The following is an excerpt from Dr. John’s book, BIBLICAL HEADSHIP: Making Sense Of Submission To Authority. Follow this link to obtain your copy of BIBLICAL HEADSHIP today.
Jesus taught the principle of being under authority. Moreover, He lived it out in His day-to-day experience. He was a man under authority set by God. He walked in divine order in His relationship with God and with the authorities governing His world. Although He challenged the hypocrisy of those who claimed authority, He never violated their positions. He didn’t usurp or resist authority, even when He was arrested and falsely accused.
People carelessly resist headship without realizing how serious that can be. In subtle ways they speak against leadership or refuse to comply with decisions they find objectionable. Some people even withhold the payment of taxes assessed by the government because they believe those taxes are unjust, misappropriated, or carelessly spent.
The same holds true within the church, sometimes even more so. People withhold their tithes and offerings because they disagree with decisions made by their pastors and elders. Their honest concern may be that the leaders will not use their money correctly, forgetting that the tithe belongs to the Lord, not to them. Headship exists so God has someone to hold accountable for His will being done in the earth, not so people can pay for ministry.
When people resist authority by speaking against it or by taking matters into their own hands, they resist God. In so doing, they become accountable to God for their actions instead of their leaders being held accountable. Coming into God’s divine order and having God’s rule in our lives is for our benefit. It allows us to draw close to Him through the Spirit and our peace grows. We don’t find ourselves at war all the time, constantly being in conflict with ourselves, our relationships, and more particularly, with the Devil.
Jesus destroyed the works of the Devil. When Jesus was confronted, He dispelled the Enemy’s power with a word. “It is written . . .” He said to Satan again and again. That’s a benefit we gain from being under God’s government. We have the power of God’s Word as a shield against war. When some disturbance arises on our borders, we can immediately deal with it and put it to an end. As Christians, we stand under the provision and protection of the government of God. This simply increases our peace, or more specifically multiplies our peace, causing it to thrive.
THE INCREASE OF PEACE
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:2–4 KJV)
It is vitally important to become a partaker of the divine nature. This only happens to the degree that you allow Jesus Christ to be Lord of your life. This we know, but the application of His lordship is a mystery to many people because they do not experience the peace that comes with grace. Grace is God’s unmerited favor, poured out freely on all who believe in Jesus. Peace is different. It is the absence of conflict with God, His Word, His people, and His creation.
We easily embrace the absence of conflict with God. We quickly communicate the absence of conflict with His Word, though we sometimes are reluctant to obey its commands. We recognize there are times we come into conflict with His people, having stark disagreements or allowing ourselves to be wounded and unforgiving. So what does it mean to be at peace?
We can see everything that shalom and eirene define increases through the knowledge of Him who has called us unto glory and virtue. This is a very important truth to comprehend. Drawing close to God through the Spirit establishes an intense shalom friendship with God. We learn to know God better and better. We become familiar with His Word and His way, which causes our peace to expand. Our confidence and security grow strong so that our faith is reinforced, allowing us to declare God’s will effectively.
His promises, previously just words on a page in the Bible, are transformed into unwavering knowledge written on our hearts and minds. Instead of knowing about Him, we come to the place where we know Him as a personal friend and companion. That’s the peace Jesus lived.
That peace allows us to come to peace with men as well. We know this is a process that requires transformation of our minds, hearts, and wills. Submitting to authority, regardless of where it has been delegated, forces us to come to terms with ourselves. In doing so, we come to the greatest peace.
But peace never functions alone. It is attached to other qualities and measured in increments as those qualities are developed in our lives. The more we embrace faith, forgiveness, submission, and a renewed mind, the more we can experience peace. The final chapter of this book will deal with some of the qualities that affect peace. Consider each one carefully and allow God’s grace and peace to be multiplied in your life.
What you just read is an excerpt from Dr. John’s book, BIBLICAL HEADSHIP: Making Sense Of Submission To Authority. Follow this link to obtain your copy of BIBLICAL HEADSHIP today.