Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Imitators of God - True Authority

Something that God has been showing me over the past few days comes from Eph 5:21. "Submitting to one another in the fear of God". Submission means to bring oneself under another. This word was a Greek military term meaning "to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader". In non-military use, it was "a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden". I think this also speaks of the authority that is to be found in the body of Christ. This speaks so clearly to how we are to relate to one another in the body of Christ. We are to get under and support one another through serving and love. This was God's reaction toward man and mans sin. He being God would subject himself to man (Jesus) by becoming a servant and laying down His sinless life for the sins of man. Phil 2:5-8 describes what Jesus did for us and we are to have the same mind or we are think the same way. Jesus who is God and the supreme authority, laid down his position of authority and became a slave to man. All of us may feel like we have positions of authority or we have a right to rule our lives or the lives of others. Well who has more right to rule than Jesus. To imitate Jesus is to follow Him. Look at this verse that Jesus said;

Jn 12:26 - If anyone serves me, let him follow me, and where I am, there my servant will be also. If anyone serves me him my father will honor.

We should be servants of Jesus if we are following God. To serve Jesus means that we are serving others. Jesus laid down His life for others we should as followers of Jesus be doing the same. This is true submission and is how the church should operate. Unfortunately tradition has blinded God's people to this. Worldly authority is the norm in the body of Christ where top down positional authority is practiced and instead of getting under people to support and serve, man gets over people and makes them submit through fear and man made rules and regulations. True honor comes from God and he only honors those who are serving Jesus and others. Verses 9-11 in Phil 2 gives us the results of Jesus' submission. God highly exalted him and have Him the name that is above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. Jesus is lord means Jesus is supreme authority. Remember Jesus having obtained supreme authority gave it to His disciples in Mt 1o, Lk 10 and Mt 28. This authority is not top down leadership but bottom up serving. Sacrificial love that costs something. It costs us our lives. This authority was given so that His disciples could go out and make other disciples that do the same thing and walk in the same authority. Judge yourself today in all your positions or roles in life. Which one of these ways describe your parenting, employment, friendships, etc. May we be found imitating God today and walking in His authority.