Leaders must be examples to those they lead in matters of relationship. A leader’s connection to God, their family, their friends, their neighbors, and even how they respond to their enemies is essential to their ability to lead others. We are called to lead people in a covenant relationship with God and one another. Everything in life is a matter of relationship.
Covenant relationships begin with a revelation of love and they are sustained through a growing revelation of that love. That love empowered revelation is the strength of true covenant commitments and it inspires acts of love towards one another in the relationship. Those acts of love prompt responses, and responses invoke a submission of one to another. When we know someone loves us it is easy to respond to them rightly. When we love someone else, we respond to them with an attitude and action of love. Our judgements toward God and one another must be a judgment of love. Everyone is called to carry a testimony of God in their lives that is both internal and external. Heavenly things are both inside and out. God’s love in our lives gives us a testimony of bread and wine. We are internally changed, and we are given a testimony that is even externally obvious in our lives. It is a heavenly testimony of the love of God. Our response to one another should be in recognition of heaven’s grace. We give to others because we want to receive all that they are. We appreciate the gift that they are and we are not trying to prove who we are. This is a proper relationship of responses. Leaders must set an example in this that others can follow. Without proper responses there can never be the true trust of submission. Proper responses lead to a submission based upon trust and it is a receiving of life and a giving of life to one another. Submission is not a matter of control or manipulation. It is a relational connection that allows there to be a dance of life that brings life to the relationship and bears the fruit of life to others touched by that relationship.
The trust of our submission determines the focus of our contribution to another. We must each receive a revelation that we were born to reveal something of the testimony of God in this world. Who we are is not for our own gain, but for the benefit of another. We are each part of the fellowship that contributes life to our covenant partners in life. When we have food at a table we have a supply to meet our natural needs. When we willingly bring our best food to the table for the sake of another we create a feast and a celebration of diversity that makes the table a testimony of unity through the unique expressions brought by each one. Each of us has been given a measure of life to contribute to our relationships in life. It is not about what we can get from another, but what we can give so those at the table become a fuller expression of the one covenant expressed there. We must each recognize that those in our covenant relationships in life are contributors of life to our lives. More importantly, we must know that we are a gift of life for the sake of those we relate to. God gives each of us an ability to bring light to darkness and that light is for the glory of our relationship with God and with one another. It is a testimony of who Christ is according to His resurrection life! We must be awake to who you are and to who another is in the relationships of our lives. An ability to do works of righteousness for the sake of others is a testimony of life at the table of our relationships. There is a diversity of food that is given by each one, but there is one salt at the table that brings the unique flavor of who we each are for the sake of our fellowship together in life. Unity is revealed through diversity, not conformity. This can only be true when we know the mystery of living to contribute life to those we are in relationship with in life.
Leaders must lead others in commitments, actions, responses, submission and contributions of life to others. These things are the foundation of true community. Without them we can never discover the mystery of being the community of God in the earth. These are essential for a life-giving community of Christ.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
Thank you to all of you who have partnered with me in prayer and support. More resources are being developed and we are moving forward with reaching the nations with the message of New Covenant Life and Grace.
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