This message was preached by Mike, at the Regions Beyond Advance conference in August 2022.
WAR AND HUMILITY
Jesus will build his church, but the context of that statement is war. Matt 16&18. There is a battle going on. “On this rock, I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail…” The context of this statement is war.
Matt 18 it says whatever you bind on the earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you lose on the earth will be loosed in heaven. Matt18 – the context is in the face of conflict in the church. We go to our brother and sort it out. The context is still war but from within.
In Revelation we see great battles – it is an example of a battle we are in. Every moment is a struggle, but the gospel spread.
We are in a battle. So we have to live at war. But Jesus is the prince of peace. So shouldn’t we live in peace? Jesus gives us peace so that we can have peace in war. Peace to know that HE is with us in what we are going through.
Gideon - Israel is devastated by the Midianites. Judges 6:33-35. It is time for us to sound the trumpet and wake up the church for war. We can’t just have an army of one. We need every member to take their part. …
Prepandemic we built in a way which was good for peace times. But now we have to build for war. We need every member of the army to step up to play their part.
Revelation 3: 2- wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished. We will have to change our thinking and adapt to change.
HOW DO WE LIVE AS LEADERS?
As leaders we need to learn how to fight this war - the key is humility. Leadership must look different in this new era. The church has been full of leaders that lorded it over the people and fell short in their own character and lost their way. We are called to be servant leaders but then we take on the world’s values and try to lead like CEOs. This is not the way to lead. We are called to lead humbly. The most powerful leaders are the most humble leaders like Jesus. In war you need strong Generals.
Eph 4: 1 “ I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you’ve received. He is completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Q. Have you been called?
1. Character always trumps gifting. God wants us to be more like Jesus. God gives us gifts, but he wants to grow us into Jesus. Gideon had an incredible victory but he had a bad ending. He seemed humble but he was not. Saul and David - Saul was gifted. He was physically and spiritually gifted. HE looked like people wanted to follow. He was also gifted supernaturally and had the favour of God upon him. Disobedience, pride and arrogance caused his downfall. Samuel talks to him for the last time and Saul acknowledged his sin but wanted to save face in front of the people. God tells Samuels to anoint another King. Then God tells Samuel, that people look at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. We cannot just look outward.
David was also naturally gifted and supernaturally gifted.HE fought many battles. But he also had character flaws. When he is confronted by Nathan, his reaction; is so different from Sauls's reaction. He fasts and mourns for his sin. He repented before God.
It’s not a problem that we mess up and make mistakes because we will. But how do we respond to God after we make a mistake? Are we like Saul who wants to save face or are you like David who repents before the people?
Do we allow God to discipline and teach us or do we stay arrogant and self-centred but we need to be open before our people? Allow God to vindicate you. Submit to God, do we come before him and let him teach us? In the New Testament, even those who were with Jesus struggled with pride. Matthew 20: 20- 28. The only time Jesus says he’s your lord is when he was washing their feet. It is an incredible picture of this humility as a leader.
How can we grow in humility?
- Be clear about our identity in Christ. We have to be secure about who we are, that we are chosen sons and daughters of God. Our security cannot be in the approval of people. When our security is in people we will live in pride. We need to keep our eyes fixed on Him.
- Humility doesn’t mean that we are quiet and we don’t lead. Not stepping into what God has given you can be pride. Stepping out in faith is humility. We have to be careful that we don’t fall into false humility. It is self-preservation that holds us back.
Use difficulty- our pride often comes up when we are in difficult situations. When things ar hard, we find our pride can easily rise to the surface. We need to use difficulty to grow. Instead of saying get me out of here, ask what are you teaching me in this situation?
Develop an attitude of thankfulness. When we are thankful our pride is reduced. We need to express our thankfulness to God and to one another.
Function in the gifting you have regardless of the role you’re in. You can lead all the time in every situation. That will help us to not rely on a position. Leading is not taking over. So we will not be puffed up when you do get a position.
- Accept praise graciously and authentically.
- Stay open and transparent with God. Ask him to search our hearts. If we stay in intimacy with God we will remain humble. Let intimacy be the measure of your success.
- Pray and ask for the fruit of the spirit. All the fruit has to do with our character. We can ask God to give us that fruit.