Authority 2

How much authority do we have? How much are we listened to? Are we obeyed by our children? When we speak are others convicted through what we say to them? Do they pretend to listen but their mind is elsewhere? Do other people say the same things to them and those people are listened to but you are not? It could be frustrating if one has something important to say but those who need to hear are not interested. (One should not get frustrated, but that is another subject.)
It is all about submission! Firstly how much do we submit, or have we submitted to people of authority in our lives? As children many of us have seen the authority person as the bad guy, the one who tells us to do the things that we do not want to do and the one who tells us off when we do the things that we want to do. Our response to authority figures then could be to avoid them so that we can do as we please, and then we could have thought that that makes us the authority, the ruler of our own kingdom. (It does not, but it makes us a rebellious person who hates authority.) If you have done these things and you have not repented of them, then you could be reaping back your own sins upon yourself when others do not listen to you or are avoiding  spending time with you. How much do we listen today? How much do we avoid the people of authority that God has placed in our lives? Who are the God given people of authority in our lives and how much time do we spend with them? If we do not believe that we need people of authority to speak into our lives, then we are mistaken. For example, there are many immature people in our world today, criminals are an example. Criminals think that they can break the rules and get away with it and they hate authority figures because those people have the potential to stop them from doing as they please. They are just rebellious people who have not learned that authorities and rules are good, they are unwise. They have not grown up, because they have not respected authority figures who could help them to grow up.

EPHESIANS 4 : 1 - 32 NKJV 
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Spiritual Gifts

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says:
“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”
(Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

The New Man

17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Do Not Grieve the Spirit

25 Therefore, putting away lying, Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”:do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Verse 14 above "14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting" God has given us all authority figures to help us to grow to maturity. Do you recognize them? If you do not, then you are most probably more immature than you think that you are. Children who respect their God given parents and submit honestly to them will go well. Those children will heed the forewarning given to them and they will grow in wisdom because their parents have already done a great deal of learning through their own life experiences. I am not saying that one should just submit to anyone, but that one should ask God to show them who He has appointed to them. 

If we repent and submit to authority then we will walk in it ourselves. Would God put someone who is immature into a place of authority over others? This is why we must get it right with our own family first. It is a training ground. 

1 TIMOTHY 3 : 1 - 16 NKJV

Qualifications of Overseers

This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Qualifications of Deacons

Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. 11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

The Great Mystery

14 These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; 15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.
 Verses 4 and 5 above "one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?" God gives authority to those who submit well to His authority. He gives us all authority people from whom we can learn and grow into maturity and if we submit to Him through them then we can be people of authority ourselves.

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