Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Little Something I've Learned About Spiritual Authority (Part II)

I mentioned in the last post that there were people around me, including some leaders in my church, who on occasion "hinted" to me that I may have an issue with co-dependency. I never really took that warning seriously and in fact was able to shrug it off without much effort, even to the point where I denied a problem and would say "they don't know what they are talking about", "I am responsible for my own life"or "they don't know my life, how can they know anything?".

Hindsight is 20/20 and as I look back over the years I can actually start to see why I ended up in a spiritual depression. Even as I was in it, I was blaming my presence there on various things including discontentment with my life and job, and studying so much theology that my brain was packed and my heart was empty. But, now I see exactly what it was! It was the thing that separates us from the love of God. It was sin.

My sin was rebellion. I rebelled against the spiritual authority in my life. I absolutely refused to submit to them. Much of this was done out of ignorance, but ignorance is never a defense, and it was also out of a lack of trust not only in my leaders, but obviously in my lack of trust in God. I didn't trust His anointed. That is never good!

Hebrews 13:17 tells me to obey my spiritual leaders. I Timothy 5:17-18 reminds me that elders are to be honored. I Peter 5:2-3 tells elders they are to guide the local church by setting its vision and direction, and in that to lead the members individually and collectively into productivity. A spiritual leader called by God is obviously entrusted by God with an awesome responsibility that He divinely equips them to do. Who am I to say that they don't know what they are talking about?

God put me into a body of believers and in that body are leaders that God has anointed. These people have been given a responsibility to watch over my spiritual well being and when I resist that, I am not allowing them to speak truth into my life. I am not allowing God to speak truth into my life! When you don't allow God to speak into your life --- you end up in a dry, dark and lonely desert wondering why you don't hear from God. No wonder!

None of this revelation was made known to me in an instant. It took months of working through it in prayer and with the help of intervention from other believers. I guess I'm going into a Part III which will delve a bit into the process of how all this was revealed to me, what all I have learned, and how it has affected me.

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