Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 4 - God, not man, appoints prepared leaders. 2Ti 2:19-26; 1Pe 4:1-6.
length: 88:09 - taught on Jan, 3 2016
Announcements / opening prayer:
2. God appoints His leaders, not men, and He only appoints when they are prepared.
Because of the condition of fallen man and his lust for idols, real leaders are in short supply. The sacrifice that needs to made by real leaders is a sour taste to most people. The shrinking pivot in America has resulted in a much diminished manifestation of Christ to the population and a greater manifestation of the evil of the KOD. This has resulted in a greater percentage of the population with a greatly decreased moral standard. Mankind, left to his own without a manifestation of Christ, has no hope of truth and justice.
The Bible shows us that when God does find a person who is ready to lead, to commit to being a disciple with his life, and to take responsibility for others, that person is used to the limit.
He who is useful to the Master will be used greatly by the Master.
2TI 2:19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness."
This is the verse we based a booklet upon. This seal makes the believer and the church God's forever. They cannot be lost. The two aspects to this seal are; first - the believer's position in Christ (the Lord knows those who are His) and second - the believer's opportunity and privilege to execute God's plan for his life (let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness).
Every believer as well as every spiritual leader has an imperative call to holiness (to live set apart unto God).
2TI 2:20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor.
The house is the church and within the church there are a variety of vessels. Some value the things of God above all others and so they are of honor. To honor something is to fix a value to it. However, some in the church value the flesh and the world above the things of God and so they are of dishonor. God does not make them this way, as is clear in the next verse, and in the whole Bible. Paul is using the analogy of a house where some vessels are used for common things while others are used for valuable things.
2TI 2:21 Therefore, if a man cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified [set apart for the worship and service of God], useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
2TI 2:22 Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith [faithfulness to the principles of divine virtue], love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
"faith" - here meaning faithful in the sense of fidelity and trustworthiness since the context is Christian virtue.
Love, agape, gets to the heart of self-sacrifice for the betterment of another.
2TI 2:23 But refuse foolish and ignorant [untrained] speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels.
Speculations are questions from the sluggish and untrained mind. Our minds must be fully trained in the truths of God so that we are alert, disciplined, and instructed thinkers.
2TI 2:24 And the Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,
2TI 2:25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,
Those who place themselves in opposition to the true servant of the Lord and to true doctrine are to be dealt with tenderly and considerately. Many pride themselves on being able to win an argument. The Lord's leaders, His servants, are not to be quarrelsome at all, but only to correct by means of the truth and with gentleness. Beating someone in an argument is not going to lead them to repentance. They must see Christ in you while they are being corrected.
2TI 2:26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
"come to their senses" - to return to soberness. A lack of knowledge of God is analogous to being in a drunken stupor.
Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God.
This shows that captivity by the devil is accomplished with ignorance. The ignorant are easily deceived. The unbeliever is ignorant of the Savior, having rejected Him, and the ignorant believer is also held captive to do evil though he is sanctified unto God as His child.
The honorable vessel is cognizant of the things of God and he values them above all other things. He who is useful to the Master will be used greatly by the Master. Some fall away from this because they find the amount of time and sacrifice of personal desires that is needed to be used by God as much as God chooses to be quite inconvenient to personal desires.
Those who fall away from being used to the limit by God are ignorant of the fact that the personal time, energy, and treasure that they are sacrificing is worthless compared to what God calls them to invest in.
Young Mark was a great example of this. He attended Paul and Barnabas in their first missionary journey and after they evangelized the island of Cyprus Paul, who was quite ready to be used to the limit, planned on going to Asia Minor to continue the work there. Mark had no stomach for giving any more time to the cause and he deserted them and instead went back home to Jerusalem. Mark certainly could have gone, but he found the continuation of the journey to intrude on personal desires.
All such leaders, no matter how committed and virtuous, have shortcomings and flaws, as did Moses and Joshua, David, Peter, Paul, John, etc. These flaws have to be dealt with in grace. The ministry is not yours. It belongs to God. You will fail. Pick yourself back up, recover without guilt or condemnation, thank God that you are forgiven in Christ, and get at the work again.
The Christian or spiritual leader cannot find his power and wisdom from himself. There is no personality type that is solely chosen as can be seen among the apostles. Therefore it is not up to his charisma or dynamic personality or human IQ. His power and wisdom flow from God and in particular to God the Holy Spirit. The Spirit guides him, leads him, instructs him, and empowers him. This is true of all believers who are spiritual and by spiritual we mean those who are not grieving or quenching the Holy Spirit through sin or independence.
The spiritual leader's power and wisdom comes only from the Holy Spirit and the word of God.
Let's imagine that there are two roads that we can take through life. The road through the high lands and the road through the low lands.
1PE 4:1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
1PE 4:2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
1PE 4:3 For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousals, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.
Let's say the high lands are the things of God, the plan of God for your life. There is great joy and peace on this road, but also many dangers like death shadowed cliffs as David wrote. But these treacherous crevasses are not to be feared because you are not alone, for the Lord, your Shepherd is with you. It's an exhilarating road and certainly not a boring one. It is the road that God has set before you. This is the road of life, adventure, and impact.
The low land road is the things of the flesh and the world. It is heavily traveled and worn. There is joy on this road but it is of such a false nature and it quickly vanishes leaving a person less happy than he was, so then, it actually robs happiness while promising it. Mostly it is a road of misery. Its surroundings are grey and damp and ugly. There are dangers at every turn and they are always feared. There are many people on this road all trying to convince each other that it isn't that bad. But the Lord of glory is not here. He is constantly calling all who are His to return to the high lands but so many of them have dull ears and cannot hear.