I distinctly remember praying to the Lord in anger about what some of the church leaders were not doing at the time. Some were bringing in worldly music, staying silent on several standards issues and allowing dubious speakers to address our people. I was pouring my heart to the Lord about these things with a deep sense of anger towards the leadership for allowing these things to happen.
I can’t recall exactly the impression that came to me but the substance of it was that I was giving the leadership more power than I Biblically should and this was driving much of my anger. I was reminded that all authority comes from God and that He is not blinded to the failures of leadership. I was made to see that much of my anger was a lack of faith that God was in control of the situation.
On another occasion, I was feeling very hostile towards my father because of what I perceived to be an injustice on his part. I was wanting his blessing on some subject but I ended up with a curse. Again as I poured out my frustration to the Lord, I was strongly impressed “I am your God, not your father, you expect of him more than he can give you and this is the source of your disappointment.
This has been a hard lesson for me to learn, but one that is vital if we are to be able to face the failures of leaders without our anger or disappointment boiling over into rebellion.
Within the divine pattern, the scriptures reveal several accounts where the “By Whom” person has tried to manipulate the “Of Whom” person to get what they desire. The case of Rebekah instructing Jacob to deceive his father to secure the birthright is a notable example. Isaac resisted the prophetic word concerning the older serving the younger and moved to place the birthright upon Esau. Rebekah revealed her lack of faith in God, forgetting that He was the one who told her that Esau would serve Jacob. She moved to secure the blessing through deception and brought a terrible curse upon herself, she never saw Jacob again after he fled to his uncle’s home.
Again we see how Rachel became hostile towards Jacob when she was unable to have children.
Gen 30:1 And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.
Rachel fell into the trap of attributing to Jacob more power than he had and this caused her to act aggressively towards him. Rachel’s aggression brought a swift curse from her husband, reminding her in a forceful manner that he was not God.
Gen 30:2 And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?
There are several examples in Scripture of people in subordinate positions who lacked trust that God was in control and tried to take things into their own hands and thus bringing a curse upon themselves.
One example that I would like to share with you is the case of Ahithophel.
Ahithophel was one of David’s counsellors and he was also the grandfather of Bathsheba. Compare 2 Sam 11:3 with 2 Sam 23:34. Ahithophel had good reason to feel frustrated with David for sleeping with his Granddaughter and bringing sin upon Israel. He also would have sympathised with Absalom with David’s lack of discipline when Amnon, Absalom’s half-brother raped his sister. See 2 Sam 13.
It appeared to Ahithophel that David was going to get away with his sinful practices and so Ahithophel backed the rebellion of Absalom to take David’s throne. The scripture reveals that the counsel of Ahithophel was overturned by the Lord and David’s men won the battle. Ahithophel knew his fate and before he could be found, he hanged himself. See 2 Sam17:1-23.
Ahithophel’s plan was carefully crafted and he nearly succeeded in his plans, but since David was the Lord’s anointed his plans ended in disaster for himself. The case of Ahithophel has always stuck in my mind as a warning to those who would topple corrupt leadership without a thus saith the Lord.
In contrast to Ahithophel, David waited upon the Lord to deal with Saul. David had many more reasons to take the leadership from Saul than Absalom did from David. Yet David would not lay his hand upon the Lord’s anointed. Even when he was anointed by Samuel to be king, he still waited for God to bring judgment on Saul. Beyond this even when Saul was dead, David went into mourning and wrote a song about Saul and Jonathan. David wrote of Saul and Jonathan
2 Sam 1:23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.
A man who puts his trust in God can afford to be gracious to those who hate him. Saul hated David and tried for a long time to kill him and this is David’s response. I pray his example will ring in our minds as we consider the current apostasy.
The key to resting in the blessing channel is to have an experiential knowledge of God and His Son. Those who study the Scriptures with discernment know that our Father is the source of all life and that nothing escapes His notice. They know that no man can have any power unless it was given him by God. This was the secret that Christ knew when facing Pilate.
John 19:10,11 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
Jesus stood before Pilate and the might of Rome. He had been beaten and whipped by him and staring death in the face. What Pilate was doing was weak, cowardly and corrupt. Jesus had the power to expose this corruption and set Himself free at any moment. At the very least He could have spoken to Pilate in a way to cause him to let Jesus go. Add to this that Jesus was brought before Pilate because of a corrupt Church that were up to their necks in apostasy. Yet Jesus remained calm and measured with the knowledge
“Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above”
What a lesson is this for us! All power comes from God and not a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father’s knowledge. Can you rest in the channel of blessing knowing that:
Prov 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
Let us behold Christ, the submissive Son of God that trusted His Father in all situations and was never moved to defend Himself even to save His own life. Here is the second secret of those who rest in the channel, they see that the Son of God does nothing of Himself. He does only what His Father commands and no more.
Let us also consider that at the heart of the great controversy is the issue of submitting to an authority that God has placed in our life. Lucifer refused to submit to the authority of Christ who was delegated by His Father as the Sovereign of heaven. The spirit of resistance towards authority and the desire to expose, shame and humiliate those in authority is the very spirit of Satan Himself. Such persons do not know Christ or the power of God.
The last thing I would mention that has helped me to rest in the channel of blessing is to discern the serpent’s lie of inherent power that all are in danger of applying to leadership. One of the things that causes us to give too much power to leaders is our belief that leaders have power to do whatever they wish. The flip side of this is that we imagine that leaders will give us the things we want. It was this type of thinking that led Israel to desire a king to be over them.
1 Sam 8:19-20 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; (20) That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
This concept of leadership is not part of the channel of blessing but rather is the spirit of Anti-christ. It is the replacing of God with a human idol. Notice what the Lord said.
1 Sam 8:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
In this case, the desire for a leader was turning a potential “By Whom” channel into the supreme “Of Whom” authority. This is exactly the same as what the church of Rome has done through the Pope. The leader wields absolute authority in their own right. The investing of a man with such authority is the natural process of idolatry; the creation of a leader after the desire of the carnal heart and the desire of the carnal heart is to rule independent of any other authority. The most subtle form of this idolatry is the Trinitarian belief that places Jesus as an independent yet co-equal ruler with the Father because of his own inherent qualities. The worship of the Adventist Trinitarian Jesus is the worship of a Being who is not under absolute authority. The complete rejection of the inheritance of the Son, is as much a rejection of the Father as Israel rejected Jehovah in the days of Samuel. Such worship must lead to the spirit of despotism as was manifested in Saul.
Resting in the channel is not only an acceptance of all the “By Whom” agencies God has placed in our life but is also a rejection of any attempts to elevate any person to the position of supreme “Of Whom” status.
[Sabbath Oct 8, 2011]