Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Shepastor: “On Being a Leader…”

6Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the LORD appeared to them. 7The LORD said to Moses, 8“Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” 9So Moses took the staff from the LORD’s presence, just as he commanded him. 10He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. 12But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” Numbers 20: 6-12, NIV

“Don’t let ‘it’ take you there. Take a deep breath, relax and remember what you are trying to accomplish!”

These words came so powerfully into my spirit one day as I wrestled with responding to some issues. “In the moment…” it can be difficult to remain “cool, calm and collected.” I imagine many a leader can identify with Moses. Having led an ungrateful, doubt-filled, rebellious group of individuals through the wilderness, he was exacerbated by their criticisms, quarrels, accusations and threats.

After all that the Lord had done for them…after all that the Lord had delivered them from… after all that the Lord had carried them through AND after all he had put up with and still faithfully led, loved and cared for them, the people still complained! Can you identify with Moses? Have you ever poured out your heart, mind, body and soul to lead and care for ungrateful, critical, doubt-filled people? If you have ever found yourself in circumstances like that of Moses, you may be able to understand why he said (in so many words…), “Look people after all I’ve done to lead you, plead on your behalf, stand in the gap for you, pray for you, put my life on the line for you, I can’t believe that you are still acting like fools!!!”

Anger consumed Moses. Frustration got the best of him. He was so angry that he began to operate in his own willfulness, lifted up what HE had done and disobeyed God’s command to “speak to the rock.” For that reason, God said this to Moses…

“Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” (Numbers 20:12, NIV)

Because Moses chose to “strike” the rock rather than obey God and “speak” to the rock, God prohibited him from entering the Promised Land. WOW!!! That’s TOUGH!!! Why did God deal so harshly with Moses? Because Moses was the leader. God would deal with the people for their rebellious spirits. But Moses was to continue to trust and obey the Lord.

It can be very difficult to take the “high road.” Leading people can be extremely challenging. Leaders are called to remain above the fray. Leaders are called to be the example. Leaders must always strive to do what is right, highest and best. Do we fail? YES. Why? Because we hold this treasure in earthen vessels. We must remember, however, that the role of a leader is to lead, therefore, according to the scriptures, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” James 3:1, NIV.

While this scripture is speaking of “teachers,” leaders are in the same category, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12:48, KJV.

It’s not easy being a leader. Leadership requires that a leader march to the beat of a different drum. The good news is that we are not expected to lead on our own. God’s precious Holy Spirit is there to lead, guide, counsel, instruct and empower us to obey God’s voice over our own willful impulses.

The enemy’s goal is not only to cause us to miss the “promised land” experiences God has for us, but to cause people to doubt God and look at us. When we allow the behaviors of others to “take us there,” we come down from the place of leadership where God has called us. When we disobey God’s Holy Spirit and resort to our own devices to convince people of our strength, our power, our whatever, we yield victory to Satan’s darts, lose our place and misguide people.

Are you a leader? Remember what happened to Moses and seek God’s strength to trust and obey. “Don’t let ‘it’ take you there. Take a deep breath, relax and remember what you are trying to accomplish...” and what God desires to accomplish through you!

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Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

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