Jeremiah 23:4-5 (NLT) declares:
“Then I will appoint responsible shepherds who will care for them, and they will never be afraid again. Not a single one will be lost or missing. I, the Lord, have spoken!
“For the time is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land.”
Biblical leadership is to lead the flocks of God into His divine purpose and calling in their life. Leadership is not about you, but it is you to guide the flocks and help them find their place in the Body of Christ. Every flock has a place and function in the Body of Christ. It is the leadership’s responsibility to help the flock develop and fulfill his/her calling.
Biblical leadership is servant hood. It is to serve and not to be served. Jesus ministry on earth is all about His service to His disciples and to those people around Him. He preached and taught the good news. He healed those who are sick. He set deliverance to those captives by the devil. He gave His life for us.
Even before the foundation of the earth, God has already raised up leaders who will do what is JUST and RIGHT in caring for God’s flocks. These God appointed leaders are to execute and enforce justice and righteousness. And by doing so, God’s flocks are well taken care of. They shall not live in fear, shall not stumble, and shall not perish. Doing what is JUST means doing what is legally correct or lawful, and doing what is RIGHT means conforming to facts or truth.
These Biblical criteria are challenges along the paths of leadership in the Body of Christ. They expose the aspiring leader’s inner man: his conscience and the attitude of his heart. The leader has to qualify through a subtle process of elimination wherein it exposes any ulterior motive of the heart, and evil thoughts of the soul. The Spirit of God and His Word shall scrutinize the spirit, soul and body. God will surely expose the deep secrets of the hidden man. It is a challenge of integrity, honesty, morality, and maturity in the true faith.
Throughout history, God has never failed to expose every lying and deceiving heart. Like a common street proverb says, “You can run but you cannot hide.” Never in the law of nature had darkness overcame light. God is light in Him there is no darkness at all. God in His time always executes justice and righteousness. The price of leadership is the place where God has called you, and many have failed to find their right place in the Body of Christ. They missed their call and stumbled with all of its humiliations.
When God was searching for a qualified king for the nation of Israel, God looks not at the outward appearance. God looks at the heart. Appearance is deceptive and manipulative. Jesus warned His disciples that the devil clothes himself like a messenger of the Holy God, but underneath that cover is evil. Instead of unity, the devil divides and conquers. He is the embodiment and personification of strife. It is the very nature of the devil.
The heart of a leader shall always be put to the challenge by the flocks. And that challenge shall not be construed as being suspicious or malicious act against the leadership but a constant check on the welfare of the leader’s heart. Because anyone who lives clean shall always come out clean. As a matter of fact, a great and outstanding preaching comes from a clean heart, because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
Leadership is not dominion over the flocks. Biblical leadership does not put pressure to the flocks to submit to leadership. There is no pressure in faith. This is the very reason why every member of the Body of Christ should and must know what part and what place in the Body he/she belongs. If you know that God has placed you to leadership, then you are the servant of God’s flocks. You are there to lead, guide, and to serve. Biblical leadership is service: waiting on tables to serve people.
In leadership especially on family, I have seen many live in a state of denial. The worst offenders are the parents. They have grave difficulty recognizing what is just and right for their children especially when their children are caught of being dishonest, or guilty of immoral or illegal activity. They deny that their “little baby” is incapable doing such evil. This same state of denial is very much alive and well within the leadership of many churches.
Many are afraid of even questioning the integrity of a leader. Many believe that challenging the integrity of a leader is an act of rebellion or even committing sin. But there is absolutely nothing wrong of challenging the integrity of a leader. As matter of fact, Jesus asked His disciples of who He is, “Who do you think I am …?” Even John the Baptist sent one of his disciples to validate if Jesus was the Messiah they’ve been waiting for or they have to find the real one.
It does not matter if a leader is the most renewed mind according to the Word, and Spirit filled inward and outward, speaking in other tongues, and leads a big time ministry for almost a century of experience. That leader is still subject to an inflated ego. Ego can lift you up without warning. You can’t even discern it. It creeps quietly and innocently. It is subtle. It is only by the mercy and grace of God that we are all safe from our SELF.
It is true that the devil is under our feet and he is a defeated foe. We can discern his strategies and his schemes. How about ourselves? Can we really trust ourselves? Our worst enemy is not the devil but our ego. Adam was not deceived by the devil. The woman was. However, Adam subjected himself to himself and disobeyed God.
Adam failed to operate according to justice and righteousness of God. He felt sorry for Eve’s disobedience. Instead of standing in what is just and what is right, Adam joined Eve in rebellion against God. You see, the devil played around with Adam’s emotions and feelings of seeing Eve as the victim and needed comfort, someone to be on her side, when in fact Eve was the disobedient and rebellious before God.
Leadership goes beyond being subjective in making decisions. Being subjective opens doors for the devil to destroy you and scatter your flocks. You need to stand on the Written Word of God alone. If it is not in the Scripture, then it is not of God. It may sound very religious and very spiritual, however, if it is not written anywhere in the Bible, then it is not of God. This was the very secret of Joshua’s success. He lives according to the Scripture. He did not digress from every iota of the Word.
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your throne” (Psalm 89: 14 NKJ).
You see, God’s throne is founded on righteousness and justice. God loves you and He is forever merciful God and His grace is upon you, but He is also the God of righteousness and justice. Although God has forgiven your sin and sins, the justice of God and His righteousness have to be satisfied. It is going to be between you and the Lord.