At our church leaders’ meetings this year, we have started looking a little closer at Jesus as the ultimate leadership model for us to follow and emulate. The apostle Paul told people to follow him as he followed Christ (1 Cor.11:1). All leaders must be first of all good followers and Jesus is THE leader worth following.
We first noted that one of the most important keys to Jesus’ life and ministry was the fact that he began his ministry by being EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT and he continued to do so throughout his ministry. Jesus was a minister of the Spirit. Everything he did and said was with the help and direction of the Holy Spirit. We too need to position ourselves so that we are daily filled with the Spirit so that all we do and say is through Him (Eph.5:18).
This last week we looked at the SPIRITUAL BATTLE that Jesus went through. The Gospel writers make it clear that the Devil, or Satan, was the chief enemy of Jesus. He was always seeking for ways to attack Jesus, either directly (Luke 4:1-13) or indirectly (Matt.16:21-23), and for ways to hinder the advancement of the kingdom of God (Matt.13:39). Jesus was fully aware of Satan’s strategy, yet knew that Satan had no power of him (John 14:30-31). The devil also sought to attack Jesus’ disciples (Luke 22:3-4, 31-32). That is why Jesus prayed for them (John 17:15) and why he encouraged them to pray for themselves (Matt.6:13).
As followers of Christ today, we too need to realise that we are in a spiritual battle between the powers of darkness and light, between the advancement of the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. Satan particularly targets leaders, because he knows that if he can attack leaders, he will increase the effect of his attack. The Bible notes that if you “strike the shepherd, the sheep will scatter (Matt.26:31).”
Tomorrow – some ‘Rules of Engagement’ for winning the spiritual battle we are in.