Friday, June 22, 2012

DO NOT SURRENDER WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN FOR YOU TO DO

The authority we have to follow Jesus Christ and to preach His message was given to us by God, and it must never be surrendered. This is what God calls for each man to do and no man, no government, has any right to take that away. 

This thought is not original with me, but I believe that authority is given or surrendered, but it is never taken. I believe this is true and the Scriptures support it. God has given you and me the authority over our lives, to be self-governed, so that some day we will answer to Him for the good and evil we did. Tyrants, big and little ones, will use force and the instrument of fear to usurp your god-given authority over your life (family, work, worship areas for example) but they can only have it if YOU SURRENDER it. If Tyrants rule over you, it's because you have GIVEN the authority and SURRENDERED your authority to them.

The early Christians opposed the world authorities, being an outlaw religion they would not SURRENDER, to do what God gave all disciples authority to do - preach the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. This authority to speak what was then illegal to preach was NOT TAKEN by Christians, IT WAS GIVEN to them by God. And what God has GIVEN to us, we must not SURRENDER. The early Christians stood firmly against religious and civil authorities who tried to TAKE authority which they were NOT GIVEN. 

Surrendering to illegitimate authority is cowardice. Cowards go to hell for allowing fear to silence them from doing what God HAS GIVEN THEM authority to do. Legitimate authorities in the world may try to TAKE authority not given to them by God, by attempting to silence the preaching of Christ, but all such attempts will only fail as long as those who have authority to preach the Gospel DO NOT SURRENDER IT. This would be a sin for Christians to SURRENDER what God has GIVEN for them to do. 

There is conflict in the world between those who have legitimate authority GIVEN to them by God and those who are trying to TAKE authority not theirs. This is the conflict between good and evil. There won't and can't be peace as long as Christians are courageous and do not SURRENDER what God has given to only them. You disciples of Jesus Christ have been GIVEN authority to assemble and worship God. You have been GIVEN authority to go into the public and contact the lost world with the only thing that can save them. Don't SURRENDER to those who try to TAKE authority over you to silence these. Parents pro-created children and those children belong to them. The decision to have children was theirs. The responsibility to raise children is theirs. God holds these parents responsible for their physical and spiritual welfare. The authority God has given to parents to have and raise children must never BE SURRENDERED to forces in the world who desire to shape and mold your children into their image. Parents who SURRENDER their authority will be judged by God for you cannot GIVE and should not SURRENDER what God has only given to you.

In the Church there are Shepherds who have been GIVEN authority to oversee the flock. They did not TAKE this authority or the church would not follow them. The Scriptures give us a clear pattern to establish qualified men to feed and protect the flock of God. These Shepherds may not SURRENDER this authority to the unqualified. This authority in the church cannot be SURRENDERED to a woman who wishes to TAKE IT. The Shepherds may not establish a separate board to rule over the church because that would be TAKING what is not GIVEN by God. The qualifications for Leadership in the church shows the authority is only given to men who meet a very specific set of traits, 1 Tim 3:1ff; Titus 1:5ff. 

The relationship in the world that trumps all others is the relationship between God Almighty and the individual man. They will stand face to face some day and God will judge the man asking him to account for His life. This will be the accounting for what he did with the authority God gave to Him. God gave Him a talent, two two talents, or five, and each man has been given authority - and responsibility - to administer these talents. A man cannot surrender his talents or pass along the responsibility to another. God gave the authority to administer the talent to only you. It's your decision or choice to live by faith and to act with courage to do what God wants and expects for you to do: God GAVE it to you and you MUST NOT SURRENDER IT. And if governments or friends try to usurp and TAKE that authority, you mustn't SURRENDER IT. 

Will you and I use the authority God has given to us? If we are silent when we should be vocal, we have SURRENDERED it. Our conscience knows this. When we know the right thing to do and don't do it, it's sin, Jas. 4:17. We can excuse and rationalize why we aren't doing what God authorized us to do, but deep inside we know that we have SURRENDERED to the world, to peer pressures, and to fears. 

Matthew 10 shows that Jesus has GIVEN disciples authority to speak what they have heard and they must NOT SURRENDER even if they are threatened with death. Acts 4 and other places shows Christians exercising the authority GOD HAS GIVEN them to preach the death and resurrection of Christ. When the religious and civil authorities attempted TO TAKE authority NOT GIVEN TO THEM, the Christians bravely said that's not your authority, it's ours, and WE WILL NOT SURRENDER it to you. WE MUST OBEY GOD, because God is the only one who GIVES authority, Acts 5:29. What He's given to you, don't SURRENDER
"But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ." 1 Cor. 11:3
To the ladies, the Bible has made the man to be the leader. The inspired words in 1 Cor. 11 speak to the chain of authority. "Man is the head of a woman" as Christ is the head of man. Ladies, you have an important role and God knows it wouldn't be good for us to be without you, but God has made you women and us men to be unique. Ladies are not less than men; they are equal and co-heirs with us, Gal. 3:28. We honor you ladies as fellow heirs of Christ, 1 Pt 3:7. We do not demean you or disrespect you because God has given you authority too. The authority which God has given to ladies MAY NOT BE TAKEN BY MEN and you may NOT SURRENDER IT to them without being judged for doing so. On judgment day you can't blame your husband for what you didn't do because God didn't GIVEN man the authority to rule you. You are made unique and your first relationship responsibility is to God. Don't SURRENDER to any man what God has GIVEN only to you. But men are the spiritual leaders. Male spiritual leadership IS GIVEN by God and we can't SURRENDER it to you, no matter how wonderful and talented you are. Let your godly husband lead, that's what God has GIVEN him to do. If you try to usurp or TAKE the authority which God has GIVEN TO THE MAN, you will suffer severe consequences in this life. You will suffer physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences as anyone will who tries to TAKE what God has not given to them. Our homes are falling apart as a consequence and judgment of men and woman are not listening to God. Women are TAKING authority not given to them, and men are SURRENDERING what is given to them. Each should live according to the role God has GIVEN to each. 

Today you and I stand before God. What will we do with what God has GIVEN to us? That's the number one question. Do not strive to rule over others, TAKING authority you haven't BEEN GIVEN. Be content to direct your own life according to God's will. God has GIVEN Christians a mission and we must carry it out. Let no one 

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