Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 126 - Essential qualities of leadership: Prayer. Leadership and Time
length: 64:30 - taught on Jul, 7 2016
Title: Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 126 - Essential qualities of leadership: Prayer. Leadership and Time.
Great leaders are prolific at prayer.
MAT 5:43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.'
MAT 5:44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you
MAT 5:45 in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
The spiritual leader will find that he has many enemies who will persecute him. He loses his ability to lead if he takes revenge. But not taking revenge is still not enough. He must pray for his enemies.
MAT 5:46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same?
MAT 5:47 "And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others [how are you extraordinary]? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
MAT 5:48 "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
This is a supreme demand. Through the medium of prayer we go to our enemy, stand by his side, and plead for him to God.
There is no promise that they will stop persecuting you when you pray for them.
When we pray for them, we are taking their distresses and poverty, their guilt and perdition upon ourselves, and pleading to God for them. This is quite different than hoping for their further poverty (literally or spiritually) and increased perdition. We are doing vicariously for them what they cannot do for themselves. Every insult they hurl at us only draws us closer to God for them. The more they persecute the more they are prayed for.
The love and prayer for our enemies takes us along the way of the cross and into fellowship with the crucified.
"Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."
The more we are driven along this road, the more certain is the victory of love over the enemies hatred. It is the love of Christ which has conquered all enemies.
To harbor hatred, vengeance, spite, bitterness, unforgiveness, etc. toward those who are trying to hurt you is to give them the ability to do so even more than they intended. Instead of conquering their persecution, we accept that and compound it with mental attitude sins. Forgiveness, love, and prayer is the only way of victory and tranquility of soul. To do so is harder than bitterness, for mental attitude antagonism against an antagonist comes natural to us, but it also easier, for in it is freedom from the bonds evil that our enemies wish to place upon us.
Yet, be wary of the subtleness of the sin nature that will feign love and prayer in the deeper hope that God will smash them to bits. "I will pray for them Lord so that the way is opened for You to crush them." This is not the heart of God, for He wishes all men to be saved and to come to a full knowledge of the truth. We are to truly desire their reconciliation, first to God and then to us in truth. If we have the truth and we desire our enemies to also have it then there will be fellowship in the truth.
We have all opposed God and it was His love that reconciled us. Even what we were that we and others considered good was ungodly. There is no spark of divine life in fallen, unregenerate man. He is fully and totally depraved. Only God's love could draw to Him through the outpouring of that love at the cross.
Love and hate are engaged in mortal combat. Love has won in Christ, but the war continues. Every believer must prepare himself for it.
The Christian leader is a desirable target since it is a true principle that when the shepherd is struck down the sheep will scatter. We must be prepared for war, but not with human weapons, but with divinely powerful ones.
2CO 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,
2CO 10:4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
The Christian leader is a desirable target since it is a true principle that when the shepherd is struck down the sheep will scatter.
It is clear, and always has been since the first century, that God's adversaries, who are our adversaries, seek to root out the Christian church and the Christian faith because they cannot live side by side with us, because they see in every word we utter and every deed we do, even when they are not specifically directed against them, a condemnation of their own words and deeds.
They suspect that we are stupid and weak because we do not reciprocate their hatred and vitriol. They would like it better if we did, but we love them and pray for them because we have the divine nature and the heart of our Father.
We pray for the peace of these erring, devastated, and bewildered souls, a prayer for the same love and peace which we ourselves enjoy, a prayer which will penetrate to the depths of their souls and rend their hearts more grievously than anything they can do to us.
Undivided love or unconditional love shows no special favor to those who love us in return. If we only love those who reciprocate it than we are no better than the heathen. And you must remember, we are not in competition with the heathen in order to show who's better. We are better than we were when we were heathens for we are new creatures in Christ, identified with Him in resurrection, a divine nature with a justified life. We don't work to be better. God has made us better through Christ. The divine nature loves with an undivided love - period. This is to be the normal life of the believer. If we do not, we have given homage to the old nature and the old, dark kingdom.
We are not who we used to be and we are not of the world anymore. We are a peculiar people who are citizens of heaven.
The effective spiritual leader has a vibrant prayer life for those under his charge as well as their enemies.
Prayer is always addressed to the Father. We can only approach the Father through the person of the Son and under the power of the Holy Spirit. We are not to just say the words, "in Christ's name," but to understand that we can only approach the throne because of Christ. We can only approach in the trust of the Spirit to lead and guide and empower us.
Prayer is the deepest fellowship with God. It must be divine through and through without any aspect of the fallen nature or world.
That completes our study of the essential qualities of leadership. We now return to the final points of effective leadership.