Leadership, Godly Submission, and Jesus

Morning Devotion: Leader means servant in God’s eyes, not dictator or boss. Dissecting the leadership model of Jesus and wrong teachings on submission. Submit=Be willing to yield to what honors God (possess humility), not obey or blindly obey people.

I am sometimes confused when people state they are the leader when their function is simply being served and telling others what to do. They are exalted and they have a hierarchy system so their needs, desires, wishes are served or met. Or they define great leadership by the number of people following them; Hitler had lots of followers under his demonic leadership it did not mean God thought he was a great leader.

I have had men tell me and women too that the husband is the leader in the family yet the wife does 80-90% of the serving, helping, loving, getting low in humility to empower her family. It is not the model Jesus laid out nor lived of leadership.

The one laying their life down, sacrificially loving, and serving is imitating Jesus and leading.

The disciples at one point became self important and argued over who would be the greatest among them. The desire to be great in the eyes of man is of the carnal nature (flesh).

Pride does not flow from God, it flows from Satan. Pride, self importance, was the principle sin of Lucifer. He wanted to be worshipped and exalted above God. Lucifer wanted to be served, not serve.

This was the response of Jesus to the arguing disciples:

Jesus, knowing their thoughts, called them to his side and said, “Kings and those with great authority in this world rule oppressively over their subjects, like tyrants. But this is not your calling. You will lead by a completely different model. The greatest one among you will live as the one who is called to serve others, because the greatest honor and authority is reserved for the one with the heart of a servant. For even the Son of Man did not come expecting to be served by everyone, but to serve everyone, and to give his life in exchange for the salvation of many,”~Matthew 20:25-28.

Jesus came with an upside down model of leadership. He came and served. He came and washed feet. He came and empowered others. He came and died to free others. He came and got low so we could be seated in heavenly places with Him, joint heirs and copartners. The value Jesus placed and places on humanity is high.

Jesus was and is perfect-He is the model for all things Christian. He selected disciples who were not yet enlightened. He walked with them, talked with them, served them, and empowered them to do what they saw Him doing. Great leadership is empowering others to reach their highest potential. Jesus did not show up and say, “Now look here peasants, God created you for Me so let’s get this straight, when I say jump, you say how high. These are my demands, meet them daily or else.”

Jesus had no pride, ego, or what they call male ego. Knowing He was worthy of worship, He got low and served others.

Phillipians tells us the following about following the example of Jesus:

Be free from pride-filled opinions, for they will only harm your cherished unity. Don’t allow self-promotion to hide in your hearts, but in authentic humility put others first and view others as more important than yourselves. Abandon every display of selfishness. Possess a greater concern for what matters to others instead of your own interests. And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us. Let his mindset become your motivation.

The Example of Jesus Christ

He existed in the form of God, yet he gave no thought to seizing equality with God as his supreme prize. Instead he emptied himself of his outward glory by reducing himself to the form of a lowly servant. He became human! He humbled himself and became vulnerable, choosing to be revealed as a man and was obedient. He was a perfect example, even in his death—a criminal’s death by crucifixion!~Phillipians 2:3-8.

Love is destroyed by pride. Love and pride cannot occupy the same spaces. One will dominate and overpower the other. God commissions and empowers us to love. So when someone says, “I am called to lead you,” if they are following Jesus this means, “I am called to serve you, not seek to be served by you.”

I have met numerous “leaders” and men in my day who told me they were called to lead me. Yet what that meant was they felt empowered to tell me what to do and wanted to be served. This is NOT godly leadership at all, it’s worldly leadership.

I have had single men tell me all the ways I could benefit their lives because to them a wife is servant to meet their needs. They could have cared less about loving me, treating me the way Jesus would. My dreams, calling from God, desires were completely insignificant. They saw someone unmarried and pretty (their words not mine) they wanted to purchase (flash their money, paycheck at) to serve them.

Women are not objects or slaves to be purchased to serve the whims of men then be replaced when she fails to meet a need, cheated on when she cannot meet his pleasures, or used for her body. God did NOT create a system of selfishness nor objectification. God created a family that is supposed to be fueled by love. God says, “Husbands forsake all others and cleave to your one wife. Love her the way Jesus loves the church. He was willing to die for the church. Jesus got low and served. Jesus empowers and leads by love and example. Jesus walks in purity not lust. Jesus cares about every single detail…follow My Son Jesus. Be an imitator of Him.”

The verse that says wives be subject to your husbands as unto the Lord in the original text means be wholly devoted in love-this means she is monogymous and not enganged with other lovers, she has eyes for her husband, single vision. It does NOT mean he becomes her god and she must obey him.

Husband is not the same as God. If it were so, then God is the author of confusion because He plainly says, “You shall have no other god besides me,” and “You are a slave to whomever you obey.” If the texts about husbands and wives meant the husband has the final authority, if he told his wife to betray God she would have to obey her spouse over God. No! She will be held accountable to God for obeying God not man. God is the final authority.

Example:

In inner healing class we had a lady who’s husband was molesting his granddaughter. The wife was submitting to his perverted leadership and holding a pillow over the child’s head during the violation. Was she honoring her husband by submitting to his perversion? Was she a good wife? No! She was a bad wife. She will spend a long time in jail like him for harming this child. The lady who was molested over and over was a testimony of healing in the class, her grandparents were not in the class.

Part of intimate relationship is revealing the righteousness of God to those connected to us. Her role as his wife and sister in Christ was to point her husband to righteousness. We do not yield to what is ungodly. No no no no! Ephesians 5:21 tells all followers of Jesus to be willing to yield (submit, possess humility) in reverence for the Lord. Being willing to yield is NOT the same word as obey.

Culture focuses on the wife submitting while ignoring the verse before it that says men and women, all believers submit to each other and choose humility. Culture also ignores the verses that tell husbands to go even further than that to love their wives the way Jesus loves the church (die to selfishness, pride, ego, immorality). Point highlighted again, we are NOT to yield to what is ungodly and violates our relationship with God. Nor are we puppets to be led on strings by whims of others.

Those led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. If your boss at work, pastor, mentor, parent, spouse or anyone claiming authority over you tells you to do something wicked, say no. That is not rebellion, it is honoring God. Godly leaders point to what honors the Lord and people. God will not lead anyone into sin, nor is God a slave driver who does not care about the needs, desires, or dreams of those He leads.

May we lead like Jesus which is counter cultural to this world. The greatest in the Kingdom of God has a heart of a servant, it is one who loves and looks out for the best interests of others.

Papa God help us to see leadership through the lenses of Jesus. You gave us a perfect model in your Son. Jesus was not a bully, dictator, abuser, nor did He use His status to Lord over people. He got low and served. He took the lowest place and you exalted Him to the highest place. Jesus is perfect theology. Jesus is the perfect spouse model. Jesus is the perfect leader; He seeks to look out for the best interests of those connected to Him. Jesus perfectly loves. Jesus does not use people He partners with them. Jesus, beautiful Jesus. May we abide in Jesus and lead like Jesus. In Your powerful name, amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Oneness, Intimacy, and Covenant (Sunday Devotion)

  
Sunday Morning Devotion: God is the Source we are the conduits. Let’s talk about oneness with God, intimacy, and marriage (oneness with another). 

If you want me to talk your ear off, ask about intimacy with God. It is my greatest pursuit; I ask Him questions/ search His Word for greater revelation. I am still learning and on this journey with Him. I hope you join me. I hope this post blesses you. 

God invites each person into personal relationship with Him. The invitation is personal, it is a 24/7 lifetime covenant relationship. It is the strongest covenant (commitment) a person can enter into (see Hebrews 8-9 for the new covenant info). 

God does not come simply for weekend visitations. He comes for a habitation-an indwelling of His Spirit. He comes to take up residence. He knocks on the door of our hearts saying, “I want to live here with you, abide in you, and you in Me.” He wants to be one with us. 

How on earth is God one with us? What is this oneness? Well, let’s start off talking about what it is not.

1. We Do Not Become the Other Person

Marriage is a good example of this. Husband and wife are to become one. This does not mean they become the other person (though some twist (pervert) it that way). They do not become conjoined twins who can not function without the other. They do not share a brain or body parts. They are still two individuals with their own likes, brains, dislikes, free wills, and personalities. God is not asking them to morph into the same person. 

God unites two people so they can agape love (unconditional, sacrificial, unselfish love), have a higher level of intimacy (knowing and being known), and so the blessings of each one can flow into the other. They connect deeply and like a conduit there is a flow back and forth. It is intended for mutual blessing, love. 

Spiritually and in the soul they connect through covenant and physical intimacy on a level that goes beyond just friends. Their bodies, souls, and spirits connect. Hence sex being so powerful. You are saying, “Whatever is in your soul or spirit, I invite it into me. Let’s be one, joined together.” 

In the spirit and soul realm, husband and wife are connected (This happens with all other sexual relationships too (1 Corinthians 6:16)). They are not the same person. That’s why when spouses die, or cheat, or are involved in pornography/immorality…one spouse may feel it. 

In death or divorce/breakup spouses may feel a part of them died. Why? They were connected and in covenant. Yet they are not the same person. If that were so, if one died they both would need to die. If one sinned, they would both be guilty. Yet we know this to be untrue. Each individual will give account for their individual life to God (Romans 14:12). 

God enters our lives through an eternal covenant. We repent and receive through faith in His Son Jesus. For born again believers the objective is for the Holy Spirit to take up residence in us (2 Timothy 1:14, Romans 8:11). If we do not have His Spirit, we do not belong to God (Romans 8:9). He is our seal, guarantee of what is to come (2 Corinthians 1:22). 

The Spirit of God (Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost) is connected to the Son, and the Father. They are one. Yet the Father is not the Son, the Son is not Holy Spirit. They are the Godhead manifested in unique, yet connected forms. 

So being one with God does not make us God. God does not become us. He comes in covenant with agape love, gifts, and the blessings of God flow in and through us. We also gain the highest form of intimacy-knowing God and being known by Him. He is the only One who will know everything about us. Through covenant we become the truest and best versions of ourselves. The love He gives, we give it back to Him. 

2. We Do Not Possess Unlimited Authority 

I am one with God, through Jesus. I am not Jesus. I am not Father God. I am not Holy Spirit. Even Jesus said, “I only do what I see the Father doing and say what I hear Him speaking (John 5:19).” 

It is dangerous to try to use authority that has not been given. Authority comes from the top down. God alone has ultimate authority. Even with ultimate authority He works within the framework He created to allow humans to choose. This means control, manipulation, and abuse of authority are a no go. Being one with God does not give us ultimate authority over everything and everyone. We are not demi gods. We do not have ultimate authority over everything or everyone. 

3. We Are Not Equal to God 

We are made in the image of God. We are His workmanship created for His glory. We are, if we are in Christ, raised up and seated with Him in heavenly places. We become joint heirs with Jesus. We do not become equal to God. God reaches down low to raise us up. He does not remove Himself from His throne and place us there. 

As Pastor TD Jakes says, “If God is on the throne, my flesh is on the cross. If I am on the throne, I am trying to put Jesus back on the cross.” 

We are not equal to God. We are children of God. He chooses to adopt us and work through us. He will always be God, the Great I AM, the Creator. 

Nothing God created is equal to His majesty. He values us tremendously, yet does not surrender His throne to us. Why? He is God. He also knows anything and anyone we worship other than Him brings bondage and is fueled by pride. Look what happened to Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12-17). God alone is 100% good. 

This is important in the picture of marriage too. God gave earthly marriage as a picture, not for the picture to replace Him or reality. What do I mean? Jesus is God. God alone is to be worshipped. 

Husbands are not God; they are not to be worshipped. They are to be respected and loved just like wives are to be respected and loved. The Church is to worship God. The wife is to worship God. He said, “Have no other gods before Me (Exodus 20:3).”

Husbands are to imitate Jesus in their sacrificial, unconditional, unselfish love for their wives. Part of Christ being the Head of the Church is He is the Chief Cornerstone, providing the most support and He sacrificed the most even to the laying down His life. Wives are to respond to that love and support with agape love, respect, and a willingness to yield to what honors God. Husbands too are to be willing to yield (Ephesians 5:21). All believers are to be willing to yield (submit)-same verse Ephesians 5:21. 

Both husband and wife are to yield to God, then each other. Neither is to become God for the other person. If that were so, God would have said, “You must worship two Gods-Me and your spouse.” He did not give us God alternatives. Our primary allegiance is to always first be to God. 

If a spouse tells us to do something that violates our relationship with God or is immoral or illegal, we are to forsake yielding to them and yield to God. Spouses are also to point each other to God. So going along with abuse or what is sinful or wrong is unGodly. 

Husbands who use their position in the family to abuse, hurt, control, manipulate, dominate, or mistreat their wives and/or children will be held accountable to God. 

Jesus told the disciples, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom (Matthew 20:28).” 

God views authority as a vehicle to protect from the attacks of the enemy, empower others, sacrificially and unselfishly love, honor, and serve. 

Jesus is the perfect model for leadership, authority, a disciple, a yielded (submitted) One. Jesus is the perfect model of a pastor or man or human or husband or leader. 

The one given the highest authority has been given the greatest capacity for sacrifice and is to abide in God to agape love. The highest calling isn’t boss or dictator-those are anti God leadership models for humans. The highest calling is agape (unconditional, sacrificial, unselfish, laid down love) and being a servant. 

Confusion comes when the picture of Jesus and the church is misused and misapplied in marriage.

Let’s jump back to oneness with God…

So becoming one with God comes through covenant and His Holy Spirit. God does not become us. We do not become God. We connect with God. Our spirit connects with His Spirit. His Spirit is to take up residence in our physical house. It is a connection that is meant to flow from this life into eternity. It is the only eternal covenant. Marriage is an earthly covenant that breaks at death, or in some cases divorce. 

Oneness with God provides us with: 

  • Intimacy with God/Friendship with God (the ability to know Him) 
  • Joint Heirship with Jesus 
  • Access to God (we do not need a liaison aside from Jesus-He is the mediator between God and mankind (1 Timothy 2:5))
  • Gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • Supernatural wisdom, revelation, and insight
  • Forgiveness of Sins/the Gift of Repentance 
  • New Identity in Christ 
  • Divine Deliverance 
  • Profound Understanding of His Word
  • Manifestations of His Glory/His love/His power
  • Partnership with God 
  • Name Written in the Lamb’s Book of Life 
  • Ability to Bless the World
  • Every Spiritual Blessing in the Heavenlies in Christ 
  • Advocate in Christ
  • An Eternal Covenant  

May you and I pursue deeper intimacy with God and increased revelation of oneness with Him. 

Here are some additional scriptures to back up this post: Ephesians 1, Ephesians 5, Exodus 20:3, John 17:20-24, Mark 10:7-9, Colossians 3:19, 21, Romans 14:12, Hebrews 8 and 9, 2 Timothy 1:14, Galatians 5:13-26, Romans 8

The Perfect Father

The Perfect Father

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clipart
By Erin Lamb, all rights reserved

“For God so loved the world He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life,” John 3:16.

“The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love,” Psalm 145:8.

God has been presented as cold, stern, demanding, punishing, and even aloof. On this journey to exploring His heart those statements have been proven to be the furthest things from the truth. God is passionate, loving, patient, filled with joy, compassionate, forgiving, and involved. His love for each of us is personalized. He is the perfect Father.

So, what constitutes the perfect father? They say people filter their view of God through their parents. If a person has loving parents, then it is far easier to see God as loving. Set aside the view of your earthly parents and come join me on the journey to knowing the perfect parent, God.

Some Characteristics of the Perfect Parent:

Unconditional Love. The perfect parent loves their child not based on their performance or abilities. Their child is the object of their love because they are an extension of who they are. We are made in God’s image, Genesis 1:27. We are His children.

Patience and Mercy. The perfect parent is filled with patience. God is perfect in patience. He knows our weaknesses and limitations. God is not a cruel task master. He knows without His help we are doomed to fail. He did the work for us on the cross, so we could depend on Him.  He overflows with mercy, as well as patience. When we fail, He asks we confess our sins, then He forgives us our sins. He extends mercy.

Provides Instruction & Lovingly Corrects. Leadership is a fundamental characteristic of the perfect parent. They lead by example and correct in love. If they see their child is headed for disaster, they will do all that they can to help their child get back on track.

Protect, Provide, Comfort, and Encourage. The perfect parent is concerned with the well-being of their child. They make the best interest of their off-spring the highest priority.God cares about every detail of His children’s lives. The perfect parent is their child’s biggest cheerleader.

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”  Matthew 6:26

Leaves an Inheritance/Blessing. The perfect parent has blessings set aside for their child. The Bible states a righteous person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, Proverbs 13:22.  God has given all those in Christ a share in His inheritance. God offers blessings and every spiritual blessing in heavenly places for those who receive Jesus as Savior, Ephesians 1:3.

Those are just some of the characteristics of God as the perfect parent. There is so much more. He loves us more than anyone on this planet. My prayer is that we have a deeper revelation of His love.  We are deeply loved.

P.S Check  out http://www.facebook.com/erinlambpoetry for your opportunity to win a free copy of I Thought I Knew What Love Was and a gift card (US residents only for the card).