Authority: Who Do I Listen To?

     During my first section of the Cadre, one of the things that stood out to me were four questions that make up and comprise our worldview. They were things I had heard before, but I had not really considered them in any sort of detail. These four questions make up the O.P.I.D. acronym.

O
rigins: Where did I come from?
Purpose: Why am I here?
Identity: Who am I?
Destiny: Where am I going?

     Since I learned about these four questions, I have heard them used by Josh McDowell, Leonard Ravenhill, and others, so these are not unique topics to the Cadre. The Cadre is just where they first stood out to me. It is important to see that these questions are answered together holistically. You tend to answer one question by how you answer the others. As I dug deeper into this topic for teaching purposes, I realized that there is a fifth question that should be added to the list: Authority: Who do I listen to? Who do I allow to influence me?

     This question has two major aspects to it: Which leaders, teachers, or preachers are we listening to? And what role does the Bible and God have in our lives? The question regarding authority was initiated in Genesis 3:1 when the Serpent asked Eve, “Did God really say…?” Eve had a choice right then to make: Do I listen to God or do I listen to this serpent? She chose not to listen to God and instead to listen to the Serpent, while Adam stood there watching the whole thing, saying nothing, and then actively participating in the sin.

     Ever since this moment, man has been in this battle regarding authority. Does God’s Word have the top authority in your life? Do the speakers and preachers you listen to have the Word of God as the primary authority in their lives? How can you tell if you are listening to a true teacher or a false teacher? Here is one clue: Romans 16:17-18 and Philippians 3:17-19 tells us to mark and identify who is presenting the truth and who is not. The false teacher will cause division by bringing different teachings other than the truth, create offenses against sound doctrine, serve not Christ but themselves, and deceive the simple with smooth talk and flattery.

     There is much more to say on this topic, but I have run out of space. Think about these five questions regarding Origins, Purpose, Identity, Destiny, and Authority. How are you answering these questions? I encourage you to build a Biblical Worldview by using the Bible to answer these questions. When you start to see things the way God sees them, you will have a clarity the wisest of the world could never fathom.
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