If you have read the devotionals that I write you likely realize that I like to read. I generally have at least two or three books going at one time. Sound a little crazy? Well I guess it is, but it works for me. So many books…..so little time!!
A friend of mine told me she was reading an old favorite, Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee. She encouraged a group of us to read it even if we had read it in the past. Knowing that it was time for me to refresh my understanding of Spiritual Authority, I purchased the book and began to read.
While reading I was reminded that God does not take kindly to those who disrespect His authority. Yet creation has been disrespecting authority, it seems, since the beginning of time. Satan wanted his throne to be above the throne of God. He had so much, yet it was not enough. (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:13-17) To offend God’s authority was rebellion and it was Satan’s rebellion, which God condemned. (Lord, forgive me for the times when I am not content with all the blessing you have given me. You are my Jehovah Jireh, my provider, I give you thanks.)
Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden where they enjoyed fellowship with God. Watchman Nee suggests, “Although Eve saw God daily, she did not recognize authority.” She added to the Word of God telling Satan that God told them they could not “touch or eat” from the tree (Gen. 3:3). Not true. God said, “Thou shalt not eat of it” (Gen. 2:16-17). He never said anything about touching it. Her embellishment of the Word led to rebellion against God and sin entered the world. (Lord forgive me when I add to a “God” story or any story. In my head I am making it sound better than it really is but it is a lie, it is sin. Help me to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.)
God does not take kindly to our rebellion against those He has placed in Spiritual Authority over us either. For example, in Numbers 16 Korah and his company of 250 leaders attacked Moses with words openly. If they had been submissive to authority they would have controlled their mouths. Instead the earth swallowed them up and they went down alive to Sheol (Numbers 16:32-33). (Lord, forgive me when I open my mouth and gossip about those in authority over me. Holy Spirit, teach me to open my mouth in prayer for them and appreciate all that they are doing that is seen and unseen by me.)
“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh…And I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Matt. 12:34, 36, 37)
I do not want to leave you without also sharing that we must obey God rather than man. By faith Moses’ parents hid him rather than kill him as the king commanded (Heb. 11:23). In the book of Daniel we can read about those who refused to follow orders and worship a golden image and so went into a fiery furnace (Dan. 3:17-18). God is to receive unqualified obedience without measure. Any person lower than God can only receive qualified obedience. If someone is hurting you, abusing you or telling you to do something you know is sin, get help from someone you trust.
Let us pray:
Dear heavenly Father, forgive me for the times I have opened my mouth disrespecting or disobeying You. You are worthy of my absolute obedience, praise and honor.
Forgive me for the times I spoke disrespectfully about those You have placed in a position of authority over me. I cannot follow You on one hand and yet disrespect You or those You have place in authority with my mouth.
You are the Potter, I am the clay. I invite You to mold me and shape me that I might be pleasing in Your sight. Teach me Your ways O Lord. I want to honor and praise You with my mouth.
In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen
Some material above from: Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee, Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc., NY, 1972.