SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY ABUSE – Never Cage What God Intends To Fly
This blog is a continuation from my previous one – Never Cage What God Intends To Fly. This blog focuses on the abuse done by those in spiritual leadership positions. First, I must state that I am not speaking about any particular person, church, ministry, or denomination. Every person in a spiritual leadership position is to be respected and loved in the Lord. They are in that position and, regardless of the situations they are involved in, they must be supported, respected, and loved as if they are the Lord Himself. After all, they do represent Jesus. Colossians 3:17 “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” I must also commend the many people in spiritual leadership I do know. They clearly demonstrate that only the love of Jesus motivates them. Their fruit is truly God’s fruit.
However, and unfortunately, the majority of Christians in spiritual leadership positions abuse those under them. They do not permit God to develop their wings of talent. (It is remarkable how the enemy uses our flesh to puff up our ego when we are in a spiritual leadership position.) No wonder our Lord has to discipline us so often. Our flesh loves to be the center of attention. Our flesh will subtlety hide behind a puffed-up ego to avoid being revealed by the Holy Spirit. This occurs often in spiritual leadership. Many Christian leaders are very poor examples of Christ living through them. They actually are “overly religious in the flesh.” (If it is being revealed to you right now that you are hiding behind your flesh, you will be getting a gentle stirring in your heart by the Holy Spirit that this is wrong. Give God many thanks!)
Spiritual abuse is one of the most effective tools the enemy uses to cripple the body of Christ. If you are born again in Christ, you are free to fly as God directs you to fly. No dumb devil can touch your new identity as God’s child. He can only attempt to stifle your growth, your freedom to fly. The enemy will attempt to restrict your freedom by placing restraints on God’s growth within you. It is as if he is the one placing you in a cage and locking the door shut. He does this often through the spiritual leadership placed over you. Understand: you do need spiritual leadership over you. However, those over you must not abuse this authority because, first and foremost, the Lord is over them. The same is for you – the Lord is over you first. Your spiritual direction must first come from Him. However, you must love and respect the spiritual leaders over you. Jesus will very often direct you through them.
If you are in a position of spiritual leadership, you have a very serious responsibility in the body of Christ. Your primary function is to be a representative of Jesus Christ. This must be the primary focus in your mind. You are to literally represent Jesus Christ in everything you do. He is to be the source of everything you do. When people see you, they are to see Jesus. They have a right to only see Jesus in you. He has placed them under your spiritual care. After all, Jesus is the spiritual leader through you.
Only the depths of your intimate relationship with Jesus will show how well Jesus is performing as a spiritual leader through you. If you have limited, intimate time with the Lord, then you are probably spiritually abusing the people under your care. In many ways, you are locking them in a cage of “death” when God is intending for them to fly.
For you to clearly hear the Lord, you must silence yourself in your heart. There is where Jesus resides and speaks to you the most frequently, especially in His Word. You must first foster your own intimate relationship with Him. Just absorb how deeply He loves you. Meditate frequently on His death and resurrection. See convincingly how His death destroyed your sin nature (and Satan). See convincingly how His resurrection provided you a new life, a new identity in Christ. God Himself resides in you, His creation, forever.
As He increases more into your daily life, you will gradually see His love become more and more your prime motivation. In everything you do, His love motivates you for His glory. You become so peaceful, joyful, and content within.
If you fail to foster your intimate relationship with Christ, you set up the people who are under your spiritual direction for a big fall. Why? Because you are a very poor example of Christ living through you. Remember that Jesus is the only one qualified to be the spiritual leader through you. This is Whom your people must see in you. Otherwise, you are failing as His disciple. Do not believe me only because I say it. It is only my opinion. Go intimately to the Lord often. Go into His Word frequently with an open heart for His love. The Holy Spirit will confirm my words. You will convincingly see the difference.
Then you will cease locking your people in a cage. You will clearly hear the Holy Spirit within you teaching you how to direct your people. You will clearly see their God-given talent(s) and easily discern when each person is mature to fly with their specific talent(s) for God to be glorified. You will easily see how to permit them to fly. For the Lord is now teaching you how well you can fly. Your life will begin to only be lived for the glory of God.