Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 131 - The Cost of Leadership; 2Co 4:11-18; Gal 6:9; 2Sa 16:5-14.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 131 - The Cost of Leadership; 2CO 4:11-18; GAL 6:9; 2SA 16:5-14.


Announcements / opening prayer:



9. The Cost of Leadership. The toll of leadership is heavy, to aspire to it is to be willing to pay a higher price than the common man.


The cost of leadership is often fatigue, but the spiritual leader knows from where his storehouse of energy comes.



2CO 4:11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.


2CO 4:12 So death works in us, but life in you.


The key to victory in the midst of the affliction of fatigue is faith.


2CO 4:13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed, therefore I spoke, "we also believe, therefore also we speak;


The quote is from PSA 116:10, written by the psalmist when he was in great affliction. When he was greatly afflicted, he believed that God would deliver him. Paul continues to speak the gospel and lead others in so doing because he has faith that God will see him through. It is this outlook of faith, or hope, that keeps fatigue from fully weakening the desire to press on. Paul found that had nothing to fear in life or in death and so he kept going.


For the Christian, incredibly fatigued by suffering and pressure, the question becomes, "Can I take one more step? Can I have one more moment of faith in the deliverance of God, one more hour, one more day in which I will look at that small chunk of time with hope?"


Paul lists several things that ensure his hope in the midst of such pressure.


In verse 14, Paul is sure of ultimate victory:


2CO 4:14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.


In verse 15, he is sure that God will be glorified:


2CO 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.


In vv. 16-17, he was sure that his affliction was working for him and not against him:


2CO 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.


2CO 4:17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,


In vs. 18, Paul was convinced that the invisible world was real:


2CO 4:18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.


The invisible world described in the Bible was the only "real world." If we would only see the visible world the way God wants us to see it we would never be attracted by what it offers.


ROM 8:18

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.


We must not press this truth to the extreme and conclude that the material and the spiritual oppose one another, as Gnostics have believed. The material can be used for God's glory. Nothing material is evil in itself. Only what we think of it can make it evil.


We are considering the point:

The cost of leadership is often fatigue, but the spiritual leader knows from where his storehouse of energy comes.


GAL 6:6 And let the one who is taught the word share all good things with him who teaches.


GAL 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.


GAL 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.


GAL 6:9 And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.


GAL 6:10 So then, while we have opportunity [only in this life], let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.


Even Christ got weary from journeying.


JOH 4:6

Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey


Yet here He was approached at Jacob's well by a woman in great need and He not only ministered to her and saved her, but He remained in her village and taught the Samaritans for three days.


This is what we all know to be a good tired. The spirit of laziness never produces leaders. One never sees a leader come out from those who can work and are unwilling. We see leaders come out of poverty all the time, but they are such who are willing to do what the call requires.


If a Christian is not willing to rise early and work late when called for, to expend greater effort in diligent study and faithful work, that person will not influence anyone and will lead no one. Fatigue is the price of leadership.


The cost of leadership is criticism. Humility will never be more on trial than when criticism comes.


A young minister once wrote: "It does not matter what happens to us, but our reaction to what happens to us is of vital importance."


In the Jesus Centered Bible a pastor by the name of Barry Brown writes an introduction to 2 Samuel.


"A son (Absalom) runs away from home … a sister and daughter (Tamar) is raped and abused … a brother tries to kill his brother (Ammon) … and a father (David) stops "fathering" his family and descends into an adulterous affair with another man's wife (Bathsheba), murdering the man to cover his sin …


"In 2 Samuel, the stories of David's household seem like tabloid headlines. The pain of privilege and the pain of poverty dominate the storylines in this epic book. Here God's anointed king, David, falls and rises in both his public duties and his own home. How could he, who was so clearly anointed by God to carry His covenant forward, stumble so terribly? David's story is a tragic drama of wasted potential, and the merciful patience of God's restoration.


"To be called by God to lead a family, tribe, or country is a weighty responsibility… Power exposes our need for character above and beyond… In this series of stories from David's life, we see him learning how to work with God in the mess of his humanness. If the "high" God of Abraham is to redeem our lives, then He must get down into the mess of our confusion, lust, shame, and unmet hunger. And yet these are often the very places that we refuse God an entrance. So does He wait patiently while we destroy our lives and the lives of those around us? How does God transform us on this side of heaven, where we need Him the most?


"In 2 Samuel we get a full, detailed account of how far a person can rise and fall in just one lifetime. In the raw telling of the story we find both an "undoctored" account of the trouble humans generate, and the presence of our God who, refusing to leave us, offers to transform us. As we follow David through his rise, fall, and restoration, we discover a path through our own harsh realities.


"Jesus would later say something like this, 'The one who has sinned much is the one forgiven much and therefore can then love much' (LUK 7:47). It's a tasty gospel recipe, served up over dinner at a Pharisee's house, where a disreputable woman has crashed the scene, weeping over her spent life and grateful for the rescue she sees in Jesus. The obvious contrast between a man who claims to live "clean and pristine" and a woman so broken that all she can do is weep is a paradigm of how we come to be forgiven and loved. We can't have one without the other. You may be well-acquainted with the troubles in your life, but have you met the Jesus who transforms your troubles into epic beauty?"


When David was rescued from all his enemies, he sang a beautiful song that is recorded in 2Sa 22. In one of the lines he sings:


2SA 22:29-30

O Lord, you are my lamp.

The Lord lights up my darkness.

In your strength I can crush an army;

with my God I can scale any wall. [NLT]


We can take a great lesson from David when he was greatly humbled by the Lord and suffered the loss of his kingdom to his son Absalom. Though it is a part of the discipline that was promised to David's family, "I will cause your own household to rebel against you" (2SA 12:11), Absalom's revolution is thoroughly evil.