As we become accustomed to the spiritual gifts imparted to us, its miraculous source can easily be taken for granted. This is why we witness so many who detach themselves from the purity of God's glory for them. Examples in the Old Testament offer us insight into this. Moses, Sampson, Balaam, Saul, David, Solomon, and others. In the beginning God was very near them and His laws were known by each. Over a period of time though, God pulled back His obvious presence, and expected His laws and precepts to be the governing authority for their actions and accountability, should they continually call on Him. Essentially, they were expected to walk in faith by obedience. But through time, from the lack of prayer, and a contentment toward His patience, familiarization crept in and bred contempt for what has never been anything less than the power of God sustaining them.
The nation of Israel did not have the Spiritual presence the church today possesses. They were governed by God's laws and accountability was the strict consequences established for breaking them, executed through the anointed authority assigned to the leaders over them. None the less, God's blessings were enjoyed by Israel when the leaders were obedient to His commands. At times though, the nation of Israel was led by laws adopted from the pagan nations around them, to the grief of God's true prophets. It is obvious that the people of Israel became spiritually oppressed because the leaders did not intimately pursue God.
Sadly, spiritual oppression has taken place even on this side of grace as well, and it is a shame that in this day and age, with such a wealth of theological information, it is still very common. But like the covenant of old, without the presence of God's Spirit accompanying the law, a knowledge of God's Word alone is powerless.
Today, despite that the Holy Spirit has become the law set in our hearts, and that the various gifts within the church are the declared sovereign authority for keeping intimacy and accountability among ourselves, the people continue to remain under the oppression of pastors and leaders who do not recognize, intentionally establish, and encourage the Spiritual gifts that would destroy any form of man's idolatry and authority within it. Assuredly, compromise, tolerance and complacency has become the spirit of many congregations.
However, there is always a remnant in every congregation that has been through a rigorous process of sanctification, and by their earnest desire to seek the depths of God through them, have come out on the Spiritually refined side of today's religious institutions. They possess a pure and true understanding of the apostolic foundation intended for the church, exhibited by their discernment and faith in action, and their hearts are burdened to see the fullness of spiritual gifts realized within the church. The dilemma in communicating this to church leaders is how to delineate between being respectful, while desiring to hold accountable, those who are "over you in the Lord"...but authority established and guided by people, rather than the Holy Spirit, is not authority that is to be respected nor feared. It is to be confronted...as did the true prophets of old. Church leaders who misuse their positional authority relish in their own ideals of how their 'own' church should be structured and maintained, in place of what is clearly defined as fellowship in the Bible. It is evidenced by the covetous nature they possess and display in their lust for recognition and control.
"But he looked directly at them and said, 'What then is this that is written:
'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone'?
Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.'" (Luke 20:17-18)