Gaining Approval, God’s Way, Pt. 3

(Part 3 of 3)

f) As chastened and not killed… Mark your conflicts as chastening and not as killings. Thank God you are alive. Chastening should be considered as realignment. Some days even leaders get a little off-course. Chastening often keeps us from stagnating. It’s “sonship” training (Hebrews 12:5-9). My dad gave me the rod of correction many times; I’m alive and better for it. Good people often have to realign young leaders. After all, don’t find fault with those you lead until you can walk on water.

g) As sorrowful and yet always rejoicing… There are things that grieve the heart, that bring heaviness, that bring weeping. People will leave the church, backslide, and accuse you of not feeding the sheep. Someone may die. Someone may get sick. Thousands of things can cause sorrow. Don’t be afraid to bear sorrows… but also rejoice. Be happy. Serving God has more joys than sorrows. A lot of leaders are eager to remove their shoes and stand on holy ground like Peter, James, and John did on the Mount of Transfiguration, but they never get around to putting them back on to come down the mount and work on the task Jesus assigns to them. Peter was thrilled to be with Jesus and Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration. He wanted to build three tabernacles so that he could bask in the glory. But at the foot of the mountain, a desperate father was seeking deliverance for his sick boy. Human needs camp out at the bottom of every Mount of Transfiguration.

h) As poor and making many rich… There is no record of the Apostles having a home or a bank account or great possessions, although the married ones may have had a family and a home. The emphasis in the New Testament is on giving and not on accumulating or hoarding. Peter and John were going to the temple to pray in Acts 3:1-10. They had no money to give, but they were rich in anointing and a lame man was healed. Leaders must be rich in God. Most people’s problems are spiritual in nature even though they may appear to be financial ones.

i) As having nothing yet possessing all things… Paul was often destitute and homeless, but he had the knowledge shown in Philippians 4:10-12: “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” (KJV). Matthew 6:32 says that the Father knows our needs. God will see to it that your needs are met.

A good leader will face both sides of Paul’s third set of nine. See the big picture. Leaders do grow, but it’s not in a comfort zone. Paul tells the Corinthians, “Be ye also enlarged” (2 Corinthians 6:13, KJV). These three sets of nine will make leaders who will bring in the harvest in the end times. Learn today’s lesson well. Theodore Roosevelt said, “It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again.”

Conclusion… Don’t overdrive the sheep or those you lead (Genesis 33:13). Note the six ways you can kill those you lead:

1) You can kill those you lead by insisting on your correctness while condemning their incorrectness.

2) You can kill those you lead by using your own personal experience as the only standard and by demanding people live your way only.

3) By forcing those you lead to have a higher degree of faith and then failing to teach them that faith is a gift that grows.

4) By manifesting a holier-than-thou attitude or a know-it-all attitude. True anointing doesn’t have to advertise itself and it doesn’t need anyone to point it out.

5) By condemnation, by always putting someone else down, or never commending or praising someone for a job well done.

6) By dwelling on woes, strife, and trials. Only focusing on the negative causes people to give up.

Leaders approve themselves by how they face and overcome difficulties. 2 Corinthians 6:4-5 says, “But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings” (KJV). Paul list nine things that help shape your life as a leader. Leaders go through pain. Do you know why? 1 Peter 2:20 says, “For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.” Christ suffered pain for doing the right things (His work on the cross). Leadership pains are usually in your heart (spirit). Let’s remember these nine uncomfortable zones that shape us to fit in with the people we lead.

Pastor George Belobaba

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