Meditations by John Dean

Monday, August 25, 2014

Spiritual Aristocracy

(Hebrews 13:24 KJV) Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.

This scripture certainly indicates there are different “classes” of people…those who rule and those who are ruled over. However, there is a big difference between “ruling over” and “lording over.” When one “rules over” (as in our text), it is usually the result of Godly function, scriptural government or the anointing. This type of “class” difference is fine[WDH1]  and should be respected.

However, “lording” over another is a completely different type of “class” difference. This “class” difference is usually the result of one person needing to control another person in order to cover their own insecurity.

Even though our text has to do with leaders in the church, the same principle applies to leaders outside of the church. The fact is, a leader in the church may have to submit to a leader outside the church because one always yields to the higher anointing or authority.

For example; a policeman may submit to his pastor’s authority in the church, whereas the pastor will submit to the policeman’s authority outside the church. In other words, just because one has a ‘Measure of Rule’ in one place does not mean he has a ‘Measure of Rule’ in all places.

The fact is, we are all rulers to one degree or another depending on our own sphere. Ruling over another person in one’s sphere does not mean that the person ruling is better than the person being ruled over. In this case it has to do with function, not the devaluing of the other person.

If the car of the most powerful person in the world broke down and he could not fix it, then he must submit to the mechanic who can fix it. In this case the mechanic has rule over the most powerful man in the world in regards to his car. This type of rule only lasts as long as the mechanic is functioning in his sphere in repairing the car and the most powerful man in the world has to submit to it.

One’s ‘class’ is usually determined by one’s gifting, power, education, money, status, age, homes and many more things. In other words, ‘class difference’ is usually not determined by one’s character, but by one’s external things. As a result, many people do not understand why they should show honor to someone of a higher ‘class’ with lower character.

There is nothing wrong with “saluting” (showing honor) to another as long as we do not think that “saluting” them is an admission that they are more valuable to God than we are. By showing honor to another it simply shows respect to those of higher gifting, anointing, office or authority.

Over the years I have been blessed to visit many of the homes of the aristocrats while ministering in England. Those homes are absolutely breathtaking and it seems far beyond reason for any person to live in such a luxurious manner.

The staff of servants, which includes several levels of spheres in the home as well as the staff of servants who care for the stables, the farms and grounds are enormous.

The class difference between the aristocrat and the servants is also enormous. As a matter of fact, in some homes when a member of the aristocratic family walks into a room where a maid is working the maid must either turn her face to the wall or run out of the room. In other cases if a servant is seen walking across the lawn they would immediately be dismissed.

The point I want to make in this Meditation is to encourage each of us to be aware of any level of “spiritual aristocracy.” Such things may present themselves in our own life through things like jealousy. The fact is, jealousy is the springboard for envy and envy needs to always lead or be on top or in control. This type of rule is not what our text is talking about.

There is something beautiful and respectful about saluting or giving honor to another as in our text. This class difference is not demeaning at all…but godly.

I must confess we have had so many bad examples of unruly rulers that sometimes we tend to rebel. Forgive us Lord and teach us how to be the right example as we lead others. Help us to show respect to those that come under our authority and help us to also show respect to those who have authority over us.

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