; Luke 22:24-27; 1 Peter 5:2-4). A leader is to have watchful care for the flock (1 Tim 3:5; Hebrews 13:17) (www. Donowsley.com)
I pray God heal the hearts of every believer who has had a church hurt. God heal them from the trauma and abuse of those in leadership. Help us find and be those leaders who have a servant’s heart and love God’s sheep. May God bind up your wounds and give you the balm of Gilead. He will restore joy and gladness to you. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5b).
His Love and Blessings,
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