Spiritual Warfare Basics: Five Principles: Leadership

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, February 13, 2015 6 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

“Therefore measure in terms of five things: use these assessments to make comparisons, and thus find out what the conditions are. The five things are the way, the weather, the terrain, the leadership, and discipline.” ~Sun-Tzu, Chapter 1.

This week, I will address the principle of leadership from a military perspective. Leadership involves a few things, including chain of command, authority, and the responsibility imputed onto leaders. There is one person in Scripture that understood leadership, chain of command, and authority better than any other, besides Jesus himself: the Roman Centurion of Matthew 8:5-13. Please take a quick moment and read this passage. What I want to emphasize on is verses 8 and 9.

The Centurion understood the concept of leadership and authority. He recognized Jesus’ position as one of authority, very much like his own. A Roman Centurion was the commander of roughly 100 soldiers. And when he spoke, it was as though the Emperor of Rome himself spoke. But for the Centurion to be able to wield such authority, he had to be submitted to the authority of Rome. He knew this and he recognized the same type of authority in Jesus. This is why he could ask Jesus to just “speak the word and my servant will be healed.” Jesus completely marveled at this and said, “In all of Israel, never have I seen such faith.” Jesus, the Creator of all things, the Lord of the universe, was floored that this Centurion, this Gentile, this non-believer in God got it.

Jesus was the perfect example of how to wield authority, and he did so by submitting to authority. He did absolutely nothing on his own strength. He only did what he saw his Father doing and he only said what he heard his Father saying. He only did what his Authority said he could do. And because of this, he was granted all the authority that came with that submission. And this authority is given to us. Jesus sent out the 12 and later the 72. He gave them authority to do the same things he was doing: driving out demons, healing the sick, and proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven. But how could they do it? By submitting to the authority of Christ.

Leadership is a critical position. There are two types of people in this world: leaders and followers. A person either tends to lead others or tends to flock to one who is a leader. We have good leaders and bad leaders. And we have good followers and bad followers. Where it really gets interesting is that good leaders tend to draw good followers and bad leaders tend to draw bad followers. Being in a position of leadership comes with a big responsibility. If you are in a position of authority, you are responsible for how everyone under you turns out. This applies to business managers, CEOs, officers, presidents, teachers, pastors, political officials, etc. A pastor is responsible how his congregation turns out.

A teacher is responsible for his/her students turn out. A speaker is responsible for speaking the truth, not merely stuff his audience wants to hear. Jesus had a firm warning for those that lead his children astray. I’m not interested in finding out what is worse than having a millstone tied around my neck. So when I speak, when I write, and I say something that is not right, I want to know about it. But I will also discern where such comments are coming from. All that being said, as followers and listeners, we cannot blame our shortcomings on our leaders. We are still responsible for how we take what our leaders say, both good and bad. We are responsible for following that which is good and rejecting that which is bad.

Leaders also have a standard in how they should behave. There are two types of leaders (primarily). The first is those that dictate and push down all those who might come near his/her position. Most of us have dealt with these types of people. Managers who boss their employees around, but don’t engage in the work. They often say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” These are the type of leaders we often have to deal with but are not the kind of leaders we want to be. Yet, often, because that is what we experience so much, when we get that leadership position, that is what we tend to do.

The second type of leader is the true leader, one who leads by example and one who leads by humility. Jesus was a leader who did it the right way and he did it as an example for us to follow. Jesus just didn’t tell us what to do or how. He did it. He demonstrated how to do it. Then he had the disciples try it, while he watched. And they tried and failed so many times. I easily see Jesus face-palming numerous times, thinking, “You guys still don’t get it?” But he was patient and gracious. He saw the end goal. He led by humility, by serving, and by lifting people up. Jesus didn’t merely tell people what to do. He came up from under them, enabled and empowered them to do what they needed to do, and then he did it with them.

Leaders are responsible not just for getting the tasks done. They are responsible for making sure that all those under them have the tools, the equipment, and the authority to do the job that needs to be done. No employee is happy when a manager or a boss tells them to get a job done but does not give them what they require to get the job done, including the materials necessary and the authority to get the materials. And we have a God who will give us everything we need to do what he wants us to do. This is why Jesus tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you. What are ‘all these things’? Look at the context. Jesus was just talking about not worrying about what you will eat, what clothes you will wear, where you will live; the basics we need. It may not be everything we want, but it will be everything we need.

Lastly for this post, with leadership there is a proper chain of command. We need people in authority over our lives, and we need people under us. As Christians, we need to be mentored by someone and we need someone to mentor. Having someone in authority over us keeps us from going astray. If a leader does not have someone in authority over them, beware. If a leader does not have someone he is accountable to, beware. But also a leader cannot do it all (unless he is God). Moses tried doing it all in Exodus 18. He tried to judge all the cases from all the tribes and his father-in-law, Jethro, recognized it was a bad idea. So he had Moses set up 70 leaders to divvy up the work, leaders who were trustworthy. The apostles saw the same issue. This is how they initiated the concept of “deacons” in Acts 6. The apostles delegated management of the church so they could focus on teaching.

God sets up authority and leaders for a reason. It is our duty to honor and respect that authority. There is not one leader, no matter how evil, that God did not allow to be put into place. Even if the leader is as bad as Nero, Herod, Hitler, Napoleon, King John, or dare I say, Obama, we have a responsibility to respect those in leadership. It is not because of who they are or what they do but because we are to respect the position of authority that they hold. I do not agree with Obama on 99% of his policies, but I have to respect him, not because of what he does, but because I need to respect the office of President. The same is true with each of our managers, administrators, church leaders, etc. Respect the position, and God will honor you for it. Next week, I’ll talk about Military Doctrine and wrap up this sub-series with “The Moral of the People.”


Charlie said...

I wonder whether Ashley was born a God-hater or whether it is learned behavior. Your comments have nothing to do with this post and they will be ignored as such. Grow up and get a spine.

Charlie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie said...

Edited comment.

You can say what you want, but I'm not buying it.

Bob Sorensen said...

I guess Haywire has to show the world again that he is not only a bigot, but has no knowledge of theology. He has to attack people with wildly off-topic comments, proving that he's just another angry troll. I.B. was right in naming him "Hateworth".

It's amazing to me how people who question or deny the existence of God, and also insist that biblical creation is a lie (based on their evolutionary presuppositions) can presume think they have such knowledge. As the Bible says, "Thinking themselves wise, they became fools". Also, "A fool does not delight in understanding,
but only wants to show off his opinions". A terrible day is coming for these types, "...at the name of Jesus every knee will bow — of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth — and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father".

Charlie said...

This is the wrong place for him to refute you if he were so desired to do so. Either post something relevant to the topic or go somewhere else.

Charlie said...

This is not your forum. You don't set the rules. If you don't like it, leave. Bob has absolutely no obligation to give you anything no matter how much you want it. And certainly not here.