Written by His Grace,

Kevin K. OíConnor 

Jan. 23, 2004

 

Main thought: to examine how the greatest leaders for Christ are those who are the greatest followers of Him.

 

Leading by following

 

The greatest expression of Godís heart to man is Christ. The One who emptied Himself out unto death on the cross is now Lord of Heaven and earth and all therein. Christ understood that the way of greatness was through the emptying of oneself; Luke 22:24-26 24   And there arose also (21) a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. 25   (22) And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called 'Benefactors.' 26   "But it is not this way with you, (23) but the one who is the greatest among you must become like (24) the youngest, and the leader like the servant.

 

It seems that as we mature from infancy, we begin to take the reins of our will. Then, as we begin to mature in Christ, we learn how to surrender those reins back again. Oh, how our ways are not His. Isaiah 55:9 "For [Ps 103:11] as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Whole Chapter: Isaiah 55 In context: Isaiah 55:8-10) There is a certain freedom that comes from following. In fact, Iím growing to enjoy it not only within the spiritual realm, but the physical one as well. It seems that when we follow, we donít have to be concerned with the outcome, for that is the responsibility of the one leading. I guess thatís one reason that Iíd rather be the one doing the work in this world than the one doing the administration thereof. As long as I do my job with all of my heart, the outcome is on the shoulders of the one who hired me. So it is with Christ. He is the One who called us by His Love and Mercy, and it is He Who is responsible with transforming us into His image so long as we remain submitted to Him. Philippians 2:13 for it is [Rom 12:3; 1 Cor 12:6; 15:10; Heb 13:21] God who is at work in you, both to will and to work [Eph 1:5] for His good pleasure. (Whole Chapter: Philippians 2 In context: Philippians 2:12-14) And He can only do that to the degree that we allow Him. Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, [Is 63:16] You are our Father, We are the [Is 29:16; 45:9] clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the [Ps 100:3; Is 60:21] work of Your hand. (Whole Chapter: Isaiah 64 In context: Isaiah 64:7-9) This is the attitude we need to have so that we may truly lead people into a living, victorious life with Christ. Take note though of another opposing attitude; Isaiah 29:16 You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, That [Is 45:9; 64:8; Jer 18:1-6; Rom 9:19-21] what is made would say to its maker, "He did not make me"; Or what is formed say to him who formed it, "He has no understanding"? (Whole Chapter: Isaiah 29 In context: Isaiah 29:15-17)

 

So then, how can we be great leaders for Christ in this lost and dying world?, by learning how to be great followers of Christ with all of our hearts, souls, minds and strengths. Unfortunately, there are those who think that they are going to lead others to Christ by the ďrighteousĒ lifestyle they live or words they speak. Of course living like a child of God is important, but being a child of God is much more so. There are coming great trials and tribulations upon the earth to test the heart of man. Itís only in the tests of fire that the trueness of gold is known so it is with the heart of man. Many, many people who have made it their goal to know volumes of Godís Word and be able to discipline their walk to walk the line of the Ten Commandments faithfully, will be found wanting in that day. Why?, because their passion was not knowing Christ but knowing about Him, not in their allowing Christ to live through them but in them trying to live Christ; Zechariah 4:6 So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty. (Whole Chapter: Zechariah 4 In context: Zechariah 4:5-7)

 

We need to daily learn how to listen to the Blessed Holy Spirit as He moves upon our hearts to follow Him; Romans 8:14 For all who are [Gal 5:18] being led by the Spirit of God, these are [Hos 1:10; Matt 5:9; John 1:12; Rom 8:16, 19; 9:8, 26; 2 Cor 6:18; Gal 3:26; 1 John 3:1; Rev 21:7] sons of God. (Whole Chapter: Romans 8 In context: Romans 8:13-15). And with all the wonderful intellect He has given us and the freedom of our will to choose whom we will serve, we need to realize that we donít do a single thing from our own accord that is Godly. Anything and all things of eternal worth are from Him and will return to Him; Isaiah 55:11 So will My [Is 45:23; Matt 24:35] word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will [Is 44:26; 59:21] not return to Me empty, Without [Is 46:10; 53:10] accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (Whole Chapter: Isaiah 55 In context: Isaiah 55:10-12) And even the wonderful macho man Apostle Peter who proclaimed with such boldness in Matthew 16:16 16   Simon Peter answered, "You are (1) the Christ, (2) the Son of (3) the living God." Was instructed by the Lord of Heaven and Earth in Matthew 16:17 And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, (4) Simon Barjona, because (5) flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. How arrogant we are to think that we can obtain the knowledge of God on our own accord. And yet, because we have the written Word, we think that we actually can. What foolish thinking; Colossians 1:16-20 16   For (39) by Him all things were created, (40) both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether (41) thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--(42) all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17   He (43) is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18   He is also (44) head of (45) the body, the church; and He is (46) the beginning, (47) the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19   For it was (48) the Father's good pleasure for all (49) the fullness to dwell in Him, 20   and through Him to (50) reconcile all things to Himself, having made (51) peace through (52) the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, (53) whether things on earth or things in heaven. Who is the ďHimĒ described herein? Jesus the Son! We did not will ourselves into this world and neither did our parents, but God Himself did. God, out of the indescribable Glorious nature of His heart said to Himself, I would like to have fellowship and so created us. The sooner we realize that we were created to have fellowship with Him, the sooner we will begin to enter into the joy for which we were created. The sooner we realize how very unable we are to live for Him, the sooner He will be able to empower us to be His witnesses; Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Whole Chapter: Philippians 2 In context: Philippians 2:12-14)

 

Yes there is a joy in following, especially following the Lord of Heaven and earth that has made all things for His own pleasure; Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; (Whole Chapter: Psalm 24 In context: Psalm 24:1-2) To God Who was and is and Who is to come be all the Glory, Honor, and Praise!

 

Heavenly Father, teach us how to listen to You so that we may hear, how to follow so that we may lead others into existence for which we were all made. In Jesus Glorious Name, Amen.

 

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