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Leadership Plus

Why is the answer Leadership? That depends on the question.


Today the Lord Jesus is calling up His leaders. His plan has never deviated. It's still the same today.


Acts 10:38 KJV

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.


Every enemy is to be put under His feet.


Hebrews 10:12-13 NKJV

But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, [13] from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.


The enemies of all peace include, oppression, bitterness, rejection, hatred, strife, divorce, fear, confusion, double mindedness, brokenness of heart, and unbelief. These will be dealt with by the mighty power of God, in the Name of Jesus, in whom we glory and give praise.


In the Prophetess Deborah’s day the answer was leadership.


Judges 4:1-3 NKJV

When Ehud was dead, the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD. [2] So the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth Hagoyim. [3] And the children of Israel cried out to the LORD; for Jabin had nine hundred chariots of iron, and for twenty years he had harshly oppressed the children of Israel.


Oppression, regardless of who is responsible for it, is unbearable for five minutes, let alone 20 years.


Judges 4:4-5 NKJV

Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time.


During the time of oppression the Lord looked for His leader.


[5] And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.


  1. Adjudicate between two sides: will hear both sides

  2. Discerns justice, and uncovers to get to the truth

  3. Rules over matters


Deborah was a woman raised not only to judge. She was a prophetess, who would lead Israel back to peace.


How did God gather His leaders? What was the Lord's plan for Deborah?


Judges 4:6-9 NLT

One day she sent for Barak son of Abinoam, who lived in Kedesh in the land of Naphtali. She said to him, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: Call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun at Mount Tabor. [7] And I will call out Sisera, commander of Jabin's army, along with his chariots and warriors, to the Kishon River. There I will give you victory over him." [8] Barak told her, "I will go, but only if you go with me." [9] "Very well," she replied, "I will go with you. But you will receive no honor in this venture, for the LORD's victory over Sisera will be at the hands of a woman." So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh.


This is how Deborah found the leaders.


Judges 5:2 NLT

Israel's leaders took charge, and the people gladly followed. Praise the LORD!


When you see people taking charge!! They are your leaders. However, it didn’t just happen.


Judges 5:6-9 NLT

In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, and in the days of Jael, people avoided the main roads, and travelers stayed on winding pathways. [7] There were few people left in the villages of Israel- until Deborah arose as a mother for Israel. [8] When Israel chose new gods, war erupted at the city gates. Yet not a shield or spear could be seen among forty thousand warriors in Israel!


Where were Israel’s leaders? There were 40000 infact! But they where nowhere to be seen.


Deborah, who was raised for that day, began to rally leaders. HOW?


She called a revival meeting...


Judges 5:10-11 NLT

Consider this, you who ride on fine donkeys, you who sit on fancy saddle blankets, and you who walk along the road. [11] Listen to the village musicians gathered at the watering holes. They recount the righteous victories of the LORD and the victories of his villagers in Israel. Then the people of the LORD marched down to the city gates.


… gathered the travellers, the common folk, and the nobles. They, with ALL with the musicians, began to sing and recall every past victory the Lord had done.


Oppression will often thrive in an attitude, or atmosphere of fear, entitlement, or feelings of self pity. Seven hundred iron chariots must have seemed impossible to defeat in Israel’s mind. Yet in God's purpose, as soon as they cried out to God, it was very possible.


REMOVE THIS OPPRESSION FROM US.


Deborah had to pull them out of their small, defeated, entitled thinking, through praise and telling the stories of God's great delivering power.


When was the last time you solely focused on God's mighty power to deliver, save, heal, and restore? Or have you been meditating on the situation, circumstances, or defeat?


God's leaders will begin to rise as we go down to the watering hole, shout out His praises, and overwhelm our hearts with testimonies of His faithfulness. Then we encounter breakthrough instead of focusing on what goes wrong or fails.


Leadership is His answer. Not in the way we see it though.


Do you have a gift of "bossiness"? It could be a sign that you’re operating in one of Father's gifts to the body called leadership.


Romans 12:8 NLT

If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.


We think it was all up to Deborah to lead, she was the Prophet and Judge. Even Barak said he wouldn’t lead unless she go. It’s the same today. We lack bold leadership. It's little wonder the gates (spiritual) are filled with gossip, slander, accusations, betrayal, disappointments, failures, and broken walls.


The evidence of the gift of leadership in operation will be a move of willing workers.


Judges 5:2 AMPC

For the leaders who took the lead in Israel, for the people who offered themselves willingly, bless the Lord!


However, this gift does not operate to its full potential without:


  • Taking up the call to lead and taking it as a serious matter. Romans 12:5-8 So we, numerous as we are, are one body in Christ (the Messiah) and individually we are parts one of another [mutually dependent on one another]. [8] He who exhorts (encourages), to his exhortation; he who contributes, let him do it in simplicity and liberality; he who gives aid and superintends, with zeal and singleness of mind; he who does acts of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness and joyful eagerness.


  • Leading with humility. James 4:6 But He gives us more and more grace, (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That's why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it).


  • Leading with compassion. Matthew 9:36 NKJV But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.


This leadership gifting has exactly the same potential to scatter if:


  • The leader has not surrendered to fully follow Jesus. Just a little bit of surrender will shipwreck a leader.  A leader who is open to being offended, may pass that offence on too others like a defiling poison, because of their influence.


Luke 11:23 NKJV

He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.


  • The leader has not invested into those they've been gifted to lead. 


John 10:12 NKJK

But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.


Willingness is the biggest key to selecting LEADERS. Many are called, few are chosen.


In Deborah’s DAY the willingness process was done in a culture of...


Judges 5:6-8 NLT

In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, and in the days of Jael, people avoided the main roads, and travelers stayed on winding pathways. [7] There were few people left in the villages of Israel- until Deborah arose as a mother for Israel. [8] When Israel chose new gods, war erupted at the city gates. Yet not a shield or spear could be seen among forty thousand warriors in Israel!


...heathen, idol worshiping, little to no community, no loyalty, confusion and deception in the city and council gates. There was probably no money in it. The actual leaders were silent. There's little incentive to rise up and be a leader where the atmosphere demonstrates:


  • Zero church attendance

  • Zero moral code

  • Zero unity in community

  • Zero peace in the city gates


When a cry is lifted up for reformation, saying "Return us to our GOD!" Heaven hears.


The mandate of Jesus hasn't changed. He is still calling leaders in His kingdom. And the gates of hell will not prevail!


The answer is leadership!


PART 2


HOW DOES ONE TURN away?


How did Israel loose their peace and come under oppression? Exactly the same way as any human on this earth loses their peace and comes under oppression.


Judges 4:1 NLT

After Ehud's death, the Israelites again did evil in the LORD's sight.


Judges 4:3 NLT

Sisera, who had 900 iron chariots, ruthlessly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years. Then the people of Israel cried out to the LORD for help.


  1. They turned away from God

  2. They worshiped other gods

  3. They did evil in Gods eyes


HOW DOES ONE TURN away even if you already lead?


Matthew 19:16-22 NKJV

Now behold, one came and said to Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?"  [17] So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."


This rich young ruler came to Jesus with a genuine question in his heart and yet what unfolds is an unraveling of the process and call to leadership.


The answer is leadership.


KEEP:


Leviticus 18:5 NLT

If you obey my decrees and my regulations, you will find life through them. I am the LORD.


Deuteronomy 4:40 NLT

If you obey all the decrees and commands I am giving you today, all will be well with you and your children. I am giving you these instructions so you will enjoy a long life in the land the LORD your God is giving you for all time."


Ezekiel 20:21 NLT

"But their children, too, rebelled against me. They refused to keep my decrees and follow my regulations, even though obedience would have given them life. And they also violated my Sabbath days. So again I threatened to pour out my fury on them in the wilderness.


Some might say, “Pastor that’s all OLD TESTAMENT. It’s all about rules. Jesus made me free from rules?” Are you asking if you’re now allowed to do anything you want? You’ve always been free to do what ever you want. But you’re not free from the consequences of those choices.


Matthew 22:35-40 NKJV

Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, [36] "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" [37] Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' [38] This is the first and great commandment. [39] And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' [40] On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."


John 15:10-17 NLT

When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father's commandments and remain in his love. [11] I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! [12] This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. [13] There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. [14] You are my friends if you do what I command. [15] I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn't confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. [16] You didn't choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. [17] This is my command: Love each other.


The commandments that Jesus obeyed were the Ten Commandments


Exodus 20:1-17 NLT

Then God gave the people all these instructions: [2] "I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. [3] "You must not have any other god but me. [4] "You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. [5] You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected-even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. [6] But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands. [7] "You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name. [8] "Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. [9] You have six days each week for your ordinary work, [10] but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. [11] For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy. [12] "Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you. [13] "You must not murder. [14] "You must not commit adultery. [15] "You must not steal. [16] "You must not testify falsely against your neighbor. [17] "You must not covet your neighbor's house. You must not covet your neighbor's wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor."


Rules Rules Rules

Remember Jesus is calling His leaders.


What was the rich young ruler wanting to know from Jesus?  Who was already leading in some capacity.


Matthew 19:16 NKJV

Now behold, one came and said to Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?"


The rich young ruler asks, What do I need to do?It looks like he wanted a set of instructions like, How close can I get to the line without falling into hell? Is there a set of formulae?    


Jesus proceeds to probe his heart. He begins to reveal what it is that has the rich young ruler hooked by the desire for a set of rules and formula, instead of wanting to know Jesus in a relationship.


[18] He said to Him, "Which ones?" Jesus said, "'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' [19] 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'


Jesus mentions six out of the Ten Commandments. Now we’re getting closer to the young man’s heart as he responds by defending himself, which is very interesting. Self defence mechanisms are often a manifestation of a root that’s operating undercover.  Not yet realised or revealed to one’s self. That’s why we need Jesus as we respond to the leadership call or function in our lives.


Matthew 19:20 NKJV

The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?"


Now Jesus goes into surgery mode. Out comes the sharp TWO edged sward. One edge to cut open the heart, the other edge to cut out the rotten root.


Matthew 19:21 AMPC

Jesus answered him, If you would be perfect [that is, have that spiritual maturity which accompanies self-sacrificing character], go and sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; and come, be My disciple [side with My party and follow Me].


When God uses a messenger (someone to bring the two edged sward), take notice how your heart responds. The way your heart responds is telling you about the root system.


Jesus said it’s not what enters the body that defiles a man, but what comes out of the heart.


Matthew 15:17-20 NKJV

Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? [18] But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. [19] For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. [20] These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man."


The heart is where the root lives. It’s manifesting a behaviour from the root. Is that behaviour defiling you?   


A general scenario where God's trying to get our attention in order to pull a root out might go something like this…


We experience a circumstance such as a natural disaster, or a conversation, that causes us to have a reaction that can seem overly dramatic..


Like the disciples thinking they were all going to drown and die, revealing in their hearts a lack of faith and trust in Jesus who they were following..


The natural carnal man responds by blaming the outside forces. The wind and waves will drown us! Or that person is rude and offensive and hurtful.


All true, but that doesn’t deal with the reflective root of fear, or lack of faith. Or when it comes to being offended, possibly even a root of pride.


Hebrews 12:15 KJV

Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;


Bitterness may take root in the heart where a person has wounded us, or rejected us, and lodged a seed in the heart. A root of bitterness may lodge itself where the trauma isn’t processed with the Holy Spirit and instead left to just close over.


It could take years, but every trigger of rejection, or abandonment, or offensive action will manifest from the root that’s already in the heart. This will manifest as behaviour that not only defiles, or trips you up, but may begin to effect all your other relationships.


You begin to see others through the root of rejection. When they speak you hear through the filter of the trigger, which highlights tone, pitch, nuances. You see through the lens of the trigger which highlights posture and expression. The “offender” may be genuinely asking for clarification, but to you it sounds like they’re challenging you. They’re rejecting your words or information. 


Because you’ve heard through the lens of the trigger, the root feeds you information. The root tells you to respond like you did the first time you felt challenged, rejected, dishonest, disrespected or abandoned. You become self defensive somewhat aggressive, or perhaps withdraw and go into silence mode. Your reaction is irrational to the topic, but you can’t really control it, and you don’t even realise a root is operating from your heart, ruining your relationships.


The other person walks away from the interaction wondering what they said so wrong to upset you?


The Lord used a messenger to try and awaken your eyes to the root, but you’ve blamed the person, thinking they’re being rude, disrespectful, or dismissive.


Instead of falling towards God for grace and mercy, asking the Lord to show you why you’re reacting like this, you stay stuck in a perpetual cycle of triggers. Until you finally surrender pride and own the condition of your heart, allowing the two edge sword to cut open the heart and root out rejection, abandonment, trauma, distrust, pride, you stay stuck.


Back to the rich young ruler..


Matthew 19:21-22 NKJV

Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." [22] But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.


What did Jesus give the LEADER instructions to do?


  • Deal with the root. His covetousness was hindering his relationship with eternal life.

  • Give to the poor. What he had needed to be freely given. The root of deliverance will be a key ministry influence if you’re willing to lead in that area. Are you willing to give it away? Investing treasure in heaven is connected with giving to the poor. Covering your hurt as though it’s something God won’t know about is stupid. Coveting doesn’t just mean with money.  How many people walking are around nursing their own wounds rehashing every detail to any person who operates in mercy. No wonder Roman’s says the person who operates in mercy needs to do it cheerfully. Stop coveting and invest your time, your heart and your money too. Preach about how good God is to the poor and see freedom swiftly enter into your heart.

  • Follow Jesus. The call to leaving all behind for HIM.


The answer is leadership. Leadership that’s willing to face heart conditions when the sword has been in use.


Leadership that’s willing to obey even when it’s at personal sacrifice.


Leadership that will invest for the eternal reward,  rather than the immediate gratification of ego.


Leadership…true Kingdom leadership does not respond when given the opportunity like the rich young ruler.


Matthew 19:22-30 NKJV

But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. [23] Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. [24] And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." [25] When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" [26] But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." [27] Then Peter answered and said to Him, "See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?" [28] So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. [29] And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. [30] But many who are first will be last, and the last first.


Just as in Deborah’s day when they rallied the people with stories of revival, victories and songs of praise, we will see a gathering of leadership arising. They will come from all walks of life. And one notable characteristic will mark them as it did the disciples…we have left all…to follow…we too will judge and enter into eternal life.

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