“When God gives you a responsibility, He gives you the spiritual and physical authority to do it.”
Over the years, the Lord has dealt with me and taught me about the relationship between responsibility and authority. It’s such a foundational spiritual principle, and one that has laid me low many times. In light of Martha’s December Message of the Month, “Overcoming Self-hatred,” I have a new understanding of just how much spiritual warfare I experience where this foundational principle is concerned.
In Shulamite Podcast Episode #279, John and I both shared our experiences with the authority that comes with every God-given responsibility. John told a story about what happened when he laid down his authority, and I told my story about the consequences of trying to foist my responsibility onto someone else. Basically, if God gives me a responsibility, He provides the authority needed for that responsibility. Likewise, if I try to take on someone else’s responsibility (or shove my own onto them), it will be a mess, because the authority required for that responsibility will be missing.
This hasn’t been an easy lesson for me. One of my besetting sins is taking on other people’s responsibilities in an attempt to “fix” things. (And that’s just a benign way of saying that I tried to take God’s place on the throne.) Sometimes people foisted their responsibilities on me and I didn’t say no, and sometimes I stepped in to “help” when God never asked it of me. Either way, the consequences were the same: BAD. Bad for them and bad for me. And that’s worth considering if you’re in a situation that only deteriorates further with every move you make, but today I’d like to focus on the flipside of the coin – neglecting my own vineyard (S. of Sol. 1:6).
I’ve just seen that one of the most effective lies of Satan directly attacks my God-given responsibilities. “This is way too much for you to handle. Why even bother?” He switches up the words and the approach, but it always ignites my doubt and enflames my flesh in some way – despair, laziness, complacency, procrastination, bitterness, rage, etc. Whether it’s a job, or raising children, or pursuing a calling, or any other responsibility that God has assigned us, Satan attacks it. And whether we’re lulled into it or beaten down, things begin to fall apart when that responsibility is neglected.
“When you have the authority and the responsibility, you also have the vision of how to fix things.”
I don’t have words for how encouraged I was when John said that, because when I move to pick up the responsibility that I originally laid down, the line of attack changes. “You’ve made too big a mess and there’s just no way out.” The more I learn about who God really is, the more I’ve grown to hate that accusation and the more passionately I cry out to God to root out the vicious lies about Him that still nest in my heart and are open to that accusation. God does not leave me in my mess arbitrarily. “He revokes His sentence of evil when His conditions are met.” And He’s not coy about what His conditions are. He tells me, plainly and repeatedly.
God is not a man, that He should tell or act a lie, neither the son of man, that He should feel repentance or compunction [for what He has promised]. Has He said and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken and shall He not make it good?
Numbers 23:19 AMP
When I pick up my responsibility and step into the authority given by God over that responsibility, He will provide what I need. “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Eph. 4:7 NASB). If I am called to serve the Lord by running a business and funding a mission, then there will be grace abundant for that responsibility. If I am called to manage a home and raise children, there is grace abundant for that. For every task God gives and calling He assigns, the authority and grace to take it up is also given.
Do not listen to the accusations of the enemy. So you messed up? Welcome to the human race. That’s not the end of the story, because while we’re alive, there’s hope (Ecc. 9:4). Repent and receive grace for yourself. Grab hold of your responsibility and get ready to meet God in a whole new way.