If we don’t have a proper understanding of biblical authority and what it means to have healthy authority figures in our life, we are deprived of living in the fullness of all that God’s original intent speaks of in Scripture for us and a wrong view of authority can hinder us from living out our full destiny if we don’t receive proper healing in this area of unhealthy authority.
We know that healing is vital for us to grow in any form in the body of Christ especially from unhealthy authority figures. Whether it be in our childhood or adult life because unhealdness causes fear, distorted perceptions & confusion and prevents us from building trust or engaging with healthy authority figures that God puts in our life to help us.
OUR JUDGMENT AND DISCERNMENT IS AFFECTED WITHOUT HEALING
Healing brings us into who we are authentically created to be. Without healing that authenticity is masked along with Christ’s purpose for our life. Our general and spiritual judgment can be affected by this and this is what can give the enemy a place to operate from at the opportune time.
Why? Because remember his objective is to corrupt the purity of our mind, through our hurts, betrayals, pride, anxiety, unresolved anger & stubbornness to name a few, which are all ultimately forms of rebellion that interfere with us moving forward in God’s plan for our life.
SEVEN SIGNS YOU MAY NEED HEALING FROM UNHEALTHY AUTHORITY FIGURES IN YOUR LIFE
These are just a few pointers. (To learn more watch out for our courses this year on Spiritual Healing & Overcoming Rejection).
1. Avoidance of drawing near to anyone in a role of authority in your life, who may appear ‘intimidating’ to you because of your own unhealdness – (those distorted perceptions I keep referring to).
2. Difficulty sharing on a deeper level of intimacy, (spiritual /emotional), with authority figures (Discomfort to talk freely even in a safe environment).
3. A sense of feeling threatened which closes the heart – Hard heartedness pride and stubbornness are formed to ‘protect’ self, whether awareness of this is present or not.
4. The need to be in control of everything. (Which is a mechanism of fear because fear is a stronghold, something that is controlling you when there is a need to be in control of everything. The problem is most people with control issues project it on others as opposed to seeing it in their own lives).
5. Avoiding being vulnerable with any authority figures because of re-inforced wrong perceptions over time, (“they have power over me to hurt me or manipulate me if I open myself up”).
6. Procrastination – because of selective hearing and selective obeying – Knowing what scripture says about submission but lack of trust and distorted fears keep you from submitting, ‘in case’ you are taken advantage of or hurt, or feel somehow betrayed again. These are all unhealthy ‘flashbacks’ that need healing.
This leads to people selectively picking ‘the bits’ that suit them and that they believe won’t hurt or offend them from teachings, scripture or what they believe they are hearing from the Lord, and will close off to anything else.
When we are unsure or uncertain of how to move forward or fear the process, procrastination is used as a tool of the enemy. Recognize it and get healing.
7. Lack of commitment to get too involved for fear of having to ‘submit’ or being manipulated or controlled. When we are unhealed we don’t like receiving any instructions for fear that it takes away your own sense of power or the need to control everything as a protection mechanism.
THIS THINKING COMES FROM AN OLD MINDSET THAT FORMS STRONGHOLDS IN OUR LIFE THAT FORM OUR PERCEPTIONS WHICH BECOME OUR REALITY, EVEN IF UNTRUE.
We must keep in mind that these are strongholds that distort the plan of God for your life. The enemy used them against you so that you don’t walk in the fullness of all that God has for you.
Unless we get healing we live our lives with only one foot in the Kingdom. This can go on for years (see the point on procrastination) until we make a decision to take steps and the risks necessary to change. For as long as it goes on the devil steals from people precious time.
Rebellion is a human reaction of sin birthed in fears of all kinds, especially the fear ‘losing control’ especially if there is a perception that power of decision was taken from you in the past. Even though this may be a misconception in itself. Because fear is bondage. The more we surrender, the more we actually gain control, and experience freedom.
A distorted view of authority can lead to a blanket condemnation of anything related to any form of authority. This can cause us to dismiss even our God given authority that God has placed as an inhertiance in every believer’s life.
Condemning authority because of misconceptions will cause you not to recognize the authority that is your God-given inheritance, even if it is scriptural. We can see things in a negative context when we remain unhealed in this area. The natural recourse is self-protection by withdrawing.
LEADERS ARE CALLED TO BE CARERS OF OUR SOULS.
Scripture is very clear, no leader or authority figure can be considered healthy or scriptural by ‘LORDING IT’ (meaning telling people what do). That is not healthy authority.
Leaders in the Church are called to be carers of our souls, they are there to guide, instruct, teach, impart, mentor and lead you into God’s Word of truth. They are there to pray for you, to help you heal, NOT to tell you what to do!
A good leader will always present options for YOU to think through and ask you questions that lead you to make an informed prayerful decision for yourself.
They are guides, they are the river banks NOT the river!
In 1 Peter 5:2-3 Scripture is clear on our role as ‘authority figures or leaders in the Church:
“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; NOT LORDING IT over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
God puts people in our midst who pour out of themselves to mentor and to help those in their care as Scripture describes. Such people are called ‘carers of our souls’.
PUTTING OUR WORDS INTO PROPER CONTEXT
We all know how powerful words are. They have meaning. But if we assign the incorrect meaning to certain words because of negative life experiences associated to those words, it can have a profound effect on how we see the world and people, especially those in authority.
For example, the moment words like ‘authority or obey, or submission’ come into the picture, that ‘may feel’ like a type of restriction because of what these words may mean to those of us that are unhealed, they can scare us silly and make us run from our calling out of fear!
We are supposed to subdue the devil not the other way around according to Genesis 1:26
LEADERS & AUTHORITY.
Acts 20:28 – Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which God obtained with God’s own blood.
Let me talk to leaders in the church for a minute. The greatest deception the enemy has in an apostolic prophetic Spirit-filled church is to make leaders scared to use their God-given authority in a healthy biblical way.
This is why it’s the ‘card’ the enemy uses against leaders all the time. This is why it’s so important to know who we are in Christ and to know clearly what Scripture has to say on this issue.
Leaders that overcompensate
I’ve seen the devil use authority to subdue leaders instead of them subduing the devil, simply because they start to overcompensate concerning the area of authority because themselves have had experiences with people who have authority issues, and they don’t want to appear to be some kind of authoritarian leader.
We must be careful of this because when we take away what the Word of God says about authority we selectively minimize God’s power to overcome the enemy and the devil’s tactics to break down the credibility of church leaders.
Any healthy leader with a good reputation no matter how ‘good’ or ethical they may be, will always be dealing with people that project their own fears on leaders and blame leaders for this very thing, the ‘authority’ thing, when they need an excuse to leave their church and run. God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear but oh my, it is so prevalent in our lives knowingly or unknowingly.
Unhealthy views of authority or those of us that may come from such backgrounds, cause us to live in bondage instead of freedom because of the fear of opening up. This is particularly true when we enter into a church family and these bondages of the past become exposed.
As I’ve said, and will continue to say, we cannot operate in POWER if we don’t recognize the AUTHORITY in which supernatural power operates. We are dealing in the church not only with emotions but spiritual warfare that trained leaders must have an understanding of.
Nothing about authority in Scripture should be looked at in any other way but for which it is intended, to help us grow into all that we can be in Christ, taking on the FULL measure of who we are in His name, power and authority, for EVERY believer.
It is there to help us and set us free from bondage.
Eph.6 is clear that we are fighting principalities and powers and AUTHORITIES… yes the enemy has authority and if we are correctly guided by the word we must use ours correctly according to the Word of God. We cannot be selective about it, it must form a part of every sphere of operation in the body of Christ.
Hebrews 13:17 NLT
“Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.”
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 NLT
“Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.”
To overcome this barrier of past authority figures in your life that have hurt you, it is important to start the process by understanding that that wrong or misguided authority figures in your own life can cause you to negate your destiny.
Because not understanding authority as Scripture teaches it, means that you will remove power and authority from your own life that is vital in spiritual warfare and spiritual growth to overcome as an individual.
WHAT DOES SCRIPTURE SAY ABOUT AUTHORITY?
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”
Additional Scriptures for Study: Eph 4:11-16, 1 Pet 5:1-11,
“To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—”
In Genesis God starts in the very first chapter Gen.1:26-30 God gave humankind dominion and authority to subdue the earth. God has given human beings power to steward the earth.
A Scriptural principle to remember: Power cannot exist without authority in His (Jesus’) name. Power and authority work together in the Kingdom.
In Matthew 10:8 Jesus talks about the AUTHORITY and dominion He has given EVERY believer over our adversaries.
Paul said: “So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for BUILDING YOU UP rather than tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it.” 2 Corinthians 10:8.
There are many scriptures too many to list this is a starter teaching for you to bring awareness so you can pray through this and ask Holy Spirit to shed light on areas of your own life where you have felt that your God-given authority as a believer, has been ‘stolen’ from you and has, therefore, appeared to ‘take’ your power away as a leader because you’re fearful to incorporate biblical authority where it is needed to help people overcome.
If authority is used as God intended to help people not to harm them, we would have healthier churches.
Leaders no matter how much you love, or how meek or gentle you are or may want to be, any person that chooses to live in rebellion that doesn’t want change on their own, will blame.
Some accuse the church or its leaders of ‘lording it’. (A common well-known statistic among ministers when it comes to people needing excuses to leave the church; or others may blame something or someone else in the church environment if they want to leave).
Because by that stage they’ve already justified why they need to leave regardless of how true it may be, it’s real for them, and they have mostly rebelled by this stage as to why they are leaving. Sometimes finding everything wrong with their family in Christ and or it’s leaders, help them to walk away. (It’s always easier to look at others instead of at ourselves).
This is definitely not in all cases. People leave their churches for different reasons justified or not. But in this context, authority issues always form a huge part certainly in my experience.
The mind is powerful and breaking strongholds that have been present for years sometimes a lifetime, can be difficult.
The mind is powerful and we cannot dismiss its corruption through sin.
LEADERS HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO OBEY THE WORD OF THE LORD IN SCRIPTURE
As leaders, we are ACCOUNTABLE to our overseers and to God for all we do or say and will be judged accordingly by God more heavily than ordinary members, as Scripture teaches.
Read Rom 12: 3-8
So, we have an obligation to follow the Word in this regard and obey what Jesus taught us more than being concerned about the naysayers who sit on the sidelines, often doing more damage to the Kingdom of God. This is why I’m always on about looking at the fruit of a person’s life when it concerns someone who calls themselves a believer.
Some will not want to change heal or grow, LOVE on them anyway.
6 STEPS TO GET YOU STARTED IN OVERCOMING YOUR FEAR OF AUTHORITY FIGURES
How do we overcome this very real hurdle and bondage in our life that affects the development of our ministries and our destiny through misconceptions of what healthy authority actually is?
1. Start by taking small steps to trust leaders and those that God has appointed to help and guide you in your church family and get healing. If you stop taking steps you will stop growing and this is where the enemy steals time & from you, putting your destiny and calling on hold.
Without taking the risk to trust again it becomes very difficult to move forward.
2. You have to RECOGNIZE your need for healing and you have to WANT your Healing. Watch for areas of pride that have developed over time, that will try to make you procrastinate and get deliverance.
3. Release the spirit of fear over your life. Cut it off and declare it has no power over you.
4. Be willing to be vulnerable before the Lord and willing to fully be surrendered and yielded to the process. Because it is a process.
5. Follow the guidance and wisdom of the instruction that the Word gives us and allow Holy Spirit to do the rest. Get confirmation from your Leader, and you will find that it will set you free.
6. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind Rom.12:2 – Changing the way we think takes time. Give yourself time but stay in the ‘change’ don’t stagnate, procrastinate, or revert back to the old ‘comfortable’ state of being, out of fear. It’s no way to live.
Recognize it and push forward into your God-given destiny and take hold of the authority that is yours in Christ through God’s Word.