Summary: Learning to relate in the right way toward God ordained authority is an important part of spiritual maturity. In fact, you cannot walk in the anointing of God, Who is the head of all and from Whom the oil of anointing flows, if you are not submitted...
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Heb. 12:11)
Learning to relate in the right way toward God ordained authority is an important part of spiritual maturity. In fact, you cannot walk in the anointing of God, Who is the head of all and from Whom the oil of anointing flows, if you are not submitted to God and His ordained authority. Because of our sinful, rebellious nature, we do not automatically know how to relate properly to authority. It is something we must be trained in and something for which we will experience much discipline from the Lord throughout our lives.
From the Old Testament we learn that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because Moses married a non-Israelite. They challenged Moses’ legitimacy as God’s appointed leader and spokesperson. "Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?" they asked. "Hasn’t he also spoken through us?" And the LORD heard this.” (See Num. 12:1-15)
God was angry and suddenly Miriam became leprous. Upon seeing this, Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord! Please do not lay this sin on us, in which we have done foolishly and in which we have sinned.” We are never to talk against God’s appointed leadership. It brings His judgment and discipline (see also Numbers 16:1-50). God does not take lightly those who align themselves with others in rebellion against His leadership. God deals severely with this type offense.
People often argue over minor disagreements, leaving the real issue untouched. Such was the case when Miriam and Aaron came to Moses with a complaint. They represented the priests and the prophets, the two most powerful groups next to Moses. The real issue was their growing jealousy of Moses’ position and influence. Since they could not find fault with the way Moses was leading the people, they chose to criticize his wife. Rather than face the problem squarely by dealing with their envy and pride – their rebellious attitude toward those placed into authority by God - they chose to create a diversion from the real issue.
Discipline means “to exercise.” When a muscle is not utilized, it atrophies or becomes slack and without strength. A disciple or “disciplined one” is one who is teachable, who willfully chooses to sit at the feet of another exchanging their right to another. As you grow in the Lord and put into practice what you have learned, your capacity to understand will also grow. Similarly, if we find ourselves not able to receive from those in leadership, often times it is because we are harboring some unresolved bitterness. Many times this will come out in statements like, “Well, I’m just not getting fed.” What we should realize is that if the Bible is being taught, there is always more to learn and to apply in our lives. The problem may not rest with leadership, but could it be from within ourselves. Our capacity to feast on the deeper knowledge of God ("solid food") is determined by our spiritual growth and willingness to submit to godly authority. Too often we want God’s banquet before we are spiritually capable of digesting it.