From the Pastor’s heart

Submission will elevate you (ambition will destroy you)

It is very clear in the Bible that God has instituted people to hold positions of power and authority in His Kingdom. This is both in the spiritual and earthly plain. Yet, we often find that the very same people who had been given this grace have destroyed themselves by it. The first recorded failure of a person to hold position, power and authority before God was Lucifer the archangel. His ambition destroyed him with no recourse for redemption. He then brought this rebellion to the earth and influenced human beings to behave in the same manner.

This perpetration of evil caused mayhem and chaos to the order that God had set for us to follow. Through the history of mankind we see classic rises and fall of power and authority due to this insidious nature that has been introduced into humanity. It not only affects the secular but the spiritual people in the body of Christ. In all cases, the ambition is to gain power and authority over another’s domain or well being and blessings. A classic case of such an incident in the Bible is when Absalom the son of King David plotted against his own father. He sat in the gate of his father for 40 years after being forgiven with the intention of one day taking over his father’s position. Mind you, God had already decided a punishment for King David because of his own mistakes with God and so allowed this rebellion to take place.

If betrayal is in the heart of man, it will lead him to seek position. I have seen so many church splits and divorce in so many lives because the covetousness of man has been used by the devil to bring him and others down. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. All it takes is a hairline fault in a character to produce an earthquake down the track. The two main spirits involved in Churches around the world that work insidiously to destroy the Church or local body are the jezebel and leviathan spirit. These are insidious spirits that attach themselves to people who have ambition, jealousy, anger, frustration and pride and use sexuality and manipulation to advance their plans. When they find someone who is disillusioned with life or church, they use them to bring division and splits. They work from without the church using spirits of witchcraft, gossip and lies to breakdown the structure. These are words being loosed in the air by people who think they know where someone or the church should be. Much of it is even careless conversation or comments. Then, they work from within insidiously.

It takes a wise man to understand the ways of the Lord and the ways of evil. God said; submit to God and resist the devil. Submission is a sharp threshing instrument, which will make chaff of the mountains before us. God cannot use an un-submissive person for good. Though the person may be a Christian, if they do not walk in submission, they will bring the house down and even their own house down. What many who seek position do not understand is, that once they are in position, there is someone else vying for that same position. When position is gained through craftiness or rebellion, the same destruction comes to the person who thinks they have gained their position by wisdom. James wrote that worldly wisdom is full of strife,. A submissive person seeks the wisdom from above which is acceptable in the sight of God and bears good fruit.

The true way to a position, if that position is meant for you is, death to self. Apostle Paul wrote in Gal 2:20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Then he makes an amazing statement in the next verse. He says; I do not frustrate the grace of God; meaning to say, that the life of Christ in him and the faith of Christ toward him is the sheer grace of God. If God’s grace for him was to live by the faith of the Son of God then he was not going to try and live by his own faith. He realized that the gift of Jesus the Son of God was a living sacrifice for him and gave him life. That is God’s grace manifest in the life of Paul and all who believe in Jesus. By this verse, Paul eliminates the need for position and power or anything else because he no longer lives. All of his passions and needs he had crucified with Christ that he may allow the life of Christ to gave him life rather than try to gain anything from this life that did not belong to him. Now, he was free to live in the flesh without the passions of ambition, power or authority but still move in them without being influenced by them. Many are seeking to be insidious controllers of others, telling them what to do because they want to control the scene from behind the scenes. They plant seeds of ambition, doubt and fear in others to break them down. The whole problem with Absalom started with wrong counsel toward the young man who had done wrong by Absalom’s sister and had raped her. This set of a chain of events that ultimately caused Absalom to commit murder and ultimately seek his father’s throne. See, how a little matter of the tongue had set fire an entire kingdom. Jas 3:6And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.  Jesus never sought position with His Father. He never strove for His father’s throne like the devil. Instead, as soon as He found Himself as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto the cross which is complete submission to the will of God. After the cross, Jesus was elevated to the highest position. Humility, submission and obedience will elevate you to the highest position God has for you.

Many are having fantasies of position and power in the secular and in the church. They seek to gain their position by methods that are not righteous in the sight of God. They strive, connive, fight for and destroy as they go on their way to the position that they seek. Politics is full of it, and wars come because of it and man’s misery and demise is because of it. There is no power like selfish power. It excludes everyone else and does not allow for the other to exist in equity and peace and without fear of reprisal. When one learns to accept their position in life and wait on God, He will promote that individual to greater heights than ever imagined. I often watch people strive to achieve something in life and realise that I too was once like that. God had to break my pride and deal with my character faults and many other shortcomings in my life of fear and an inability to see things for what they are before I understood and entered into His rest. I like what one African, Pastor I met in Bunbury said; ‘I am not afraid of anyone’s position, gifting or talent. In fact, I seek to promote it’. I was greatly impressed by his candid statement. I realised that this man had come to a place where he had died to his position, ambition and the search for self gratification through power, gifts or talents. He had accepted who God had made him and was therefore free to bless and promote others as God saw fit.

There is no one placed above us or alongside us that is better than us because of position, power, looks, education or wealth. A poor man is as much elevated in God’s sight as a rich man based on their humility and submission.

Luk 18:10Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. Luk 18:11The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. Luk 18:12I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. Luk 18:13  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. Luk 18:14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

The day of reckoning is coming for us all. We should clean up our act. In the Father’s house are many vessels. If we are to become vessels of honour, we must purge ourselves from all our fears, jealousies, pride, anger and other things that hinder us from going forward. 2Ti 2:20But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 2Ti 2:21If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. 2Ti 2:22Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

It does not mean you will not be tempted by the evil one in the areas of your weakness. It just means that as you purge yourself (through recognition of your weakness, confession and repentance) and allow the Holy Spirit to strengthen you with the love of God, you will be able to resist all temptation no matter what it is and even if it has to do with a weakness in you. We are all being perfected. So, allow that perfecting to take place. You will grow stronger through cleansing, not weaker. You will understand more and walk in wisdom and in the Spirit as you submit and yield. Submission is on all fronts. Submission is hierarchical. Submit to those above you. Submission is on a horizontal plain. Submit to one another in love. We are not each others slave nor are we God’s slave. We are His children and so we must walk in love and submission that is born out of humility. May God give us the grace to overcome our weaknesses and destroy the works of the devil in our lives, the Church and the world.

Lots of love                            

Pastor Noble