Friday, 11 February 2011

Spiritual Gifts Vs Governing Authority

Spiritual Gifts Vs Governing Authority

“Has the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses?
Has He not spoken also by us?” (Numbers 12: 2)

Welcome back dear reader to today’s Truth for the Journey! We enjoy meeting like this and trust that today’s article will continue to stimulate your thinking and enlighten your understanding according to Ephesians 1:18! In our last article we looked at grace in terms of “gift-discernment” and today we will resume our look at grace, but this time we look at grace in terms of “gift vs. authority.”

So lets jump straight in by saying that being “gifted” does not automatically make you “autonomous” (independent). In other words, none of us are an end in ourselves nor can we have authority in ourselves! None of us can function independently from the rest of the “Body” and thrive or survive! In actual fact our gift only operates and functions in its fullest degree and glory when it is functioning with the rest of the Body and “submitted-to-the-correct-authorities” within the Body. There is some confusion at large in the Body of Christ today, over this very issue, because immaturity and misunderstanding say that because a person operates in a “gifting” (albeit genuine) this automatically gives him or her “governing-authority.” Absolutely Not!

Lets look at it like this: it is a grave mistake to confuse mere “spiritual-gifting” with “governing-office.” All of us as believers have a measure of authority but this amounts to the general believer’s authority and does not include governing-authority or being in an office of authority within the Body. Therefore having a “gift” does not give anyone of us an automatic “position-of-authority,” just a general authority, which is the right of “every” believer. In fact we all have been given “significant-authority” in order to lay hands on the sick and to raise the dead!

Along with general authority as a believer we have general gifts that have been distributed amongst us – but none of this gives us an automatic “office-of-authority.” To help explain this further, scripture tells us clearly that it is the Holy Spirit who is the giver of the gifts but that Jesus Himself is the One who places certain individuals into positions of “governing-authority” (called Offices.) An ordinary believer’s authority is something we can gain overnight! But to have a “governing-authority” in the Body of Christ is something else altogether. Irreparable damage has been done because of the lack of adequate understanding in this very area. (See 1 Cor 12: 4-31 & Eph 4: 11-12).

If a person begins to operate in a legitimate “gift” but after some time refuses to yield them selves over to an established authority structure, then that gifting will become distorted and perverted; warped and void of purity because of its false agenda. It’s far too easy for a person to become disillusioned when they have no real accountability. Distortion develops with misuse and lack of submission to God’s governing authorities.

The same person, who is gifted now, is not automatically ready to have “governing-authority” NOW! Mere “gifting” never gave any man “governing-authority,” this only comes via divine appointment and preparation; being made ready through testing and faithful serving!

For illustration purposes let us refer to Miriam and Aaron who spoke against Moses in the Bible. Whether they did this openly or privately is not made clear but nonetheless God heard their conversation and was not too happy about it. We must consider that although both Aaron and Miriam were “genuinely-gifted” and already had some “position-of-authority,” it was Moses nonetheless who was God’s “governing-authority” at that time. Their “supernatural-gifting” (whether legitimate or not) – afforded neither of them any room whatsoever to usurp Moses “governmental-office.”

This was a direct insult to God. So serious in fact was this offence before God that Miriam became leprous because of it. However both were forgiven and restored, nevertheless it reveals the “dangers” of “usurping” God given and “appointed-authority.” It illustrates perfectly the difference between mere “spiritual-gifting” and “governing-authority.”

It might be true to say that false prophets don’t always set out “false” – rather they “become” that way. Just like Miriam and Aaron would have become, if they had continued trying to use their “gifting” to “rank-themselves” above their elder brother [Moses]. It must be understood therefore that no man or woman can “assume” the kind of authority that Moses had been given by God – certainly not on the grounds of “spiritual-gifting!” God alone “appoints” individuals to such positions and we can see just how vehemently God defends it!

We must never forget that none of us can successfully operate outside of God’s “authority-structure,” as our human ability to remain authentic, trustworthy, faithful, reliable, genuine, dependable or accurate – outside of His boundaries of authority - is zero! In fact to remain “true” rather than “false” within our gift capacity, we must remain continuously submitted to God given, ordained and appointed authority. No human reasoning or logic can add anything to or take away from this concept.

Conclusion: In short, we must learn not to hold our own opinions too highly or be threatened by the credentials of others. We must work hard to show ourselves and approved and be diligent to get genuine instruction and guidance from the Holy Spirit; who will never lead us to usurp authority. For our gifts to flourish and to live peaceful lives we must not violate the boundaries of God’s authoritative structure and governing authority. We can only enjoy the true benefits of authority, whilst we cooperate with it!

Thank you Father for all of the gifts that You have given to the Body. We are deficient for nothing. If we abide in Christ we lack no good thing. Thank You for the authority that You have given to me as a believer and according to the specific call upon my life - also for the authority that you have called me to cooperation with. Help me to submit myself to Your governing authority. Amen.

“God ascended on high, He led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.” These gifts are to function as God purposed them. In my life He will find His gifts in operation just as He planned. He will also find me walking in willing submission to His governing authorities.


Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2011 © Alan Pateman Ministries


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