As New Covenant leaders we must no doubt hear God in order to lead properly, but today I want to present an even greater challenge. If we are to be leaders in a New Covenant culture we cannot just hear God to know how to lead. We must create a culture of hearing God. We must lead people in a way that they too hear God in the things God is leading them into. Old Covenant leadership is all about knowing what is good verses what is evil. It is a covenant that takes people by the hand and leads them. It involves a paradigm of knowing what to do and how to act. New Covenant leadership is all about knowing who we are. It is about empowering people to be nobility in Christ, thus they know what to do. We must empower people to be sons and daughters of the King. This means we cannot just hear God in leading people; we must lead people in a way that inspires them to hear God.
Isaiah 32:1-4 Behold, a king will reign righteously and princes will rule justly. Each will be like a refuge from the wind and a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry country, like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land. Then the eyes of those who see will not be blinded, and the ears of those who hear will listen. The mind of the hasty will discern the truth, and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak clearly.(NAS)
As New Covenant leaders we must activate, facilitate, and release those we lead to know how to be a refuge in the wind, a shelter from the storm, a stream of water in a drought, and a shade from the heat in a weary day. When they know how to be who they were meant to be, others will be able to see, listen, discern truth, and speak clearly.
I believe that these issues address the wrestle of mankind in the earth. Man was created in the likeness and image of their heavenly Father (Gen. 1:26, 27). The fall of mankind left man short of attaining to this true testimony of God through man in the earth. The best that man could do without God was to create a likeness and image of ‘self’ – the ultimate testimony of missing the mark (sin) in God. God’s plan was to restore the human race through the gift of His only begotten Son, a perfect likeness and image of God in the flesh. Jesus was such a man. He was the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of His person (Heb. 1:3). I believe that there are four things that reveal the testimony of man in the earth. They can be seen when men and women stand fast in their beliefs, actions, imaginations, and influences in the world. Whatever one believes determines how they act. How they act will then propagate the imaginations of their hearts that determines how they think. How they think will determine how they influence the world in which they live. Jesus believed what His heavenly Father believed, acted how His heavenly Father acted, set his imagination in the thinking of His heavenly Father, and influenced this world with the weight of His heavenly Father’s character, nature, way, power, and authority. These four things are known as the heavenly place of the human heart, actions revealing the rule of man’s way, and the power revealing a force of human imagination, that leads to principle influences in this world (Eph. 6:12).
A righteous King has redeemed the beliefs, actions, imaginations, and influence of mankind. We must lead to empower people to believe God in their hearts. This will cause them to be steadfast and immovable in their faith. They will be a refuge from the wind for others. The wind is a symbol of the things that cause men to not be secure. They don’t know what to believe, because they don’t know whom to believe. When we know the King, we know whom to believe. When we know whom to believe, we know what to believe. We believe all that He says. As New Covenant leaders we must seek to empower people to know God intimately and to believe all that He says. In doing this we must teach what He has said so those we lead will recognize His voice. We are not leading to teach them what to do or how to act. We are leading to teach them the character, nature, way, power, and authority of God so they will recognize what sound in their own life is the sound of God’s voice. When they know the sound of God’s voice they can become secure in who they are, because they are secure in knowing who God is. They then become influencers of others. They become shelters from the wind to others in the world. Knowing who to believe will empower them in knowing how to act. When they act according to the true voice of God in their own lives they then become shelters from the storm for others. The actions of their lives will bring blessings to the lives of others. They will live for the wellbeing of others and not for the personal agendas of their own self-gratifying desires. The life of God within them will become a life-giving river that flows from the imaginations of their hearts to bring life to others. They will become rivers to the dry land of the world around them. This will then empower them to become a shade from the heat. They will be people who influence the world around them and are no longer influenced by the world they live in. Heaven in them will become a greater power than the spirit of the world that is around them.
As leaders we must know the King and we must lead to empower those we lead to know the King who rules righteously. He is bringing a generation of princes through a wrestle with God in the earth that proves they can stand in the name of the King. These princes reveal an increasing likeness and image of God in the earth by standing strong in every wind without faltering in their belief in God. The storms of life cannot sway them from actions that are the result of listing to their heavenly Father. Their hearts and minds are clearly expressed through an endless imagination of increasing life as they are those who know how to find God’s life-giving water even in the driest of droughts. These are those who have endured the heat and have not withered but are the influence of God’s speech with great clarity and confidence to a world that is stammering in its tongue. As New Covenant leaders we must lead to empower those we lead to hear God and become all that He says they are in this world.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson