WISE INTENTIONAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Volume 12, Number 7– JULY, 2018
Greetings. You may have been wondering whether you would be receiving a Titus Email for July. For the past five weeks I have essentially been out of the WILD office because of being in Belize, taking some time off, traveling to a few trainings and representing WILD at a few functions. Here are two challenges to allow the Lord to speak to us. Thanks. Mike
HOLINESS – OPTION OR MY LIFESTYLE
How do we handle sin? I am safe to say that we are against sin and should not commit sin. Yet how do we do deal with the little, secret sin in our lives. If we desire to be spiritual leaders, we need continuously search our hearts and deal with sin immediately.
Remember Moses. In Numbers 20:1-13, the Israelites were again grumbling; this time needing water. Once before they complained about not having water and God had Moses strike the rock. Water came flowing out. This time God told Moses to speak to the rock and water would come. Moses was pretty frustrated and angry with the people. Instead of speaking to the rock, Moses struck it and water flowed. The people were happy and blessed but God was not pleased. “But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them’” (Numbers 20:12).
For one little sin, Moses was not given the privilege of taking the Israelites into the Promised Land. Come on!! One little sin compared to so many years of faithful service and God is not going to let Moses finish the job. James 2:10 states, “for whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” Our view and God’s view and standard of holiness often is radically different. Spiritual leaders need to have God’s holiness standard. The Bible has to be what we compare our lives to, not anyone on this earth.
In Joshua 6, Israel had just won a great victory over Jericho because God had given them the victory using His methods. Joshua 7 tells us that the next enemy to be defeated was Ai. This battle was to be no match for Israel. There was no doubt Israel would win. What happened was Ai won. That was not to happen.
Yet one person of all the vast number of Israelites disobeyed at Jericho. Achan took some silver and cloth God said not to. He buried it under his tent. None of the Israelites knew about this. Only God did and it affected a whole nation. What is buried deep that only God knows and it is holding you back from the blessings of God? Am I holding back God’s blessings for others because of me? As spiritual leaders we need to ask ourselves these questions for we have a great responsibility to both God and the people for whom we are responsible. Being a spiritual leader is a huge accountability before God. We in the Body of Christ do not teach this well at all. Once Joshua dealt with this one little sin, Ai was destroyed and Israel was victorious.
God is holy and we are commanded to be holy also (1 Peter 1:16). If we desire to be spiritual leaders, we need to have the Bible examining our lives, applying the Word whenever our lives do not measure up to what is written. We need to have people to whom we are deeply accountable, people whom we have given permission to ask the tough questions in our lives to help us to stay on the right path. Our spiritual ears need to be cleaned out to be able to hear the Holy Spirit leading us.
Several years ago, six seminary presidents discussed the biggest problems on their campuses. These seminaries were among the best in America. The number one problem was pornography. Men and women who are preparing for full time paid ministry, to lead many people, were dealing with a destructive sin.
We want God to bless our countries and us. How can He until the Church deals with ourselves? What small, secret sin do you need to deal with? God is holy; do we want to be holy?
YOUTH MINISTRY – ESTHER’S COURAGE
Ever think about doing great things in your life time? What do you dream about becoming? There is a young person in the Bible that probably never dreamed of where she would end up. Esther was a Jew and through a series of circumstances, ended up to become the Queen of non-Jewish King Xerxes. Through her relative Mordecai, she was able to considered for the queen’s position. Esther was very beautiful both inside and out and won the King’s favor of becoming the queen.
After Esther became queen, Mordecai uncovered a hideous plot by Haman, a royal official in the King’s court, that would destroy all the Jews. Up to this point, Esther had not told the King that she was Jewish because Mordecai had told her not to. Due to the plot, Mordecai let Esther know that she had to go to the King and let him know what was going to happen and by letting the King know, what her background was (Esther 3,4).
Mordecai indicated to Esther (Esther 4:12-16) that perhaps God had placed her in the King’s court for this very purpose, to play a key role in saving the Jewish people. It was up to her to have the spiritual courage to go to the King because her background would eventually be found out. Now due to the King’s law, the Queen could not walk into his presence and be with him. She had to be invited. Requesting an opportunity to see him was against the law.
Esther was willing to risk her life for her people by seeking an audience with the King, hoping he was having a good day. Her request was granted and through the plan that she had put together, the King found out about the plot and had the bad guy, Haman hung.
I do not think that as Esther was growing up, she was dreaming about being the key player in saving her people. Yet as she grew up, she learned about God and the relationship God had with His people. Mordecai had taken her in to his household as one of his own when her parents had both died. She was nurtured in the Jewish faith, obedient to Mordecai and followed God’s law. When the time came to live out that faith, she was up for the challenge.
We really do not know how God wants to use us until the time comes. Over your life time, God will give you the opportunities to be a part of what He is doing in the world, whether it is with one person He is working on or on a larger scale of impacting a continent for Jesus. When he gives you the invitation to get involved, will you be ready like Esther? Esther could have very easily said no to sticking her neck out and played it “safe”. Yet she had the spiritual courage to stand up for her faith and live her life on the edge.
If we decline the offers God gives to us to be involved in what He is doing, His plans will not be messed up. Rather we will miss the blessings that God was intending to give us plus by not being obedient, our faith and spiritual journey will not deepen, and we will lose an abundance of joy waiting to be ours. The world tries to offer “highs” from alcohol, to sex, to drugs, to sports, to academics. The greatest and best high is being obedient to God and receiving the blessings intended for us. Nothing beats those highs!!!
Stay in the Word, be obedient to and grow from the Word of God, communicate (talking and listening) with Jesus, allow growing Christians to guide you by giving solid spiritual guidance for you to follow and then be alert to the way He leads you in your life. He wants to work in you way beyond what you dream about for your life.