By The Book #11: To Be in Authority, You Must Be Under Authority
To Be in Authority, You Must be Under Authority
In the Old Testament time David became the second person God made King, Saul, had also been set up by Him. David was the authority newly raised up by God, the newly anointed by the Lord; whereas Saul was the rejected authority, the one whose anointing was in the past, for the spirit of God had already left him. Let us now observe how David was subject to authority, making no attempt to establish his own authority.
1 Samuel 24 sets down what occurred. David cut off Saul’s shirt, and his heart smote him because his conscience was extremely sensitive. Chapter 26 tells of how David took Saul’s water and spear away. He probably thought this would prove his presence and then he would be better listened to. This , however, is the way of an attorney not the way of a Christian. A
Christian is concerned with feeling, not reasoning; he deals with fact not evidence. Now it is true that David acted like an attorney at first, but having the feeling of a Christian he could be smitten at once. Before God we are people who care for fact and not for politics.
David was one who was able to be subject to authority. He never annulled Saul’s authority; he simply waited for God to secure his authority. He would not try to help God do it; he would instead willingly wait for God. Whoever is to be God’s delegated authority must learn not to try to secure authority for himself.
Authorities must be God’s choice and churches choice.
After Saul’s death David inquired of God as to what city he should go to. Humanly speaking, David with his army should quickly descend on Jerusalem, for there was the palace. This was a chance not to be missed. Yet he asked God and God told him to go to Hebron. Hebron was only a small and insignificant city. David’s going there proved he was not going to snatch authority on his own initiative. He waited to be anointed by the people of God. David could nether oppose or refuse the people from anointing him because he was chosen by God. There must be both the churches choice and God’s choice; No one can force himself upon others.
David didn’t go to Jerusalem, because he was waiting for God’s people to anoint him. He remained in Hebron for seven years. Though it was not a short period, David was not impatient. God never chooses anyone to be in authority, who is full of self and seeks self-glory. To be in authority over God’s children, both the anointing of the Lord and the anointing of the people are needed. No one may rise up and claim, “I am God’s established authority, you must all submit to me.” We must first learn to have spiritual ministry before the Lord and then at God’s time we may enter into the midst of God’s children to serve them.
Why did David have to wait in Hebron? Because after the death of Saul, his son Ishbosheth succeeded him as king in Jerusalem. Later on Rechab and Baanah murdered Ishbosheth and brought his head to Hebron, Thinking they were bringing good news. Instead David had them killed. David judged them because they rebelled against authority. The more one knows how to be an authority, the more capable he is to maintain authority.
No one should ever let someone else’s authority be damaged in order to establish his own. Whenever there is rebellion against authority—and even if it is not directed against you – it must be judged. Do not deal with people only they infringe on your authority.
Though some may be chosen to be in authority in the church, everyone is the same before God. Herein lies the ground and secret of authority. Whoever thinks or feels that he is an authority is not worth to be that authority. The more authority one possesses the less that one is conscience of it. One who represents God’s authority must have this blessed foolishness in him; to have authority yet be unconscience of being an authority.
All who are used by God to be in authority must have the spirit of David. Let no one defend himself or speak for himself. Learn to wait and be humble before God. He who knows how to obey best is he who is best qualified to be in authority. The lower one prostates himself before God the quicker the Lord will vindicate him.
Further Thoughts: The Lord was not primarily concerned with the cross; He was occupied instead with doing God’s will. Those who are obedient to God are connected only to God’s will; everything else is subject to change.