Leading by Following

Following Jesus means leading like Jesus. Leading like Jesus means having a heart like Jesus. The condition of your heart is going to determine your ability to lead. A leader’s heart should be filled with and led by the Holy Spirit. Let me tell you what I mean by that and then give you some helpful direction so you can be a person who leads with a big Christ-like heart.

A Spirit filled heart is a heart that is filled with love for God. The Spirit filled heart is a heart that knows God as its Savior. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, if you have repented of your sins, if you have laid your self at the foot of the cross and asked for forgiveness from God the Father through Christ the Son, then you have been forgiven, adopted, and made holy by the presence of the Holy Spirit in your heart. 2 Corinthians 1:22 (NLT) says, God has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us. The Spirit filled heart is the heart that has submitted to God as Savior.

To have a heart big enough to be an effective leader you need to first have heart that is filled with the Spirit. But that is not enough. You not only need a heart that is full of the Spirit, you also need a Spirit led heart.

A spirit led heart is a heart that has not only submitted to Jesus as Savior but has submitted to Jesus as Lord. It is one thing to lay your heart at the foot of the cross. It is another to then pick up your cross and follow Him. In essence you need to leave your heart at the cross and take Jesus’ heart in its place. You are no longer living for yourself. You are living for Him.

Being Spirit filled is God’s work. You ask for forgiveness and He gives it. Being Spirit led takes work on our part. To be led by the Spirit means taking the time and effort to know God’s will and what He wants us doing at home in our marriage and in our families, in our churches and at our work. That means we need to be in prayer, spending time with God, studying, memorizing, and applying the Scriptures, and realizing with John the Baptist, John 3:30, He must become greater; I must become less. That takes constant, daily effort on our part.

This is where many of us really struggle. We want the benefits of salvation but we don’t want to be servants. But that is exactly what God wants us to be. This is what Jesus was pointing out in Matthew 20:25-28 which we read as our call to worship.

You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus did not come to be served. He did not come to toot His own horn. He came to do His Father’s will. His heart was completely given to following the commands of His Father. If you are going to have a heart that is as big and as effective as Jesus’ was, you need to have a heart that sees Him as both Savior and Lord. You need both a Spirit filled heart and a Spirit led heart.

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