If we are going to serve as leaders in politics, in business, in education, or in some other sphere, our leadership will be governed by our willing to serve, and one pearl bank that may not be terribly appealing to some who want to exercise and display their leadership qualities.
These lessons flow from my recent detailed reading and study of the book of Revelation and these thoughts and principles emerge from Chapter 4. Do read these visionary words carefully.
To serve and lead in this world as Almighty God would have us serve and lead, we need the face of the ox and the soaring experience of the eagle.
This is where discipline and training comes in, for the disciple of Jesus Christ and for the leader who wishes to exercise the highest quality of leadership he can give as he serves and leads. Do note the order.
This is not optional. In various areas we have no choice, except to obey or disobey.
To live like this for Christ we have to be sensible and flexible.
Confusion arises when we move with compassion when we should have been bold enough to correct.
We may say – “O I am sorry all this has happened to you, when what was needed was ‘Repent’ – turn to God and ask Him to clean up the mess, before something worse and more serious happens.”
Or, when it is time to face someone and I am compassionate, when I should have been like the lion, or, when I plod on working, and I should be soaring with Christ, and getting the balance is never easy, but therein lies such freedom.
Jesus Christ had these four characteristics in proper balance – the lion – the ox – compassion – soaring in prayer with His Father – firmness and compassion – spiritual experience and faithful service. These all have to be combined, and no one discovers that an easy or light matter.
This will flow when we are secure in Christ. It will flow when we are in the right place in His holy will. Then we will be more reliable and people around us will be able to depend upon us.
These four Christ-like qualities impart assurance.
Only God can work this in you. This results when God is allowed to work in your heart and life, and you then know who you are, and you know what you are.
It is then you can serve and soar, and show compassion and exercise authority, all properly balanced, in the love of Jesus, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
John brings this majestic vision back to us. Why? He does this in order that the church on earth – the poor frail persecution battered church he knew so well – should learn something, for its own worship!
As John looked around the glory of heaven, there was no rebellion there – no suffering – no persecution – no cruel tyrannical Caesar – and the church on earth needed to know that.
Worship and life are linked inextricably together, and leaders need to be aware of this in a relevant and practical way. Sometimes amidst the personal strains and complications and loneliness and frustrations and griefs of life, we can forget these crucial lessons!
They knew something of the grim threatening darkness. Sin does so much severe and sore damage and harm.
There was a day when up at Caesarea Philippi Jesus took the disciples into His confidence. Quietly and gently, yet firmly and inexorably He told them what must be.
Did John remember and recall all this as He had this vision of the consequences of Calvary, as well as the suffering of imprisonment?
Even when life may bring us to breaking point and when hurts are sore and deep, there is a light and a love and a comfort that only His loved ones know.
John and these dear disciples were going to submit and acquiesce to the reality which is found when serving in the Kingdom of God.
They had found the hidden treasure who is Christ. They had sold everything for the real pearl who is Christ. Now that is leadership of the highest quality and calibre and this type of leadership is so needed in the present times, in business, in finance, in politics, and throughout the whole world.
Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children’s Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.