SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP

There are many books written about the leadership. I read somewhere that there are more than 800 different definitions of what is a leader. It is possible that because of so many words, few people know what a true leader is. There are many leaders in different areas: political, social, business, and religious. We are interested only in spiritual leadership. Leadership is a gift of God. It is given to a believer for the benefit of the Body of Christ and for the glory of God.

A spiritual leader is a believer in Christ who is called by God to lead others to Him. He leads them by the power of the Holy Spirit. He inspires them thru the Word of God and his own behavior. God uses His Christian character as a light to draw people closer to him. The Leader leads the people to God, to His purposes for them. The leader does not bring people to his personal dreams or future plans. He leads them to God. He studies the Word of God to find the plan and the purpose of God so that he can lead people to those. This is the key to spiritual leadership: leading people to God’s purposes. God is not bound to the opinions of men about what leadership is. God is not interested in the physical appearance, but He searches the hearts of men to find faithfulness, humility, and a willingness to learn and obey. Popularity is not leadership. True leaders stay faithful to God and obey Him as they lead men into their destiny.

The people of Israel wanted a king like the other nations. That is how God gave them King Saul, who later proved to be unfitted for the throne. Later, God directed Samuel to choose the next king of Israel, King David. The prophet was an old, experienced man of God at that time. But even Samuel could have been deceived by appearances. David’s elder brothers look more royal than him. But God rejected them from that position. God made His choice based on the heart of David and not by his appearance (1Sam 16:6-13).

LEAD WITH DILIGENCE

“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness” (Rom 12:6-8). The gift of leadership is to be done ‘with diligence’. In Greek, this word means to lead with ‘speed, zeal, and enthusiasm. It means to serve God with all your heart, by taking your responsibility seriously, in leading people to Him. Diligence is a steady, persistent, constant, and energetic effort to accomplish your goal. Simply said, you need to work hard, to try your best to please God by leading men to Him. You press on until you see results. The opposite of diligence is to be careless, passive, irresponsible, idle, sleepy, or spiritually dead.

OUR LORD – THE GREATEST EXAMPLE OF A TRUE LEADER

The greatest model we have in leadership is the Lord Jesus Christ. He did not come to earth to fulfill His plans or personal dreams. He said it again and again that He came sent by the God the Father and to do the will and the work of the Father. The devil tried to make Him do His own will, but Jesus refused and rejected all these temptations. He remained faithful to the Will of God unto His death. “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Lk 2:48-52). We need to grow in knowledge and grace like Jesus! We need to increase in favor with God and men! The Lord Jesus did not come to do His will on earth. His relationship with God the Father was His constant source of strength and wisdom. Listen to what our Lord said:

“Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (Jn 4:34)

“So, Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself, unless He sees the Father doing it. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does” (Jn 5:19)

“I can do nothing on my own initiative or authority. Just as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just (fair, righteous, unbiased), because I do not seek My own will, but only the will of Him who sent Me” (Jn 5:30; AMP).

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (Jn 6:38).

It should be our deepest desire to be like Jesus! Because Jesus did the will of the Father to the end, the Father raised Him from the dead and made Him Lord of all. Therefore, like Jesus, true leaders are tested and true followers. Like Jesus, the spiritual leader knows God the Father intimately. He waits for God to move, then he joins in His work. During difficult times, true leaders do not run away like the hirelings. They stay with the people until they have achieved their God’s given destinies. Even when the people are rebellious, they still lead them to God. A good example is Moses. Most people rebelled against God and Moses, and they died in the desert. But God still used Moses as their leader until he died. True leaders have a high sense of responsibility towards God. Examine yourselves! Search your hearts! Do you desire to give God all the glory for your lives and ministries? Then God will provide all that you need, spiritually and physically, for the work of the ministry and for His glory! In Jesus’ name, amen!

(From Malia)

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