SOAP Devotional 2014-07-11
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
In the same way, these people—who claim authority from their dreams—live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at supernatural beings. But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy, but simply said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (This took place when Michael was arguing with the devil about Moses’ body.) But these people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction. What sorrow awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money. And like Korah, they perish in their rebellion. (Jude 1:8-11 NLT)
From the previous passage, these people (those who “did not remain faithful”, “did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them”, and “were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion”) claim authority from their dreams, defy genuine god-given authority, and scoff at spiritual beings. Even the archangel, Michael, did not dare to scoff at the devil like these people scoff at things when they do not even know what they are talking about. The archangel, Michael, said to the devil, “The Lord rebuke you!” rather than even appear to assume that even he could do this in his own authority. Rather than submit to authority, these people, like untrained animals, do whatever they want to do and bring about their own punishment. It will a sad day for them in the future. They deceive people for personal gain. They will be banished as Cain was and they will be destroyed as Korah was for their own rebellion.
The focus here is on those who profess to be believers, but exalt themselves above God, Himself, when they choose to do things their own way rather than God’s way. It is about assuming authority they do not have and thereby becoming rebellious and leading others down the same path. How do we prevent this from happening in our lives and in the lives of those around us? First and foremost we must allow the word of God to be the final guide in how we live our lives rather than what the world around us is doing. Even some of the church world and a lot of television preachers have left biblical holiness to assuming authority to do things scriptures does not allow. Just because someone says it is ok, does not make it true. Then we need to keep the fact that we are all, as believers, now a royal priesthood out of context. That gives us the ability to show others how to live holy lives and not necessarily put us all into top authority on all things. God established authority in His church, let’s operate within that plan and work under the authority He places over us. Third, let’s not kick everyone out into ministry without first discipling them. Scripture warns against putting novices into positions of authority. Even the disciples had to walk with him for three years before he gave them unbridled authority. He gave His church “all authority” under Him, but it is outlined clearly in scriptures that there is a flow to that authority.
Father, help me to remain under the authority you have placed in Your church over me. Don’t ever let me get to thinking that I have any authority other than what you have given me to operate in the ministry that you have for me. And help me to be diligent in training others to operate within that authority structure that You have established.