Here's A Thought...

Here are some "THOUGHTS" that will hopefully answer some of the questions that you may have about what the Bible has to say about our everyday lives. These articles are here to provoke thought; provide answers, guidance and resources; all in an effort to bring you into a closer relationship with your Heavenly Father!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Leadership Defined

I can’t say enough about how God speaks to us through our spiritual conversations with others. It has been an invaluable blessing to me that as I seek out spiritual conversations; I find that the Holy Spirit is seeking to speak to me. It was during one of those recent conversations that a statement pierced me like a fine pointed lance; very small point but sank very deep.

I was involved in a conversation about men being spiritual leaders and the statement was made that man’s first sin was when Eve bit the apple. Without missing a beat I responded that man’s first sin was when Adam bit the apple. The counter argument was that if Adam had been sufficiently leading Eve, she would not have bitten the apple. Seems simple enough; after all, this was just a few sentences out of a nearly 3 hour conversation. But as I grow in my relationship with the Holy Spirit and my Heavenly Father; I find they are as tenacious as a dog with a bone. They get their teeth in me…and they ain’t lettin’ go! What I am saying is; they are not allowing me to let it go.

I have been in study and prayer over relationships and marriage for quite some time. This is not a new focal point to my meditation. Getting God to the center of my marriage has been a priority; and seeking to be a Godly man and a Godly husband has been a growing and evolving process. In this process I am discovering that I…that the world, does not define leadership the way God defines leadership. The world does not define the leadership role of a husband the way the bible defines that said role.

I find that a good place to start is; “In the beginning…” I examined Genesis chapters two and three; the creation of man and woman, and the fall. Knowing that God is a God of order, I paid special attention to the order that He created things. First, man was created before the garden. Then the garden in Eden was created and man was placed there with the commandment; “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

It was later that God realized that man needed a companion, a partner if you will. “And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.” (Genesis 2:22) Stay with me, this is important.

Now when the serpent came to tempt the woman and questioned what God had said about eating from the tree of good and evil; Eve responded not by saying Adam said, but; “God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” She was quoting God’s instructions to her. Eve had received the law from God and therefor was accountable to God for that law.

Now fast forward to after God had discovered what they had done and was issuing his punishment for the transgression of the law. God was addressing Adam and said; “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you…” (Genesis 3:17) This was followed up with the expulsion from the garden.  

            Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:22-24 ESV)

 Adam’s leadership was to simply stand firm on the word; stand firm on the law of God. Whether you believe Eve brought the apple to Adam or that they were standing there at the tree together. Adam’s decision was his own, his actions were his own. So you’re asking where I am going with this.

I want to jump ahead to what Paul wrote to the church in Corinth concerning principles for marriage:
            To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.
            To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? (1 Corinthians 7:10-16 ESV)

Some of you are getting where I am going. All I am trying to say here; is what I think Paul is trying to say is to live righteously, love righteously…lead righteously! If your spouse is a non-believer; that through your relationship with Jesus Christ as you are made righteous, and your bond with your spouse is a Holy bond; that through you, your spouse is also made righteous in Christ. Not through control, not through manipulation, not through your power, influence or position over them; but through your love for Christ and your love for yourself.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”(Matthew 22:36-40 ESV)
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24 ESV)

LOVE YOURSELF…LOVE YOUR OWN FLESH! You cannot say that you love yourself and hate your spouse because your Heavenly Father does not see a difference. You are one.

If you have read this so far and are still with me; please allow me to cement this concept for you. So far I have talked about how leadership is about love and standing on the Words of Jesus Christ and the Bible. Let me finish with this; Jesus Christ came to Earth to be the ultimate example to us. He showed us how to live, he showed us how to love and he showed us how to lead.
            Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
            When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” (John 13:1-20 ESV)

Enough said; if you want to truly lead…you must serve!
You must love; not only your Heavenly Father, but yourself…and that includes your spouse.
You must stand firm in obedience to God’s laws and seek his righteousness regardless of what the world or your spouse says or does.
And you must serve. Not seeking position, but submission. Not seeking title but humility. Not seeking to control, manipulate, dominate, guide, push, pull or otherwise direct; but to serve.

That is how your Heavenly Father, his Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit defines leadership.
We were created to serve our Heavenly Father, and in that, we are to serve all of His children.
Jesus when instructing his disciples told them;
            And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 9:33-35; ESV)

 May God; through the Holy Spirit humble your heart, open your eyes and direct your spirit to a better understanding of what He wants from you to be a better leader in your home, your neighborhood, in your job and in your church. It is through Jesus Christ that we are able to humbly request and humbly serve. -Amen

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