Positive Motivators for Spiritual Leadership [Final]
There are two of many examples of positive spiritual motivators:
Nehemiah and Abel.
Nehemiah: The Purposeful Leader
The story of Nehemiah shows someone who saw a need and was motivated to do something about it. Nehemiah received a report about his people who were afflicted, and that the Walls of Jerusalem which were broken down [1:3], which made him sad [1:1-4]. From the intelligence he received he prepared himself to do something about it. This is indeed the attitude of a true spiritually motivated leader.
He Prepared Himself with Prayer and Fasting
He did all that he could in terms of intercession [prayer] and fasting in his approach before God to obtain His attention Nehemiah 1. He later sought permission and provision from [his employer]. Nehemiah calculated all that he would need to do the work so that when he approached the employer, he had a plan concerning his needs. [Chapter 1:5-11; Acts 1:12-26 – 23-26]. Notice, that before he approached the employer, he first sought God’s favour, which is vital concerning anything we purpose to do for Him. See Ezra 8.
He had a Vision and Objective
After hearing the news concerning the condition of Jerusalem, Nehemiah made a decision to go and help to restore the Wall. He sought God’s help and guidance, and later approached his employer so that he could take time off to find out the matter. His vision was restoring his people and re-building the walls of Jerusalem, these were his most urgent objectives.
Planning and Organizing
Upon his arrival, Nehemiah first took an inventory [2:12-16], of what was happening in Jerusalem. He secretly went by night to see for himself the state of affairs and how he would plan to bring about restoration and re-building of the Wall. Having seen the condition, he strategically selected and arranged the people for work even by families. If you notice, he was concerned about the protection of his people. With the Wall broken down, they were open to intruders and enemies who would attack them. He was indeed a visionary and unselfish as a leader and concerned citizen.
Selection of Workers
Nehemiah involved the people by showing them his intention concerning restoration of the Wall and helping them out of their distresses. He engaged the people into discussion who were able to show him their needs and what they were going through [2:17-18]. The tithes [only for under the law] were not coming in, the priests had to go out to work; and people’s lands were mortgaged which was very disagreeable to Nehemiah. Although there were enemies who did not want the work started, yet he remained irresolute and firm with his plan. He encouraged the people stating: The God heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build [2:20a]. To the enemies he said, But ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem [2:20b].
Nehemiah had an Unselfish Attitude
Despite the many circumstances and oppositions against Nehemiah, he was willing to continue with the vision [Chapters 1-3]. Nehemiah was unselfish by taking leave from his job to help in the restoration of the Wall. He did not concern himself with the secure job he had. Instead, he considered the work of the Lord and the protection of the people [6:10-14]. Those circumstances include the following situations:
He faced Opposition and Ridicule
Some of the people opposed and ridiculed his mission and the vision. The mockers tried in every way to stop him, but Nehemiah had a made-up mind and was determined to continue with the work [4:1-6]. What should be admired during this time of persecution was his attitude towards prayer and seeking God’s presence. Nehemiah went to God about everything which is what all spiritual leaders should do. Several times he asked God to keep him and his work in remembrance.
He was Uncompromising
When our minds are made up to obey the Lord to do what He gives us, we will not compromise no matter how great the temptation [6:1-4]. What I have noticed in the 21st Century Church Age is the humanism and worldliness among leaders and their followers. Their members follow them and not Christ. If they were lovers of Christ, then they would seek for green pastures where the word is not perverted or corrupted to satisfy the world’s standards. Leaders who compromise are the ones who depend on financial assistance from wherever and whomever, to promote themselves [not the Gospel]. They water down the Gospel to continue receiving financial gifts [filthy lucre, Titus 1:11], while the people are going to hell with them. Those persons have a form of godliness, but with no power [II Timothy 3]. They know the truth of the Word, but they are muzzled by greed, fame, and materialism. Instead of having the Holy Spirit in their midst, they have an ATM. We need more leaders like Nehemiah.
Although there are those who have not bowed to the world’s standards, they are few and far between. They have no acclaim in this world, and do not associate with the Who-is-Who in society. They are unknown by the world, and unnamed; but known by Almighty God, His Son Jesus Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit. They do not compromise. Instead, they stand for the Truth! They believe in “What the Word says” about family, male and female, securing the life of the unborn, and maintaining the sacredness of God’s structure and plan for marriage which He has blessed [Genesis 2]. Outside of this framework; God does not acknowledge, and will only spew at them!
He ignored Slander
Nehemiah did not allow slander, lies, and deceit to deter him from his plan. He continued with prayer, and trusted the Lord to help and guide him along the way. He did not give up [6:5-9]. Leaders, have you become discouraged whereby you have given up or at the point of doing so? I would suggest that you read Jeremiah, Job, and of course Nehemiah again and spend some time in fasting and praying to seek God’s favour. Do not given in to ridicule, slander and persecution from the opposition who serve the devil. Keep in mind that it is what God says about you counts. Pay attention to your relationship with Christ. Stay humble, submissive, and obedient to the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit [Psalm 32:8; Philippians 4:8; I Peter 3:15]; and be willing and ready to forgive with love and compassion for your attackers.
He Dealt with the Spirit of Discouragement
Discouragement is one of Satan’s most deadly and destructive weapons against Christians and those who purpose to obey God. Jeremiah, Elijah, Job, and others are examples of those who overcame this terrible satanic intrusion into the life of the believer. With Nehemiah, there were many situations which occurred to discourage him, but he continued relentless not caring what his enemies said about him or their lies [4:10-23]. Nehemiah encouraged the people to continue with the work regardless of opposition and ridicule. These are demonic spirits used to bring about discouragement. Even then, he told the people: Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses [4:14b]. We are not in this battle only for ourselves, but for our families, the Word, and the world. The faithful spiritual leader who has a true connection with the Lord, will seek to protect His people and support them, no matter what the circumstances may be.
Through Nehemiah’s work, diligence, and tenacity, people had their lands returned to them. Worship was restored, and the law was read and interpreted to the people [Chapters 7-13]. These are qualities of a sincere motivated spiritual leader who was called by God.
Clearly, the book of Nehemiah is one of spiritual motivation which shows an unselfish leader who had a vision, plan, organizational acumen, spiritual acuteness, readiness, determination, unselfishness, courage, and the desire for restoration.
Undoubtedly, He was a godly man who sought God’s guidance for all his plans. He believed in prayer and getting God’s attention. He took the prevailing situation seriously and sought ways in which he could do something to bring about change. It is good to pray which should precede every action; but we must be active in order to bring about both spiritual and practical change and restoration.
There is no question concerning the dead state of the church in this 21st Century with the intrusion and acceptance of all forms of apostasy. Therefore, the people of God should return to holiness and living a sanctified life. This requires men and women of God who are willing to daily take up the Cross and follow Christ [Luke 9:23]. They must ignore worldliness and do the will of God. Jesus’ return is not a fairy tale. He is coming back. Leaders must prepare themselves and their people for this occasion. No one knows when; but Jesus is coming back again. Amen!
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Abel: the godly and reverent Leader
We should consider Abel as a person whose behaviour should inspire others to reverence God in all that we do. We should be motivated to do all we can to please Him. Abel was someone with a conscientious mind which every spiritual leader must possess. He was concerned about the type and quality of sacrifice to present before God which would be acceptable by Him. He must have spent time selecting and deciding how it was to be prepared and brought to Him. Similarly, church leaders must carefully decide what kinds of programs they will introduce to the people of God dressed up with the “Christian” title attached, but totally worldly and humanistic.
According to the word: Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering [Genesis 4:4]. In today’s church age, the attitude is anything goes when it comes to God and worship. There is no longer wearing the Sunday Best for church. Most [so-called] Christian women dress as if they are in a fashion contest to suit and please the eyes of the judges. God is NOT pleased! Your worldly dressing sickens Him! Go and read Revelation 3:16, then ask yourself if your ways [sacrifices] are pleasing to God or the world.
Abel paid attention to what he brought and how it was brought. I believed he checked out the animal to see that it was not sick or lame [See Malachi 1-2]. He felt that God deserved the best and did just that. While Cain on the other hand did things haphazardly, without care or concern how it turned out. There was no reverence concerning how he prepared and presented his sacrifice. When we look at so-called Christian women today and their mode of dressing; it is disgusting, nauseating, and utterly ungodly. This is their presentation. It is difficult to tell the difference between the world and those who claim to serve God. The disgraceful manner in which people worship God is abominable and irreverent. God is watching and sees our hearts when we are doing things whether it is with sincerity, enthusiasm, desire, and with an unselfish attitude.
Malachi 2:8 “But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.” Unspiritual leaders who corrupt the Gospel for worldliness will answer to God for the souls being led astray, and those who have been or may be lost under their evil leadership.
Abel gave us an insight concerning what God expects from us. The book of Malachi reports the types of ungodly sacrifices that were presented to God which He detested. One can only imagine how God turns away from those persons who are irreverent in their worship and the way they present themselves to Him.
John 4:24 reminds us that we must worship God in Spirit and in truth. We must be sincere and purposeful in our worship with reverence which begins with the way we dress. There are those who will say that it does not matter how we come before God. This may be so when the sinner comes; but after conversion and repentance that person must be taught how to present himself or herself before God in the presence of His people. Church leaders have become lax, careless, and godless. They seek rather to be with the in-crowd than with the few who truly follow Christ. Many are corrupt and God-less whose interests are for fortune and fame.
Leaders should teach their people about worship and making sacrifices to God. What modern day church leaders are mostly concerned about are tithing and offering which many use for their own benefit. They have mis-interpreted and mis-represented what tithing was about and what giving is about. Seemingly, the deceivers have left the world for the confines of the church dressed in Christian garb [II John 1:7].
God Expects Results
The employer in the story of the man with the one talent, expected a return from his investment stating, Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and (then) at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. [Matthew 25:27]. God also expects us to use our gifts as spiritual leaders for the edification of the Body of Christ [Ephesians 4:12]. [I Corinthians 12:7, But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal]. To profit withal, means that everyone should benefit from the gift.
The Questions Today
- Do you have a gift? What is it?
- What are you doing with your gift?
- Is your gift dead, dried, up, hidden away, or have you become careless?
- What kind of leader are you?
- Are you being enticed by the world?
- What is your purpose as a spiritual leader?
- What are your plans for leading God’s people?
- Do you live, preach, and teach the unadultered and immutable Word of God to His people?
- Are you concerned about your leadership style? Is it godly and pleasing to God?
Each individual must answer the question for himself or herself. Let us not be like the man with the one talent. We must not be lazy. We must produce by bearing fruits which will remain. Jesus said, Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it might bring forth much fruit [John 15:2]. Are you bearing fruit for the glory of Glory?
What kind of Spiritual Leader are you?
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