Leadership by the Spirit

Featuring Branon Dempsey Posted on March 31, 2008

Are you too busy? In your leadership, do you sometimes feel that ministry is often complicated to achieve within the sea of daily business? Though we mean well, often our priorities can slip through our focus due to the plethora of minor details. We may find ourselves depleted and spent by the time real ministry matters present themselves. In a weird way, it can seem as if we are running in circles and away from our true ministry calling of the day.

Take the Old Testament story of Jonah. He was a man who was called by God to mission to an untouchable city of people. Jonah so much despised these people that he rejected God’s call and ran away from Him. However, God had another approach to get Jonah’s attention. After swimming in whale gall and stomach acids, Jonah got the message. Jonah rendered himself to God for His using, despite his personal agendas. Definitely, the phrase, "You can run but you can’t hide", has a more appreciated ring to it!  No, it does not mean that God will send a fish to swallow us when we fail to listen. The reality is that we do a pretty good job of consequenting ourselves! Such as, when we run in our haste making desperate and inconsistent decisions, we have the capacity of creating our own havoc. As a result we are not capable to fully give clear attention to the major priorities.

God does not call us to chaos but what Paul encouraged to Timothy, “a sound mind,” (1Timothy 1:7) There will be troubled waters like what the disciples faced in the stormy lake with Jesus. Leadership is full of crests and rises.  It does take a tough stomach to ride the boat. What enables us to ride with consistency and endurance is Jesus as our Captain with the Holy Spirit’s hand on the wheel. He knows how much throttle to give in our times of need and directs our sails whenever we ask (James 1:5). He does not desire for us to be tossed to and fro on the waves of doubt (v.6). Just as Jesus calmed the waters for the disciples, so has He given us the capability to restore and maintain a calm ship. But we must throw overboard all the unnecessary weight and cast off every selfish ambition (Hebrews 12:1).  Self is the ultimate weight of discourse. It weighs more and is the most inconspicuous stowaway.  In order to lay aside this weight it involves rendering our titles, credentials, talents, pride, fear, contentions, isolations, sorrows and neglect. Once these weights are removed, spaces become available. See, we can fill ourselves with much weight of despair that it slows the momentum of what God really wants to do within us. The blocks can be built so high, that we no longer see God in front of us. All that remains is a wall of self ambition, and downcasted is the person to topple our wall. This comes down to the epitome of pride. God sends the Spirit to break-down our walls and fill us with his peace and guidance. Jesus tells us to cast out fear:  “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit is the One who comes besides us who is both our Counselor and Comfort.  

God has empowered us for leadership by the Holy Spirit. In our circles of responsibilities and daily life, He has given us the ability to seek his Word and presence to assist us daily. True leadership is experienced by the leading and following of God’s spirit. Let’s be reminded, God will take care of all of the other consequences as we follow Him first. All of our work will still be waiting for us tomorrow, minor details and all. Let’s take more time listening and responding to the Spirit’s call and to move upon His impulses and not our own. As we walk in His peace, we find just the right amount of time to accomplish the needed priorities – which saves our health, souls and the ministries we lead.

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