“Leadership means: having a heart for those around you; listening to the hearts of others; and trusting God’s Holy Spirit to guide you.”
PART III THE HEART OF A CHILD
A HEART CREATED TO LEAD
Leadership qualities, in God’s eyes are a whole different matter. He’s not looking for someone who will satisfy the hearts of the people. His choice for a leader is based on who will best serve him and His plan; for He alone knows what is best for us.
In the case of Jeremiah, His choice was not based on age and maturity.
Moses was not a good speaker. God does not choose leaders by who speaks the best. Neither, does He choose the one who fights the best; nor the one who makes their opponents look the worst; nor the one who looks and dresses the best.
God’s choice is not always a man. The Prophetess Deborah, a woman, judged the people of Israel for 40 years and went out with them to battle.
God is not looking for the strongest, bravest, brightest, wealthiest, or the most experienced.
God is not looking for the most popular candidate with the people, who has promised that he can right all wrong.
God is looking for someone with the heart of a child, who will trust and obey Him.
Jesus chose His Disciples, not by the most learned and influential men of the times, but, by those willingly to drop everything, put their faith and trust in Him, follow Him and never look back.
However, God sometimes chooses leaders based upon the hearts of the people. God’s decision to choose Saul, as the first king of Israel, was to reflect the heart of the people; and by doing so, to teach them a lesson.
When Samuel grew too old to judge the people of Israel, the hearts of his sons were so corrupt, the people rejected them as Samuel’s successor.
They could not see that their hearts had been corrupted, also. They’re hearts lacked faith in God and turned away from trusting Him to choose a leader. They wanted a king like other nations, thinking it would change them into a great nation, in the eyes of man.
God gave them Saul. Saul’s heart proved to be like that of the people; full of anger, jealousy and pride, disobedient to God and full of darkness. He even began to trust in witchcraft, instead of putting his trust in God.
Meanwhile, God had already looked upon the heart of another–a child, to become the next king of Israel. The same child whose heart and trust in the Lord, gave him the courage to smite the Philistine, giant, Goliath; the child who grew to be a man, fighting in Saul’s army, winning battle after battle, becoming the people’s champion and the object of Saul’s jealousy and anger.
David, the son of Jesse, had many brothers. When, the Lord instructed Samuel to go to the house of Jesse and anoint the next king, Samuel told the Lord that he dare not go, for Saul would have him killed, if he knew. Samuel knew the hardened, blackened heart of Saul.
In obedience to the Lord, Samuel went and looked upon the sons of Jesse, who were presented to him, but somehow he knew that the next king was not amongst them. There had to be another.
Samuel’s heart (spirit) was being guided by the Spirit of God and God was looking for a different kind of heart. The heart he sought lay within Jesse’s youngest son, a shepherd boy, who sang to the Lord and played upon his harp.
David had a different kind of heart. Those around him could see he had a different heart and the favor of God.
Later in his life, as a fugitive, running from the wrath of Saul, he crept up on Saul, while Saul squatted in a cave. His mind said, I see you and I could slay you now, if I choose to do so, but his heart said, it would not please me to do so, despite what you’ve done to me. You’ve betrayed me and lied to me; tried to kill me; exiled me from my home; made me a fugitive; hunted me down like a dog to ensure my death. Yet, there was still love and fear of God in David’s heart and respect for God’s chosen and anointed king.
Many men had perished by David’s hands, but, no, David’s heart would not allow him to kill Saul, even to save his own life.
It was said that David was a man after God’s own heart. David kept his child-like heart. The same heart that enabled him to go up against Goliath, the giant. Perhaps, that is why God spared him, when David became king and also sinned against Him.
When David, by killing Bathsheba’s husband and taking her for himself, sinned against God, his Heavenly Father, Whom he so dearly loved and sung about, he showed great remorse in his heart. He humbled himself before God, in the sight of the Prophet Nathan and the people.
David’s heart showed a desire to repent and change his ways, knowing he would still have to accept the consequences for his behavior.
Although, he continued to pray and plead for the life of the child born to him and Bathsheba, upon the child’s death, he accepted his punishment with humility, knowing it was the Will of God and immediately went on with his life.
Those around him could not figure it out. While the child still lived, David was as if death were upon himself; now, that the child was dead, he recovered, girded his loins and carried on, as if nothing had happened.
It wasn’t that David’s heart was cold. David’s heart was as an obedient child, accepting punishment from the father, whom he loved and trusted with his very life.
You can’t have lived a life like David’s and not believed and trusted in something! David chose to believe in God! He feared God; trusted God and loved God. –And within his heart, David understood the Will of God. He had met it on the battlefield and knew that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. All that is, belongs to the Lord, kept by his Grace and Mercy! Blessed be the name of the Lord!
God had kept him and he trusted God to change him from within, because he knew God would continue keeping him. The heart of the shepherd knew the heart and desire of The Master.
How we accept things makes all the difference in God’s eyes. Saul could not accept the idea of David receiving more praise, glory and favor from the people, than he did. In the eyes of the people, David’s skill in battle surpassed Saul’s, by great length and heroic measure.
David was humble and had the undying love of Saul’s own son, Jonathan. In Saul’s eyes David had wronged him and taken what belonged to him. David was all that Saul could not be because, his heart was not right; not right with God.
Saul could not accept being rejected by God and having his crown taken from him, but the most bitter taste in his mouth, the agony that drove him to madness, was the inability to accept David, as his successor.
At sometime or another, we all have looked for a scapegoat, in which to place blame for our troubles and David became and continued to be Saul’s.
Saul could not accept the Lord’s punishment that he would no longer be king and set out to kill David. Being king meant more to Saul than loving and obeying God.
Like many of us, Saul believed he could go into darkness and come out unscathed–untouched and unchanged. His pride kept him from thinking about the consequences. –Believing God couldn’t see what was done in the dark–God wouldn’t know.
But know this! God will expose the treasures and desires of your heart; not to be vindictive, but because He never gives up on us. Therefore, He continues to plead with us. (Jeremiah 2:8,9)
8] The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.
 Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children’s children will I plead.
What does THIS have to do with change? I pray that your heart has listened closely; and perhaps remembered being a child and having to put your faith and trust in others.
Albeit disheartening, there are many children growing up today, who do not have someone they can put their faith and trust in to provide for them, love them and lead them in the right direction. Perhaps, you are or were one of them. Perhaps, you know how difficult it is to accept disappointment and failure. Then, you know why God needs leaders with the heart of a child, to trust Him unconditionally.
As Disciples, we are followers, who lead others to Christ. As David had to learn, we cannot be led by our own heart’s desires. We are examples who show others how to follow the Mind of Christ.
Perhaps, it is difficult for you to think of yourself as a leader. However, what we do effects everyone around us. We not only effect the physical world, but the spiritual realm. As parents, men, women, husbands, wives, teachers, friends, siblings, co-workers, classmates and Believers, we are leaders. Someone is always watching you and being effected by your choices. At some point in your life, you are leading and influencing others.
It is no longer a difficult task, if you become like Jeremiah; having the heart of a child to fear God and trust Him unconditionally. God will show you that leadership means: having a heart for those around you; listening to the hearts of others; and trusting God’s Holy Spirit to guide you.
As a leader, we always want to turn the hearts of the people towards God’s Will and Way. Like Jesus, we return their heart to be like that of a child; able to trust and love; to be able to accept the Will of God in their lives; and continue to trust Him.
It begins with trusting Jesus. Can we show others a faithful and trusting heart? When people turn against us or cast us out of their lives, can we show them the character and love of their faithful and loving Father, in Heaven? When we are temped to give up, can we show others how to stand in the midst of life’s storms? Can we fight for others as we would for ourselves?
When we suffer loss and disappointment, can we show others how to accept God’s Will and keep loving and trusting Him? Then, if we can do this within our own lives, then, we can lead others in changing their life; leading them to repentance and Transformation.
Many might say, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink!”
But, that is only true if there is no love for the horse or the horse has no affection for you. What are you willing to sacrifice, so that the horse will live? Are you willing to wait by the waterhole until the horse is thirsty, then offer him Living Water?
Can you watch him go back out into the world, searching in vain for something better? Upon his return, will you welcome him with open arms?
What kind of person will the horse remember is back at the water hole? Will he find Jesus? This all may sound very comical, but think about this analogy and the lie that has been fed to us because of it.
As disciples, we are faced with trying to convince people they are riding on empty and need Living Water.
What are you willing to give up, God asks, for your brother? God gave His Son for His children and Jesus gave His life for you and me; that one day, when we had enough of this world and sin, we would thirst for Living Water.
But, I guess that is the rub, as they say or the case in point. When do we have enough of this world and sin? Should we just wait until the horse is ready to drink?
If you feel you have better things to do; bigger fish to fry; other horses in the stall; then why suffer for that one horse?
Yet, the shepherd leaves all the other sheep in search of the one that is lost. Jesus, chose to suffer and die; so that when we became lost, we too would be found.
Just think of how long Jesus had to wait at that well for some of us to get thirsty enough to drink. When we returned, there Jesus was; waiting with open arms.
The Adversary is waiting for us to shut and lock the door on our brother; to give up or become discouraged; and to label them as hopeless. Satan will always find a use for them.
We were created to serve God and one another. If we love our brother as we do ourself, we will not only lead them to the water, but help to bathe and cleanse them. We will wash their feet and put a clean robe upon them, letting them know that their Father loves them and has a plan for their life.
My Brothers and Sisters,
It is time to dispel lies. We are not horses. We are Opportunities and even if it were a horse we were offering opportunity to, God is a way-maker and a chain-breaker! He gave us a way and His name is Jesus!
We must show others that they are an opportunity for someone else to meet Christ. How do we lead them to drink?
First, by showing them that they are loved and understood. Then by being an example. We teach them about God and His Son. We help them find their identity in Christ. Next, we help them find their place within the Body of Christ, nurturing and mentoring them as they grow.
Greater is He that is in me, than He that is in the world! We serve a God Who has ALL POWER in His hands! Who told us ALL THINGS are POSSIBLE, only BELIEVE!
SELF REFLECTION: A Look in the Mirror
Once again, when we look at Jesus’ parables, He is challenging us to examine where our heart lies. Closely examining your heart, answer the questions below.
DISCUSS your answers with a mature Believer who can guide you in your spiritual relationship with Jesus and our Father, and/or have group discussions to learn from those who have different experiences and perspectives.
QUESTIONS: Write down your questions and discuss them with a mature Believer or submit them to this blog.
1. What situations in your life are you tempted to give up on or have given up on? Why?
2. What people or person are you tempted to give up on or have given up on? Why?
3. Are you in an unhealthy or dangerous situation? Why or why not?
4. Are you in an unhealthy or dangerous relationship? Why or why not?
5. Does anyone else believe you are in an unhealthy/dangerous situation or
6. Read Galatians 5:22-23 below. Consider that we must be attached to the Vine (Jesus) to produce GOOD FRUIT. Is your situation or relationship producing GOOD FRUIT? Why or why not?
7. Are you producing GOOD FRUIT within the situation or relationship? Why or why not? If not, have you repented and turned away from sin?
8. Are you attached to the Vine?
9. Read Matthew 7:16-20 below. What did Jesus say should be done with an unhealthy tree that cannot produce good fruit?
10.How can you apply this to your situation, relationship or life? Discuss this with a mature Saint (Believer).
11.What are you willing to give up to improve your situation or relationship? Why?
12.Are you willing to trust God, with a child-like heart to Transform you, giving you a new mind to become fruitful and live life abundantly?
Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version (NIV)
“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love,joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.“
Matthew 7King James Version (KJV)
7 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.