The messages for the State of the Church focused on the “Authority of God,” especially in His Word. Authority is like a flywheel between the engine and transmission on a stick shift vehicle. It keeps the organism (the drive train) running smoothly and shifts the Christian life into higher stages of spiritual growth, just like the gears on many cars! Yet it is also the ingredient that the flesh consciously and subconsciously resists, “because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God.” (Rom 8:7)
I concluded the second message with a challenge and a question. The challenge was to understand “why we go to Scripture” and the question related to how we “pick and choose” what we want to submit to in life.
Why do we go to Scripture? Of course, the bottom line is that Scripture is the only way to clarify God’s will and understand how to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 10:31). Additionally, consider these passages:
Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. (2 Cor. 5:9)
9 … we …do not cease to pray for you.. 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him…(Col. 1:9-10)
When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Pro. 16:7)
No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. (2 Tim. 2:4)
By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death… for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. (Heb. 11:5)
And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. (1 Jn. 3:22)
The point of including these passages is that we go to Scripture to please God and we please Him by seeking His will in His Word. So, we humbly approach the Lord in prayer and ask Him, “Lord, how can I please You in and with my life?” This is a prayer He hears and answers, because He directs the Holy Spirit to guide us into Scripture that tells us how to please Him.
To illustrate this, every parent would gladly accept a child who asks, “Dad, Mom, what can I do today, that would please you?” After you checked your pulse, you’d give a few godly insights with humble servant- leadership on what that child could do! The same is true in every authority situation.
Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God. (1Thes. 4:1)
And we will seek the Lord with diligence, lest we miss out on pleasing Him,
But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. (1 Cor. 9:27)
To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily. (Col. 1:29)
IF we have that attitude and pursuit, then we will not “pick and choose” what we want to submit to in life. We will search the Scriptures and submit to everything as Jesus said, “…the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He [the Father] does, the Son also does in like manner. (John 5:19)
We might claim that we will submit to everything according to God’s will, but do we “pick and choose” what we will submit to regarding human authority? Do children get to “pick and choose”? Do employees get to “pick and choose” on the job? Do we realize that parents and employers are representatives of God’s authority and how we submit humanly is a picture of how we submit spiritually? Do you ask the Elders how you can help fulfill the vision they have cast?
Let me close with the magnitude of this:
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably [for His pleasure] with reverence and godly fear. (Heb. 12:28)
Let’s humble ourselves under His authority and enjoy His maximum freedom!