“We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you. Our letters have been straightforward, and there is nothing written between the lines and nothing you can’t understand. I hope someday you will fully understand us, even if you don’t understand us now. Then on the day when the Lord Jesus returns, you will be proud of us in the same way we are proud of you.”
2 Corinthians 1:12-14 NLT
2 Corinthians was written by the Apostle Paul after hearing that some in the church were challenging his integrity and authority. A minority in the church had began to question his life and his authority over them. God had specifically chosen and anointed Paul for this ministry. Acts 9 gives us the words of Jesus as He was speaking to Ananias: “But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”” Acts of the Apostles 9:15-16 NLT
In ministry there are going to be times when things are going to get challenging. At this point things can, and often will, get tough. Not everyone is going to accept or agree with what the leader is saying and doing. Often, the problem is ignorance - there is a lack of biblical knowledge as well as personal knowledge of the particulars concerning the matter(s). Additionally, there are those who are swayed by certain personalities, perhaps a subordinate leader, within the congregation, who begins to question the anointing and authority of the leader. This can create confusion and disruption. At this point, the atmosphere within the body of the church can get uncertain and tense.
Dealing with matters like these requires a few things:
1: The anointing of God - Without Gods anointing there is no authority. Strength comes from God. Only He can sustain a leader and church through turbulent times. The anointing brings with it a corresponding attribute - Authority. Since God is the Author, His anointing establishes authority.
2: Resolve - The leader must be willing to do what God says to do even when it isn't clear to everyone else. Trying to appease the whole is not the right approach. Obeying God is always the right approach. When the scriptures are clear, so should be the conduct of the leader.
3: Love for God and His people - Without God's love in the heart of a leader, he can become bitter and either abandon the ministry or become completely cold and destructive in his actions. This doesn't mean that the leader should compromise principle in order to appease others, rather, love all who are under his leadership even when they oppose him. This isn't easy. God has called, anointed, and given authority to those whom He chooses. It behoves the church to submit to the authority God has placed over them. God is watching out for the interests of the whole. Trust God not others who try to disrupt. Getting in line with God's authority will always produce the right result. Protection and promotion are found when we come under authority.
Prayer for today: Father, in Jesus name, I submit to You and those You have chosen to lead. Help me submit. I want your covering upon my life.
Rev. Curtis Norris