Reflections on Chapter 10 of Spiritual Leadership by Oswald Sanders.
“Above All Else” – it sure has the semblance of something the preacher would say, particularly when some point is being driven home. Come to think of it, I seem to recall Mom using this term, or one very similar, when she was giving me serious instructions – her forehead would wrinkle, eyes narrow, one hand wagged a finger and the other hand was on her hip. I would be taking mental notes as fast as I could. Not that I always obeyed… but that’s another story.
But the title here is fitting considering the subject matter. One who aspires to lead others to and for Christ must be led of His Spirit- “Above All Else”. We use glowing phrases to relate this Truth. Often the phrases become even more colorful when some particular incident where we felt led by Him is described. Yet if we would be frank, we would have to admit that following The Spirit is a developed trait. The carnal mind is always in direct opposition to the will, work and way of The Spirit. The godly servant must remain keenly aware of this and constantly tune the heart and mind to hear God’s voice.
Today it is a bit dismaying that the concept of following the leading of The Spirit or even a related comment can raise eyebrows. There is a sector of believers who have attached to this holy process a stigma of the bizarre. It is true that God often teaches us and leads us counter to the norms of society – i.e. love those who hate you, pray for those who mistreat you, etc. It is not true that just because we have an outlandish thought that God is directing to some inexplicable exploits. There are those who have adopted the mindset that the more ridiculous the action the more divinely directed it must be. And, many sad and tragic scenes are scattered about in their wake. I say this in the fear of God, when we state, “God told me to …” it is categorically important that God is truly leading. The kingdom of the redeemed and the masses in darkness haven’t time for another fiasco painted up in groundless, glow in the dark expressions of how “God told me …” Please don’t file this away as a rant from a disgruntled participant. It is exactly opposite.
It is abundantly clear from Scripture that “Above All Else” we need the continuous guidance of The Holy Ghost. Moreover, as those who are called to lead, we must nurture the mindset of actually wanting His leading. I have been part of some wonder filled adventures, things that experts said were bound to falter and fail. But God led the project to success! I hope you have experienced this as well. But those ventures were not started or completed because of some impertinent whim. They were born and borne of The Spirit. “Above All Else” this is the essential component for Spiritual Leadership. This feature compensates for lack of refined education, it outshines all gifted or acquired talents, it is more imperative than financial shrewdness or business insight. When God grants vision, He will also grant provision – of every single need.
Lord, give us hearts that long for and seek for Your leadership in each aspect of our lives.