THE BIBLICAL FOUNDATIONS OF BEHAVIOR: UNDERSTANDING GOD'S AUTHORITY & SUBMISSION STRUCTURE
#8 of the of the Walk Applied Model
Counseling & Discipleship Continuing Series.
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God's Authority and Submission Spiritual Dynamic
In order to gain a deeper understanding of human behavior, It is imperative that we need to fully understand God's spiritual dynamic of Authority and Submission. Over the next several posts in this series, we will investigate God's Authority and Submission dynamic and gain a significant understanding of the profound impact of authority and submission upon our human nature and human behavior.
AUTHORITY ISN’T EVERYTHING; IT’S THE ONLY THING
The Bible reports that there is a very real struggle. Many are deceived into coming under Satan’s authority and don’t even know it!
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Eph 6:12)
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. You are looking only on the surface of things. (2 Cor 10:3-7)
What is this struggle all about? Apparently, Satan and God both want the same thing (later on, we’ll find what each wants are polar opposites): Authority over us. Peruse the following passages:
You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. (Isa 14:13-14)
It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God." (Rom 14:11)
“…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
AUTHORITY & THE NATURE OF THE ATTACK BY SATAN
Because we tend to think in terms of performance, we typically look at sin as having “done the wrong thing”. That’s a true statement, and the idea that we have done the wrong thing should never be minimized. We need to be about the business of looking at our sin in an altogether different context. This idea cannot be emphasized nearly enough. We need to start seeing our sin as much worse than some sort of “minimal human error”. For many of us, we tend to “minimize” our sin (in accordance with out fleshly Idolatry belief systems as we talked about earlier) because, after all, “I’m not that bad” or “I didn’t really mean it” or any other number of rationalizations and excuses.
We need to see sin as REBELLION against God – something we rarely do. The truth is that we are sinners saved solely by God’s grace. When we are saved, we are judged righteous but we still live with a driven relentless flesh. We still sin every day and do wrong things; we are still in rebellion each and every day. It’s important to know that even while we worship Him and seek Him daily, we are still sinners who sin simply because we are sinners. Indeed, every time we sin, we are committing an act of rebellion against our Heavenly Father. Jesus perfect sacrifice of Himself on the cross paid the price for sin for us that we could never pay. Understanding the true nature of what the concept of Authority really means has immeasurable implications for our lives and out daily walk with Christ.
AUTHORITY AND SUBMISSION
Authority and submission are established by agreement with either God or Satan. It’s most important to understand that to sin is to come out of agreement with God. However, as Satan will always try to get us to agree with him anyway he can. Satan will tempt us to seek the natural, where he’s in authority:
"…the prince of this world will be driven out." (John 12:31)
"…the prince of this world is coming." (John 14:30)
"…the prince of this world now stands condemned."
In the Garden of Eden, Eve sinned when she came into agreement with Satan. She was persuaded to look at the one thing she couldn’t have! She agreed with the tempter & disagreed w/ God. Thus, she came under Satan’s authority.
"Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'" "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves."
Next time, we will look at Job and gain further perspective on the battle for authority over us.
Next Time: #9: Authority & Submission, continued:
Job and the battle for authority
N. Patrick Marica contributes incisive Christian commentary on this blog on a regular basis. He has been the Director of Godly Training Ministries since 1993. He has his MA from Liberty University in Marriage and Family Therapy. He is the author of the forthcoming book: The Walk Applied". He has been married to Kathy since 1985. They have 2 adult daughters and 1 extraordinary son-in-law.
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