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Your growth as a Christian depends on many things, including honoring and submitting to those who have been placed in positions of spiritual authority over you—namely your pastors.

For the most part, the members of the body of Christ do not fully recognize the importance of honoring their men and women of God; however, doing so is an important part of seeing the blessings of God flow in their lives.

Honor is defined in Webster's Dictionary as "esteem, respect, recognition or distinction; to hold in or treat with honor; a symbol or gesture of recognition or distinction."

When you honor your man and woman of God, you esteem them highly and treat them with respect. From submitting to their vision to serving them in any capacity, honoring your pastors is the key that enables you to access the power of God in their lives.

Getting Too Familiar
Honoring your pastors involves recognizing them as gifts from God, running with their vision (Hab. 2:2) and submitting to their authority.

Be not forward (self-assertive and boastfully ambitious) in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men; For better it is that it should be said to you, Come up here, than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, whose eyes have seen you.
(Prov. 25:6-7 AMP)

Your goal shouldn't be to become so familiar with your leaders that you consider them your friends. Instead, maintain a high level of respect for them. This will assist you in maintaining a proper level of formality with them and to never overstep your boundaries.

Becoming friends with your pastor won't cause God to answer your prayers any faster or set you up for special privileges. In fact, becoming too friendly with your spiritual leaders can actually blur your vision regarding their authority over you. When this happens, you may become disillusioned or offended if you see them acting in an "unconventional" way when they are away from the pulpit. Consequently, it may become difficult for you to receive correction from them.

Learn to seek God and not a close, personal relationship with your pastors. If you are blessed with an opportunity to get close to them, use that as an opportunity to learn from them and absorb their wisdom. Always keep in mind that you don't have a right to be a part of your pastors' personal lives; however, you do have a responsibility to honor them.

It's In The Word!
The Bible is very clear about honoring those in spiritual authority over you. During Jesus' ministry, many of His disciples left His side; however, Peter recognized Jesus' authority and position.

From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
(John 6:66-68)
Peter remained submitted to Jesus' ministry despite what others said about Him because he correctly perceived Him as an anointed man of God.

David continued to honor Saul even when Saul tried to kill him. Though David could have avenged himself, he refused to for the simple fact that Saul was the anointed and appointed leader over Israel.
Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the Lord had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the Lord's anointed.
(1 Sam. 24:10)
Honor Your Spiritual Leaders
The first step to walking in honor toward those God has placed in authority over you is to recognize their value as the individuals whom He has sent to minister to you and watch over you.

God has called pastors to be the spiritual heads of local churches. The anointing flows down from God through them and to the congregation. That is why it is important that you remain in the proper position as it relates to their authority. You shouldn't treat them in the same way you treat people with whom you interact with every day. Rather, you should esteem them higher than others.  

Viewing your man and woman of God in the proper light will help you to understand your own position in relation to them. A proper perception of God-sent men and women leads to a willingness on your part to submit to them. Submission then becomes the evidence of your decision to honor them.

Along with submitting to your pastors' spiritual authority, make a commitment to the vision that God has placed in their hearts. You do this by heeding their instructions, sowing financially into their ministries and adopting their vision as your own.

Even if they do things that you may not always agree with or understand, as long as they obey the Word, everything will be fine. If you continue to submit to them, you will remain connected to their anointing.

There are certain things that you have been called to do as a "sheep" in your pastors' flock. One of your primary goals should be to provide spiritual strength to them by building them up in prayer. In your prayer time, always pray for their protection and declare that they employ the wisdom of God in their decision-making process. Whatever you do, don't speak against them. Instead, revisit the first key to being able to honor them - proper perception.

Following your pastors' instructions is another way to honor them. For example, if a fast is proclaimed for the entire congregation for a certain length of time, make it your business to participate. Or if instruction is given to not leave church until after the benediction has been given, hold your walking until the end of the service. Become a part of whatever it is that God is directing your pastors to do, and do it cheerfully out of a sincere desire to serve them.

When God has instructed your pastor to share certain things with the church, treat it with importance. By not cooperating with those instructions, you become a hindrance to the plan God has for His people. Remember that every joint supplies (Eph. 4:16) and your pastors need your cooperation in order to see God's will come to pass in the local church, the community and ultimately the world.

To avoid dishonoring your pastors, do not:
  1. Leave the ministry because you are offended by something they said or did.
  2. Attempt to get close to their children as a way to get close to them.
  3. Submit business proposals or written requests to them during church services.
  4. Mail items to your pastor's house.
Make sure that everything you do is done decently and in order (1 Cor. 14:40). When you do this, God will honor and exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5:6).

Your Benefits
When you became born-again, you became a part of God's system of operation, which includes being connected to men and women of God who have authority over you. He wants you to get connected with an anointed ministry and attend church regularly.

In doing so, you will develop your spirit and be able to successfully accomplish His will for your life. In essence, honoring your pastors is synonymous with honoring God because He has sent them to you.

By respecting, showing reverence for and submitting to the anointing that is on your leaders' lives, you position yourself for success in all that you do. If you remain faithful in honoring them, you will find yourself walking in the same anointing that they do. Not only that, you also set yourself up for promotion both from God and man!

Creflo Dollar Ministries All rights reserved.

Author Biography

Taffi L. Dollar
Web site: Creflo Dollar Ministries
Taffi Dollar is a celebrated author, teacher, and well-known conference speaker. Together with her husband, Creflo Dollar, she pastors more than 30,000 active members at World Changers Church International, World Changers Church-New York, as well as a host of fellowship churches throughout the U.S. and internationally.

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