Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
Ever since I began my walk with God and now after pastoring for over 29 years, I have seen the impact of this verse over and over again. There are three types of people in the body of Christ. There are those who have never really acknowledged who their spiritual leaders are because they have no relationship with a spiritual leader, those who have found such leadership and biblically submitted to them; and those who have not submitted to the leadership God has given to them.
There are many in the body who say, “So and so is my spiritual leader”, but they may often be referring to someone they have never met, nor do they sit under their teaching ministry. All who have never established who these leaders are, and all who may have done so but do not submit to the Word of God they are taught, do not experience the profitable life God has for them. They don’t get stronger spiritually, they tend to stay in spiritual limbo. Why? Because God’s Word teaches you cannot fully mature without the spiritual leadership He has provided for you, and by submitting to the Word of God He brings through them.
But I have seen many examples of believers in my own life, and in other churches where people have obeyed this verse and the results are obvious. They continue to grow spiritually, their marriages become better, their children walk with God, and they live a much more stable life. They have built upon the rock of God’s Word and their foundation is solid. Our spiritual welfare in life has much to do with having spiritual leadership and submitting to the truths God brings to us through those who watch out for our souls.