Joh 13:12  So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Joh 13:13  Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. Joh 13:14  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. Joh 13:15  For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Joh 13:16  Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. Joh 13:17  If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. Joh 13:18  I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. 

Mat 10:24  The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. Mat 10:25  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? 

Who is Lord and who is Master? They are one and the same in Jesus but as an extension as the gifts to the Church that Jesus has given, they are also those who are above you in ministry and life. These people are placed there for a reason, to function in their capacity as ones who themselves are submitted to their Lord and Master. They hold no office of their own power but as it is given to them. Therefore, in conducting their ministry they must be ready to take on the humility of ministry rather than the pride of ministry.

The moment a person is placed above you in context to their authority, there comes an emphasis that is laid on you to submit to that ministry. Some examples of such authority placements over our lives through the journey of life are; parents over children, Teachers over students, Pastor over the congregation and other Leaders who are appointed in the Church and husbands over wives. The fact that there are such authority levels placed on us through the journey of our lives, it must bring us to an understanding that submission and humility are key factors in life in order for our lives to go well. However, it is also evident that the person in authority must also be under authority before they can minister in any given authority situation.

Hence the pride of ministry is a key factor in exercising this authority.

Jesus teaches us that when authority is given, it is not to be abused to gain or discover the weakness of another in order to persecute or condemn. Authority is given to determine the release of the person from demonic forces and to bring understanding of blessings through submission. It is also, to bring about reconciliation and spiritual growth into maturity through submission. The tasks given to us by God through Jesus to subject the world to His authority carries with it empowerment but not to force the world into subjugation. Rather, through the preaching of the gospel to educate the world into submission to God. This kind of empowerment is authority of a very great level. To it is attached the righteousness of the person carrying that authority. The moment that person abuses power or does not follow the commandments of God, the pride of ministry comes into play. Clear examples from the Bible are Samson and King Saul. Both of them crossed their authority levels and played into the hands of the pride of ministry. In the New Testament, we see Simon the sorcerer, the sons of Sceva and others who made a shipwreck of their faith because they did not adhere to the principles and commandments of ministry. Many also left the ministry through difficulty in submitting to the words of Jesus when He asked them to drink His blood and eat His flesh. They did not understand and left the covering of His ministry. Others started with the disciples, learnt many things and left thinking they now could become ministers in their own right only to end up as false prophets and teachers.

The Church is filled with leaders and lay people who think they can do what they want with the word of God and His people. This has caused much strife through the centuries resulting in death, destruction, loss of a person’s mental and physical well being etc. Violence ensued from most of Church authority in the old days as they tried to establish their supremacy over people. In today’s ministry it is no different. The violence is like what Jesus mentioned in the Bible. The kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force. Yet, the violence can be silent or invisible depending on who is conducting the violence. If it is the devil, it is invisible; if it is people it can be silent. We see husbands abusing their wives and vice versa, parents abusing children and vice versa, even as Christians and finally congregation over leaders in the Church and vice versa. It has always been knowledge or the lack of it that has brought this about coupled with power. To remain contained within the context of a given task of authority and submission to God, one requires great humility, obedience and the fear of the Lord which brings wisdom. Attached to this, one must seek the constant guidance of the Holy Spirit to achieve these levels of character and expressions of authority. Not everyone (including spiritual forces) will be happy or agree with you anyway but the righteousness is from God and not of man.

When we understand this, we are set free to minister in a manner that bring us to greater authority than ever before. A day is coming when we will judge angels. That is something beyond our imagination but it is the wisdom of God. I personally believe that God is training us now so that we know what to do. My understanding is; intimacy with God will determine much of our character and power and its expression back onto earthly and spiritual realms. It is then that true understanding of who you are becomes evident to the understanding of others and they will submit and follow you as their leader. Till then, they will find it hard and in many cases rebel. The rebellious will always be that way till they are humbled one way or another and if they don’t submit, they will leave your covering. Many did, when Jesus came to the earth. The established order of authority of the day was challenged by the new authority that they saw displayed in the words and actions of Jesus. The coming Messiah was right before their eyes but they could not see. Therefore, they used violence to protect their authority. The lessened themselves to an evil force in the devil and gave way to their human weaknesses. Jesus raised a new order of authority in Himself that was only to be established by the presence of the Holy Spirit in a believer. Those who professed to be believers and did not have the Holy Spirit guiding them failed and often established their own authority. They repeated the cycle of man’s desire to rule rather than allow God to rule.

True pride in ministry is having the satisfaction of being a vessel of God in and to every walk of life. To govern life itself one must possess life. The life we have in the flesh is not the only life God has given us. He has given us eternal life in Himself through Jesus. This is a superior life and one that is forever. There is also an eternal death that one must consider when dealing with the natural life. The natural life has a cessation attached to it and this evident to us as human beings. When we become spirit beings, we come into the eternal life context of life while living a natural life. Once the natural life is over, we move to the eternal life in its fullness. Therefore, one must choose which life he or she wants to live in and then decide how to live this life in context to eternity. Their conduct in both forms of life is a test by God on His creation to see if they are worthy of His life in them. Many take the natural life for granted and live terribly or carelessly and die without knowing of an eternal life that could save them. Others live an eternal life coupled with a natural life and fail their commission because they decide they are the governors of those lives. The tragedy is; not understanding all life has been given by God.

The mixing of ministry to achieve an end is a dangerous thing. If you allow the world concepts into your ministry, into family, friends or church life, even prayer life, you are going to corrupt the purity of God’s word. Today, much of the world is in the church and this is what Jesus was saying to the churches in the book of Revelation. Beware the daily ministration of your life that it does not compromise.

In our daily administration of authority over anything that has been given to us be it family, friends, church, money or government, it is imperative we understand our servant hood and stewardship of what has been given to us. It is then that we can understand the greater value in our existence as priests and kings unto God. To rule and reign with God, we must first learn humility like the kind He displays. Php 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Php 2:6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: Php 2:7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: Php 2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. What a Master and Lord, what a Saviour and Shepherd, what a man! A true person is one who is like his Master and can conform to His image. 

May the Lord our God confirm His word to you and bring you peace in your situation and ministry.

Lots of love

Pastor Noble