On Discerning Leaders

david and goliath

He wasn’t their first choice. Not even their seventh. But he was ruddy.

And God whispered, Yes. He is the one.

Samuel tipped the horn and the oil ran down.

Down the face of this small, young boy. He carried a passion. A courage. But he could not have known fully what that moment meant.

He would be a king. But there are many of those. He would choose the faith of his father; many do that.

But David? He was chosen to be in the bloodline of the Morning Star.

He would stumble greatly as King. Then stand back up and become even greater. Through his humility. And through him, God would teach us what man looks at…and what He does not.

“Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.”

There are many leaders today. With shiny messages and polished tones.

Voices going into our souls and teachings – oh, the teachings, we buy and share and lock down deep.

And there are false prophets and phony schemers with their “Building Wealth Tours.”

It’s all the same old thing from the desert, a struggle between the Truth of God, and the pride of evil: give me your allegiance and I’ll give you the world.

And the world is following. We are all following something. Someone.

Paul was ridiculed for not being a good-enough speaker.

Sometimes- most of the time-the greatest leaders have the worst of critics.

Joseph was mocked by his own brothers – “Look, here comes that dreamer.”

Because dreams and visions? Who has time for that? We’re busy talking about church attendance. And never mind the chains Paul wore for the gospel. Get that man some speaker training.

Not much has changed today. We flock to fancy and follow the popular. We look at numbers and resumes and how many people like you on twitter.

Somehow it’s getting harder to discern the authentic. To choose wisely who we learn from.

And servants of God? They are looking too. For people to lock hands with. Who rightly divide the Word. And live like they believe it.

What fruit comes forth from an obedient servant of God?

They honor their authorities. Before and after they become an authority themselves. We see this mostly in the life of Joseph. So consistent in his service, his hard work no matter the mistreatment – he was put in charge of untold people. Looking for leaders today in the church? They will honor their authorities – at home, at work and yes, inside the church. Considering someone for ministry? Choose those who respect their leaders at all cost of popularity. Who bless those God has placed over them. When you honor your authority, God honors you.

They honor the brethren. If someone will talk about another believer in your flock in a negative light, they will do so about you. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. Our call to is defend them. Watch very closely how someone uses the sharpest tool they have: the tongue. This is the most important piece I look for in my ministry teams. We cannot ask someone to lead us in a unified front when they seem to focus on breaking rank.

They say The Name. If the messages you keep hearing could be repeated at a business conference with zero chance of offending a single person, be careful. You should be hearing the name of Jesus Christ. When the gospel is softened, coated or turned into a self-help mantra- it is no gospel at all.

False teachers will “deny the Sovereign Lord who bought them-bringing swift destruction on themselves.” 2 Peter 2:1

They live in the fear of The Lord. And it rubs off. If what you hear always makes you feel better about yourself, puffed up, glad you are doing so well for The Lord, be careful. Paul warns of the teachers who will tickle our ears. If it’s all about you- your feelings, your dreams and your life, how much room is left for Christ? Men and woman who are abiding in the Word of God will preach all of it, and it will convict you.

They confess. They put authentic out there before you have to ask for it. They teach on sin and admit their own need for the grace of God. Be careful around those who claim they “never ____.”

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8

They serve on the front lines. The one time David fell hardest into sin….was when he stayed home from war. Every other time, he led the battle cry. We will see the humble leader in their work clothes. It’s not about appearances for them either. Their heart comes through in their service. They challenge us to fight as they are putting their own armor on.

There is so much out there today about leadership. Character traits, speaking skills. It’s helpful. But God is looking for obedience. The heart is the matter. God can handle the traits and the skills later. He is very interested in how one actually handles HIS WORD. The living of it.

The quiet ones, working behind the scenes, tending the sheep or washing the dishes and raising the kids….He’s watching. As you meditate on His precepts and tithe when it’s hard and confess His name out loud.

“God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Cor. 1:27

No one thought a young man could slay a giant with a little rock and a sling. And you may not think you are called to leadership. Others who think they are, are not.

David was obedient. During the long years of waiting. Fighting off bears and lions. When his call was to play a harp for the King. When no one else would put their confidence in God to beat one giant man, David did. Our every day obedience pleases the Father. It’s the example he will choose to put on display.

Others will jump on the platform of influence. We must be wise. Unaffected by the changing winds of popular.

As we follow Christ close enough, others on His path of obedience…will be in our line of sight. We lock arms and march on, together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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