I have always had a problem with authority. I looked down on those in authority over me and I always thought I was smarter than them, that I knew best. I had this problem at work, at home, at church, at the drive-in, at restaurants…everywhere I went. And look where it got me…Alone. I had to deal with A LOT when it came to my authority issues at Jacob’s Well. It was a painful lesson to learn. Even though I knew it was what needed to be done in order to have peace in my life, it was a battle for me nearly every day. I am so grateful to be able to look at my leaders today with respect. I want to honor them, to do what is right, to listen to them. They might have a very good lesson for me and I will miss the blessing if I’m not listening and always putting in my two cents.
Romans 13:1-5 – Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
This gives me motivation to pray for my leaders. Then at that time, I become a willing person interceding on their behalf. It causes me to then look at them in a completely different light. To see them as a vessel that the Lord put in my life to teach me how to be a better leader myself! It also helps me better submit to the authority of the Lord, and that is the most important thing for me to do in ANY situation!
Hebrews 13:17 – Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
Obedience and submission, stubbornness and rebellion were the hardest lessons for me to learn. It was always may way or not at all. I went around that circle time and time and time again. The Lord kept bringing the test back and He would sit back and wait for me to give my thoughts to Him so that He could have His way. I love how Susan and Asa always said that when we are being given the lessons, the Teacher is always there. When it is time for the test, it’s like crickets…I hear chirping and nothing else. I had to learn this lesson then put it into practice every single day. Sometimes I got an A, most days I failed miserably. But it’s not how I fall, it’s how I get back up!! Some days I would knock myself down and have to pull myself up off the floor and try all over again. It’s just part of life. God DEMANDS that I give up my own way and be pliable in HIS hands! IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT ME! Webster defines stubborn as difficult to handle, manage, or treat; unreasonably or perversely unyielding. It defines rebellious as refusing to obey rules or authority or to accept normal standards of behavior, dress, etc.; having or showing a tendency to rebel; resisting treatment or management. Both of those described me!! I put that in past tense because it’s not who I am anymore thanks to the patient people at Jacob’s Well showing me the scriptures to help deal with my persistent disobedience.
I used to think I was just strong-minded but that is not the case at all. As long as I am rebelling, I am going against all that God has planned for me. If my heart isn’t in it, then I am just being hollow and empty. Without true obedience there is no proper respect for the people around me and in turn for the Lord.
Romans 5:19 – For just a through the disobedience of the one mane the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
My decisions and my rebellion and my bad attitude affects EVERYONE around me. Jesus was obedient, and now I can trade my sin for His righteousness and stop being such a nuisance to those in authority over me. Joyce Meyer says, “Obedience closes the gates of hell and opens the windows of heaven.” AMEN!
Isaiah 55:8-9 – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, 9 as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Who am I to think that I have it so much together that I can put down and rebel against every thing that comes my way when the Lord is at work it me? His ways and His thoughts should be my ways and my thoughts. I am nothing without Him anyway.
2 Corinthians 10:5-6 – We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience once your obedience is complete.
And there is the answer. I fight against my own mind and my own thoughts, when ALL I must do is turn my thoughts over to Jesus and become obedient to His word. It’s a struggle for someone who has been rebelling for over 20 years. There is no point in rebellion. NONE. It gets me nowhere. I wish I could say I had this down pat, but it’s still a battle for me from time to time. I thank God every day for sending people my way who help me walk away from the plank and back onto to the majestic ship of the Lord!