#3 – Knows True Authority from False
The third qualifier for the man of God whom we seek is that he will have at least one area of leadership strength and that, while maybe not yet seeing and understanding all of the counterfeits that have oppressed him, he will at least understand how that oppression operates and will be open to seeing the other areas in which he’s been deceived.
Let’s face it: we are surrounded by counterfeit authorities. They all claim to have some sort of delegation of authority direct from God, but if that truly existed, it would be clearly identifiable in the Word of God … and, in most cases, it just is not there. But we constantly face counterfeit authorities in law, in government, in medicine, in education, in banking, in religion – in short, in all walks of life.
God does give leadership strength that carries authority, but it is authority of superior knowledge, wisdom, understanding, skillful application, ability to work with people in servant fashion (recall the servant leader factor that we discussed yesterday), or of request … meaning that someone asked you to lead him in a particular way and voluntarily contracted with you to do so. That is very different, however, from the tyranny of command that comes from position or opportunism. “I got here first,” or “I’m bigger (smarter, better looking, richer, stronger …) than you,” or “I’m the boss because I’ve got the title,” just do not work in the world of true authority. Yet we face that sort of oppression everywhere.
Except to parents of young children, God does not delegate any “because I said so” authority. No “office” or position among men comes with the authority of God attached to that title or position; the “divine right of kings” is anything but. That absolutely is not how God operates … though those who occupy such positions will surely tell you that He does – that He put them in charge and that we are to obey them. That, my friends, is oppression; it is tyranny, and God is not in it.
So while we operate in the area of our individual gifts, doing the job on earth that nobody else can possibly do but us, we must be careful to not operate outside of the limited authority that God gives us as we are faithful, either in our own operational leadership, or in directing a follower to submit himself without question to some third party simply because the third party claims a title or position of authority. And when in doubt, refer to Acts 17:11.
In conclusion: when we point out errors, please do not conclude that this is battle cry of opposition to what is wrong and that we are just looking for warriors to contend against evil. Rather, while it is necessary to see that one is enslaved by what many would consider “normal,” we would have the ecclesia to lift their eyes out of bondage, see the Prince of Peace, and rise up to live in the fullness that He has intended for us, His children. It is a positive message of light, living in which there can be no darkness.
Are you hungry to live in the light and freedom of Jesus’ ecclesia? If so, please let us know.