In Charge

Leadership iconI remember being left in charge of things when I was a kid. I didn’t do so badly when in this position, but it’s a big responsibility when you’re a teenager and feeling pulled between the “responsible” adult world and the “care-free” world of a kid. I didn’t always like being “in charge” of things, but I also wanted to honor my parents.

As a “grown-up” now, I realize that being “in charge” is pretty much every day. I have a family to lead. I have responsibilities at my work where I serve as a leader. I also realized again this morning, that while I lead in certain quadrants of my life – the Lord is really in charge.  Check this out….

The Lord is my shepherd,
 I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths

    for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk

    through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil,

    for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

    they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me

    in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

    my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me

    all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    for ever. (Psalm 23:1-6 NIV)

 

The Lord NEVER leaves His responsibility of being in charge of my life. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed in the very familiar passage just how much God is doing in me; for me; around me. He is multi-tasking and helping me in all the quadrants of my life where I welcome Him. He really wants to work in and through every area of my life. When I learn just how capable He is – I’m really wise to turn everything and every part of me over to Him.

He blesses me. He loves me. He provides for me. He directs me. He disciplines me. He comforts me. He gives me rest. He is everything I need. He is extremely over-qualified to be in charge of everything. He still gives me the option to do things on my own. Everything works smoother with Him in charge instead of me.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Chain Of Command

Leadership iconThere is a hierarchy/chain of command that is in place in most situations. While I may be the leader of my family, there are still people in authority over me.  I must learn that there will always be someone in authority over me. I recently received a “safe driving award” (aka speeding ticket) and was under the authority of the police of a small municipality down the road. There are laws that I must abide by and live under for my own safety and the safety of others.

The Apostles (Disciples) of Jesus were under the authority of Roman authority, but not Jewish authority. The Sadducees were still trying to squelch any teaching of Jesus. They were using all their authority to do this. The Apostles push back. Check this out…

27 The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”
29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” (Acts 5:27-32 NIV)

The chain of command came into play in this situation and the Apostles played the ultimate card. When their faith is in direct conflict with human authority, the “tiebreaker” always goes to the Lord. Obedience to God is paramount. Here’s the thing; some believers use this passage to disobey human authority. I believe that the Apostles were not trying to sew discord among the people, they were simply teaching truth in a civil manner.

I believe that the heart of God is to treat our leaders with respect and honor. I believe that there are times when “civil disobedience” is called for. I believe that more often than not, we are to respect the chain of command and be under that authority of those in leadership positions. I also believe that God is the Ultimate Leader and He will make the distinction clear when I must step out of line on His behalf.  I’m deeply saddened, frustrated and down right angry with people who steal, kill and destroy in the name of Jesus. I believe that these despicable acts are not in line with the Lord’s call on our lives. There are many, many ways to affect change and Love is so much more powerful than hate.

I want my life to honor and respect the Lord. I want my life to honor and respect the authorities that I’m under. I do believe that there are times to call our leaders to account for their decisions and their behavior. There is a right way and a wrong way to do this. The Leaders I’m under are not always perfect, but I should always respect their authority, even while “calling them out”. I want my life to be a showcase of the Spirit of God living in me so that the words of I want my life to be a showcase of the Spirit of God living in me so that the words of my mouth bring honor and respect to both the Lord and people in authority over me. It’s a fundamental character trait of believers.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Lead On!

3D Leadership CrosswordThere are times when I’ve been frustrated with the people who are my leaders. This applies to church leaders, community leaders, state leaders and even national leaders. There are times I’ve been disappointed in their decisions or their logic. I think some people get leadership confusion with power. Leadership does bring with it a certain amount of authority. Power seems to bring pride into the picture and power really screws things up. Power often corrupts leaders. Leaders should always make decisions based on what is best for the people they are leading as well as themselves.

It’s interesting that while Jesus was here on the earth, the religious leaders did not believe in Him. They really had a hard time when He raised Lazarus from the dead. Here was living, breathing, “walking around proof” of Jesus authority and power over death. They just weren’t sure what to do with him. Check this out…

42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.
44 Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. (John 12:42-46 NIV)

Leadership should not be about the praise of men. It should be about leading others to make good decisions and live honorable lives. Leadership in God’s economy should be about leading people to a saving relationship with God.  I want to lead others from a place of following. I want to lead by example. I want to see others become full-on followers of Jesus. I want others to seek the praise and blessing from God rather than their fellow humans. Fame is fickle and fleeting, but honor and blessing from God is eternal. I’m going for the honor and blessing of God on my life. I really don’t care if I’m known by men or not – what really matters is does the Lord know me.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Broken Leaders

Elderly man prayingI see people who are in leadership positions wielding power that is self-serving all the time. The point of leadership is service to the people following. Politicians often wield power in order to remain in power instead of serving the people who elected them. This is an example of a leadership model that is broken.  Jesus introduces a leadership model where the leader is broken. There is a significant difference because the leader is not wielding power, but leading with wisdom and authority. Check this out….

45 While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 47 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.” (Luke 20:45-47 NIV)

I believe that the Lord will hold leaders responsible for their leadership. You can tell that He is disgusted with the arrogant, pompous behavior of the teachers of the law (aka religious leaders).  In God’s economy leaders are door holders and servants. It’s their service that elevates them to leadership roles. Leaders inspire others to live and lead.  I want to be a follower of Christ who leads others to Christ by serving them. I want to be a leader who is broken before God.

Pressing On!
Dwayne