The Bible reveals how God deals with man: nations, generations, individuals, the ekklesia, etc. In this revelation we can learn to recognize the patterns of heavenly leadership and respond quickly and boldly to what God is up to in our generation.
The strategic design of the kingdom assumes strategic leadership, and God is continually moving leaders to new levels so they can, in turn, lead His people to new levels. I think it was TD Jakes I heard say, “Stop following leaders who refuse to change.” I take that in the context of leaders who refuse to go to the next level and lead God’s people to the next level.
Maintenance is not leadership; it is managment of presently available conditions and resources, a status quo responsibility. The moment you substitute maintenance for leadership, you are losing what you are attempting to maintain.
Experiencing revival in other nations, the growth of the Body in thrilling and powerful ways, I am struck again with the strategy of God to lift leaders to a new level so they can lift God’s people. This is the pattern of revolutionary revival, and those who resist can miss the pathway to growth. Without a way through, they stagnate and grasp to what is familiar to their hurt.
Someone asked me just yesterday, Do we ever reach a place of maturity where we do not need strong leadership? My answer, which I believe to be God’s answer, was, “The higher you go, the stronger leadership God will give you.” This means both the involvement of Holy Spirit in leading and next level leadership to judge and temper the revelation you receive.
Jesus had the strongest possible leadership for His life. He says, “I only say what I hear Father say. I only do what I see Father do.” So, for Jesus, the One of all history who could surely have done whatever He wanted or felt like, the next level was available from His Father, not from His own understanding of His destiny.
Gethsemane is probably one of the most misunderstood chapters of Jesus’ life; but if we look at it again from this point of view, we can see that Jesus is surrendering Himself ultimately to next leadership when He surrenders to His Father. While He is interceding for His resurrection and taking on the burden of the Lord for Creation, He is not so much struggling with His flesh, as most suppose, but surrendering to something terribly unfamiliar.
He surrenders to be ultimately healed, for the Resurrection is the highest of expressions of Life, guaranteed by Jesus for all who surrender to His leadership in their lives! Jesus had to move to the next level at each stage of His life’s work. Near the end, He says, Father, I have finished the work You gave Me to do. Then, at the Cross He says, It is finished!
At that moment of surrender, “into Your hands I surrender My spirit.” Father’s strategy for eternal life is available for Jesus and every person who follows His leadership.
Discipling is a process of moving people into new levels. Discipling is not possible without strong leadership. Discipling requires radical change and surrendered submission, both to God and His strategic leadership for personal transformation.
The ministry that successfully releases this strategy, successfully fulfills its mandates and mission. The leaders who successfully release this strategy successfully fulfill their assignments. And, individuals who surrender and submit to God’s strategic leadership initiatives stay in step with His next level for the Body of Christ.