We are a nation and a world desperate for men and women of God to lead. Today you begin or continue that journey. As Joshua directed the people of Israel I also direct you, “Choose this day who you will serve.” As leaders in this modern world we can be tempted to follow the latest fad or chase after money, fame or power. Will you serve those idols or will you choose to serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
Read Nehemiah chapter 5
The theme of chapter 5 is Clean up your own yard and care for the poor
For too many leaders, their testimony is destroyed by sin or a failure to address sin. Think of Eli from the 1Samuel. He failed to address the sin of his sons and so was discredited in God’s eyes. Others in our modern world have chosen sin of all sorts over faithfully serving the Kingdom of God. What leads to such treachery and rebellion among God’s leaders? Greed, selfishness, lust, covetousness among others are the main suspects. But ultimately it is fear that causes us to turn to these idols instead of trusting in the one sovereign God. As a Spiritual leaders we must routinely clean up our own yard before we hope to reach our hands and hearts out to the lost and lead them to the hope and salvation that comes from God.
How much do you love people? As a Spiritual leader it is this love that will create the greatest frustration. You know the potential in those that you serve. You see it in their eyes and sense it in the midst of conversations. You know they can accomplish great things for the Kingdom of God, if they would simply humble themselves and submit to the rule of the King of Kings.
We see Nehemiah begging, pleading challenging them to make the changes that they need to make to live right. Some would say that Jesus did not chase the rich man, but he did feel his hurt. We don’t joyfully tell people that they are going to hell. However, we must tell them the truth. Without a relationship with Jesus, they will go to Hell. As you tell them, we must feel the anguish of their sins. Do you hurt for the lost? Plead with them to choose life. Call attention to their sins and help them to identify where they have rebelled against the Lord. Then tell them of the salvation that awaits.
It has become popular to slam the wealthy and attack them for greed because many feel that money is somehow evil in itself. This is not true. The Bible does call on us not to be greedy. This is what we see from Nehemiah. Make a living but don’t hurt others in the process.
1 Timothy 5:18
For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”
Here is what a Spiritual Leader does. He establishes important action steps. These action steps are critical regardless of the project at hand.
Step 1: Repent
Step 2: Make things right
Step 3: Repeat as needed
Really too many in the church today are soft pedaling these steps. We must turn from our sin if we want to experience the pleasure and the joy of living for Christ.
Suggestion: Take time routinely to evaluate your life in light of the Ten Commandments. Have you lied? Have you stolen anything? Don’t answer too quickly. There is no such thing as a small “white” lie. Did you steal time from your employer by exploring social media when you were being paid to work? Go through all of the commandments in detail and work to feel the pain of that sin. It is an offense to God. Make things right. Resolve never to do it again.