As leaders in the New Covenant we must serve to create an environment where people can discover who they are. The destiny of people is to be children of God who reveal the likeness and the image of their heavenly Father. We cannot focus on telling people what to do or how to act. This is an Old Covenant reality and it only serves to take people by the hand and lead them. It falls short of seeing people truly change within their hearts. Our focus as leaders must be to help people become who they were meant to be through the power of Christ within them. People need the manifest presence of God in their lives more than instructions as to how they should act or what they should do. God wants us to act as children of God who do the things sons and daughters of God should do, but the secret in doing those things is not found through Biblical instruction. It is Christ in them that will transform their hearts and minds to empower them act as sons and daughters of God.
The things we do should be the fruit of proper relationship with God and men, not obligatory rules to live by. Our works should speak of our faith, not the doing of things so we can prove we have faith. Works of faith are the evidence of faith, not the means of having faith. Faith comes through hearing God through intimacy with Him in the human heart. When we implement methods we very often create forms of Christian life, but we fail to active true life that comes by being empowered through Christ within. The New Covenant is all about people discovering what it means to be a part of the body of Christ. It is about knowing what it means to be the place that God inhabits. It is about an empowerment to live, not instructions in what to do. It is about relationships of commitment, faith, responses, submission, contribution, intimacy, and an awe of God in all things. These are not works, but they will manifest the fruit of works. If we make it our goal as leaders to get those we lead to do the works of commitment, the works of faith, the works of responding to God, the works of submission, the works of contributing, the works of community, or the works of the fear of the Lord we may just create a complicated form of bondage that retrains people from knowing the true life of God in their hearts. We must lead for a better testimony. We must lead to create a culture where each one knows God and is empowered from within to walk out the fullness of true relationship with God and other people in life. Biblical instructions cannot be a substitute for Holy Spirit empowerment. We cannot focus on teaching what is right or wrong and expect to see New Covenant life manifested in the lives of those we lead. We must demonstrate, activate, facilitate, and release the life of Christ in the culture of those we lead. The objective is to see people discover the true change that comes from heaven within them, not disciplined actions of the flesh that seek to attain to some promotion of glory when they die and go to heaven. The wonder working power of God’s grace must be allowed to cause people to become manifestations of God’s truth in the world. God wants to heal the roots of iniquity, not merely shackle them in some religious prison filled with actions of religious performance.
Colossians 2:20-23 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
When the Scripture gives instructions in regard to what to do and how to act it is in reference to the true life that is found in Christ. It is not doing the things that are Christ like that make us like Christ. It is embracing the power of Christ within us that empowers us to do the things we should and act the way we should. We cannot settle for the instructions of what to do or how to act and think it is enough. We must embrace the life of Christ within us and know that it is true through an internal empowerment to put on the character and the actions of Christ. The actions can look the same, but the motivation for the actions is totally different. One is death and the other is life in Christ. As leaders we must lead to see people empowered in Christ, not controlled by what we interpret as Christ-like behavior. True change of action comes from internal beliefs in the human heart. Actions don’t change the place of true belief, but the empowerment of true belief will always spawn actions that testify of that belief. The high place of the human heart is the internal place of believing God and believing who we are in Him.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson