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As leaders, we lead so that people will be planted in a relationship with God and one another to reveal the identity of humanity in Christ, the testimony of humanity in Christ, and the purpose of humanity in Christ. We are not to take people by the hand and lead them. We are to serve the empowerment of Christ in each one to be transformed from within. The character, nature, way, power, and authority of Christ comes from within the heart and mind of each believer in Christ. It is knowing God that changes us. It is not being changed that empowers us to know God. Leaders are not called to change people. We are called to be an example to others in knowing God. The evidence is seen in the change that comes to our own lives from the inside out. Christ in us is the hope of glory!
Jeremiah 31:31 “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
We must lead as New Covenant leaders and we must also all follow as New Covenant believers. The New Covenant is a covenant of intimate life, transforming testimony, and relational purpose. All of these things are testimonies that only come from the inside out. The Old Covenant was a covenant of information. It was a covenant of law. It was a covenant of control and bondage that only led to fear. It could never change us to become who we were meant to be. If we lead in Old Covenant ways we will bind people to Old Covenant ways. It was a covenant that could only take people by the hand and lead them. As New Covenant leaders we are not to lead people by the hand and as New Covenant believers we are not to seek out others to lead us by the hand. We must all be empowered from within to become who God intends for us to be. The law and conscience came before Jesus and only proved to be a testimony of taking and not one of life-giving. They only proved to be thieves and robbers that stole, killed, and destroyed the lives of men. Jesus came to give us life, and life abundant! We must lead in the abundance of life that only comes from and through Jesus Christ as the head of His body of life.
John 10:7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
We often recite that the devil is the one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but in the context of John chapter 10, the testimony of the thief is those who came before Jesus. It was law conscience that came before Jesus, but law and conscience could not change mankind. They could only condemn them. They pointed to our need for Christ within us, but they could never give us the power of Christ within us. The external voice of the prophets in the Old Covenant could only point to law or conscience, but they fell short of the day of being born again into an intimate relationship with God by Christ within the human heart. Only Christ within our lives can transform our lives from within. The secret to true change in our lives is only found in hearing God in our hearts. It is not hearing what God has said with our heads, it is constantly hearing what God is saying from within our hearts. What God speaks to our hearts, empowers our spirits to flood our souls and only then are our thoughts, reasonings, emotions, imaginations, and desires changed from within. The secret to a sound mind is to have the mind of Christ activated from within our hearts. We must lead in the freedom and the liberty of the Spirit of the Lord from within!
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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House of Bread Ministry
3210 Meridian St.
Bellingham, WA 98225-1728