LIFESTYLE LEADERSHIP Source of Power
In our last discussion we demonstrated the difficulty that many have with the required traits for leadership in the world and in the Kingdom. It is important that we take a deep look at these differences:
Self Confident Confident in God
Knows men Knows man and God
Makes own decisions Seeks God’s will
Originates methods Finds God’s methods
Enjoys commanding Delights to obey God
Personal motivations Agape motivations
Now that we have this table, we should note another difference – that of LEADERSHIP and MANAGEMENT. Leadership is an attitude and an action. Management is an action. In illustration, we can make the following comparison:
1. Leadership is a quality. – Management is a science and art.
2. Leadership provides vision. – Management supplies realistic perspective.
3. Leadership deals with concepts. – Management relates to functions.
4. Leadership exercises faith. – Management works with facts.
5. Leadership seeks for effectiveness. – Management strives for efficiency.
6. Leadership influences for good with potential resources. – Management coordinates resources for maximum accomplishment.
7. Leadership provides direction. – Management provides control.
8. Leaderships thrives on finding opportunity. – Management succeeds on accomplishment.
It is not unusual to find a leader who can manage; however, a manager is usually utilized exclusively as a manager.
TRAITS OF LEADERSHIP
I have found only one place where traits of leadership are given a commentary. Turn to HEBREWS, chapter 11:24. We find the following:
FAITH. (:24 “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.”)
INTEGRITY. (:25 “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”)
VISION. (:26 “esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasure of Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.”)
DECISIVENESS. (:27 “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”)
OBEDIENCE. (:28 “Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyeth the firstborn should touch them.”)
RESPONSIBILITY. (:29 “By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.”)
SO, we see from the above that leaders have specific traits that God honors with blessings. Blessings that come only from the “stepping out” that a leader must do. This “stepping out” is not a one-time occurrence, but is a lifestyle. It is one that is open to scrutiny of the body and the world. Then we come to the matter of “How does a leader have the strength or power to accomplish his calling?”
With little exception, especially in a church environment, the answer to the question “What is the source of power for a Leader?” would result in the immediate answer – “GOD!” But how many of us really tap Him as the sole source of power in our lives? Why do so many believers lead defeated lives?
In our last discussion, we covered the I AM facet of God’s nature. We found that God is to be our sufficiency. Today we discuss another I AM of God. He is telling us: “I AM your power and your strength!”
We then have the task and question “HOW DO WE AVAIL OURSELVES OF THIS POWER?” Let’s look at the people called by God to lead. What major feature of their lives prepared them for leadership under God? Scripture shows no one passing ROTC or ADMINISTRATION 101 or any other worldly school of preparation. It was the time spent with God that made them ready to be a leader under God. Fellowship with our creator was the primary purpose for the creation of man in Genesis, and Isaiah 43:7 gives us the continuing purpose for mankind: “Even every one that is called by My name: for I have created him for My glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
Turn to Philippians 4:13 where Paul tells us, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” This is similar to David’s proclamation of II Samuel 22:33 where we are told the basis for David’s strength – “God is my strength and power: and He maketh my way perfect.”
In order for a person to lead, that person must first identify the direction they are going. There was one person who was able by every thought, word and deed to glorify God. That person is Jesus Christ. Jesus told His Father in John 17:4, “I have glorified Thee on earth: I have finished the work which thou gayest Me to do.” What does that have to do with each of us?
Romans 8:29 tells us that God’s desire is that we become like His Son. “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethen.” To become like Christ is to glorify God!
How do I become like Christ? Have you ever noticed how a man and wife, after several years of marriage become truly one flesh? They act alike, they talk alike and they even think alike. If you have noticed the couples that enjoy their 50th anniversary, they even look alike. They become this way because they are together by choice. We become like Jesus only when we spend time with Him. By being around Him, talking with Him and doing things together with Him. To be “conformed to the image of Jesus Christ” we must develop a relationship with Him and invest time alone with Him. God wants each of us to be like this, He even searches for that person. Look in Ezekiel 22:30 where God tells us, “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none.” When God finds
this type of person – one who places FIRST priority on an intimate and personal relationship with Him, God directs His power and wisdom into and through that person. God can change the world with such a man.
Implementing this fellowship has three basic elements: I. THE WORD OF GOD
We must get into the Word. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Timothy 3:16,17)
We must get the Word into us. “0 how love I Thy law! It is my meditation all the day.” (Psalm 119:97)
Just like our physical food, we must meditate on our spiritual food to make it a part of our very life. The word Meditate means to ponder or to contemplate, and indicates that we are to probe below the surface for meaning. (Psalm 119:35, 112:1, 119:47)
In Luke 18:10-14, Jesus Christ told about different kinds of praying that men practice – even today! Please read this section of God’s word.
Take special note that Jesus stated, “He prayed thus with himself.” The one man had his business with God, and wanted to accomplish something with God, the other to impress other men. James 5:16 states, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” We must be aware that a prayer has to be FERVENT to be effective. The greek term translated FERVENT is the term used to describe the intensity of feeling a person has when being pulled apart on a torture rack! Some of us pray as though God has a pair of heavenly earphones – we should be praying as though God hears us through a heavenly stethoscope! The call of Jeremiah is as valid today as when he first called God’s chosen to “Pour out thine heart like water before the face of our Lord.” (Lamentations 2:19) We hear so many say, “I’ll be praying for you” as a form of saying goodbye.
We should do as Paul did: “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.” (Romans 1:9)
We must always be aware that a worldly Christian stops praying while a praying Christian stops the world!
This last facet of fellowship with God is the most ignored by believers. In all walks of life there is no fellowship with a superior unless there is obedience to him. Our Superior, or Leader, is the Lord Jesus Christ, and to have fellowship with Him, we must obey His commandments.
In John 14:21 we find our Lord telling us, “He that bath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.”
Luke 6:46-49 is where our Lord Jesus Christ tells us the danger of disobedience – turn to this passage and read it.
A leader who leads a life of obedience is the greatest motivation to those who follow him. A leader must be able to state as Paul did in Phillipians 4:9 where he told Christians to follow him as he followed Christ. The secret of his following is the same as John the Baptist stated, “I must decrease while He increases.”
Pray that God will touch your heart to create a desire to begin a fellowship with Him based on these three points – The WORD, PRAYER and
OBEDIENCE. Pray that God will become the priority of your life and that the fellowship that comes from that dedication will be honored by His power flowing through you to this needy world, beginning in our own homes. AMEN
Computers for Christ – Chicago