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Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men.
(1 Peter 2:13 NIV)

God has put into place five structures of authority, which we all must submit to and that serve as a framework for our lives. We will look at three of these—the authority of God and His Word, the authority of national and local governments, and the authority within the church or ministry.

1. God and His Word (1 John 2:3-4)
We must keep God's Word in our hearts and fully submit to the laws laid down in it because we will be judged according to it.

2. National and local government (1 Pet. 2:13-14)
The apostle Peter wrote that Christians must submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake. For example, if you work, you must pay taxes; otherwise, you may go to jail. You may not like this, but you have to do it because it is the law. If we rebel against paying those taxes, we are really rebelling against God and not man. On the other hand, if laws are passed forbidding us to preach, for example, then those national laws have rebelled against God and we must obey the higher authority of His Word.

3. The church or ministry
One day in 1980, I was reading my Bible, when I heard the Spirit of God say, Have a Pastor's Appreciation Day. I had never heard of such a thing, but I told the rest of the staff, and we worked it out.

One Sunday morning, I walked to the pulpit, and you could see that my pastor was wondering what in the world was going on. Then I announced it was Pastor's Appreciation Day, and we blessed him financially by receiving a special offering.

Also, we had people come up and share what his ministry had meant to them.
But, someone came to me who felt we were lifting up a man and not exalting Jesus. I searched my heart and the Bible and found several interesting verses pertaining to this.

First Timothy 5:17-18 states, "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward." By this I realized we were on target.

Pastors and ministry leaders have authority and must give an account of that authority. They deserve appreciation. Hebrews 13:17 says, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account."

I want to challenge everyone who reads this to get together with others to show your pastors or ministry leaders that you love them. Pray and ask the Lord what He would have you do, and then bless them with the best you can. Do this once a year to encourage them. You will find that God will honor this, and the love of God will flow in your midst.

Developing the Spirit of an Armorbearer
  • Take a few moments and evaluate your level of submission toward God's Word, your local and national leaders, and your pastor and church or ministry staff.
  • Repent of any grumbling or "bucking the system" you have given place to, and commit to submitting to God's chain of command.
  • If the church or ministry you serve does not already have an Appreciation Day or something similar, pray about how God would have you and others bless your leader. Then spearhead the effort.
Heavenly Father, the chain of command is something that You instituted for our protection, our peace, and our well-being. I willingly submit to the authority of Your Word, my national and local leaders, and my pastor and church/ministry leaders. When I submit to them, I am submitting to You, and that is where the blessing is. Amen.
Source: God's Armorbearer Devotional by Terry Nance
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Terry Nance
Web site: Gods Armourbearer
Terry is Founder and President of Focus on the Harvest, Inc. He's traveled extensively for the past 6 years, awakening believers to this strategic generation. Through his God-given passion, believers are ignited to discover their individual gifts and callings, commit to the vision of their local church and focus on the harvest of souls throughout their city, state, nation and world.

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