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YWAM DTS Notes  on Authority and Submission based on lectures by Steve Aherne

The problem is never authority; the problem is the use of or abuse of authority.  We should have no hang ups with authority.  Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.  Two wrong extreme responses to authority:  doormats – slaves or rebels.  The ultimate authority is God and authority comes from God. 

The battle is won or lost in the heart. 

Steve refers to the Trinity as the trinity brothers or trinity boys, quite disrespectful, but emphasizes the equality between the persons of the Godhead. 

Your opinion matters to God, what you think is important.

Prayer is the switch that kick starts change.  Persistence in prayer is taught in Matthew 6

Steve taught extensively on big G little g, saying we can change our environment and co-create with God, which I disagree with.  He says, “stuff doesn’t happen because the little g’s don’t cooperate.”  Without God man cannot, without man God will not.

God plans things but we still make choices.  God and His relationship to creation is not static but dynamic.

What is the difference between submission and obedience, are they synonymous? 

Submission

Obedience

Attitude

Action

Inward

Outward

Unconditional

Conditional

Always

Sometimes

God is the Father of my spirit. 

Luke 2:41-52 tells of Jesus at age 12 going to the Temple.  He was there legitimately to learn. He continued to grow in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man.  

If Jesus had to grow in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man, so do we.

What God plans for us is an unfolding revelation.

The parable of the sower, Steve says, is not about salvation but rather discovering the will of God.  He says that if you can overcome the Enemy, the world, and yourself, you can do the will of God.  Your worst enemy is you.

There are five circles of authority: individual, family, church, work, and government.

  1. Individual

… be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

Eph 5:21  For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." 15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. Gal 5:13-15 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; Phil 2:3 (NASB)

Freedom can be used two ways:  biting, devouring and consuming one another or in loving and serving one another.   How do you spend your freedom?  Do you make others feel special and important? 

  1. Family  Ephesians 5:22-33

Build self esteem in your wife, lay down your life and minister to her.  Just as I am aware of, and respond to, symptoms in my body, I am to be that sensitive and responsive to my wife.   The number one need for women is affection.  In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. 3 Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear. 7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:1-7 (NASB) 

Don’t focus on your rights but rather on your responsibilities in your role.

3.  Church

Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, 2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,

1 Peter 5:1-6 (NASB)

4.  Work

Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps  1 Peter 2:18-21 (NASB)

    All work for the Christian should be sacred work, because:

a.    Your Heavenly Father gave it to you.

b.    You take the Father with you.

c.     You do whatever you do, for His glory.

d.    You practice His presence

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve

Col 3:23-24 (NASB)

5.      Government

Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.  1 Peter 2:13-17 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. Romans 13:1-7 (NASB)

Church is the authority which offers mercy, government is the authority providing justice and punishing evil.

Submission brings guidance for the Christian, like a seesaw with the Bible as the fulcrum submission to the various circles of authority are on the one side and words we believe to be from the Lord are on the other, thus providing guidance.   Submitting to authorities is saying this is not decided, what do you think?  What is God saying to you?

Sometimes your family will think you are crazy.  You have an attitude of submission but do what you believe God wants you to do.  And He came home , and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal. 21 When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, "He has lost His senses."  Mark 3:20-21 (NASB)

The book of Daniel offers four stories of submission and authority.  The story of the king’s food, the lion’s den, the statue, and the dream interpretation.

Steve spoke on what he called essence relating to the Holy Spirit infilling us and the oneness we have with the Trinity.  The phrase "Essence of God" is a theological term used to refer to God's personal characteristics, or to the facets of His personality. Sometimes the term "Attributes of God" is used to refer to God's essence. The "attributes", or the "essence", of God are His primary characteristics.

The love of God is unconditional, the favor of God is conditional.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." (Nelson Mandela)

Taking an absolute and making it a relative is liberalism. Taking a relative and making it an absolute is legalism. 

The five circles of authority, the stories from the book of Daniel are very familiar to me.  I have used this model for guidance that I learned from Bill Gothard of Basic Youth Conflicts, based on sound biblical principles.

What God is saying to me

I was reminded to submit to authority in attitude and honor the position even at times when I cannot honor the person’s behavior or character.  A good example Steve gave was in honoring President Bill Clinton.

 
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