Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went…” (Acts 13:3-4)
In order to promote Paul the Apostle, God used the established leadership with whom Paul had already faithfully served, during his years of testing and ministry of helps. In Acts it tells us, “Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, THEY SENT THEM away. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went…” (Acts 13:3-4) Now the emphasis here is twofold; “They sent them...” and “...sent out by the Holy Spirit.” This means that to have “official” leadership you need the authentic commissioning of the Holy Spirit alongside “recognition” that is necessary from other leaders.
Some misguided folks think that they can go around saying “I am anointed – I don’t need anybody else and I don’t care what they think!” This sounds impressive to some perhaps, but really it’s nothing short of “stupid!” Without recognition from other leaders our own position can never be legitimized only jeopardized. It’s vital to work together with others. Having said this, it is also normal to lose any reputation before you gain one! Losing your life, before you save it! Dying to self so that the “person” can be built before the “ministry” and the ego dissolved! (Jesus had the wilderness for this process, we have a life time!)
Nevertheless when we humble ourselves God promises to raise us up. Therefore to go any distance in leadership and to gain that recognition from other “leaders” this involves humility on our part before leaders. (However this doesn’t mean that everybody who is in leadership becomes our apostle or mentor!) God never called anyone to be a lone ranger. We must never work alone. There may be seasons where God strips us back, to deal with our heart motives but even in the Adullam cave, David had a small crowd going on! (1 Samuel 22:1) Paul did travel alone at times but not all the time. More importantly he did not “operate” alone or solely under his own authority. He worked in collaboration with other recognised leaders; especially from Antioch and Jerusalem from where he was sent out.
From inception then, it’s crucial to remember that it is before God AND men that we must serve. Recognition comes from God first and then from men, but not just anyone. That’s why it’s important that other “recognised leaders” recognise us before God. Not all will of course; but there certainly should be some! Especially those who God had brought divine connection with. Without this, there is no lasting influence or authority. (Sensationalism evaporates; yet true anointing and genuine recognition can last a life time).
Certainly to begin with and on a continual basis, there must be humility and submission towards others in leadership. God did not use anyone Paul was not in submission to; instead He used an established authority that had already been set up in Antioch. God will never undermine the leadership of the Body of Christ just in order to raise up someone else into a position of leadership! So with recognition comes appointment (ordination) by other leaders, in other words “confirmation” of certain leadership qualities (Acts 5:1-11; 6:1-7; Ephesians 4:11).
However, on the other side of the spectrum there are those who want to lead without first being led. Those who have no intention of ever operating in or out from a place of submission and yet expect submission where ever they go! These types of people have to “assume” leadership, because they have not gone the proper way. Usually in fact they have no recognition except for their own imagination! Their assumptive leadership behaviour operates something like this:
They like to have influence (where possible) straight at the top. They like to “steer” where they have no authority to “steer.” They start by infiltrating a church or group where they have had little if any input, nor developed any real relationship or invested any quality time and yet insist on airing ‘unqualified’ opinions. Even their silence suggests something! They leave people hanging, waiting, and wondering; so that even when they are absent, everyone is still thinking about them; almost possessed in their thoughts; something that ends up completely controlling. A false dependency upon their opinions develops and this is dangerous.
Having successfully infiltrated and gained trust they begin to draw back! Causing a little confusion and hurt; making others push in even harder to them. People believe that they “need” their affirmation. However a big characteristic, of these unauthorised leaders is that they remain very “guarded” and “safe” about their own personal lives. They only share so much as to get you interested or impressed and then they stop. They withhold information, to make people feel that they have to “earn” their acceptance!
All the while these bogus leaders are gaining “intelligence” on everything and everyone else, because “knowledge is power” to them. Their “self preservation” goes undetected at first but then it’s realised that they “never” give anything away about themselves. They never indulge information about their own lives yet they manage to extract info from others, about everything, what they are doing, “how and why,” only to use that information to “pass judgment!” They use all information they can get as strategic “ammunition” for such times they feel threatened!
Eventually those around them feel more and more “raped” of information each time they enter conversation with them. They try to resist the urge to “gush” but always give in to the seduction, which induces the feeling of depression, like they are literally “giving their lives away.”
The seduction works so well because they give the sense that they “are really interested and want to know,” but less is always more with these people. The less that is shared with them the better! Their genuine “concern” is appealing however and they usually succeed in seducing their victim. The depth of their “concern” is revealed in time, especially when they use that information just to “prove their theories” and issue an, “I told you so…” They estimate themselves so highly and regard their opinions as “law” that they act out of extreme self-righteousness and pride. But they “fear” exposure! So they cover their tracks so carefully so that no one tells on them!!!!
Ever met anyone like this? I am sure that you have. We all have. Seduction is not always sexual. It can be intellectual, informational; anything that makes us feel that we must have what they have. But it‘s very safe for them to stay aloof, watching and judging everything from the side lines. Endlessly analysing, assessing, criticising but never doing anything. They are too afraid to really commit to anything – that might affect their safety zone or expose them in any way. They don’t ever reveal their own weaknesses – but they want to reveal everyone else’s! They feel they must “rescue” everybody by “correcting and coaching” them in the things of God! When really the greatest need is theirs! They prey on the vulnerable and its only a matter of time before the vulnerable eventually wise up!
Most importantly they cannot prove anything; they only have “words!” And yet they indulge in making everyone else feel like they have achieved nothing. Nothing worthy in their sight that is! Regardless of all the proof and genuine achievements!
When they do come across genuine success it “challenges their theology” – and they look for ways to disprove its legitimacy and to prove it wrong. They bide their time, watching, analyzing and waiting for “leaked” bits of information that they can use. After all, anyone who is not just like them must be wrong...!
This is absurd. Anyone can assume the role of “judge;” watching everything yet remaining unaffected by anything! (Anyone can do this!) People who do this don’t want to pay their own price – they’d rather reap the benefits of the risks that others are willing to take! After all, the bible does say - watch and “pray” – not watch and “judge!” In fact if you hear someone constantly criticizing others, just ask them when they last prayed for those same people! Their reaction should say it all!
Finally: all of us should be accountable to leadership – in one way or another. This stops us getting “carried away” and helps makes us more careful. We cannot be “established” alone. Submission is not harmful for us – long term its more than healthy. Covering - keeps us from being vulnerable and open to attack from the bogus and false.
Ultimately, anyone who persistently says “No” to the Holy Spirit – is a dangerous character. Remember, the misguided always want to steer others! And fruitless people always have big opinions that only measure up to their own dreams but not to reality!!
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father thank you that you have provided safety nets for me in all that you have called me to. I never need to be endangered or endanger others. If I walk truly with You, I will never be taken off guard. You called me to be wise and not gullible. To be strong and not vulnerable! Thank you for the true context of biblical submission; to take me “over” and not “under.” I accept true leadership and want to help provide true leadership. In Jesus Name amen!
CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I declare that submission is from God. It is a working together, a harmony and synchronization that the world does not understand. Your ways are perfect ways. Time tested. You are the “Ancient of Days.” You provided authentic leadership for me, and will provide authentic leadership through me. Hallelujah.
THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!
Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’
Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries