What does it take to keep our heart flowing with life for the sake of those we lead? As leaders we must know how to do a good warfare of life. We must grow in the skill of allowing our hearts to flow freely with the life of God as we stand before God and his people in our roles of responsibility as leaders. Our hearts must remain spontaneous, broken, deep, and passionate before God. The ingredients depicted in the Old Covenant offering of incense represent the issues of the heart before God and those ingredients represent these things. I have written in regard to these things before, but I must remind us as leaders that these are the issues of our heart and these are what qualify us to stand before the people as an example of the life of God.
Exodus 30:34, 35 And the LORD said to Moses: “Take sweet spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, and pure frankincense with these sweet spices; there shall be equal amounts of each. “You shall make of these an incense, a compound according to the art of the perfumer, salted, pure, and holy.”
We must keep our hearts with all diligence. Our hearts must be spontaneous before God and spontaneous with the life of God to others. They must be deep with a focus towards the things of God and a forsaking and forgetting of the things of the past. They must be broken with a willingness to yield to the will of God and let go of the things that would create bitter roots and strongholds that produce dry places that harbor earthly, sensual, and even demonic influence. Our hearts must be fervent. We must be pure and passionate in our love for God and others. These are the ingredients of a heart that releases the flow of God’s life to the world. This is the testimony of the heart of a leader.
What are some keys to activating these things in our hearts? We must have an attitude of life and for life if we are going to lead people into life. There are some great secrets revealed by the prophet Isaiah concerning these keys of life.
Isaiah 12:1 And in that day you will say: “O LORD, I will praise You; though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.
As leaders we must first know that God is not angry with us or with anyone. His anger is against wickedness and unrighteousness of men that suppresses the truth with a lie, but His heart is for the people, even those who are suppressed by those lies. If we believe that God is an angry God we will be angry leaders before the people. This is not a day to focus on anger; it is a day to focus on praise! We must exhibit an attitude and demonstrate before the people that we are a people who praise God in all things. We must receive the comfort of God in our own hearts so we can demonstrate a spirit of comfort to those we lead. We must stay connected to God as our friend and comforter so we can show others that He is their comforter and friend.
Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; “For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’ ”
As leaders we must trust God and not be afraid. We must set an example that others can follow in all things. In order for our hearts to remain spontaneous, broken, deep, and fervent before God we must trust Him in all things. He is our strength and the very sound of our lives. Are we singing the song of trust or are we singing a son of fear. What is coming off of us that others can hear? What is our affect upon others? The sound, the ambiance, the atmosphere of our lives affects others more than the words we preach or the messages we teach.
Isaiah 12:3 Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
As leaders we should be fountains of life-giving water before others, but there is water in all people. Life resides in the hearts of all who believe. As leaders we must know how to draw God life-giving water out of the hearts of those we lead. We can only do that if we demonstrate joy. We can only draw water if we are also willing to induce that flow of water with the attitudes of our own hearts. It involves valuing those we lead, seeing the life that is in those we lead, and then activating, facilitating, and releasing the life that is in those we lead. This is a skill of leadership. We must lead with joy! Lighten up! Don’t think too much, just trust God and expect to find Him in all that you are responsible for. It is His church, not yours! Be happy and enjoy the journey. Don’t make your goals your destination; enjoy the journey with those you love!
Isaiah 12:4 And in that day you will say: “Praise the LORD, call upon His name; declare His deeds among the peoples, make mention that His name is exalted.
We must focus on the deeds of God and constantly mention how good and merciful He is. There is plenty to focus on if we pay attention. God is excellent! Pay attention to Him and not your enemy! Don’t be concerned with what the enemy is doing. Always point to what God is doing so the people can see it too.
Isaiah 12:5 Sing to the LORD, for He has done excellent things; this is known in all the earth.
Let the tune of your voice and the sound of your heart constantly testify of the excellent things of God. They are around us everywhere and in everything we are doing. Focus on life and you will see life. Sing the song of life and you will lead others into life. Point to what God is doing and others will see it too!
Isaiah 12:6 Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!”
God is with us! He is with you! He is not visiting us. He is living with us. We are the place of God’s governing voice in the earth, because we are the place of God’s presence in the earth. The decrees of heaven are decrees from our hearts. This is true as individuals, but even more as we stand together as the family of God in the earth. We are the church, the called out assembly of God for the governmental decisions of heaven upon the earth. We must keep our hearts with all diligence so that the issues of life flow freely to the world. As leaders we must lead by releasing the weapons of life. This is what will destroy the power of all of our enemies. If you read Isaiah chapter 13, it reveals the victory over the spirit of Babylon. That victory is not possible without the weapons of life revealed in Isaiah chapter 12.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson