Leaning of God in Order to Lead
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As leaders, we are called to set an example that others can see of what it means to be a little child before God in our hearts, an overcomer in the testimony of God’s word and the presence of His Spirit, and someone who gives their life to give life to those in their world for the sake of the generations to come. All believers are to live in this way, but leaders simply lead to inspire others to do the same. It is more about who we are than it is about the works that we do. It is about the core of our being that inspires all our doings in life. This is dependent upon our personal connection to God in all things.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil. 8 It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.
Leaders are not leaders because of what they know. That is often the way of the world. Leaders in Christ are leaders because of Who they know. Knowing God intimately will inspire those we lead to know Him in the same way. We are not the voice of God for people, we are a testimony of what it looks like when someone knows the voice of God in their life. The strength of leadership is not in their understanding of things, it is in their connection to the One who understands all things. There are plenty of things that we cannot understand in our world. There are spiritual powers that we cannot see that influence the circumstances that we can see. Only God sees all things and only God knows the end from the beginning. Leaders set an example in trusting God above their own understanding. They know He is the One who directs the paths of men. Leaders are not wise in the own wisdom; they are dependent upon God’s wisdom in finding their way forward in life. It is in trusting God, knowing God, and always depending upon Him, that we find health in our lives, inside and out.
Leaders are not the smart ones who bring correction to God’s people. They are sons and daughters of God who set an example in responding to the corrections of the Lord in their path in life. God doesn’t chasten us according to a family tree of a knowledge of good and evil. He chastens us for a family tree of life! Chastisement is about keeping us in the path of life that empowers us to give life to others. This is the chastisement received by Jesus, the perfect Son of God.
Proverbs 3:11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor detest His correction; 12 For whom the LORD loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.
Hebrews 5:8 …though He was a Son (Jesus), yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
Hebrews 12:3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.
We are not to despise the chastening of the Lord. We are not to be discouraged when we are rebuked by God. He scourges every son He receives by allowing them to go through hard things. Leaders set an example to those they lead in desiring, embracing, and responding to the chastisements of God in their lives. The don’t just seek God in the crisis moments of their lives. They willingly seek Him, and they willingly adjust the steps of their path in life to be who God says they are and to do as they see Him doing in all things.
Jesus never sinned, but He was scourged. He never looked for love in the wrong place, but He was tempted with everything we are tempted with. God, His Father, allowed Him to be chastened. He allowed Him to be disciplined. What did that look like? It very often looked like being treated wrongly. God allowed His son Jesus to be despised, rejected, hated, lied about, misunderstood and many other things. All of this was for the sake of manifesting as God’s Son.
Jesus learned obedience by the things that He suffered. Do you suppose He ever hit His hand with a hammer in the carpenter shop? Do you think He may have been misunderstood and wrongly disciplined by His natural father Joseph? He knew how to be led by the voice of His heavenly Father even in everyday life. He knew that it was the instruction of the Spirit that strengthens hands and the word of God that strengthens knees (Job. 4:3,4). He knew how to walk in a practical world in a spiritual reality. This is how He could defeat the devil in life.
As leaders, we must embrace the voice of God on good days and on bad. We depend upon every expression of His voice in our lives, and we are not to be easily shaken by the current events of our world, our circumstances, or our immediate environment.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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