She walks into the classroom and the peace in the room changes. Anger seems to radiate from her. Her physical topography is more mature than her age. And some of the words she uses hints that she has seen more of the darker side of life than any twelve year old should ever know.
Rifling through the basket of yarns and needles, she chooses the best of all without asking, then disrupts the class when she sees that she must share my attention.
Making my way to her with the intention of removing her from the class, the Lord speaks to my heart, “do not squelch the work of the Spirit”.
And I refrain.
Once again the Lord whispers, “do not squelch the Spirit”.
She yells out an inappropriate name for one of the girls in the class.
Again I move toward her. My anger building, and the rebuke comes out stronger than intended.
After class I speak to the director. He encourages me to be patient with this one. She was found living on the street, having left her home – having experienced things too gut wrenching to write about. A life cast out and possibly viewed as of no value to most of the world.
But not to God.
Six weeks earlier she accepted Christ as her Savior, and her soul was still by the water’s edge being washed by the water of the Word.
“The anger of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God”. (James 1:20)
Sorrow filled my heart for allowing the anger to be seen as the corretion was given. Why could I not have tempered the correction with love?
Had I destroyed what the Spirit was doing? No, God is bigger than my errors. The destruction was my credibility as a good leader.
Have you ever been in charge and felt like you blew it?
I felt my authority crumbling, and reacted in the flesh, not by the Spirit.
Moses’ authority was threatened (Numbers 16) and he immediately dropped to his knees and prayed. God defended Moses’ authority.
We are all placed in a position of authority and leadership in life. Whether you are the president of a company, or of the PTA, a Girl Scout leader, a mom, or a crochet teacher, God has placed you, right where you are, in the position of authority, so expect that it will be challenged.
We are placed there not only to lead but also serve.
Moses never used the sins or weaknesses of the people against them, instead he prayed for them, standing in the gap between God and man, and gave instruction Aaron how to literally stand in the place of life and death for God’s people.
Then there are the ones in the last days, standing before the Lord, telling of the miracles and exorcisms, and He will not recognize them. (Matt 21-23)
Watchman Nee says in his book Spiritual Authority that they “made self their starting point – An activity of the flesh.”
This frightens me, does it you?
No matter how few or many I am to lead, my starting point had better be on my knees interceding for those placed in my care. Seeking His will, for the words to speak, instructions to give and direction we are all to go in should come first by seeking the Father of all.
Again, Watchman Nee:
“As God’s servants, the first thing we should meet is authority. To touch authority is as practical as touching salvation, but it is a deeper lesson. Before we can work for God, His authority must overturn us. If we have met authority which regulates us, then we shall encounter authority everywhere, and being thus restrained by God we can begin to be used by Him.”
My prayer is to meet His authority, to learn the humility of leadership and thus be an instrument used and restrained by Him.
Are you in leadership? May I have the honor of praying for you? If so, please leave your request in the comment box.
Here are a few resources I found about leadership.
The High Calling -Called to Be Faithful, Not Successful – Mark D. Roberts
One Thing That Will Make Your Soul Explode – Emily P. Freeman
Six Characteristics of Spiritual Leadership – John Piper
Latest posts by Diane W. Bailey (see all)
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Love this story, and it’s such a great reminder that we should see everyone through the eyes of Christ. It’s so easy to jump to conclusions, and that’s an ugly part of me that needs to die.
Yea,I’d love a “Do-over” on that day. Thank you Susan.
Excellent post Diane. Also, very useful links… I particularly like John Piper’s link. Very good pointers.
Thank you Wendy,
Bless you for sharing.
Blessings on you as well, Denise