Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Today’s Topic: Take the Lead
Today’s Text: Isaiah 61:1 (NIV) “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me.”
We are a culture of followers. We sit and wait for someone else to take the first step. We live in a fairly consistent fear of stepping out into the unknown. We’ve put a considerable amount of emphasis on the failures we have seen others suffer, while minimizing the faith we can have in the power of God. This concerns me.
One of my best friends in all of the world is a missionary in Swaziland, and I asked him this morning, without him knowing why, to give me his spontaneous response to this question: Why have we become a culture of followers rather than leaders? Here is his response, written in about 60 seconds.
We don’t have many leaders today because we are a generation who do not want to take risks, make waves, stand out based on our beliefs. We are much more comfortable fitting in. Our level of importance is based on acceptance by those around us. To lead means to risk that mass acceptance. It is much more comfortable to follow like all the others (and complain along the way). (Dudley Donaldson)
He sees it too. We have put the emphasis on fitting in and earning acceptance and approval from those around us, rather than on the fact that the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon us.
Last night at our Elder meeting for church we were in our doctrinal study on the Holy Spirit. These questions were raised – Why do we have such a hard time believing that God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit? Why do we doubt what we hear? Why do we not act like we believe He really spoke?
There were a variety of answers, but every one of them boiled down to this – we don’t have faith in the Holy Spirit as God, one of the three Persons of the Trinity. We have no trouble listening to a friend across a Starbucks table, but we doubt the reality of our True Friend living inside us when He speaks to our heart and mind. This is a serious problem, and it has created a church population of followers rather than leaders.
We have all, as followers of Christ, been given marching orders. We know what we have been commissioned to do. We know in our hearts how we have been equipped to serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Yet we wallow and wander aimlessly in the culture around us, not convinced that God really said that to us and certainly not trusting that He will provide for us and care for us if we do what He said.
My friends, the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon us, and He has commanded us to go and bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom in Christ for those captivated by sin, and proclaim the grace of God that is available to all.
What are we waiting for?
Take the lead.