August 11 – Responsibilities of Authority

“Know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And…esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.”   I Thessalonians 5:12-13a

To grow in leadership, you must understand authority.  Luke 7:6 tells about the Roman centurion who was IN authority, while Luke 7:8 says that same centurion was UNDER authority.

The responsibilities of spiritual persons IN authority are listed in Hebrews 13:17…they “watch for your souls, as they that must give account”…and in I Peter 5:2-3 they “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples of the flock”…and I Timothy 5:20 says they must rebuke sin before everyone and bring correction to God’s people.

The responsibilities of spiritual persons UNDER authority also are listed in Hebrews 13:17…”obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves”…and in I Timothy 2:2a…pray and give thanks “For kings, and for all that are in authority…”

The only time when you are not required to obey authority is when that authority requires an act that is contrary to Scripture or physically endangers your life.

PRAY: “Father, give me the grace to be a willing servant to those in authority over me and help me to lead with godly, loving authority all those under my charge.  Amen.”

August 10 – Spiritual/Civil Authority

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”  Romans 13:1

To disobey those in authority over you is to remove yourself from God’s protective covering. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians of the Roman Empire (an ungodly dictatorship in his time) and boldly emphasized the importance of an attitude of submission, compassion, and humility toward the government.

There are four areas of authority:

1)  CIVIL. National, state, and local governments have enacted laws for the welfare of its citizens.
2)  FAMILY. The husband is the head of the home; the wife is under him; then the children come under the parents.
3)  SOCIAL. You are under your employer’s authority; your baby-sitter is under your authority. Authority in the workplace is given to match job responsibilities.
4)  CHURCH. There are pastors with deacons and elders over congregations and sheep accountable to shepherds, each with different ministry and motivational gifts distributed by the Spirit.

God establishes authority to bring:

a) CONNECTION – unity, order, and fellowship.
b) PROTECTION – covering and security.
c)  CORRECTION – accountability and discipline.

PRAY: “Omniscient Father, You know this world system and my life need order to maintain proper balance. Thank You for Your perfect plan. Amen.”

August 9 – The Call of a Leader

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”  Hebrews 11:24-25

Leaders have a plan and MAKE things happen. Leadership is an ACTIVITY, not merely a POSITION. It requires DOING something. You can learn some lessons in leadership from the life of Moses:

1)  MAKE A “GROWN-UP” DECISION. Moses was forty years old when he began to sense responsibility for the injustices and bondages of his people. He made a “grown-up” decision to do something about it. (See Exodus 2:11-14.)

2)  ALLOW TIME FOR PREPARATION. Growing up in Pharaoh’s court, Moses had learned reading, writing, warfare strategy, and governing skills, but God took him to the desert for an additional forty years of testing in preparation for ministry. (See Exodus 2:15-24.)

3)  TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES. A burning-bush experience will often mark the end of testing and the beginning of step-by-step instructions. Removing your shoes speaks of servanthood and submission to the Master’s plan. (See Exodus 3.)

4)  LOOK FOR AN AARON. A partner can hold you up in prayer. (See Exodus 4:10-16.) Jesus sent the disciples out by twos, as recorded in Luke 10:1.

PRAY: “Lord, prepare me for the leadership call upon my life. I will be attentive to Your training process. Amen.”