The Enormous Blessing in Delegated Authority
June 18, 2017
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #549.
When we resist and rebel against God’s delegated authority over us, all we achieve is to cut off the flow of His enormous blessing and provision for us.
(Jennifer) John, what occurs to me listening to all of you talking about this and thinking, I don’t know how far I have to go still. I really don’t, but I have an idea of how far I’ve come. Because my life looks very different now, because my responses are different, and I don’t mean that as an – I don’t mean how I respond, although that’s part of it. It’s that I see things now that I didn’t see before. When I was rebellious, and I was called on that, I literally – I hate misusing that word, so I’m being quite serious now – literally could not comprehend of any other way I could have responded than the way that I had. Here’s a for instance. Early on when I had just started at the office, John went out of town. I think you guys went to Europe or Honduras or something. You were not in the country anymore. And, you know, so as far as I was concerned that meant there was giant weight on my shoulders, and I had to get it done, because to me delegated authority meant, “You take care of it.” That was my understanding of it, and because I loathed that particular kind of authority, I did so but not in a godly, servant kind of way. I did so as in if it’s, you know, if you’re giving me the ingredients, and I’m supposed to cook, you don’t get to tell me what’s for dinner. Right? And I hope I’m not the only person that has ever had that mindset, but that was my mindset. It’s just shocking, I know. So, that was, you know, that was, it was a rebellion dressed up as taking care of business, which to me is just… And you couldn’t have told me otherwise. As far as I was concerned, I was being responsible. I didn’t understand in what way that wasn’t responsible. You told me to do something. I’m doing it, and now you’re coming back and having a problem with the way I did it. What else did you expect me to do? And I didn’t mean that sarcastically. I meant it quite literally. I was blind to any other way. And it occurred to me, because there was a situation recently, and it’s, you know, it was a situation with someone who confusion trails them like a cape flapping in the wind. And I literally was looking at the situation, and I could see about six different ways in which there could have been a response that was under authority, that not only was not done but probably wasn’t even considered. And I was thinking that, I remembered back to those early days when none of those responses would have occurred to me. They literally would not have occurred to me. I would not, it’s not just that I was rebellious, I was blind in my rebellion and had no concept of what it was to be accountable to somebody else on that level. I would make decisions, and as far as I was concerned, it was on me to make those decisions, you know? If you wanted me to ask permission, why didn’t you tell me to ask permission? This is just what – I’m doing what you told me to do. It never occurred to me that if somebody gave me an assignment, that they might be waiting to see what I did with that assignment. Did I come back to them? Did I ask them any questions when I initially got the assignment? How would you like this done? Do you have any ideas for this? Because see, that’s what somebody under authority does. They don’t assume that they’re being handed a bag of groceries to cook whatever the heck they want. They say, “You’re handing me a bag of groceries, How many people are coming to dinner? What would you like served first? You’ve given me pork, would you like that roast pork? Would you like that grilled pork?” You know, somebody who’s a servant and who’s under authority looks for instruction, looks for direction, looks for a path, yes, specific. And even if they’re under an authority who doesn’t give those specifics, they ask. They get clear on what that person wants from them. And those are things that occur to me now. So I don’t know how far I have to go, but those things never occurred to me before. I would have served, you know, Duck a l’Orange and said, “Well, you didn’t tell me that you wanted Duck Confit, so what was I supposed to do?” You know, and I would have been indignant and angry and said, “What is wrong with you that you were so— Agh! Nothing pleases you.” And I really meant it. I really, really meant it. “I can’t do anything to make you happy. You are the pickiest person I’ve ever dealt with.” And as far as I was concerned, that was the truth, because I couldn’t see any other way that I was, you know, “What did I do wrong?” And it sounds terrible to say that, and I can laugh about it a little bit now, because it’s, you know, it’s ridiculous. But it’s a very real thing. And I realized as I was dealing with that situation, I was like, “There but for the grace of God went I.” None of those responses would have occurred to me. None of those simple things, simple steps that I look at look at now like, “Hello?” You know, it’s like a big post-it note in the sky. How do you miss that? Why wouldn’t that occur to you? Well, you know. That gave me a place of prayer for this person, because whatever they might think about it, the fact that none of those things occurred to them spoke volumes to me, because I know what it is to be in that place where you just don’t even see it.
(Carole) Well, you know what, Jen? When you’re talking, I’m still thinking… Based on the CD of the Month that Martha just did (Military Christianity), in her description of the military hierarchy coming on down and the call to submission, and I think about the Sergeant that stands in your face with his… I see it, I can see it in my mind’s eye right now, and Don would even talk about it. He said, he said they do exactly what you see on TV. They get in your face, and they call you every lowlife thing that they can call you. And these guys that have not been trained are just, you know, they’re devastated but they have to take it. And there was a sense in which it was my mindset too, Jen. I was so set in one way that it took the Holy Spirit to come after me time and time and time again. And you do think, “Is there nothing I can do to please You in this situation?” And yeah… No, there really isn’t. Hahaha, and that was the thing. That’s what He was, that’s what He was getting at. I had built my life on self-sufficiency and self, and He came along as that Sergeant and said, “Uh uh, there isn’t anything you’re doing right, nothing.”
(Martha) “You are insufficient.”
(Carole) “You are insufficient.”
(Martha) But, you know, as we’re talking about delegated authority, your response to the delegated authority is your response to the Lord. Your submission to delegated authority such as the policeman, the President, the father, the husband, the whatever, your response to the Lord is your response to the person. In other words, the Lord taught me in marriage, “You submit to Me, then you can submit.” Submit as unto the Lord. The submission is to Him, and He works out in your heart and your will how to manage the direction for those who are over you. Does that make sense? It’s important to know, because I keep thinking I always go back to Proverbs 30:11. There’s a kind of person who doesn’t bless the father and mocks the mother – and it is blindness. It issues in blindness and viciousness. And usually that rebellion against parents is a response to God, and until it is resolved, it’s a response to God. You don’t really understand authority. But it’s all a negotiable thing with God. If you are called… As I’ve often said, I was called to write, very clear calling, didn’t want to, but said yes. My yes was to the Lord and then it works. But again I had someone tell me recently she had no idea what a blessing being under authority was, because she had never been under authority. And the flow of anointing and help and love and spiritual and practical guidance and impartation just overwhelmed her, because she really didn’t expect authority to be a blessing and set her free. Authority is meant to set you free, to sustain you, help you find your destiny and to give you those impartations you’ve always talked about.
(John) I was just thinking about being under authority, the one that is under authority. Authority is to give you provision to live life. So, everything that you need is given to you, so that you can live your life well. And it’s under authority that that happens. If you are continually pushing back on authority and saying no, you’re supply chain is being cut, because you’re preventing the flow. Authority and supply and provision come all in the same chain. And so, if I just say, you know, “I don’t care what they say,” and push back, you’re going to have a very difficult time.
(Jennifer) Just real quick in response to that, going back to me in the office. When you’re not under authority, even your help is a hindrance to the people around you. I’m going to say that again. Even your help – your trying to help, your giving help, your doing your job, your any of these things – is a hindrance, because you don’t know how to help. You don’t know how to give a gift. You don’t know how to serve someone.
(Martha) You’re not surrendered to authority.
(Jennifer) Exactly. So there is…
(Martha) There’s no…
(Jennifer) You’re just dead weight. You’re just dead weight.
(Martha) And, you know, it works both ways. People who really submit to me, I have a huge anointing for. If I don’t have an anointing, I know it’s because they haven’t submitted, even though they think they have. God sets up the order of it so brilliantly and so perfectly. We’re to be in mutual authority. You know, we’ve gone over this before. If the Spirit’s on anybody, then I submit to the Spirit on wherever He lands.
(For more on the gift that is delegated authority, be sure to read Watchman Nee’s foundational classic, Spiritual Authority.)
The Enormous Blessing in Delegated Authority – Episode #550 – Shulamite Podcast
A person under authority has access to a wealth of help and guidance and wisdom that simply isn’t available to the rebellious. So when we resist and rebel against God’s delegated authority over us, we cut off the flow of His enormous blessing and provision.