Christian Universe ™
Be A Leader, Not A Commander
October 16, 2011
We are meek, but not weak. In fact, we have strength as we stand in Christ, and look for God for our power. We are not to stand alone, but together. That means that, to be successful, we must work together. Several can accomplish a lot more than one alone. We must engage in our spiritual warfare God's way. God has appointed Christ as our commander in headquarters, and we take our orders from Him. The rest of us are foot soldiers, but even so, we can be leaders. We lead by the example of the life that we live, and we get out in front, crying, "Follow me, even as I follow Christ!"
Be A Leader, Not A Commander
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 10-16-2011
Last time, I discussed the fact that we are in a battle against spiritual wickedness in high places. We must prepare to stand against that evil, all the way to the top of governments and other entities. In our warfare, we need outstanding leaders on the ground.
I am struck by the difference in leading and commanding. A leader gets out in front, and cries, “Follow me!” A commander sits well back behind the line of battle and sends orders. We don’t need to be commanders – we already have one of those.
Revelation 19:11 "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."
Jesus is the commander of our spiritual warriors. As verse 15 indicates, His sword protrudes from His mouth.
Ephesians 6:17 "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do."
We are not looking at a physical war, but we are seeing description of a spiritual bloodbath. As we have previously discussed, that is why the unrighteous fear the truth – it exposes their wicked ways, and God’s displeasure with their wickedness.
The main point that I want to make is that Jesus is our commander in this spiritual warfare. He is the head of the body of believers who preach the gospel and live it daily. He directs our actions through His word, which is God’s word, as well.
Colossians 1:17 "And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."
Jesus is the head of the body of believers. We are His spiritual army here on earth, not fighting against other human beings, but against spiritual wickedness wherever it may be. We take our orders from Him, as our head, and we stay in touch with headquarters through prayer, and a prayerful study of the words that He and His followers have spoken and written.
Where do we fit into the scheme of this spiritual warfare? We need to be leaders, not commanders – Jesus is our commander, and we answer to Him.
Mark 10:35 "And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. 36 And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?
37 They unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.
38 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?
39 And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:
40 But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.
41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.
42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
It is not our role to command – that role belongs to Jesus.
Matthew 23:8 "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted."
Jesus is our Master and Commander! Jesus tells us that we are to lead through service. We set an example for others. That is why the shepherds of the body are to be examples to the flock.
1 Peter 5:1 "The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock."
Our commander works from headquarters, while we work in the field. We need to be leaders, those who go out in front and show the way, giving courage to the hesitant. We don’t need to be commanders, we need to be leaders.
As the apostle Paul said:
1 Corinthians 11:1 "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God."
God is the ultimate commander, with Jesus sitting at His right hand, passing the orders to us. We follow those orders, getting out in front and showing others the way. We take the lead on attacking evil wherever it rears its ugly head.
Apostle Paul wrote to the younger men, Timothy and Titus:
1 Timothy 4:12 "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
Titus 2:7 "In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you."
Not only the elders are to lead by example, but also the young who are dedicated to fighting spiritual wickedness have the same obligation, and the same role to fill.
James 3:13 "Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom"
We need to be out front, leading in the charge against sin and wickedness.