Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls and will give an account for their work. (Hebrews 13:17)
“Hey Paul,” my voice gave a mid-puberty squeak, “my parents are gone. Come pick me up.”
Paul arrived with more boys and we brewed schemes of teenage rascality. As the night unfolded there were primal yells, an illegal entry, and stolen goods.
The revelry jerked to a halt when the police stopped us for spinning doughnuts on our high school lawn. We denied the charge, but a grass-covered souped-up Chevy made for an unconvincing tale. We spent the rest of the night frightened in jail. So much for my parent-free adventure.
God maintains order through hierarchies of authority in both the physical and spiritual realms. In the material world he works through parents, governments, even armies on occasion. In the spiritual he primarily uses elders and pastors (in the Bible AKA bishops, shepherds, overseers, & presbyters).
I was a foolish teenager when I cast off submission to authority, and I paid a dear price. As an adult, how often do I ignore the authority of my church leaders and bring unnecessary suffering on myself and others? Do I even consult them about life decisions?
The anointing over positions within the body of Christ is bigger than the persons holding the offices. When I submit to their Spirit-led direction, I’m under the umbrella of God’s protection. To step out from under that blessing is far more foolish than spinning doughnuts on the lawn.
Prayer: Father, use my church leaders to keep watch over my soul.