Thursday, March 17, 2011

How Do We Discern True Leadership?

     For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves, (Acts 20:29-30).
      Within the circles of evangelical Christianity itself there has arisen in the last few years dangerous and dismaying trends away from true Bible Christianity. A spirit has been introduced which is surely not the Spirit of Christ, methods employed which are wholly carnal, objectives adopted which have not one line of Scripture to support them, a level of conduct accepted which is practically identical with that of the world--and yet scarcely one voice has been raised in opposition. And this, in spite of the fact that the Bible-honoring followers of Christ lament among themselves, the dangerous, wobbly course things are taking.
      The times call for a Spirit-baptized and articulate orthodoxy. They whose souls have been illuminated by the Holy Ghost must arise and under God assume leadership. There are those among us whose hearts can discern between the true and the false, whose spiritual sense of smell enables them to detect the spurious afar off, who have the blessed gift of knowing. Let such as these arise and be heard. Who knows but the Lord may yet return and leave a blessing behind Him? The Price of Neglect, pp 6-7, by A.W. Tozer.
     My friend and mentor, A.W. Tozer never shied away from boldly speaking the word of God. Like faithful prophets of old, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and the young Samuel, there’s was not about heaping glory on themselves, nor gaining fortunes and admiration from the flock, it was all about being faithful to God and His will. These messengers of God probably complained a bit about their working conditions (and there was virtually no pay involved, nor retirement benefits to look forward to), but they stayed the course. Even though none of them saw The True Promised Land, but merely sojourned in Palestine in tents, a temporary abode. They knew they would one day enter into the eternal rest that God has promised those who obey Him.
     But, yet, the faithful face obstacles unaware, brought forth by unbelievers, ravishing wolves in disguise, using the very words of God to deceive and seduce the flock to venture territories of destruction. They wear the emblems of God on their soldiers’ uniforms, emblazoned on chest and armbands, loudly proclaiming the name of Jesus and His word, John 3:16 being among the most popular. But then, when they have gained your confidence, with diabolical subtlety, they begin stripping your shield of faith, by quoting scripture with Gatling gun ferocity that has no bearing whatsoever, nor relevant to messages being shared amongst a grouping of true soldiers of Christ. They also send you private messages, in hopes of planting seeds of doubt amid the fellowship.
    They say of this and that man or woman of God, it is rumored, has seduced members of the flock, with charm and deceit, to surround he or she with admirers to feed their ego, and form their own congregation. And they give you names of others who share the same view, albeit that person is a fellow comrade of deceit. The divide and conquer battle has begun to deceive and create division among the faithful. They have you at their mercy. They have won you over.
     And you, never realizing the tactic they used goes contrary to the word of God; you nibble at the bait until their merciless hooks have you where they want you. Their methods alone should have sent a 1000 flags to stand up and cry, “Foul!” Not only foul as in committing an error, but foul as in the odoriferous stench that reveals their true nature. But, even young and uniformed Disciples of Christ have been blessed with the Holy Spirit power of discernment. If your soul feels instant anxiety in what you hear them saying, realize that God’s word is revealing the wolves for what they really are.
     As we continue in our respective journeys, one who preaches, one who teaches and others with various Holy Spirit power gifts, solely to edify the body of Christ, recognize that these painful experiences are lessons to be learned even though we often believe the lie. But let us recognize (as we are told in Romans 8:28) that each incident turns out for the good for those who have been called according to His purpose. Also, and most importantly, remember that the true battle is God’s war against the principalities and evil spirits in high places, and He will reveal the wolves’ true identity, because deceivers can only present thorns and thistles of doubt, while God’s true children of promise produce the fruit of the Spirit, fruit that is personified in caring for the poor, infirm, homeless, the lost and those who need and love our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And don’t we all ~
     But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other, (Galatians 5:22-27).

For information about the author and his two books, click on The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation. To access his webs sites and blogs, please click on Joe Ortiz

1 comment:

  1. "Who's afraid of the big bad wolf, big bad wolf, big bad wolf?" has probably been sung, hummed, or whistled by more than one generation of Disney fans. But those wolves are a far cry from the "savage wolves" found mentioned in the book of Acts! The "wolves" in the spiritual realm seem to be increasing by leaps and bound and are extremely hazardous to the spiritual well being of true followers of Christ - and I, for one, am glad for your forthright and Scriptural comments. Thank you for being a faithful shepherd who truly seeks to guard the flocks in Christ's sheepfold! Blessings, Shirley