Sermon 41 – The BATTLE of AUTHORITY

27 Nov

Hurt by Authority

As a child, and even as an adult, everyone gets hurt in some way by authority. We get hurt by thinking that a parent is showing more favour to a brother or sister, or hurt by being violated through physical or sexual abuse, threats, manipulation, intimidation or put-down comments, or hurt by a parent’s hypocrisy of telling you what to do but aren’t doing it themselves.

Feel Rejected

The fruit of this hurt is REJECTION. You may feel ‘left out’, ‘stupid’, ‘fearful’ or ‘put-down’, whatever the feeling you will not like it, you’ll feel rejected.

Turn to Yourself vs. Turn to the Lord

It’s at this point that a Christian has to make a decision. He can either die to himself (as God instructs in Luke 9:23, 24) and turn to the Lord and trust His higher plan of pain, or turn to himself and trust his own plan of getting out of the pain. When you turn to the Lord, you let Him be the judge, you see through His eyes (spirit-minded), you walk in His authority, you walk free from sin, and you walk blessed (Jeremiah 17:7). It’s important to note that you don’t see with your eyes, you see with your brain. Spiritually speaking, it’s not what you see that counts; it’s how you interpret what you see. The spirit-minded person will see with the mind of Christ, the carnal-minded person will only be able to see with their own mind.

Turn to Yourself

By far the majority of Christians rely on their feelings and trust themselves. Those who routinely do this strongly suggest they are fake believers. The Bible declares in Romans 8:7 that those who rely on their carnal mind are not subject to the law of God. According to God’s Word, if you are not subject to the law of God you are not saved from sin and its consequences of hell (Matthew 19:17 & Revelation 22:14). When you rely on your own mind you only see what your mind sees, and these visions become the imaginations of your evil heart (Jeremiah 7:24; 16:12). God calls this blind and ignorant. Contrary to popular belief, the Bible declares that everyone’s heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked and needs to be washed clean (Jeremiah 10:14,23; 17:9). That is we are born evil, not good. Therefore we need to die to ourselves so that God can do good through us.

Yourself does everything for you

Once you turn to yourself, you make yourself the judge of what’s right and wrong. From this position you’ve set yourself up as god and without knowing it, you’re cursed (Jeremiah 17:5). Once you make yourself the judge, everything you do from thereon is for you. No matter what good deed, no matter how good you behave, like the rich young ruler in Luke 18, it’s all for you.

“No one’s going to TELL me what to do”

If the truth be known, underneath all this façade is the real you standing up for its rights and demanding “no one’s going to tell me what to do”. This inner attitude is fuelled by envy, bitterness, blame and defiance, but more often than not, the sin is internalised so you can’t be pinned for it. That is, you act nice but your heart is rebellious and stubborn, and it’s the heart that God looks at, not the outward appearance.

Choose ‘Rebel’ or choose ‘False Submit’

Once you decide to rely on your own judgment, you then have to choose whether you will oppose the authority by direct rebellious confrontation, or more commonly, indirectly by false submission. Most choose the false submission pathway as the best way out of the pain of getting into trouble. They often strive to master the art of ‘perfectionism’ so that no one can tell them they are wrong. Thus they often LIE by not telling the whole story, to avoid detection and correction. Once you turn to yourself you will not only object to being told you are not right, you will be the one TELLing everyone what is right, even to the point of TELLing the authority how they are supposed to behave, especially towards you. You won’t be told but you will love to TELL, and this is where the battle of wills begins; you are telling the authority what is right and the authority is telling you what is right.

Jesus vs. the arrogant Pharisees

Jesus clashed with the Pharisees. They told Him what was right and what was wrong, and Jesus told them what was right and wrong. The Pharisees argued that they descended from Abraham, so no one was going to TELL them what to do. Obviously, one of the two was wrong. Why was Jesus right? Because, He not only descended from The Father, but He had committed His heart and will to the Father and thus had the mind of God’s Spirit, whereas the Pharisees were committed to their personal status in the eyes of their peers and the people (John 12:42,43), and thus solidified their carnal mind, and ignorantly came under the control of Satan. The Pharisees always turned to themselves to interpret the law. Thus they couldn’t see the Creator nor understand His words; they could only taste the threat that Jesus was to their position, and ultimately killed Him out of envy (Mark 15:10). However, God had a higher plan through Jesus’ pain; the plan to save all mankind who trust in Him.

The offence of righteous authority

Righteous authority always offends unrighteousness. The Word declares ‘that there is no unrighteousness in Christ’ (John 7:18) and this makes the unrighteous uncomfortable. If the spirit of God dwells in you, you will offend the unrighteous, especially those who think they are righteous, even without saying anything, because the Spirit will silently say to the unrighteous that this is how to behave, and the elevated unrighteous will retaliate with “who are you to tell me?”

If you really and truly want the unpopular truth; here it is!

Nothing has changed. As in Jesus’ time, all modern Christian religions are simply Pharisaical, not spirit-minded; interpreting the Word of God according to their traditions and carnal-minded experiences, and the popular opinion of man’s thinking. Jesus never joined a religion nor initiated one. Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship. That’s why I worship in a house church. The modern church loves popularity, prosperity, no hassles, social interaction, sexual freedom, worldliness, knowledge and position … it’s not of God. If you were to tell them so, like the Pharisees, they wouldn’t stop to search out the spirit-truth, they would be offended and support their point of view with their carnal-minded knowledge. If you tell Jesus He’s wrong He will not get offended, He will wait on the Father’s judgment. You won’t find God through religion or church. You may be introduced to Him there, but He’s only found through your heart (Romans 1:19,20) or the pages of His Living Word.

‘Blame’ proves what spirit you are of

The Pharisees BLAMED Jesus for their fall in popularity and position. When your sin is confronted the carnal-mind automatically finds someone or something to blame. It’s funny how the sinner does the sin and then blames someone else for it. You will never find the Holy Spirit blaming; rather He will trust the Father’s plan of pain. A spirit-minded person doesn’t blame; they know that Satan is having a go at them and they trust the Father’s plan of pain.

Satan’s plan vs. God’s plan

Satan’s plan is to get you to turn to yourself when you’re hurting so you don’t get spirit-minded and so you lose your God-given authority.

God’s plan is to get you to turn to Him when you’re hurting so you get spirit-minded and live in spirit authority. If you never felt hurt you wouldn’t turn to Him.

The solution in all circumstances is … REPENT of your sin, SURRENDER to God’s plan of pain, and don’t TELL authority what’s right and wrong. Then you’ll begin to see with God’s mind. It’s a fight and most would prefer harmony and no hassles, but they won’t make it.

May the Lord stir you to fight yourself so you see with the mind and heart of Christ.

Pastor Steve Riley

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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Authority, Repentance


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