Christian leaders all want to finish the race well. We desire to hear the affirming words of God, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
External forces and circumstances will press against us. But the greatest battles we face are those happening WITHIN us.
My heart aches when I read tragic stories of fallen spiritual soldiers of Christ. I’m sure they started off very committed to the Lord, and with sincere dreams to expand the kingdom of God. However, they have slipped along the way.
One Christian leader stepped down because he felt burned out and no longer healthy enough to lead. One committed immorality, thus disqualified himself from the position.
Another leader displayed explosive anger to his staff that led to his removal. Yet another lost his desire to continue because He felt that there wasn’t enough visible fruitfulness in the ministry.
In a similar way, we have pure desires to make an impact for God. However, we cannot assume that we’ll finish well. We have to be intentional in our efforts.
There are at least 7 inner struggles that every Christian leader must face. Overcoming them will pave the way for us to be faithful and fruitful in the ministry. (All start with the letter “D”)
We have limited time and energy. Distractions can be in the form of a bad habit, a good hobby or even a person. We’ll waste many opportunities if we don’t check this. We’ll also feel frustrated afterwards when we realize that we could have done something more productive.
We must have that sense of urgency that time is short. We’ve got to preserve our limited energy to activities that have more eternal impact. (Ref: 1 Corinthians 7:35)
People and circumstances will disappoint us. There will be times when we won’t live up to our own expectations. When our emotions are down, we entertain so many negative thoughts about ourselves, others, or even God. (Ref: Matthew 13:22)
We must train our minds to find the silver lining in the clouds. Every difficult has an opportunity. And every opportunity has a difficulty.
Ask God to turn it around miraculously! So that when people see the outcome, they would be struck with awe. Let them see God’s power to turn around the most difficult situations.
It begins when the heart and mind justifies a “small” compromise. We might be convicted at the beginning. But if our hearts aren’t repentant, we start defending our actions.
We need to see God’s standard as the only acceptable standard. It’s necessary to be accountable to someone who regularly checks our attitudes and behavior. (Ref: John 14:15)
There will be instances when we won’t see eye to eye with authorities around us. When our suggestions aren’t taken, we might react with anger or harbor hurt.
Some of our ideas will be better than what our authorities have. But we must still be willing to align and adjust to them. We’ve got to pray for our leaders because they are accountable to God. Let’s pray that we develop and respond in humility. (Ref: Romans 13:1-2)
It’s Satan’s nature to cause division in all kinds of relationships (e.g. marriages, families, spiritual family). When we’re hurt, our tendency is to take offense, take sides, and backbite.
God calls us to be peacemakers, (and not just “peace-keepers”). We must avoid feeding and fueling the fire in any way. Love, not anger, is the only motivation when talking with people to resolve conflicts. (Ref: Romans 16:17-18)
There will be many temptations that will try to lure our passion away from the ministry. God’s priorities for you will no longer be your priorities.
We must go back and answer the question, “Why?” Why are you here, why are you serving, why should you commit to God’s service?” Doing so clarifies why God called you to serve Him in the first place. (Ref: Psalm 86:11)
Sometimes, we allow our minds to dwell long on pain, loneliness and self-pity. This leads to us wrongly concluding that it’s a hopeless situation. Then, we lose our way to finish well.
We must remember the goodness and promises of God. We have to recall how He has used us in the past, in spite of our imperfections. (Ref: Matthew 13:20-21)
There’s no such thing as a hopeless situation with God.
Let’s not look at how far we still need to go. Instead, look at how far we’ve progressed.
The Christian leader’s journey is an uphill climb. The inner battles are real. But we face these battles with God. One day, He’ll tell us that we’ve done well.
Posted on: July 10, 2017
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