Apostle Jacquelyn Fedor
17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
Would your disobedience make you out of line with man or God? The answer is both.
When you enlist in God's Army, you must be willing to accept the authority the Lord has placed over you. We've all seen movies about man's army where the new trainees are delivered by bus to the base. Put yourselves in this position. The bus pulls up and the new recruits, you among them, carelessly and disorderly get out. Someone's there to meet and greet you. It's a drill instructor, barking orders at the top of his lungs, "and not kind ones either". From the moment you arrive you are taught respect and obedience for leadership. The slogan is: there's a right way, a wrong way, and the army way. Most don't even think about crossing their drill instructors in man's army, and if you do, as the drill instructor will tell you, "you're dog meat". You will pay for it. Thankfully, you do not have to face the same type of drill instructor as you enter God's Army. But you should have the same respect and obedience for the authority that God has put over your lives. You are to see leaders as an extension of heaven's rule.
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
This is the fivefold ministry, the hand of God, His government, put here to shape and mold His army. This Hand of God can be loving or it can become a fist. Remember, it's really Christ through these ones training you. * See diagram
In fact, you may not even care for the personality of the person or vessel God has chosen to train you, but you still are to be submissive to the God in that one. We see an example of this very problem in Numbers 16:1-33.
1 Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men
2 and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, men of renown.
3 They gathered together against Moses (a dual anointed Apostle and Prophet) and Aaron (a prophet), and said to them, "You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?"
Korah thought he had an honest complaint. He didn't accept in his heart that Moses and Aaron were placed in leadership positions by God. He doubted the decisions of the leadership, thinking Moses didn't know what he was doing.
Korah said to Moses:
13 "Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you should keep acting like a prince over us?
In verse 15 it says Moses was very angry. We see the response of the Lord as He addressed the situation in verses 20-21.
20 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying
21 "Separate yourself from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment."
Here's the terrible conclusion of the whole episode:
28 And Moses said: "By this you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own will.
29 if these men die naturally like all men, or if they are visited by the common fate of all men, then the Lord has not sent me.
30 But if the Lord creates a new thing, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the pit then you will understand that these men have rejected the Lord."
31 Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them,
32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods.
33 So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly.
After all this happened, a fire came from God that consumed 250 more men because they had agreed in their hearts with Korah, and yet tried to hide it and appear normal, and handled the holy articles used in worship. Not only that, but there were even those who blamed Moses and Aaron for the deaths of the people rather than seeing that it was God avenging His leadership, and for that the Lord sent a horrible plague on Israel killing four thousand seven hundred people. This incident is only one of many found in the Bible of God's anger against those that will not hear His voice through His leaders or accept Him as the Head of the church through them. Look at what Paul tells us in Romans 13:1-4.
1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
2 Therefore, whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
3 For the rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same.
4 For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
Peter warns of this kind in 2 Peter 2:9-10
2 Peter 2:9-10
9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,
10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority.
You see, people are the same today as they were is Moses' time. They don't really think leadership knows what it's doing. They like Korah think that leadership is just like them. They are not. They are people that God has purposely created situations for that has put them in a place of leadership over the flock. He is in these ones as the Head and His anointing is on them to lead and guide. You may still think that the advice you are given by them is just not correct however. You have this promise from the Lord if you will listen to His servants' advice and obey their counsel. He tells us in Isaiah 44:26 that He (God) confirms the word of His servants and performs the counsel of His messenger. So if your leadership tells you to do something that you don't agree with, remember this scripture and promise.
26 Who confirms the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers; ...
God will back the leadership because one: it is Him through them counseling you, or two: even if the leadership jumps in over God and ministers to you from their intellect, God will make the counsel work, not because of them, but because of your obedience. Don't ever come against your elders. Paul says in I Timothy.
1 Timothy 5:19
19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses,
In other words, don't listen to gossip and the whiny complaints of people that:
(a) don't want to be told what to do,
(b) don't want to change,
(c) like Korah think they know more than the leadership and are better qualified to lead.
(d) think everything in life is centered around them and because of leadership, their life isn't what they want it to be.
In fact, let us look at verse 17.
1 Timothy 5:17
17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.
As a trainee, you must continually re-enforce your thinking so you can keep in proper perspective the fact that your leadership loves you and has your best interests in mind. You are being trained to not only survive, but to also be an overcomer and victorious in battle. You must come to a place of total trust in your leadership, knowing the leadership must answer to God and will be governed by Him and if needed, corrected as well. To think you must advise them is to put yourself in God's swim lane!
I direct this next segment to those of you that feel you will be called to officer training and will one day be leadership. First allow me to ask, why do you want to be leadership? Is it to be in a place of authority, or do you want to see people be all they can be for God? Let me share something concerning those God chooses. For one thing, they will not be looking for "self" exaltation. You are only qualified to lead God's people to the degree you are willing to serve them. You see, whatever the number is of the people under a leader's guidance, that is exactly how many the leader is a servant to. In other words, if you're the last guy on the ladder so to speak, there is no-one below you to serve, but look at the number if you are at the top! You must have a heart to serve not be served. You should have a desire to feed the sheep not beat them with your authority, and to parent them, but at the same time you must learn when to give them room to grow. This all requires much experience and maturity. Before the Lord ever puts the rod of authority in the hands of His servants, they have learned to be very aware of the awesome responsibility. You will be required to give account and accept the responsibility for God's people before God. You must have, not only the heart of a servant, but the heart of a shepherd and be responsible and willing to feed and protect the flock of God at all times. It's not a 9 to 5 job either! Leaders must always watch over the souls of their people. The word "watch" in Greek has the meaning of staying up at night out of concern. You must honestly love enough to confront, correct, warn and discipline the people in order to help keep God's army, His family, His body, pure, righteous and holy.
Again I make the point that good leadership will always encourage everyone under them to be all they can be. You must make sure they have the opportunity to advance as God anoints them to do so. To really do this, you cannot feel inferior or be jealous, or be in fear of others replacing you. God will only move you forward, never backwards, unless you step back. if you are in fear of being shoved out, it's doubtful you are where you belong. What I mean by this is, there is a definite anointing and authority that cannot be denied and you can sense it on one that is called to lead. If it's not there for all to see, then they were not called. At least, not yet! The truly called will try to persuade people under them rather than push. This is the God in them. You see, God nudges, Satan pushes. More emphasis must be put on love and unity than role, rank, and position. You learn to guide rather than drive, heal problems not cause them, and worry less about placing the blame. Those called to be leaders are willing to help with the work that's being done in all areas, not just where they think they are called to be. In other words, you must partake of the work as well as receive of the fruit or the benefit from it. A good leader will not ask people to do something they wouldn't do themselves.
There are many valuable lessons you will learn as God's future leaders in boot camp, but one of the most important is don't get out of your swim lane, and don't push to get ahead, like the world teaches. Let God mold and shape that part of your life He is concentrating and working on now, and don't look at what He's doing in someone else's walk. The anointing on your life to lead comes only with God's approval. As you saw with Korah, there is no approval on criticizing others' walks or walking over others in the quest of getting ahead. Spiritual babies want to be all they are called to be, but they also want to be what everyone else is. Why? Because if there is any credit or recognition, they want to look like the wonder child. They want patted on the head, they demand love and respect and so are always pushing to be out in front. All people would prefer to be loved and appreciated for sure, but to the baby Christian it is paramount. The real facts are, many times leadership is hated and resented. You have to die to your soulish feelings to remain a steady and faithful servant and leader. Future leaders must be well trained to calmly recognize and eradicate the spirits that oppose God's army and not feel threatened by them. For instance they must subdue the Saul spirit of religion and tradition that attacks the truth released for this end time. The revelatory word must go forth for the church to be victorious. Absalom sold his father (King David) out so he could get ahead. We see this Absalom spirit in "wanna be" leaders all the time. It too must be subdued. You must rid yourselves of Jezebel that you do not try to control or be controlled, nor can tomorrow's leaders be like Balaam that used his gifting to sell out all Israel. You must separate yourself from anything or anyone (and that includes evil spirits) that would hinder your loyalty to God or your fellow soldiers in any way.
Boot camp is designed to melt God's warriors together as a cohesive fighting unit. Your training may be tough. However, in your darkest hour, on your hardest day of training, you may look up and see someone else that needs encouragement even more than you do. Reach out. Especially to those that are called to leadership. Their training is intense! You are a team, an army, a family, and very blessed to have an impartial heavenly Father that reaches out to all the children through His well-trained ministers. We all, priesthood and people, must strive together with one spirit and one mind in one body.
1 Corinthians 12:14-18
14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.
15 if the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body?
16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body?
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?
18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.
Be content to be who and what you are. Pull together, stay tight. You see, the devil loves lone rangers and loose cannons that don't take orders from those placed over them. Hopefully you can learn in boot camp that it's vital to operate as a whole team for God's army to be victorious. If not, Satan will have a new recruit!
YES SIR - NO SIR
We touched on this subject a little the first night of Boot Camp. The reason you are taught to address your leaders in the army of man as sir or ma'am is (one), out of respect for them, and (two), it causes the one you are addressing to answer you as an officer with army policy and training behind them. In the first place, to call leadership by their first name is to say you see yourself as their equal, you want to minimize their title and be their buddy or friend. It's a power struggle thing in the world, and not acceptable in man's army at all. We come in from the world with all these little tricks to God's army and right off the bat we try to make God's leaders our buds. It doesn't work in God's army either, let me show you why.
27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
You cannot reduce Christ to your level! God is who He is through His leadership. The future of the church depends on His people understanding this.
2 Corinthians 13:5
5 Examine yourself as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? - unless indeed you are disqualified.
Christ is in all of us. He does what He pleases through each of us. Don't minimize that or treat it as unimportant. Through some, He is a body member. In others, He is the head of the body. Think about this, when God places a vessel in leadership, He means for that vessel to be available 24-7-365 days a year. Why? So He can feed, protect, watch over and guide the flock that constitutes His body. To ignore God as the Apostle, Prophet etc. in whatever leader you are addressing does not allow Him to respond to you, nor does it show respect and a desire to seek God's counsel. He was addressed as Master - Teacher etc. in the Bible, and we need that same consideration for Him today. Let me give you an example. You come to me and say, "Jacqui, will you pray for me?" Yes I will, but you won't be getting much! Had you addressed Christ the Apostle Prophet in me, how much better the results! Me - I don't care, but God does. In Numbers 12:1-2 we read:
1 Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman.
2 So they said, "Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?" And the Lord heard it.
Now let's see the result of their mocking and disrespect for God's chosen leaders in verses 9-10.
9 So the anger of the Lord was aroused against them, and He departed (his Spirit left).
10 And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as white as snow. Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and there she was a leper.
If you read the account you will see that the whole camp was held up from going ahead until the people could see the ones chosen for the leaders. God is the same today as yesterday. The word says "He changes not". People must change however so the church can move forward. If in your hearts you don't see the Jesus in one another it will adversely affect both leadership and flock. Leadership cannot even cover you properly if you don't see the Jesus in them interceding for you. For example, Mom may swing no real club in the supernatural as a person, Dad is no threat, beyond the authority given as the head of the family, to the supernatural, but the Jesus in them both may be absolutely awesome if that's what He has chosen to be through them. Who do you see? Mom? Dad? Hopefully you see Jesus. Now recruits, after our discussion, who will you ask to pray? Who will you seek advice from? How will you address your leadership and who are they in your heart?
I hope the answer is Jesus to all the above!