Summary: As the third in a series concerining our response to authority over our lives, this message discusses the guidance, protection, and blessing found in humble submission to authority.
The Canopy of God’s Provision
Submission to Human Authority (Part III)
In previous messages we have discussed:
I.The Appointment of Human Authority Comes from God.
II.All Human Authority is Limited in its Scope.
III.Submission to Human Authority is NOT based upon our Respect for the Person but Position!
IV. Rebellion against Human Authority Comes Out of A Prideful Discontent with God’s Choices.
V. God Defends Authority as Authority!
*** Is there Benefit to be Gained by submitting???
Is this just something we do because God said to or in God’s economy of things is He trying to give us something through human authority that we need?
I want to suggest that there is much to be gained by a submissive spirit toward authority and there is much to be lost through rebellion against authority.
David’s son, Absolom, was a bright, energetic, handsome prince. He had everything going for him except a humble, submissive spirit. In the end, all his talent, all his ability, all his appeal and leadership were not enough to gain him the throne. Instead his life ended in judgment and he lost everything including his life.
VI.God Guides, Protects, and Blesses thru Human Authority
One most common Questions Asked as a Pastor=
“How can I know will of God for my life?"
I’m not sure what God wants me to do or I know what He wants me to do but I’m not sure how He wants me to do it.” Certainly there are principles in the word of God that can help us know the right thing to do.
There is the subjective guidance we receive directly from the Holy Spirit-we Pentecostals know that hearing God in our spirit is a valid part of guidance. But sometimes the one thing we don’t want to receive is the Guidance that comes thru submission to human authority.
We want to be self-contained, a law unto myself—“just me & Jesus. After all How do I know those other people, those in authority over me, can even hear the Lord?” How do you know you are hearing him accurately? Over the long run, guidance comes to our lives as we operate in scriptural principles-and when we are resisting one of those principles we have a hard time knowing the mind of the Lord. Not only do we need the word of God abiding in our hearts, not only do we need to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, but we also need to be in right relationship to authority.
Let me share a few proverbs that confirms that perspective:
15The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise. NKJV
Why do I need authority? I’ve already got it all figured out anyway.)
2Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the hearts. NKJV
Prov.15:12(TEV) “Conceited people do not like to be corrected;they never ask advice from those who are wise.”
One of the benefits of being submitted to authority is that you get another perspective on your decisions and often you are drawing on more years of experience.
Rebellion is not always active and aggressive. Sometimes its simply a passive withdrawal from authority- a kind of disconnect that allows one to do his own thing.
Prov 18:1-2 A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment. 2A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart. NKJV
Here is where humility comes in. Why am I so sure that I can get God’s guidance alone better than under authority and in the context of the body? Is that perhaps an indicator of conceit?
Here is where Faith comes in. Do I believe that God is big enough and involved enough to turn the king’s heart if need be in order to direct my path? Here is what Bible says about that:
Prov. 21:2 (NKJV)“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like rivers of water, He turns wherever He wishes.”
The issue of faith is-do I really believe that? If I do then I see submission as submission to God and not just to man.
God did that for Nehemiah when he prayed. God gave him favor with the king so that the purposes of God could be fulfilled. God brings guidance to our lives through human authority and when we refuse that, we cut ourselves off from something important and we get confused and disoriented.
Authority brings order into our lives. “God is not the author of confusion.”(1) Why do we pull back from authority? Authority brings restrictions, boundaries, accountability. We don’t always want those kind of limitations imposed upon our lives.
But do the boundaries harm us? No, they ultimately serve our highest good. They provide Protection from destruction. They Protect us from ourselves! They provide guidance into the purposes of God for our lives.