When God created man He gave him authority on the earth, which included dominion over the fish, birds and animals (Genesis 1:26-28). Likewise, Jesus has given the believer authority in the spirit realm and the empowerment to do mighty works (Matthew 16:19; Mark 16:15-18). But at no time has God ever given us dominion over other people. God did not create us to rule or control one another, nor did He create us to be ruled or controlled by other people. Jesus set the captives free (Luke 4:18)!

Jesus gave the Church one commandment—and that is to love one another as God loves us (John 13:34). Anytime we see people controlling others—whether it is through physical, emotional or spiritual abuse—we find the works of darkness. God does not desire that even one of His children be treated in such a way. God created man with the ability to make choices. He did this because He desired to have a true, loving relationship with man. Love is pure only when it is birthed out of a choice made by one’s own free will. God could control us, but He refuses to take away our freedom (Deuteronomy 30:19).

God’s Word and His Spirit are to be the directing forces in our lives. God has not given any man or institution the right to take away the opportunity for people to receive personal direction and guidance from His Word. God has ordained governments and given us ministry gifts for the purpose of us all growing together in unity as a strong Body (Romans 13:1-4; Ephesians 4:7-16). God does not desire lawlessness, and for this reason He established natural and spiritual authority for our protection and development, not for control and manipulation.

God wants you to be involved in loving relationships that give opportunity for you to learn, serve and grow in His Word. We trust that the Holy Spirit will guide you in your decisions. Always remember to follow the peace of God inside you. If something doesn’t sit right with you, most likely it is the Holy Spirit giving you a “check.” A check is a sense inside you that something is not quite right. Pay attention to that check and know it is God telling you not to do whatever it is you are considering. Listen to Him and obey Him. In John 10:4-5, Jesus said His sheep know His voice and a stranger they will not follow. You are His sheep. Obey His voice, and by obeying Him you will keep yourself from harm.