Recently, I was thinking a lot about what we look like as the Body of Christ and also, how we all fit together in Him and with one another. I was thinking about what it is like to be “on the outside, looking in” and if I were outside, would I have a desire to be like us? Would I have a desire to be like me? If I were looking in… Do “we” do “I” or even do “you” resemble Jesus, if even in’the smallest of ways? If we are really supposed to be fishers of men, just how do we “reel” them in, so to speak? The truth is most of us shy away from harsh people and if we are too harsh for one another, I can only imagine to the lost we appear to be raging heretics. It seems at every turn, the Lord is directing us at our gatherings to focus once again on being loving rather than a clanging cymbal. It must just be our divine appointment or something, since this appears the area He works on us the most. So rather than focusing on what others are doing wrong, we will surrender fully to Him in order He teach us how to be more like Him for our divine appointments He has laid before us.
The other day I was listening to this amazing message from Zac Poonen… The title of his message was, “You who have failed will be blessed,” so you can totally see why I was drawn to this message from the get go. Many of us feel like the Lord should have destroyed us many years ago and since He didn’t, we have a debt of love to Him and one another. He is teaching us constantly now to give, to love and expect nothing in return because He is our return or rather reward. Aren’t we starting to actually sense more freedom now? This is why… We are becoming more like Him in the laying down of our desires and wills so that He truly can operate through us as His hands and feet. And more importantly, He is guarding our hearts in the process, which is truly a blessing all of us needed. All it takes is surrender. I often wonder why that is so difficult for us to do?
Anyway, about Zac’s message… He compared us to a piece of bread, saying until we are broken into many pieces we cannot feed the thousands. Isn’t that incredible? No wonder the Lord said a little leaven ruins the whole lump… Bread, just think about it spiritually speaking – What are we actually “feeding” people? And is it something they would want to come back for and eat again and again? In truth, if it is not love based without condition or anger and such (which equals to leaven) the answer is NO, they instead will seek the one who holds the Bread of Heaven within, who feely gives out that which is freely received.
A couple weeks ago I shared a message the Lord gave me about the woe coming upon leaders first, out of the Book of Jeremiah Chapter 23. Because in this World, as we let our love light shine, we are those who lead the way for others – all of us do this, as it exceeds the scope of Earthly titles given by man.
So in order to build upon the precepts we have learned over time… Today we are going to take a look at ourselves and discern through the Holy Spirit if the leaders we are following truly are replicating Jesus as the source, He absolutely is the only pure source of love and are we?
Initially I titled today’s teaching, when I was in study – Are All Leaders in the Church Godly? But today as I was in thought with the Lord, I changed it to – Are We Representing Jesus As A Representation Of Him? Only the Lord knows the details of the change, so we will see how all this unfolds.
I am sure it goes without saying by now, but just in case… Like with all studies, we thank the Lord for showing us His ways and receive this teaching for ourselves first, to correct and clean our own walks prior to ever looking to another. We also thank Him for giving us wisdom to discern when others we follow are not following Jesus in that we be not deceived as He eradicates all leaven within us so that we do not mislead others. Amen.
Keep in mind we all are “leaders” to some degree, whether that be in our homes, workplace, community, ministries, etc… Our presence sets an example as a vessel of honor, which is habituated by the One Lord and Savior Jesus. Therefore, this message is for all of us and I thank the Lord for it, may He prepare our hearts to receive.
What kind of prompted this whole study is a message I was listening to by Francis Chan about division in the church and how it trickles down from the leaders, as their flock who are like minded and of one heart, gather under them. He then went on to talk about what a Godly Leader is and is not, so I thought to myself – Lord, I do not want to be found out of Your grace and will, so I began on this journey I am going to share about today. Like I said, this teaching number one is for us to check our own hearts and make sure we are surrendered to Jesus and number two make sure those who are over us are submitted to Him, as well. Because, none of us want to be caught off guard and hear those dreaded words, “I never knew you” and labeled a worker of iniquity. He is helping us to be Him visiting those who are in prison, sick, troubled and such, through the teaching in His word. In order to do His will, we must be surrendered to Him, otherwise we are doing our own will. In Ezekiel 36 it says “When I put my spirit in you to walk in My statutes (ways) and you will be careful to observe my ordinances (commands).” In the Old Covenant the people performed… In the New Covenant the Lord performs through us. The only requirement is: surrender. He completes this verse by saying – and you will live the life I want you to live. He said He does this so that He may be glorified through us.
Shall we get started in our study?
Remember how the Bible tells us – Jesus was poured out as a drink offering. As He is poured into us and we drink of Him a beautiful event takes place. We surrender, and He overcomes us with Himself and then… He pours out to others through us – We water many in such a way. I find this so beautiful – as a matter of fact I see Jesus within so many of you. Thank You Lord.
This is why we are going to study today about BEING A GODLY LEADER. So that we can put down all the characteristics which are in direct opposition to Jesus and replace it with pure water… As the river of life flows in, it too shall flow out. Let’s get started!
One of the most distinctive signs of a Godly leader is when we ABIDE IN JESUS, because we are then “set apart” from those in the World.
John 15:14-23 reads ~
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
21 He that hath 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.
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Isn’t that truly something? So those who abide in Jesus make time daily to be alone with Him our number one priority not some of the time, but all the time. He and He alone is #1 on our to do list each day. Not only do we recognize apart from Him we can do nothing, but we no longer have a desire to do anything He would not do or say – or rather, apart from Him.
I was thinking about how we are to PROVE TO BE HIS DISCIPLES and how we can get so withered when we are not abiding in Jesus. Then I heard this most amazing message from Francis Chan and he was describing that very thing. I took a few notes because it spoke so much truth into my Spirit, correcting and edifying me to seek His face even more. He was explaining how if we are not abiding in Jesus we are similar to those DEAD BRANCHES mentioned in the Word and that these dead branches are spiritual branches made up of pride, ego and being somewhat of a know it all. Humility produces the fruit, fruit of the Spirit, as a living branch dependent on Jesus can bend without breaking, a dead branch “snaps” when moved with the wind.
If we get too comfortable we will often begin to depend less and less on Jesus and more on ourselves or even others. If we get puffed up it is way easy to go from being a love light in the midst of sinners, to one being a sinner driven by works to save and correct others, as if we are their answer and not Him. A dead branch will point to self for having all the answers and a live branch always points to the source of life – Jesus Himself.
To teach or instruct others, we must remain teachable and when we are not… We are withered, threatened and unsure of ourselves. When ABIDING is not our priority, WORKS becomes our centric portion – self.
Knowing there will always be a need, a talk to give, an event to participate in, as it states (the poor will always be among us…) trying to distract, trying to pull us away from our time alone and allotted to just be quiet, making Jesus first to abide in only Him as our focus.
What happens when we slip in this area? We can easily wither, get dried up and eventually be thrown into the fire and we all know what happens inside the fire – the dross/waste is burned off of us, it is painful and exhausting to say the least. Jesus is with us inside the fire and we come out all shiny and new. So this is not the everlasting fire, but a cleansing fire and we know also, there is nothing like a fiery trial to pull us close and back into the abiding place with Jesus. As a matter of fact… Many of us are in the fire at this very moment and if not, we have been or will be.
Today we just basically discussed the introduction of our study in BEING A GODLY LEADER by abiding with Jesus and what it looks like to WALK IN HUMILITY. This is so very important because HUMILITY casts out offense, giving it no placement in our lives.
Our souls are longing to be ONE WITH HIM continually.
May the Lord continue to bless you in His Love ~
Angela ~ Marked By Heaven