Donate ....Site map.... Contact us




Spiritual Authority

Paradox of positional authority

Spiritual authority may not be accompanied by either a physical position or acknowledgement by those in positions of authority. This understanding should not be foreign to us considering Jesus has supreme authority but never held a physical position of authority during his life on earth. Jesus' authority is and was first of all a spiritual authority only fully understood by Him and God the Father. Jesus' physical reign will be manifest in the earth at the beginning of the millennial reign during which all will know He is the ultimate authority upon the earth. Two thousand years have passed and He still has yet to fill a physical position of authority on earth.

While there is real authority associated with positions, there is also authority (spiritual authority) that does not need a physical position to operate effectively. This brings us to a paradox of positional authority. This discussion will deal with positional authority within a church or Christian organization and not society as a whole. 

The Old Testament records the acquiring of physical positions by those who had or were given spiritual authority. Moses, Aaron, King David and Saul are just a few whom we know God appointed to rule spiritually as well as physically. In most of these cases the spiritual was developed over long periods of time and the physical position was not provided until the opportune time. In three of these cases the people ruled politically and in Aaron's case he only ruled religiously as a priest. Moses is the only one that spanned the religious and political out of these four. No one would question their right to rule and reign and yet these people were established by God and not by chance. It is in the promotion by man alone that problems arise. In every organization, be it secular or religious, when those who are appointed and established by God vanish from the scene there is a pressure to fill the vacant position. Organizational decisions have to be made. The frailty of man and the vacuum left by a lost leader puts pressure on the organization until some person assumes the role as leader. Often this places types of Ish-Bosheth (2 Samuel 2:8) or Absalom in the place to rule. To the non-spiritual man this is not an issue but to those who follow after God, this is a big deal. The church hinders it's own life and effectiveness when we appoint and promote those who are not qualified to positions of authority. Not only are we allowing the spiritual deadness of those in authority to descend upon the whole but we are also misdirecting the whole and hindering God through their carnal and or demonic influence. Most moves by God are squelched and spiritual people are persecuted by those holding positional authority. The profound reality is that God allows this to happen. Those in positional authority are given the power to accept or reject anything on the behalf of those they rule over, be it from God or the devil. The position of authority they fill is acknowledged by God and He allows them to define what is allowed and not allowed over their area of authority. This puts those who hold a position of authority in a precarious place if they are not appointed by God to hold the position. The outcome of their authority will be judgment and not blessing. 

We must understand that anyone can learn to preach messages or be an administrator of a Church or some other Christian organization. Most people have the ability to lead or could learn to lead. Teaching and administration are very common among people. We do it when we train our children and take care of our household and even hold meetings at work. Maintaining a car or house or even coaching a child's baseball team or Boy Scout troop is really no different then filling most of the jobs required in managing a church. Church leadership should not be about such earthly things. Leadership within a Church should be about the spiritual abilities a man has and is able to use. Spiritual leadership is about how well we know God and truth. It is about using our spiritual abilities to change and transform not only people and the community but the world around us. It is about spiritual strategy and the releasing of others to accomplish their destinies. It is about equipping people with tools that work and that are able to bring greater freedom to them and their families. Many Churches failure is not in poor administration or lack of people who can preach a message but those who actually know their God. Leadership should be spiritual or they should not be permitted to lead. Most of the time it is not a matter that the people in the position are not called to lead but that they are not spiritually ready to hold the position of leadership. 

Jesus during his life on earth never attacked and condemned any lowly sinner for any sin. Neither did Jesus speak harshly to the many demoniacs when He cast out the demons. While standing before Pilate Jesus doesn't accuse or declare judgment upon his decisions but just states that Pilate committed lesser sin than the one who betrayed Him. When confronted by the religious leaders Jesus speaks harshly, directly and condemningly. Jesus pulls no punches and deals with the issues at hand. Woe, woe, woe to those of us filling positions of authority only because it gratifies our flesh, for to the flesh we will reap. If you haven't read what Jesus said to the Scribe and Pharisee go back and read it. It is here that we have the paradox. God allows those in position (the carnal, worldly even demon possessed) to exercise their authority and we have no right to try and usurp it. Yet they will be held accountable for their actions or lack of action. If God calls us to a place that has such leadership, we need to use our spiritual authority in prayer and intersession (which may take years) until they are removed, restored or grown up. Jesus did declare to the religious rulers of His day, Matt 23:33 "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how shall you escape the sentence of hell? 23:34 "Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city." Jesus out of love for these unrighteous rulers will send some of us for their benefit and salvation. We, like those of old will be crucified, beaten and persecuted but never forsaken. God does call His people to that which may look to be hopeless and involves great hardship for the sake of those that may be saved. 

Jesus speaks plainly with the crowds about the unrighteous religious rulers. Lets read what Jesus said on the subject: "MAT 23:2 saying, 'The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; 23:3 therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things, and do not do them. 23:4 "And they tie up heavy loads, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. 23:5 "But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries, and lengthen the tassels of their garments. 23:6 "And they love the place of honor at banquets, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 23:7 and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called by men, Rabbi. 23:8 "But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 23:9 "And do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 23:10 "And do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 23:11 "But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 23:12 "And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.'" The whole of Matthew chapter 23 should be read but for brevity I only quoted 12 verses. We should notice verses eleven and twelve. Those who have spiritual authority and diligently war for the sake of God and His kingdom, not having a physical position of authority, are those whom Jesus states are servants of all. If we do not allow our pride to get the better of us and not try and exalt ourselves then we are promised that we will be exalted. 


Next.... Home.... Top