Jentezen Franklin - Set Under Authority
So, I wanna talk to you about a Bible principle that is extremely, extremely important. I have never seen anyone succeed without recognizing and honoring this Bible principle. I've never seen a young person achieve, I've never seen anyone in life do well who refuses to acknowledge the truth. Whether they realized they were doing it or not according to scripture, it is a Bible principle that can bless your life in an amazing way.
And I wanna talk about being set under authority. When you talk about authority, you have to realize the Bible is a book that deals with authority issues. Lucifer was in Heaven. He was one of the three powerful angels in Heaven. There was Gabriel, Michael: Michael the warrior, Gabriel the messenger, and Lucifer the worshipper. The worship leader. And the Bible said that he said in Isaiah 14, I will ascend above the throne of God. I will be like the Most High. I will set up my own congregation in the sides of the north.
So we have a church split going on in Heaven. And notice the words "I, I, I. Me, me, me. I, I, I", notice the enemy of authority is always self-centeredness. "I, I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me, me". And, of course, Satan led one-third of the angels in Heaven because of an authority issue. He saw God, and he did not want to stay under and come under His authority. And he came out from under His authority and was cast out of Heaven. Adam and Eve were under the authority of God until they stepped out of the authority of His word, and then the curse came.
The children of Israel were on the brink of closing the most lucrative and biggest real estate deal known in human history, but they allowed 10 people to talk them out of staying under the authority of Moses. Moses said we need to possess this land at once. But they murmured, and they complained, and they refused to stay under that authority, and it cost them the Promised Land for a whole generation.
You say, "Well, I don't have authority issues, and it's really not a problem for me". But you would be amazed at how many parents. You need to understand that parents are an authority in your life. And if you don't obey your parents, respect your parents, honor your parents, you have an authority issue. You have an authority over you on your job. Your boss is an authority. You cannot talk about him, run him down, and then take the paycheck, and demand and talk about how cheap he is, not giving you what you know really, you ought to be the boss, and he ought to be cleaning your shoes, is how you really feel about it.
And the truth is there's a Bible principle, and the principle is you must respect and honor authority. Even if your boss is a jerk, the best thing you can do is just get out of there and find you another job. Or submit to that authority, and serve him as unto the Lord. Because God says I see what you do. And many times, I think God puts us in certain jobs for a season to see if we're humble enough to submit to authority even when they treat you bad. So when we read the scripture, the word "authority" comes from the word "author", and God is the author of authority. Authority in the home, authority in the marriage, authority in the family, authority in the nation.
As a matter of fact, Romans 13:1-2, I want you to see this, it says, "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". Next verse. "Therefore, whoever resists authority resists the ordinances of God, and those who resist it will bring judgement on them self". Boy, our nation needs to hear that. I, I, I. Me, me, me. When we rebel against authority, we're never more like the devil because that was what cast him out of Heaven.
Now here's the point. Authority is a covering. And my good friend, Ed Young in Dallas, Texas, wrote a magnificent book, and he gives an illustration in his book that I wanna use today. And it's a great illustration. But he said that authority is like an umbrella. It's like an umbrella over your life. And he said authority is like a covering. It's like the purpose of an umbrella. And here's the point. That we have to get under what God has put over us so that we can get over what God wants to put under us. And until you can get under what God wants to put over you, He can't trust you to put over what He wants to put under you.
God watches how you respond to authority, and He determines what He can put under you. So when you understand that, and you understand the power of authority - God is the author of authority, and we must be set under authority. When we live our lives under His authority, then He can put under us what He wants us to have authority over.
Notice that the authority that God puts over our life is like a place of protection. You know, when you understand that if you saw somebody walking down the road, and it was just storming, and maybe sleeting and raining, and you saw 'em, instead of doing like this, they were doing like this, and you saw 'em walking down the road, you would think that person is crazy. What is wrong with them? And that's exactly what we do when we are not under the authority of God's word, the authority of the headship of Christ, the authority in our lives that God has put over us. It's like walking out and you get hammered by hail. You get pelted with problems. You get drenched with defeats because you're not under authority.
Some of you need to hear this message. When you rebel against your parents, when you talk about people in leadership that God has put over your life, even your boss and people like that, and you just badmouth or even a preacher, a minister. And I don't know of any problems in this church. I'm thankful. But I'm just telling you, you have to be careful because when you remove the authority and step out of under the authority, you're out from under the protection plan that God has for your life. Not only that, but it's a place of positioning.
When you get under authority, you are in a zone of blessing, and you're under God's chain of command. You're part of God's chain gang. And suddenly the blessings, you're in alignment for the blessings of God, the provisions of God. All that He has is under: if you step out of it, then you miss the blessings of God in your life. There's something about the authority of the home, the authority of the husband in that home, the authority of the family, the authority of the church, the authority that God places over our lives.
He says this is what I bless, and this is my chain of command. It's a place of perfection. God puts authority over you to bring out the best in you, but most people aren't willing to submit to authority. You know, an athlete, God puts a coach in his life, but he has to submit to that authority. And if he won't submit, then he can step out and try to do it on his own, but he's gonna get pelted and drenched with defeats. And many times, God puts authority in our life to bring out the best gifts in our life. And really, a mentor, many times, is a tormentor. It's somebody who doesn't point out how wonderful you are, but they put pressure on you. Just like a diamond in the rough, they put pressure on you to bring out the best in you.
That's what a parent is. They don't always tell you how wonderful and lovely you are. They're gonna put pressure on you to make you better. To bring out the gifts that you have inside. But here's what most people do. They come out, the moment that they don't like what the authority says or does, they come out here, and they say, "I'm not gonna listen to you. Who do you think you are? You're stupid. You don't know what you're talking about. I don't have to respect you. I don't have to listen to you".
And you know what? You're out here, and you're gonna get drenched with defeat, and you're gonna get hammered by Hell, and you're gonna get pelt, hit with all kinds of things because you're not under authority. And you know what? You can believe that, or you cannot believe that. This is the problem with family. This is the problem with homes. Because you cannot, you cannot come out from under that authority of a home, of parents, and so on, and not suffer consequences. And I'm saying to you that you'll never reach your potential until you get under the authority.
Mordecai became Esther's authority, and she had to come up under what God had over her so she could be over what God had under her. Elijah was Elisha's covering, and he had to come up under what God had put over him so he could be over what God put under him. Over and over, Ruth and Naomi: Naomi was the covering, and Ruth said, "Where you go, I go. Your people will be my people. What do you mean, stay here? You're my covering. I can't let you go somewhere, and I'm not under your covering". Because she understood authority.
The man in the Bible said I am a man set under authority, Jesus. I understand the power of authority, and because I have, I'm under what's over me. I have soldiers that are under me because I'm under the authority over me. And Jesus marveled, and He said this guy gets it. This isn't about you out doing what you wanna do, and you kind of pick and choose the authority of God's word and the scriptures you like. I'm cool with that. I'll take all of that. But ooh, I don't like that. I can't sleep with my girlfriend? It doesn't work that way. You're either under the authority of God's word, or you're not. You either submit to the truth of the gospel, or you're not. You either obey God in your tithe, in your offering, in your church attendance, or you do your own thing. But God says the standard is the standard.
The covering is the covering. And He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High God shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my strength. In Him will I put my trust. A thousand may fall at my right side, and ten thousand by my left, but I'm under my, I'm an umbrella fellah. I know that wherever I go, I'm in the shadow of the Almighty. I'll be alright. Somebody give Him a praise if you believe that God has a plan. Stay under the authority of the Word of God. It's the truth.
When I think of the Word of God, it's the authority in our life. This book is the authority. Not even the Supreme Court. This book. We follow the laws of the land. But when they're wrong, when they say this book is wrong and they're right, they are sadly deceived. This is the truth. And the truth is the truth, and we stay under the truth. We love everybody. I'm not giving a hate speech because I'm not for marriage between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. I'm for what God said. I'm gonna stay, because if we make family this out here, we're gonna have some jacked up families. But if we put our families under the truth of this book and the Word of God, we'll stand. The storm may come, but we're built on the rock. And the rock is Jesus Christ, not shifting sands of man's opinion. Come on and shout right there. It's the truth. It's the truth.
1 Corinthians 11:3 says that marriage is an umbrella, but I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ. Hey, single ladies, all my single ladies. You better find you an umbrella fellah. You better not be dating somebody who's not under the authority of God. Doesn't honor God. You know why? 'Cause you won't have God's blessing. You won't have God's provision. You won't have God's peace. You won't have God's protection. You won't see, when you're out here dating, I know the Bible said, but I'm real lonely, and na, na, na, na.
You know what? When you come out from under the authority of God, and if he's not under the authority of God, your marriage then, because he's the umbrella fellah in the home. You know, if I were to bring a couple up here, the girls, 99% of the time, are a little bit smaller than the guys, especially in stature. Can you imagine, my wife is about five-foot-six, and she carried the umbrella, then my head's gonna be like this everywhere we go.
So God says, it's His design. I'm not ashamed of the scriptures. It says, that the head of every man is Christ. The head of the woman is the man. And He says if you're gonna walk through stuff, you need this authority. The husband is under the authority of God. And if you've got a husband that's under the authority of God, you better get under his authority. That's the Word of God. Or that family is going to be pelted and hammered by Hell over, and over, and over. Men, we've gotta lead.
The job description for a husband in the Bible, Ephesians 5, husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church. The job description for the husband in the New Testament is sacrifice. Sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice. The job description for the wife in the New Testament is submit. Submit, submit. It doesn't mean when he says jump, you say how high. It does mean that you submit. As a man holds an umbrella under the authority of God, you submit. And he sacrifices, and you submit, and together the family, the home, the marriage is under the blessing of God, the protection of God. But when one goes over here and says, I'm not submitting to you, and I'm not gonna, and this one says I'm not, and I'm mad, and then the enemy, guess what happens?
The reason divorce is so bad, the reason affairs are so bad is because Satan is after the umbrella over the family. The children are open to attack. The grandchildren are open to attack. The enemy says if I can remove the umbrella from that marriage and get them arguing, because anything with two heads is a freak, and anything without a head is dead. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church. Sacrificially, unselfishly, steadfastly. But what happens to many couples is they turn the umbrella of marriage into a sword to fight, and they fight over things.
Instead of being under the authority of God and submitting one to another, it's I, I, I, I, I, me, me, me, me, me. And God says, both of you shut up, and come under my authority, and love one another, and forgive one another, and stop being that way because the enemy wants to hammer your children and your children's children. Serious. Act like we've got our rights. My freedom. I, I, I, I, I. It's not about, you sound like Lucifer. Me, me, me, me, me. And God says that stuff makes me sick. Get under authority. Get under my authority, and it'll make you get under, and if you'll get under what God puts over you, I'll put you over what I've got under you. And that'll be a blessed family.
I'm almost done. You're quiet. That's good. There are three levels of love. There's hot love. That's chemistry. That's when you're just on fire. You're just, oh, my, oh, my, you're kissing. You kiss all the time. Just kissing and all over each other. That's hot love. Come on, turn to somebody and say hot love. Hot love. And then there's another season in marriage. It's called warm love. And that's when moonlight and roses turn to daylight and dishes, and life becomes real, real, and you got payments and stuff. But you still love one another, and everything's good, and things have cooled off a little bit.
But then there's a phase in marriage that you hit called cold love. And it's the most important stage because it has nothing to do with feelings, emotions. It has nothing to do with sex drive. It has to do with covenant love that says I made a vow under the authority of God to you, and I love you, and I will not leave you. I'm not going outside the umbrella of authority of the marriage for fulfillment in any way. And you stay under that authority.
Now here's the big point. If you'll be faithful to God in the cold love, the other two temperatures will come back, and you'll move into hot love, warm love, cold love. Hot love, warm love, cold love. That's pretty much how marriage is. How to have an affair. Number one. Four steps to having an affair.
Number one. Convince yourself that it could never happen to you. Number two. Cultivate a relationship with a third party. Texting, talking, hanging out. Number three. Compare your spouse to them. Boy, if I just had somebody like him, like her. They understand me. They get me. Da, da, da, da, da. And boy, she doesn't, he doesn't. Compare your mate to them. And lastly, connect sexually with them. And that's how you have an affair. Sin has its kicks, but it has its kickbacks.
David walked out on the balcony, a married man, and saw Bathsheba, and had an affair with her. Called for her, sent for her, had an adulterous affair with her. And after she had the affair, she went to Kroger and picked up a pregnancy test. And it was the wrong color. And she picked up her cell phone and called David and said David, we've got a problem. I'm pregnant. He said well, let me see what I can do. I'll call your husband in from fighting in the battle and let him sleep with you, and nobody will ever know. It will be our little secret. He calls Uriah in. And he buys a wine cooler and a little Victoria's Secret bag with Victoria's secrets, inside. And he has it waiting, and he gets him drunk. He says now go home to your wife and sleep with her.
Well, that man had more convictions drunk than most people have sober 'cause something in him said I can't enjoy married life when my colleagues are on the front line bleeding and dying. So he slept out on the porch, and the plan failed. And it wasn't long before Nathan the prophet walked in and pointed the finger at David and said you've done a horrible thing, and the sword will never depart from your house. You're gonna pay an awful price.
Four times you'll see death and destruction come to your family because you stepped out of the authority of the marriage institute and had an adulterous affair. And it's gonna impact you, and it's gonna impact your children for the rest of your life. I want you to understand in closing this morning, that there are some things that we need to understand. You think an affair is freedom, but it's bondage. You think it's private, but it's a matter of time before it becomes public. It always does. You think that you're having your kicks, but it'll have a kickback. And when it kicks back, I promise you it won't be worth it.
But I love what David said. He had a beautiful heart. And there's hope for anyone who's messed up, and everyone who's messed up. He said against thee, and thee alone, when I did what I did, I stepped out of the authority of you, my God. And against you, and you alone have I sinned when I stepped outside of the marriage institute and had an affair with that woman. Forgive me. Forgive me. See, the enemy wants divorce to happen in your home and in your marriage so you'll throw down the umbrella, and there'll be no covering over your children and over your children's children. The point is simply this: Get under what God has put over you so He can put you over what He wants to put under you. Are you set under authority?