This Day In History: 0000-06-11

June 11 – Hebrews 13:17

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.

How much happier the body of Christ would be if we could all learn to do this one thing! The fact that we don’t boils down to three things: rebellion, pride, and a lack of trust in God.

Do you remember the story of David and Saul in 1 Samuel 24?  Before that time, Saul had become the first king of Israel, chosen by God to lead His people.  Of course, Saul became arrogant and disobedient to the Lord, so God decided to take the Kingdom away from Saul and give it instead to David.  At this point in the story, Samuel the prophet has already anointed David as the next king of Israel, and Saul has become very jealous of David. As a result, Saul has dedicated his life to finding and killing David, which has sent David into exile – running for his life.  Seemingly by the hand of God, Saul is delivered to David in complete vulnerability. David’s men insist that he seize the moment and kill his enemy, King Saul.

But David (a man after God’s own heart) refuses.  He tells his men that if God wants to remove Saul as the King of Israel, then God will do it.  David says that he will not raise his hand against the Lord’s anointed, for the Lord Himself chose Saul as king.  David had every reason to justify killing Saul:
– Saul was not following God.
– David knew God had chosen him as the next king.
– Saul was trying to kill David.
– Saul was delivered right into David’s hands!!!
Still, David had the humility to understand that he was only a piece of God’s plan, not the whole plan. He had the confidence in God to trust that He would accomplish his purposes. (Without David having to help Him along.)  He had the steadfast integrity to do what he knew was right, even when he knew it would cost him a great deal. (Since David would have to continue running for his life.)  He demonstrated exactly what these verses in Hebrews demand of us!

So, let’s take our cues from David!  Let’s understand that our spiritual leaders have been appointed by God and they will have to answer to Him for everything they do in that role! That’s a HUGE responsibility.  Do we take it seriously?  Do we do everything we can to help them carry this magnificent burden?  We can have so much impact on whether their ministry is defined by joy, or by sorrow.  Simply by having the humility to follow their leadership; the integrity to do the right thing, and be a source of joy in their lives; and the trust in God to understand that He is the one who put them in that position, and He has the power to take them out of it.  Let’s commit to obedience in this area, it will certainly be to our collective benefit!