God’s Delegated Authority
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Spiritual authority is a gift granted by God to whomever he chooses to shepherd, lead, and govern the people of God. This authority is delegated by God not based on any attainments or achievements of the individual: no merit, special talents, or personal gifts have earned the right to lead. The authority is not resident in the individual for the Lord can withdraw that responsibility at any time. A major test in our desire to walk in the continual presence of the Holy Spirit is trusting God with the flaws, foibles, and failures of our God-ordained authorities (Rom. 13:1-7, Num. 12, 1 Thes. 5:12-14, Heb. 13:17).
To rebel against God’s representative authority is to rebel against God.
Watchman Nee, Spiritual Authority (New York: Christian Fellowship Publishers, 1972), 20.