Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Leadership Seduction Series

Promoting the Lord or Self!

“People should think of us as servants of Christ and managers who are entrusted with God's mysteries. Managers are required to be trustworthy”
(1 Corinthians 4:1-2 GW)

There are certain individuals today who assume that they are in leadership when in actual fact they have never legitimately qualified for such position; rather born from ego and hidden agenda than the high calling of God! So how do we recognise such individuals without starting a witch-hunt!? Well they are really quite easy to spot but having said that, what is obvious to the trained eye is not necessarily obvious to the untrained and therefore spiritually vulnerable. Hopefully the next batch of “Truth for The Journeys” will enlighten some of us – as we specifically focus on this subject of “Leadership Seduction” for a while!

To begin with they are made up of the type of individuals who have for one reason or another been around the church world for many years and have a good grip on Christian “jargon” and “philosophy” yet more out of “head knowledge” and “learnt-behaviour” than of genuine “living connection” with God! In avertedly they come to believe that they have in some way been automatically chosen to be a voice to the Church! They even suppose that they have some sort of special “supernatural qualifications!” and are convinced that they have some “special insights” that we all need - along with “special authority” to bring “correction” wherever they feel necessary – even to the entire Body at large! So we must not fail to ask them, “Who are you and who has qualified you to be in such position?” Once they open their mouths they usually reveal themselves!

To keep things positive let’s look at what qualifies a leader rather than what doesn’t. According to scripture, there are two major qualifications for leadership. First of all there must be fruit; fruit of lifestyle and then fruit of ministry. Secondly there must be recognition and appointment (see Acts 5:1-11; 6:1-7; Ephesians 4:11). But first we must look for the fruits; it’s okay having a big mouth, but where is the fruit!? Here are some scriptures concerning the “fruit of lifestyle” (Galatians 5:22; Romans 12:3; 1 Timothy 3:1-f; Titus 1:5-16).

Consider our example in this matter; Paul the apostle, who went through years of “testing” once he submitted himself to the leaders at Antioch. “They must first be tested; and then…let them serve…” (1Timothy 3:10) According to this particular scripture, once the “testing” part stops, the “serving” part begins! As Paul found out, this took considerable time.

It’s remains a fact today that in God’s kingdom the way up is always down and the greatest amongst us is the servant of all. It is only the world that glories in arrogance and “ostentatious crowd-pulling” (entertaining never qualified anyone for leadership!) Someone with a servant’s heart is not showy or flamboyant but humble. This is a good sign of leadership quality. In fact, for anyone who has genuinely been called to a leadership position within the Body of Christ, one of the first things that the Holy Spirit is going to deal with is ...ego!

Yet as first mentioned above, certain individuals have the ability to “learn behaviour” that seems to be humble when in actual fact it is known as “false-humility.” Perhaps we have become so familiar with the false that we no longer recognise the true. True humility is often misinterpreted. Therefore we MUST be led by the Spirit, without Him we are spiritually dull and cannot see. We have eyes to see and yet cannot see; ears to hear but cannot hear. Only the Holy Spirit can REVEAL all truth to us and keep us spiritually alert (John 16:13).

He is the Father’s complete provision for us – so that we cannot be so easily misled. But if we choose to walk without Him, to be vulnerable and spiritually ignorant, then no one can be blamed but ourselves! Yet we are meant to be “Over-Comers” in Christ, not gullible or easily led astray, but spiritual laziness is often the cause of dullness (see apostasy).

Now let us emphasise on the fact that all potential leaders are “separated” or “set apart” by God (it is never a natural selection; as seen in 1 Sam 16: 7) and this “separation” actually means “chosen.” Jesus Himself said, “Many are called, but few are chosen…” (Matt. 22:14), meaning that not many make it through the “testing” part! Yet the few who do are successfully “separated” unto the Lord (so not everyone who claims to be a leader, is one!)

While many want the name-tag of “leadership” not many want the “costs” or “associated risks!” And while the “separating process” was never intended to be easy, according to scripture; anyone caught “shortcutting” is not legitimate! (John 10:7; Matt 7:13)

Now let’s take it a step further still. There are “offices” and “positions of service” mentioned in the bible, (1Cor.12: 28). “And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that … helps….” Once again notice that during those first years in Antioch Paul did not occupy a “fivefold-office” (see Eph. 4:11) but instead served in the ministry of helps, only then did he progress to the office of “teacher” (see 2Tim. 1:11; Acts 13:1).

John Bevere in his book “Thus saith the Lord”, (p120, Published by Creation House) says, “Not only would Paul be tested in the realm of helps but in the office of teacher as well. When Paul was promoted from teacher to apostle we again see how God chooses and separates those that He wants to fill certain offices or positions.”

In Acts 13:1-2 we can see how Paul was listed along with other teachers in Antioch and how the Holy Spirit wanted them to be specifically “separated” unto Him. The appointed time had finally come, the one who had been called to be an apostle all those years earlier on the road to Damascus in Acts 9:15 had finally, after many years (possibly 14 years) of testing and loyal service, was he successfully “separated” unto God to be an apostle. First he was “called” then served in “helps,” then he progressed to the office of a “teacher” and finally the office of an “apostle.” Why? The reason: Paul was faithful to promote the Lord and not himself (see 1 Cor. 4:2).

Father today I worship you for TRUTH. Thank you that I am not dull but alert! I am not easily deceived but easily “led” of YOUR SPIRIT and not by the spirit of this world. As You seek such to worship you, here I am Father - ready to worship! Let my humility be true and not false. Teach me Your ways so that the fruit of my life style and the fruit of my ministry will not just reveal who I am but ultimately who You are. (In John 15:8 Jesus said, “Herein is my Father glorified that you bear much fruit, so shall ye be my disciples”) Amen.

Today the position that I seek more than any other is to be in the bosom of God; to have that “living-connection” with Him and to know Him as He can be truly known. I lay everything down – so that He alone can pick me up. The way up is down. Let Your Kingdom be truly established in my life and Your will be done (above mine) forever. Hallelujah!


Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries


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